Péro SS 14. At India Fashion Week in Delhi.
Archive for the ‘5. Fashion Weeks’ Category
Clothes by Shift.
Photographed at Lakme Fashion Week in August 2013.
I’ve tried to put together the urban Indian crowd that attends fashion weeks(look at Bombay here). It’s a small filtered out crowd.
I’m sometimes asked about the trends I see in India. I can’t point at one thing and say this is happening. Can anybody? India is too vast and diverse. It looks like a lot is happening simultaneously within a small crowd. Colour blocking. Traditional/vintage mixed with new. Prints mixed with colours. Tailored. Structured. Asymmetry. Lot of customization and personalization.
You see a lot of people endorsing the designers they like. Borrowed for the day, gifted, or bought. (Lesly Lobeni in Varun Sardana. Karuna Laungani in Rahul Mishra. Sabina Halder in Abdul Halder. Ridhima Sud in Pia Pauro. Ruhi Sheikh in Bodice).
Designers wearing the clothes they make. (Arya John, Ruchika Sachdeva. Hiroko Takahashi.) There is Sarojini stuff combined with online stores. Old hand-me-downs(Carol Humtsoe). Vintage(Monica) Head to toe luxury(Pooja Khurana in Dior+Karen Miller). Models are usually in loose casual clothes and flat shoes. (A bit of generalization.)
Another thing you can’t help notice is the working class people at fashion weeks. You see them around on all days but start finding them in abundance on the last day as they start dismantling stages and stalls. It’s interesting to see how they mix with the fashion crowd. They move in lines. Mostly looking down. In & out of the same areas as everyone else – the smoking area, by the party lounges, the designers’ stalls, backstage. Through loud music, drunk happy people, media spotlight, celebrities. They don’t talk at all. Even when they are together they don’t seem to be talking much. Like they were told not to.
However, I didn’t photograph them just to show the contrast between the classes. Guess everybody knows it exists pretty much everywhere in India. I like their aesthetics.
All photos from 2011-2012 WIFW in Delhi.
Kuku, Lulu, & Mercy in péro ss13.
Photographed before péro aw13 show at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi in March 2013.
You mentioned you are always trying to bring normalcy in fashion through your clothes which you don’t see a lot. Why do you think you need this normalcy? This struck me in NID. We are always in this struggle to go back to the past, go back to the roots, go back to being “normal” and ordinary and rooted. We live in these plush houses and we end up going to resorts to walk barefoot. What I am trying to stress upon each and every season is just because one is making clothes that cost a hell lot of money they don’t have to be made of chiffon and look expensive. As a brand we get queries from stores and personal clients abroad, appreciating our brand and what we do; but frankly we have not always been able to “click” with the audience here in India. Sometimes I do have a dilemma as to whether I wish to be niche or whether I wish to be niche-but-still-reach-out to a wider group. We retail at select 12 boutiques across the country, but at times I have been asked to make slightly more “ornate and rich looking” clothes by our buyers just because sometimes our clothes end up looking “normal” and not “value-for-money.” But hey, if I were to tell you the Dhakai Jamdani handloom cotton fabrics that we used in one of our past collections cost us Rs 875/metre just because each motif was hand-woven painstakingly, would you believe me? (while silk costs Rs 350/metre)
Fashion doesn’t have to be glamorous all the time. I can’t seem to understand what it is with fashion that is always about the “glam” and the short and the tight! Why do fashion magazines need to have girls in pouty lips posing for you. Why can’t we shoot in villages and document the beautiful landscapes or their karigari, something like what Steve McCurry did in that Desert Storm image with the women huddled up in a group. It blows my mind. (Taking a drift…it is bizarre that it is always the westerners that capture the real essence of things, in this case, India, and portray it so very beautifully.)
What are you looking forward to?
Showing at Wills. I feel LFW is losing its essence. It’s too glamorous for me. And I really wish there were more critics. I don’t want to know who show stopped for who or who showed up at which after-party in what clothes & media running behind actors. It’s good if it works for others but I don’t like it. I hope Wills doesn’t have all that. I don’t want to know who is sitting in my front row as long as there are the right kind of people.
Who are the right kind of people?
Somebody who understands what is going on with the clothes. Someone who can appreciate your work and give constructive criticism and is not just there to talk about front row, runway celebrities, and after parties.
Best thing about what you do.
