Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mandela - a giant of a man!!

Attn: Nicole, Mark,Deepali Shobhaa’s World For 21st Sept 2009

Phashion Phaux- Pas….?

Heave ho and here we go! Phashion, phashion everywhere, not a frock to wear!! One more Fashion Week ended. Another one looms. No. Not just one, but several Fashion Weeks loom. Very niche. Very focused. For Men. For Women. For Kids. For dogs.For Bridal Wear. For Lingerie. For Jewellery. For Shoes. For Handbags. For Accessories. For Toenails. But the irony is that like everything else, the fashion industry has been hit really, really hard by the global meltdown. And let nobody fool you into thinking otherwise. It has happened all over the world.From Milan to Tokyo, couturiers are reeling, wondering when the turn around will take place. Closer to home, all those fancy international labels that had marched in with so much hoopla, not so long away, have beaten a hasty retreat and pulled out of what was going to be their dream market along with China. But even more than these guys, the ones directly affected by the recession are our desi designers. As a sharp retail guy with a lot of money riding on his various labels told me, “ Even though some really swanky foreign brands pulled out because of the downturn, they managed to kill a whole bunch of talented local designers who were at the take off stage. Even the established names are finding it very hard to hang in there and attract big ticket customers.” As he explained it, consumers were ready to shell out a pretty packet for a foreign frock, on the basis of its snob value and little else. But suddenly started to feel conned by local designers asking for similar prices, that too for obvious knock offs ( red carpet inspirations, zindabad!). That effectively took care of those people who had a wildly exaggerated notion of their talent and appeal. Apart from splurging on pricey trousseaux, buyers resisted paying ridiculously inflated prices for mediocre clothes. The so-called ‘pret’ lines could not scale up sufficiently. And couture attracted but a handful of regulars who had their pet designers waiting hand and foot on them. In other words, the fashion business, which was at a promising take off stage two years ago, and had graduated from being seen as an indulgence for people with extra garage space, has now gone back to where it started - as a boutique model, catering to neighbourhood socialites.
This is such a pity, given the explosion of bright, young talented designers who were beginning to make their mark and carve out a market for themselves. These kids had trained at the best institutes, and knew their craft, unlike their predecessors who’d cut their teeth on the job, dealing with ‘masterjis’ and darzis who couldn’t go beyond cholis, chaniyas and churidars. It is discouraging, to say the least, that the present doom and gloom scenario may take down a lot of budding designers who deserved recognition far more than some of their seniors in the rag trade. I’m told glitzy, multi brand fashion houses that had thrown their doors open not so long ago, are in trouble as well. Unable to move those pricey frocks from the racks, they are waiting to be bought out by just about anybody who has the lolly.Despite this depressing picture, those whose core business it is to keep the fashion bubble from bursting, are still pretending it is party time! So… brace yourself… do not moan and groan…. the fashion hype is back, with or without buyers!
Just to give you an idea of the scale of my hero's statue at Mandela Square!! Mayawati will be soooo jealous. The dwarf at his feet is moi!


Gulshan said...

Shobha wat i like abt ur pictures is that u travel light & casual... u look cool..

Now I live in London Fashion has a different defination...

Love Gulshan

avidblogger said...

what an adorable picture. what is he meaning of that tattoo on your arm?

Anonymous said...

You arent the only dwarf.

obssesor said...

he makes a better statue than maya!

kala said...

I am sick of statues courtesy mayawati.

Sameer said...

Having seen back to back episodes of "Sex and the City", this column of yours on fashion was perfectly timed. As a common man, I never understood the fashion shows that exhibit the weirdest of the clothing styles. What I see in these fashion shows, I never see those in day to day life. Why can't we have a decent fashion show where models can exhibit the attires of common man/woman. Fashion should be something that should make you confident and should portray your personality. Can we redefine fashion?

narendra shenoy said...

Mandela is truly a giant of a man but hey, you look great! (Ok, you're saying to yourself, tell me something I don't know.)

I'm not all that tuned into fashion, but it's an important social industry. You need these characters at the top of the pyramid, to keep the ball rolling. I am shocked to learn that even those fabulously wealthy socialites have to watch the wallet.

Hope we don't have to see Manish Malhotra selling his couture in Big Bazaar

Another Kiran In NYC said...

Mandela is giving Mayawati a run for her money in the statue dept. I wonder if there was a hue and cry about Mandela's statue. SA has its problems... and how... but is statuegiri one of them?

All the costume makers (darlings... you know who you are) who never saw a sequin or crystal thier hands didnt itch to sew on a flouncy phhhrock or slutty bra top... will toddle along just fine. They didnt give good design or good face and no one was looking for that from them anyway. Weddings and fillums will happen and they will continue to break even.

It is the ones who displayed half a brain in the begining (darlings, you also know who you are) who dissapoint the most both in the market and by thier design sensibility. For them it is now just about grabbing the first early morning copy of W, and have thier darzis (sitting in 50x50 serger machine formation in a shed somewhere) knock off the design as much as they can. A shoulder twist here a tweak there and suddenly it is thier design! Some of them dont even bother to change the colors or print of the original. Is it because of the pressure of fashion shows and HAVING TO PRODUCE SOMETHING-ANYTHING TO SHOW that brains and quality is sacrificed? Why have so many seasons and shows anyway? The fashion industry in India really cannot sustain or benefit by so many competing shows. There just is'nt the market for so much and so much bad at that!

