Better Two Months Late Than Never

Given that India is one of the world's newer emerging markets, and a potential major one for luxury brands (if the BRIC acronym and associated expectations are anything to go by), it isn't exactly surprising that one hears about one fashion brand after another entering the country, and we even got our own edition of Vogue last year (which I'm not such a fan of, but then I'm not exactly a Vogue kind of person, so all's fair) . Every other month seems to bring one major Italian/French/American label after another, and the truth is, none of it really excites me because on some level, I can't help feeling that it's all more about the brand (place that in caps) than good design (if Sienna Miller's label is to be considered a 'cult' brand- even if it's the rather idiotic India Today saying that- I shudder for the state of fashion-consciousness in this country). I mean, of course it's about the brand, but mostly they just leave me cold.

However, this little snippet of news, which I saw in my local paper nearly two months ago and didn't post back then because I stupidly lost the paper, definitely did have me intrigued. Aimee McWilliams is not a known name in India: her work isn't instantly recognisable unless one has been scouring pictures of London Fashion Week over the last few years, and that basically eliminates the possibility of tacky logomania in this case. And it's partly because she's less of a known quantity that news of this collection she's got planned has me a bit excited. Her collaborators too don't seem to be famous: the only link Google threw up was the story above. And they're based in my hometown. Even if the label in question intends to market its line to women over the age of 30, I do want to see what she comes up with- according to the interview, it should get shown at India Fashion Week in September of this year, and I can't wait. Plus, it's actually going to be interesting to see how it all turns out- she did get a few things spot on in the article, not least among those being the grouse about the construction (not very good) of clothes by Indian fashion designers at large. And I can't help but agree with what she has to say about Sabyasachi Mukherjee..(though I don't think I'm being biased in making the observation that Calcutta-based designers seem to cater to a very different type of woman than the Delhi and Bombay lot...Anamika Khanna and Kiran Uttam Ghosh might not be as revolutionary, but they're worth a look too). And hey, if Aimee puts anything like the jacket in the above picture on the runway in September, I will very definitely be a fan.
Image from Brittique


C.J.B. said...

I completely understand your predicament. I come from the Bahamas where you can find Gucci, Versace, Coach, Fendi on our main street, stocked with mostly bags for the tourists. The only change in fashion consciousness when these brands moved in is the preponderance of Coach shoulder bags on every girl over 17(how many are real is another question-when the Brands come, the counterfeits aren't far behind). I wish we would attract at least a small amount of innovative or younger designers but sunburned cruise ship tourists don't seem to have much taste for even a Posen. Good Luck! For now I'll stick to my seamstress at home.

shredz said...

Some interesting points you have there...
I live in India, so I can totally related to what you're saying. The luxury brand market had sky-rocketed in the last year. Suddenly we have Chanel, Gucci and Vuitton, with Ralph Lauren and YSL opening up some time this year!


enc said...

It'll be interesting to see what comes of this line. That jacket is great.

evie said...

i agree that the construction and finishing of clothing items are so important especially when creations from designers and said items are being sold at designer prices. in malaysia we have SOME designers who have collections or diffusion lines with similar price points as other international labels and yet their finishing is somewhat amateurish at times. i understand that they may not necessarily have the capacity to compete with larger, more established brands, but i often wonder how i would be able to support some of these local designers if i have to pay a significant amount for something that is poorly made.

oops.. i might have gone off topic somewhat lol. it certainly is exciting to be able to have access to aimee's work in india. now if only marios schwab or christopher kane were to be stocked in this part of the world. even if only their topshop collabs!

susie_bubble said...

An interesting move for McWilliams.... I'm a fan of her cutting....

riz said...

Ugghhh, i completely share your opinion of Vogue India. I can't believe their covers. They are so Eurocentric, and just wrong most of the time...I'm going to check out more of S.B.'s designs.

IT IS WHAT IT IS said...


Blue Floppy Hat said...

CJB: I'm with you on the brands thing...all that's really happened in India so far seems to be a lot of people splashing out on logo bags and sunglasses. Fine for consumption, but unexciting stylewise, IMO.
Shredz: It's all very well for the brands to be coming in, but I don't know how much of a (positive) change it's going to make to how people wear things. I'd personally be more excited if I heard TopShop was opening up here, but that's just me I guess.
ENC: It's from her own line, I do hope she doesn't dilute her vision too much with the new line..
Evie: I know! Sometimes I wonder just how they get away with such terrible cuts and nondescrepit work, but I'm not really of a school of thought that believes in 'supporting' anyone's work without loving it first. One can't, as a consumer, be expected to think of it as an obligation. This is something I could really go off on, but I'll shut up now..in any case, at least Aimee's line will probably have no logos. And hopefully, no excessive embellishment either..
Susie: The cutting skills are what have me hopeful for this line..
Riz: I don't mind Eurocentric, but I do mind aesthetically unappealing- the shoots are really rather unimaginative, but at least there are articles...it could be worse..
It is what it is: I have, I think...NY Fashion Week last season, right?

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