Besides flaunting their glam quotient, fashion designers make arrogance fashionable too. Vinod Nair tells more.Updated: Sep 27, 2007, 14:29 IST
Is it fashionable to be arrogant? Well, the other day, one of my young colleagues asked me whether she can do an article on Indian designers participating at coveted fashion weeks abroad. She was all excited at the prospect of doing the story as she thought our designers were doing a great job and are taking India to the global runways.
But when she called the designer, he rudely told her that he was in Jodhpur and that he was not interested in talking. Swell, I thought, he didn't have a couple of minutes to spare for a tele-talk on his own show!
I recall about 10 years ago, some designers used to crib about young writers going to them for clarifications in fashion (and they indulged themselves in conversations with those ‘immature writers' as they represented big names in publishing!).
They, according to these designers, were too young in the field for them to deal with (as they considered themselves stalwarts.) But the fact remains that the organised fashion industry in India is only about a couple of decades old and no one is in a position, especially now, to act big.
The funny thing about people like these is that they hire well-connected, well-behaved publicists to promote their images, so that they can be arrogant when they want to be.
Any negative press on their hopeless collections, the hapless publicist ends up facing the brunt. "Brr, I pay you the money so you do what you have to keep me in circulation!"
The publicist is on the run always looking for client publicity be it him sneezing in London or tripping in Paris, a string of calls come for exclusive coverage.
I have a doubt, is it creativity that brings in arrogance, or the lack of it? My guess is that it certainly is not the creativity. If it was the case, then Rajesh Pratap Singh and Puja Nayyar would have been several times more arrogant than this designer. They are much more talented and more importantly grounded as well. But not arrogant.
In fact a few years back I used to think that it is easier to get through to the White House than get a chance to talk to Rajesh Pratap.
First, there's no point in trying his number as every time it goes unanswered or when he answers he will answer in a word or two. Of course he has changed now and gives his answers in a couple of sentences and the best answer from him has always been his collection presentations.
But not even once have I heard from anyone that he spoke out of line.
Abraham and Thakore, Namrata Joshipura, Ashish Soni or even Tarun Tahiliani.. they are not abrupt in their demeanours too, but yet creative enough to win accolades from around the world. Tarun in fact is known to stand by the junior most designer when it comes to promoting Indian fashion.
When I visited David's (Abraham) office once, I saw stalks of prestigious foreign fashion and lifestyle magazines featuring them in it.
Not once did they call me up ask ing for a write up because they were featured in those magazines.
I was pleasantly surprised. So where does our friend (the rude designer) stand in front of all the rest? I have a feeling that it's a classic example of an empty vessel making more noise.
Why such arrogance then? My take on this is that if you want to make yourself inaccessible, be free to do so. Legends like Margiella had done it without being arrogant.
If you are so confident that you can get away with it, I feel that's the course you should pursue. And that will be the real acid test for such designers as this one.