And dont get me started on this uniquely desi concept of celebrity showstoppers! All movie/tv industrywalas who are either bekaar talentwise and workwise or those who have priced themselves out of the present market are busy crossmarketing themselves... sorry figures wearing even worse clothes clump clumping along on a catwalk. I thought design and the clothes were the showstoppers!

Fashion week has ceased to be about marketability because the really important buyers are not exactly beating down the doors to get into thier shows. At this point, you are right... only the neighbourhood socialite will want the same ghisa pita (how many ways can you drape jewel toned satin or jersey anyway) frocks made by thier designer friends.

There were a few bright sparks I saw on the web, but few and far between and mostly names I never heard of... (for example a fella from NE India Rocked)that part especially was refreshing.

I am thinking that places like Ensemble will continue to do well because they already have thier Aunty brigade established.

Oh and celebrities... when you borrow Dior bags and Choo shoes and Valentino Gowns and the like to be photographed in at events... please, please make sure everything fits! I know its borrowed and all... but still!

Ok.. rant over!

So what shows did you attend Shobhaa? What shows did you like?

salu said...

it's nice seeing you and bigb in truce........ indeed healthy brawl is a tonic...........rgrds/salu

cmpershad said...

"Just to give you an idea of the scale of my hero's statue at Mandela Square!! Mayawati will be soooo jealous. "
so............u r bent upon provoking Mayavati to spend janta's maya and erect a taller statue. USKI STATUE MERI STATUE SE BADI KAISE:)

chitz said...

wow..thts really a big statue..n like smone commentd before,its bigger thn the mayawati one..also maam ..big fan of urs..u r really a woman of the world..keep goin..cheers..:)

Jogeshwar said...

Okay the present scenario is gloomy, but I think it has always been that way in India. It is getting worse. I know this sounds pessimistic, but what about so much quality man power competiting for not so 'to die for' oppurtunities.

kala said...

Though I am anti fashion and pro comfort person, I will express my thoughts on fashion.
Fashion is bored models walking down the ramps with weird hairdos and hats.

Fashion is what Ash should not be wearing at Cannes.

Fashion is what I see hollywood female stars wearing at Oscar nights, though most of the time it is some bright robe tightly wrapped never to be worn again. Poor robe, the birth and death the same night.

Lastly, fashion is what page 3 people exist for whether it is borrowed or original.

Geeta Santhosh said...

Hi shobaa

reading your blog for the firsdt time.

Although I do not miss your columns when I see them in print


Theyoginme said...

Shobhaa you not only have a knack for writing, but a knack for photography. These are awesome pictures of Mr. Mandela and you. Big B has written a whole piece on his conversation with you about blogging. I think your readers have as much passion to read your respective blogs as you and he have to get back and write. This medium is a great connector. I was recently exposed to some break through technology called Wave being developed by Google. That is going to change the dynamics of blogging in a much more profound way and blow twittering out of the water.. or perhaps overlay it. Pictures speak a thousand words, a video probably a million and add some realtime interaction with your readers within your blog - a billion!..thats where its all headed.

Gajendra said...

looking chic.....not bad for a 60+ lady....

Gulshan said...


want to share this with u... this is the cartoon strip that comes in london paper (recession killed the paper lol) .. the cartoon strip is a proper stress buster on my journey to work in the over crowded tube http://www.emcartoons.com/

when u feel bit down or just wanna a chuckle..

as always love Gulshan

ஷ‌ஃபிக்ஸ்/Suffix said...

I watch those fashion shows only for fun!! Lurk for Sale and storm those giant stores, and go for the fashion i want.

Jumbo Mandela statue!! You look fabulous Shoba.

Madhu said...

I am an Investment Banker and I have taken the wrath of people for the last 2 years (and still going on) and suffered along with the fashion designers. The market went down and I thought I need to change fields but then how could have I let down my lover boy, Howard Roark (he taught me what passion is)? Be it fashion, marketing or any other sector, one shouldn’t be dejected if we don't make it well, for, it is the hard times which teach us perseverance and brings out the best.

I hardly ever wear designer brands, unless I am attending a business meeting with my clients. It didn't matter before and it wouldn't matter in future. I guess I believe in the philosophy "wear the old coat and read the new book". Don't raise eye brows please! for I am sure you recognized the excuses we people come up with for not being able to afford Chanel, Dior, D&G...etc. I stopped complaining and started appreciating the things I have….worked like a mantra and soon enough; I couldn’t care less if I am making as much money as I had 3 years ago. I am doing what I believe in. Same goes with the designers…noh?
(When will I ever stop saying...noh?)

mahatru said...

i agree "cmpershad" agar Behan Maya ne yeah statue dekh liya tto public ke liye mussibat ho jayegi

Shobhaji its my humble request plz plz do not post such pictures. I heard that Mayaji is getting constructed one humble house worth 42Rs crores....hope she does not fancy her 1 statue bigger than this in it.

Hey BTW can u write something bout her, Behan Mayawati?

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maha said...

nice picture....

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