Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
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.
And what would a big event in the Indian capital be without a good dose of controversy to go along with the catwalks. All shows on the first day were suddenly cancelled due to the absence of mandatory fire safety permits even as models were dressing up backstage and guests were lining up outside the hall.
The need to accommodate the cancelled shows resulted in the addition of an extra day, and a new fashion phrase – The Grand Fashion Day.
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?