It is a high to create things out of scratch. And at the end of each collection, once I see the girls walking down the ramp (no matter how modest I am usually), I feel this great sense of achievement. That, hey-you-know-what the clothes you just saw on the ramp, whether you liked them or not, were made from scratch by our weavers and our karigars and our printers and dyers; and yes, I am the designer behind it.
Excerpts from an old talk I had with Paromita Banerjee at LFW about a year ago. Runway photos from her old shows at LFW and recent AW 13 show at WIFW. Outdoor: Carol Humtsoe in Paromita Banerjee AW 13, photographed during WIFW at Pragati Maidan in Delhi.
You were not too happy with the styling of your clothes on the runway this time. Yes. I didn’t like the layering so much because each individual piece was very strong, there was a lot happening with each piece..once it got layered, it lost its appeal, and looked a little too much.
What does your work involve at Madura?
I work as a design manager for Louis Phillipe. I have a team of designers and merchandisers working under me. I supervise a bit. My work involves international & domestic market surveys, market research, looking at what sold well and what did not sell well…then taking everything into account and preparing/designing for each season.
Javed made this collection in about 15 days while doing a serious full time job. It was his 2nd time at LFW. Check his debut collection here(first 6 images), his favourite piece from this collection, and some great stuff on his tumblr(minus the runway photos from his recent show).
Images: Expressionist N stall at LFW. Expressionist SS 13 runway, LFW. Pranav Misra in Expressionist N SS 13 shirt & Huemn pants.
Archana Rao, Designer. Likes Oren Lavie, exploring paper, is fascinated with buildings and structures, lives in Hyderabad..
What did you do today? I was just working on completing a project for most of the day, met up with a couple of friends over coffee and cheese cake, wrapped up the day by watching Paris, je’taime in bed.
Pallavi Singh. In between shows.
Suhani Pittie. Accessory designer.
Shruti Bheda. BLUR girl.
If not a fashion designer, what do you think you’d be?
Rachel Bayros. Model. On nothing.
Photographs taken over the last two years (2011-13) at Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai.
Ria Kamat. 22. Jr. Fashion Stylist with Marie Claire. Works on the fashion pages of the magazine but is happiest at a shoot. Lives in Bombay. Studied at LCF. Large chunk of her childhood went in trying to dress like Spice Girls followed by Kate Winslet from Titanic phase(keyword:stockings). Admires Caroline Issa’s style. Has over watched Juno. Is listening to Bloom & Get Lucky over and over, one after another. Likes Huemn, Bodice, Shift, The Lumineers, Passion Pit, singing along to ABBA, Palace of Illusions, vodka…
I was born in Mumbai. I am one of those people who has very distinct memories of my childhood right from the age of 4. Snippets of meaningless conversations, dreams, the way I felt about things…I remember majority of it. As all the kids in my building were boys, growing up around them had a strong influence on me. I was definitely not a girly girl and always dreamt of being a teenage mutant ninja turtle (the red one). I feel like a lot of my real ‘growing up’ took place when I moved to a boarding Sahyadri school which was essentially on a hill in the middle of no where. There was no encouragement of competition…education was everything that happened outside the classroom, friends were family, and teachers were friends. Technology was a foreign term, so every weekend I would write letters to my parents on inland letters. Life was like a little bubble with no connection to reality. I owe everything that I am to that time of my not so long life (so far).
While in London I did anything and everything I could and didn’t get a penny for it. I interned at Vogue india in both their London and Mumbai offices. I also worked on a film for Lilly Allen’s vintage store that she opened with her sister Sarah. I assisted the creative director of the film so my job was to build the sets, like physically build them. So I helped source all the material for the sets and then build it…from tiling a floor to building walls. I assisted a lot of freelance stylists in London on commissioned shoots that they were doing for magazines. I did apply for a job as a sales girl at Miss Sixty and I even got it. I worked there for a day and then fractured my foot so that was pretty much the end of my sales career.
The parks! I love a good picnic at the park.
Where do you hangout in Bombay?
Uhhh currently at the Marie Claire office. I don’t really have one place. I enjoy eating out at places where the space is as important as the food. I like The Pantry, Kala Ghoda Cafe, Cafe Zoe, The Barking Deer.
Do you find any similarities between London & Bombay?
Yes. Everyone is trying to be someone. In Bombay there are so many young people who are trying to find their calling and achieve their goals. It’s the same in London. And all these people are young…really young.