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Insensitive stylistas

Weird are the ways of fashion. Now there is something called ‘homeless chic’ where destitution has been made to look glamourous.

fashion and trends Updated: Dec 14, 2009 20:37 IST
Jaydeep Ghosh

Weird are the ways of fashion. Now there is something called ‘homeless chic’ where destitution has been made to look glamourous.

HOBO chic has inspired stylistas to create shabby clothes inspired by homeless destitute. Hobo collections feature faded, ripped and threadbare pieces many charity shops would consider un-sellable — but fashion victims are paying thousands for them. The shabby-chic look has been embraced by the likes of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Taylor Momsen and Sienna Miller, who wore a $25,000 dress with holes and an unfinished hemline.

Enamoured by the trend when a reputed fashion mag, W published an editorial with a model dressed in luxurious shopping bags and splayed out next to garbage cans, it spurred a moral outrage with charities going all out to criticise such heartlessness. But then there are two camps — those who think it’s reprehensible and those who consider it fabulous.

Fashion has been insensitive occasionally. At home, we did see strong protests when Vogue India in its photo editorial shot poor villagers carrying ‘it’ bags that cost more than what they make in two years. Stella McCartney, a hardcore follower of humane fashion recently called her peers ‘heartless’ for using fur and leather in their creations. Recently, I was appalled by an editorial in the Italian Vogue, which kind of stated — ‘Neglectful Motherhood is Fashionable’.

In April 2009, a French Vogue shoot featured a “pregnant” model smoking and tossing a baby doll over her shoulder. Additionally, in the July issue of Bazaar, Mila Jovovich played a distracted working mom. A photographer friend argued, “French Vogue found the tenderness in mothering, but also the humour, the wackiness and the suggestion that it isn’t perhaps natural to all women.” Well, it doesn’t go down well with my sensibilities. What about yours?

Fashion also has been flirting with the risque look, which in fashion terms is often called the ‘Ho’ look. Take the thigh-high boots (must-haves this season) for instance. How many can carry those off without looking slutty? I would say zilch. Still, I won’t be surprised to see our fashionistas with thunder thighs strutting in them. I agree that a creative mind gets charmed by all things dark. But ambivalent motherhood in a cigarette-fuelled, pregnancy-padded, bottle-fed primer, strutting in Prada shoes that aren’t recommended past the first trime-ster is taking things a bit too far. Thank God desi designers have no such carnal desires.