I don’t care. I am a normal 18 year old college girl and the recently concluded Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week means nothing to me. Till today I have reserved my opinion on this, because it seemed to me that maybe somewhere I lacked an innate sense of fashion that would enable me to appreciate all the stuff that is passed off under the umbrella of ‘fashion’. Not any longer. An online poll is the reason why. To the question of why do you watch the Fashion week, the following choices were provided; For fun, to keep pace with fashion, for celebrities. A substantial 70% claimed to keep up with fashion by watching the fashion shows. I don’t happen to be one of them, and here I want to share with you, exactly why.
Fashion in my mind over the years, seems to be have donned two hats. Fashion, as in that which reflected in what I wear and the ‘Fashion’ that is a brand. My contention is that at this point in my life I don’t see the remotest connection between the two. Fashion Weeks represent the pinnacle of achievement for the fashion industry, which sells the brand that is Fashion. But my impressions of the fashion week have little to do with fashion, all I recall are fashion designers, models, controversies and pages and pages of media coverage. Ok leave these events aside for a moment, let’s deal with the individual entities on their own merit. Fashion designers- this is the species of people who shall be found perennially on page 3, they can be easily considered the less glam version of film stars. And if you read the paper regularly you are deemed to know at least their whole life story, whether you wear their clothes or would even want to is of little consequence. Models- they are designed to invite your envy, and to ensure that the VLCCs of the worlds survive. Controversies and media coverage of course are sisters in arms. The more the merrier. Then again there is FTV, which is watched for reasons I don’t feel inclined to elaborate upon.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no problems with fashion designers finding their way to the mecca of Fashion, Paris, or models finding their way to the mecca of good lookers- Bollywood, or even FTV viewers, but where does that leave fashion? Where does that leave me? And more importantly where does it leave my fashion? Why does fashion have to be the exclusive party, where only a few with perfect figures can carry it off, and only a few with pretty bank balances can afford it. I admit that nothing I wear or want to wear will be ostentatious enough to be on TV. But does it have to be? To a lot of us, given our mortal imperfections and budgetary constraints fashion is a result of the choices we make at Janpath, the expertise our local tailors possess, or even what that girl is wearing.
I agree that this is not the kind of inputs that would run an industry. But I honestly do believe that it deserves to be recognized as far more important and be given due attention. Why cant a designer test his credibility by designing for an average person? Parallels can be drawn between the Business of Cricket, Entertainment industry and the Fashion industry. It’s true that that an ordinary person would see the cricket he plays different from what Sachin plays. People also understand that reel life isn’t exactly real. Yet I believe the connections between the masses and the industry are in these cases stronger than what exists between the fashion industry and the masses, if at all there exists a link. If fashion is about looking good and following latest trends then ordinary people deserve to look good and the latest trends can come from within their ranks too. Street Fashion should not be just another brand of the fashion industry; fashion must reflect itself on the streets …minus the wardrobe malfunctions of course!