17 June, 2021

Can't Skirt The Issue

They didn't know the hemlines from necklines then......now it's all hip and businesslike. Even in the newsroom.

Tribhuvan Tiwari
Can't Skirt The Issue
I still remember being mocked at during an edit meeting at The Other Magazine—those mandatory Monday morning gladiatorial jousts where knives were brandished, reputations shredded and colleagues often savaged. I'd pitched for an "omnibus" story (oh, how they loved that word out there...and yes, the other one was "sit rep") on Indian fashion. I explained to multiple dancing eyebrows that fashion had the makings of a serious business but in its present avatar it looked more like a media circus peopled with assorted auntyjis, some designers, clever cut-and-paste conmen/women and MANY wannabes who had clambered on to a gravy train.

My question? Was Indian fashion about designing wedding/sangeet/reception lehengas for Dolly Auntie's daughters or was it a serious business? Was fashion translating into affordable pret-a-porter lines that would make a design statement on our streets and hopefully the world stage, or would it remain confined to ageing aunties sporting frocks and kameezes sold to them by English-speaking "designer darzis" in Cuffe...

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