Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
from India Insight:
While millions washed away a lifetime of sins in the Ganges, some people brought back interesting things from the largest religious congregation on earth - the Maha Kumbh Mela. Designer Tarun Tahiliani brought back ideas for his latest collection.
More than 2,000 years old, the festival is a meeting point for Hindu sadhus, some of whom live in the forest or in Himalayan caves. The sadhus at the Kumbh can be quite a spectacle - some are ash-smeared, some naked, sporting dreadlocks and beads, while some wrap themselves in saffron clothing.
On the second day of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week, Tahiliani showcased his "Coombhack Collection", an interpretation of sadhu wear. Tahiliani gave the traditional drapes a modern and structured outlook in contemporary clothing.
“We went and we photographed thousands of people... and it is spectacular,” Tahiliani said. “The colours, the draping, just the way everyone drapes fabric in the most simplest way.”
from India Insight:
Just when you think that there is nothing more that you can do with a sari, someone will prove you wrong. On the first day of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in New Delhi, we saw saris with lipstick prints and telephone booth imprints, a sari wrapped around a bikini top and hot pants, and Peter Pan collars on sari blouses.
“It’s sexy, it’s a sari, it’s comfortable, but it is hot.” said designer Anupama Dayal, who brought her collection "Ishq-e-Dilli" ("Delhi Passion") to the show.
Fashion consciousness has grown in a big way in the last 3-4 years, a fashion analyst told me. And judging by the crowds that throng the week-long Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week, it would seem that most middle class citizens, given a chance (or a day pass) want to have a piece of the fashion fraternity tag on their chest, whether they have any clue about couture or not.
The question of affordability or even wearability of the sometimes outlandish designs for the common man on Indian streets is another question.
When designers Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna were asked why they didn’t use any celebrity on the catwalk at the India Fashion Week, a nonchalant Khanna replied: “Our clothes are our showstoppers. It’s a business event, let’s keep it that!”
But in a world of glamour where media visibility is almost a prerequisite and most of ‘what’s hot’ and ‘what’s not’ is measured by the number of shutterbugs and roving video cameras present, does having a movie star or two sashay in front of a celebrity-hungry media really make bad business sense?
I have always been a bit cynical about the Indian fashion industry. I used to think the country’s fashion designers were wannabes trying to break into a glamorous industry despite having little or no aptitude for the trade.
But spending time at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week has lessened my cynicism to some extent.