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Lakme Fashion Week 2018: Is India ready to accept queer fashion?

As a recent show celebrates drag culture, designers say it’s heartening to see Indian fashion become inclusive.

fashion and trends Updated: Aug 23, 2018 17:50 IST
Akshay Kaushal
Akshay Kaushal
Hindustan Times
Lakme Fashion Week,Queer fashion,Chola by Sohaya Mishra
Prateik Babbar and Jason Arland walk the ramp for Chola by Sohaya Mishra. (Yogen Shah/HT PHOTO)

Historically, fashion has always had the power to inspire revolutions and challenge prejudices. As Indian fashion increasingly becomes more inclusive, designers are boldly foraying into gender-neutral clothing and expressing freedom through clothes. At the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week Winter/ Festive 2018, actor Prateik Babbar and celebrity makeup artist Jason Arland made a strong statement by showcasing drag culture on the ramp for Chola by Sohaya Mishra. While Babbar wore skirt style pants teamed with cape, bright nail-paint and lipstick, Arland wore a feminine, frilly tiered dress.

Designer Nikhil Mehra says it’s great that designers are attempting to make Indian fashion queer-friendly. “Fashion is a great way to bring about a big change. The millennials don’t want to be tagged with a certain gender. Also, there is a great sense of acceptance among fashion lovers. Gender prejudice is becoming a thing of the past. It’s an amazing time for Indian fashion,” he says.

Designer Anvita Sharma, who will be showcasing her gender-neutral collection at Lakme Fashion Week today, says there was a time when there was no sign of queer fashion in India. “Though a lot of people working in the fashion world were from the LGBTQ+ , we sadly didn’t see their representation on the ramp. They were simply ignored. But that’s changing. Fashion is a strong tool to express your ideology and express freedom. I’m glad that designers are doing this now,” she says. LGBTQ activist Ashok Row Kavi says that it’s heartening to see Indian fashion encourage gender non-conformity. “Showcasing drag on the ramp is a bold step. We need more such endeavours to support the community.”

First Published: Aug 23, 2018 17:49 IST