Another Ramble

I've never really been much of a fan of posting about the local fashion scene, or Indian fashion generally. It doesn't mean that I don't think about it (and get annoyed), but it's been a bit of a persistent subject since the launch of Vogue's Indian edition, and maybe this post won't be enough to cover all I have to say about it but I'm posting anyway.
To be brutally honest, nine out of ten Indian designers are actually fairly bad at what they do. With the exception of a handful of people (these include Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Rajesh Pratap Singh, and to an extent Manish Arora- I don't like his kitsch-fixation but the man has a great sense of drama when he tones it down a little), I'd actually venture so far as to say there's very, very little on the runways that could actually appeal to people who aren't socialites or celebrities, largely because (and I might catch hell for stating this) most of them are just so bloody fixated on being Indian. Which, in design terms, translates to a whole lot of loose flowy things, piles and piles of embroidery/prints, and on occasion, kitsch. And frankly, it's starting to annoy me a bit. I know embroidery etc is a bit of a strength as far as these things go, Armani and Valentino love the beading blah blah, and that's all very well because embroidery is a bitch to keep clean, but what bugs me most is what seems to be an utter lack of imagination among the lot, as witnessed in the rather literal runway interpretations of what 'being Indian' is about. It's like all they can think of is the attire of the ex-royals (great inspiration for wedding clothes that weigh in at multiple pounds with all the decorations they pile on- btw, these turn out to be bread and butter for most designers), and kitsch. I mean, come on. It's a huge country, surely there's more to us than those silly clichés? One of the best things about being Indian and interested in the design side of things can be a rather happily freewheeling approach to getting dressed (if only they'd bother learning from that spirit, now). No one's really bothered about what season things come from, and there isn't, at the end of the day, all that much difference between what the designers make and what the local handloom emporiums hawk at much lower prices- except that the handloom emporium stuff has more of a chance at being authentic.
And it doesn't really work, telling me it's concept art and what not, because I do think the disclosure of a presumed par-human IQ level needs to be done via statements that don't sound flat-out idiotic. "concentrating on western wear in a vivid way" kind of took the cake in that department, really. WTF is it supposed to mean?
Which brings me to my next gripe, namely what Indian women want by way of clothes- or rather, since I'm not really a typical example of the species, what Sally Singer (and no doubt a whole lot of other people) seems to think we should want. I've been told I'm rather strident via the written word, so if that puts you off you don't have to read the rest of this, because it (the article) is patronising bullshit. I only put up the page I found most irritating, and all I really want to do is register my annoyance at Ms Singer's easy assumption that Indian women en masse want only to look 'pretty'. That we're not particularly fussed about looking intellectual (rubbish: why on earth do Sabyasachi Mukherjee's things sell like mad all around the year then? Besides, I kind of resent the generalisation including me, to mean that I'd like to look pretty and not particularly firmly in possession of a brain). I mean, I thought that whole eastern seductress stereotype should have died in the nineteenth century, and I do wish I was a bit more coherent than this (though admittedly, I'm a lot more articulate in the post than I was while reading the article: all I could think then was "oh, fuck off!").

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Fondest of upbeat music and brightly coloured sweets.