Fashion not for the masses?

September 11, 2007

WIFW, like most fashion weeks across the world, remains a ‘by invites only’ event. People behind the show explain why…

Call it snob value or the demand of business, but fashion remains for a select few. As two events – Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week that wrapped up yesterday at Pragati Maidan or the ongoing New York Fashion Week – proved yet again.

The online schedule for the event in New York clearly states , “Entry by invite only. Not open to public.” And WIFW also had the same condition. This , in turn, left a lot of visitors to Pragati Maidan wondering why they can’t have a peep into the world of glam even after buying the entry ticket.

Anjum Singh, who came to Pragati Maidan for book fair, is one such visitor. “I wanted to have a look at WIFW but the security guard asked for an invite . If I have taken a ticket at the gate, why should I have to have an invite too?” she asks. But the truth is that the event remained ‘strictly by invites’ . “But aren’t we the people they are creating all this for?” she asks. Explains Sumeet Nair, executive director, FDCI, “I would not call it an exclusive event but then, it was not meant for public entertainment either. We had hired this space in Pragati Maidan for a private affair, which was fashion week. And this event was strictly for fashion business.”

The fact remains that major fashion weeks around the world are for buyers and media as business remains the focus. Although Milan has large LCD screens all over the venue for the people to have a look at what’s happening.

“People who do not understand what fashion is all about think that this is another mode of entertainment. Like someone SMSed me that they needed passes for the Lara Dutta show. I had to explain that Lara is not a designer, she is an actress,” says Rathi Vinay Jha, DG, FDCI.

Designer Falguni Peacock explains the lack of LCD screens thus, “Here people start commenting on the type of dresses you wear, it will take time before they adjust to fashion the way we see and show it.”

Shobhaa ruffles designer feathers
Shobhaa De is not impressed with what designers are showcasing during the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week. And so, she has been ripping them apart after watching their shows on telly. She has been hosting a show on a news channel and has been making a lot of designers wonder what exactly happened.

Rina Dhaka was amongst a few of the designers who chose to speak out. “Someone should tell Shobhaa that she can’t sit in Mumbai and judge a clothing line. On TV, you can’t make out the drapes and silhouettes. It is bizarre! If she so wants to comment on our work then she should have come here and seen the collections up, close and personal. One understands a collection only after seeing it with the naked eye, and the hand feel. The lady is not even here. She is sitting in front of the TV like Big Brother and making judgments. She herself doesn’t know how to design clothes, how can she comment like this?” It is up to Shobhaa to answer these charges now!

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