The term – ‘Fashion Show’ or Fashion Week’ has been most ill-used in India. I have written enough on the subject – on how India has more ‘fashion weeks’ in India than the sum total of fashion weeks held in Fashion Capitals of New York, Paris, Milan and London. In India we had a fashion week named after an individual – Prasad Bidapa Fashion Week. You can read it here in my earlier post - The Term – ‘Fashion Week’ Has Become A Joke: http://wp.me/p1C8a1-1gb
Recently we had a designer taking a bow twice during his show and who could it be but Manish Malhotra. Then we had a ‘Indian Fashion Summit’ where fashion designers, choreographers and fashion scribes were awarded but surprisingly I had never heard of the winners in my 15-years plus career as a fashion journalist.
And now we have a gentleman who has introduced the dirty-trick of horse-trading in fashion. I though horse-trading happened only in politics. Vijay Singh who got into fashion just because his wife – Jyotsna Tiwari was never approved by the jury at FDCI shows. He started ‘Bridal Week’ in Mumbai. This year he is doing the ‘Bridal Week’ in Delhi and timed it just before the Delhi Couture Week organised by FDCI. Singh always had an axe to grind with FDCI. Anyway the designers are poached with huge sums of money courtesy two big sponsors that back the Bridal Week. Have you ever heard anywhere in the world of a designer getting paid to do a fashion show? It happens only in India! Vijay Singh has poached the popular designers and the five biggies of Indian Fashion Fraternity are offered an average of Rupees 40 Lakhs to just participate in the Bridal Week.
No doubt the Delhi government levies Entertainment Tax on Fashion Shows. When organisors like Vijay Singh pay hefty amounts to designers to show their collection, it is something like ‘performance fee’ that showbiz people charge. Hence government is right in levying Entertainment Tax because these events no way help in establishing that a fashion show is a ‘Trade Show’.
Since Bollywood Diva – Kareena Kapoor signed on to endorse the Lakme Absolute range of colour cosmetics, she has been one of the shiniest factor for Lakme Fashion Week (LFW), held bi-annually in Mumbai. If I recall right – since Bebo signed-up with Lakme, she has been the show-stopper for two grand finale shows – Manish Malhotra’s Summer/Resort 2012 and Kallol Datta and Pankaj & Nidhi’s Winter/Festive 2012. Tonite Kareena Kapoor will be there as a show-stopper for talented designer – Namrata Joshipura’s grand finale show.
Fortunately, including this season, it has been Delhi Designers who had been doing Lakme Fashion Week’s Grand Finale shows. Kareena Kapoor as a show-stopper gives a major boost to the Delhi based designers amongst Bollywood’s fashionistas. We had seen that for Pankaj & Nidhi. But Joshipura is already popular amongst B-Town actresses and star wives. Still Bebo’s tadka is always welcome. Wadddyyyaaa Say???
Kareena Kapoor in a Manish Malhotra gown a year back was a disaster. The outfit of that kind you see at passing-out shows of students from nondescript fashion schools. The following season, Bebo wore a Kallol Datta printed shirt-dress. Very ‘Kallol’ but too low on ‘glam’ for somebody like Kareena. Pankaj & Nidhi’s tassled leather number got mired in controversy so I will skip commenting on it. But yeah tonite I Kareena Kapoor did dazzle in Namrata Joshipura’s candy-floss colour scheme. But how I wished Bebo would had worn the sexy orange flared mini skirt (the one she is wearing in the Top-Right picture) instead of the neon pink pleated palazzos that makes her look stunted. But then I have heard that Kareena is very difficult to deal and a designer may not always get her to wear what they would had preferred.
CARMA and Indian Fashion has a karmic connection. A centuries old royal stable opposite the Qutub Minar was converted by Lekha Poddar as India’s first fashion boutique – CARMA. Lekha’s daughter-in-law Malvika Modi Poddar better known as Dimple Poddar was the proud owner of India’s first high-fashion boutique and running the operations was Gurleen Kaur, a name that virtually became synonymous to Carma.
It was a sort of Mecca for Indian designers. If you were selling from CARMA, you simply had arrived. Carma like all things saw lot of evolution. Once a domain of big-daddies of Indian fashion, Carma started taking in bright young talent. Since the boutique enjoyed a premium position Carma has innumerous tales of inter-designer politics, bitchy dramas and loads of conspiracy theories. Evolution continued and couple of years back CARMA did a tie-up with Sabyasachi Mukherjee and from a multi-designer boutique it became Sabya’s flagship store. The other CARMA at Malcha Marg (though nowhere close to the ‘elite’ factor the Qutub Carma enjoyed) stocked multi-designers.
Past few months things were not smooth between Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Gurleen and Dimple Poddar. As per sources the bone of contention was the commission paid to Gurleen by Sabyasachi. Since Gurleen was more involved in running the Malcha Marg Carma, the percentage commission payable to Gurleen on Sabysachi’s sales were reduced.
Now Gurleen has officially put in her papers and insiders say that it came as a shock to Dimple. The spicy bit is Gurleen in collaboration with Manish Malhotra is opening his first flagship store just a couple of yards away from Sabysachi at Carma on the One Style Mile across the Qutub Minar. The coming days will witness some tug-of-war for Carma loyal clientele. We will wait and watch how things unfurl!
The moment I saw this picture of actor cum activist Shabana Azmi giving a standing ovation to Olympic Medal winning gritty boxer Mary Kom as she sashayed down the ramp, the words GULABI GANG sprung up in my mind. Two powerful ladies in PINK (GULABI) fits the bill to the ‘T’. Waaaddyaa say???
The image is from Shabana Azmi’s NGO, Mijwan Welfare Society, hosted a fashion show, Mijwan Sonnets in Fabric 2012. The show highlighted craftsmanship of Mijwan’s female population through Manish Malhotra’s designs.
And yes it seemed like all of Bollywood was on the ramp, especially the two directors from the now-famous Rs. 100 Crores Club – Rohit Shetty and Prabhudeva. Oh yes…how can I forget B-Town’s darling Karan Johar. He too walked the ramp in a red thingy, which looked like a ‘Bandmaster’s’ uniform. How could you don that K Jo???
- “Do you have any problem with XYZ designer?’
- I ask, “Why do you think so?”
- “No you have been critical of his/her work”.
- I say, “If I am critical of his/her work that doesn’t mean I don’t like him/her. It is purely the clothes.”
Yes guys there is nothing personal when a scribe opiniates critically.
Manish Malhotra had a grand show on the penultimate day of PCJ Delhi Couture Week 2012. And then he had boisterous support from B-Towners like Karan Johar, Suzanne Roshan, Sheetal Mafatlal, Kajal Anand and Shaina NC rooting for every creation of his from the front-row.
Malhotra’s collection was ‘pretty’ and I am sure he will mint money out of this collection. Katrina Kaif looked gorgeous in a gold lehenga with pink borders and skimpy gold choli. But Manish I thought the choli could have had a snuggy fit. Also the layering of sheer net or Tulle was bit dense that almost hid the ornate ensemble beneath. The layering could have been more sheer. Felt like the net layer was more a cover to protect the garment from dust. What do you say???