24.5.07

Kidding You Are, Right? Kidding Please Be..

They've appointed the twit in the picture above as fashion features editor for Vogue India. I don't know what Bandana Tewari has by way of skills as a stylist/editor, but they have to be a LOT better than the rubbish she turns out on that TV show of hers (where she just sounds like the kind of airheaded lady-who-lunches type that gives girls with an interest in fashion a bad name- I forgot the name of the show) if the magazine is to be any good at all. And what's with that faux-public-school accent? At least one positive thought I can get out of this is that if she's on the staff of a magazine, we won't have to hear her voice..
Here's where the news came from. I don't want to be negative about Indian fashion because it upsets some people's nationalist sentiments and there are designers in the country who deserve much more freedom than current circumstances can give them and will be stuck designing embroidered saris and salwar kameezes till hell freezes over, but I have to say this much: if you're going to be proud of where you come from and your clothes are a way of expressing that, don't be half-assed about it. Which is half the reason I can't stand most so-called Indo-Western clothing (the majority of the output of most Indian designers), it's just neither here nor there and I'm a girl who believes staunchly in absolutes.

5 comments:

Emma said...

Fabulous post, and I'm sure I can't be the only one who noticed how much Bandana Tewari looks like Nicole Richie in the above picture?
You're right, though. If you are going to make your clothes a tribute to your culture, you can't just abandon it for the next trend. It's not that anyone should be forced to conform to one style, but come on, acknowledge your roots, people.

Mrs Fashion said...

Emma - you're so right. Spooky. I can't really comment on the staffing decisions but I'm still looking forward to seeing the issue once launched!
Mrs F x

Blue Floppy Hat said...

I really wish I could be clearer on the point, but the basic fact remains that Indian designers, under the guise of paying tribute to their heritage, more often than not end up just rehashing assorted varieties of trad Indian outfits. So they're acknowledging where they come from all right, but in what I think is an incredibly half-assed way and I just don't see how the clothes they make are relevant to anyone who isn't involved in the fashion world. And given that most Indian clothing is dependent on drape instead of cut or fit, they don't bother to learn to make wearable stuff that ordinary women can use, or for that matter afford. The designs put out at Fashion Week in India are mostly just glorified Bollywood/beauty pageant costumes, and it's only a very few of the lot who have ever shown any sign of trying to go beyond that while making likable clothes. And most of them also seem really unintelligent (though this is a value judgment I'm making off press statements and video interviews). Would you trust people like those to make things which are supposed to help you express yourself? Two years ago, fashion week had Bollywood actors walking the runways almost routinely- I mean, is that what you'd be going for if you meant business?

This is kind of a thorny issue as far as I'm concerned, but I've always thought that traditional clothing in India is something that designers can't improve on. And there's no design-led high street the way there is in the UK. So basically, if I could get a really gorgeous silk sari from the place that's most famous for making it, why in the world would I want to go to some overpriced designer shop and fork out obscene amounts of money for some version of that which will feature (as an indicator of the fact that it's been through hands other than those of the artisans) a pile of Swarovski crystals and other crap? Or, even worse, a badly cut, not very well-fitted jacket made of the fabric that should have been in the original sari? Because that's the average Indian designer's idea of innovation.You want to pay tribute to your heritage, fine. Great. Just try to show a bit of intelligence about it. It doesn't have to be so bloody literal. Saying they should only be designing Indian-influenced stuff is like saying Scottish designers shouldn't make things that don't suggest kilts and bagpipes, or that Japanese designers must necessarily be minimalist and severe with their work.
Meg did a post back in March about Indian designers. I'd suggest people look at that if you want some idea of just what I'm grousing about.
http://theapathist.blogspot.com/2007/03/why-dont-you-like-me.html

Rollergirl said...

Great post and comments. I have a vested interest in this but can't really say much more for fear of blowing my anonymity! Let's just say I was headhunted last year for a quite high up job at Indian Vogue (it came totally out of the blue) and was told blod as brass in the interview that 'I wasn't Indian enough'. (My parents are Indian but I'm Uk based.) The fact that I wasn't experienced enough or even interested in the job (the headhunter persuaded me to just 'go and have a chat' with them) was not an issue. DUH!

Blue Floppy Hat said...

I nearly fell out of my chair reading this...and to be honest, I'm sorry you didn't take up the job- if it involved writing, I might at least have had a guarantee that something readable would land in my postbox every month :)

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