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Gatecrashing to pick up a tip

Fashion week from the eyes of a novice. Our ‘political’ correspondent reports...

fashion and trends Updated: Apr 08, 2011 01:02 IST
Charu Sudan Kasturi

The gigantic Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week hoarding came crashing down from its perch over the entrance to the Pragati Maidan hall hosting the fashion fiesta, just as I was entering the venue on Wednesday afternoon. Was the fashion week groaning at the prospect of a non-fashionista like yours truly trying to gatecrash its party, I wondered? Chaddo yaar, I thought, banishing my nerves as I walked in.

On a typical day at work, I interact with about a dozen or more bureaucrats, educationists, politicians, activists and those they are fighting on behalf of, apart from journalists. They dress in clothes I am familiar with.

Among the guys at the fashion week, my fading saffron shirt and neat beige trousers appeared as out of place as the Kenyan batsmen must have felt facing up to Lasith Malinga or Brett Lee in the just concluded ICC World Cup.

Once the show started though, the only clothes that mattered were those showcased by leggy models walking the ramp, dazzling a crowd that was a mix of fashionable aunties, the been-here-and-done-that lot, and occasional wide-eyed newbies like me.

I had read that Neeru Kumar, who opened the week, counts Sonia and Priyanka Gandhi, and actress Shabana Azmi — normal women with beauty and grace — among her clients. I liked the interplay between the background music and the subtle shades on display during the shows by Gaurav Jai Gupta and Kallol Datta that followed.

But I couldn’t help wondering whether the specific clothes displayed on the ramp looked good largely because of the models wearing them. How would the same outfits look on ordinary folk with figures less than perfect, height less than ideal, and weight a tad on the higher or lower side?

I hesitantly asked a lady sitting next to me. Clearly amused by my question, she smiled before replying: “It’s really about the person and how he or she carries off the outfit. Sure, not every outfit will look good on everyone, but it’s mostly about how the person carries herself in the outfit,” she said.

What about guys, I wondered aloud? “It’s the same. I’ve been a dresser and am now a designer,” she added confidently.
Her answer sounded reasonable. A fashion myth in my mind had been busted. I had picked up a possible tip.

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Hit & Miss
That’s what we call a right start The shows on Day 1 started right on time, with the inaugural show barely ten minutes late than its scheduled time. Every-one from buyers to guests seemed to be happy about not having to wait to catch a show.

A dismal dining area for the media
While the models had the luxury of a plush dining area with health food choices. The media dining area got a stepmotherly treatment. Random seats were put up and the decor reminded one of college canteens.