Functions or Malfunctions

Wadrobe MalfunctionAs Rediff News, a section of the celebrated web portal published a story, like all others, on the wardrobe malfunction of Belgian model Debbie in the recently concluded Wills India Fashion Week 2008, in no time 8 people responded to the article. All the respondents are in their mid twenties and share the openness of urban permissive society. But, one thing that’s striking in all the responses is that they condemn this fast growing trend of becoming the ‘news of the day’ by actions that are sophisticatedly termed as ‘wardrobe malfunction’. The ghost of ‘wardrobe malfunction’ came back to haunt Wills lifestyle fashion week as the creation worn by Belgian model Debby showcasing Rajesh Pratap’s collection came undone. She however, handled the occasion with grace, pulled back her dress, and completed the walk. The issue at hand is not whether the malfunction was part of a publicity stunt; the issue is whether this has become a trend witnessed in India almost every year. India’s brush with fashion shows began way back, wardrobe malfunctions however, are new entrants. A case in point being Carol Gracias, who, on one occasion, all of a sudden, was seen loosening her corset, subsequently walking topless for few seconds, hence giving the tabloid photographers ample time to freeze it, and then, making up for it.A section of society has termed people who wish to discuss or condemn wardrobe malfunctions as the ‘moral’ brigade. But, they have no answer if asked why Wills has not made it mandatory to wear nipple-gums when Lakme India has made it so. Even after the fiasco in 2006 by Carol and Gauhar, Lakme India fashion Week can not vouch for the fact that if found flouting the recent rule, models will be banned by them. Show biz is a highly competitive world, where everyone wants to be in the limelight, constantly. But, it does not necessarily mean that, fashion shows, which are perceived as an aesthetic platform by all, be turned into sleaze bazaar by a handful. What society wants is not a Nigar Khan, baring her essentials to photojournalists in Cannes, or any of our Pop Divas performing on stage wearing just a linen shirt that is meant to fly away while dancing, Beyonce. And interestingly enough it is the educated youth who voice their protest first. For instance, Gaura Tyagi wrote to The Times of India saying: “These ”malfunctions” are done deliberately with a purpose to attract attention. The designer gets publicity along with the model.”You notice some, you miss some based on what the media highlights. But, every time there’s a big event, possibilities are that there is one wardrobe malfunction. Recently Aishwarya Rai had a malfunction in Zee Cine Awards 2007, Shamita Shetty made front page news in London tabloids when last year she was spotted without lingerie and this year, Riya Sen had almost one ‘malfunction’. The question that invariably comes into mind that how many of them are real malfunctions? The sooner we find the question, the sooner we can prevent a Janet Jackson Super Bowl fiasco, oops, wardrobe malfunction, in India, with sports becoming another entertainment here.Sadly, we can just wait and watch.Anindya Banerjee


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