An Insider's View of What Really Goes Down At Fashion Week
For almost five years now, I have been a proud occupant of a tiny piece of cushioned seat in the second row of fashion weeks held in Delhi. On my “lucky” days, when magazine editors and bloggers decide to skip a certain designer’s show, I get bumped up to the front row, or the FROW, as I usually refer to it. Oh, the delight.
Fashion week is a strange place to be at, one that I thoroughly enjoy, shamelessly judge and endlessly crib about. For five days, I go through mixed emotions– from the joys of seeing a beautiful collection, to raging anger over delayed shows.
Here, I list out my observations, highlights and rants about the recently-concluded Amazon India Fashion Week:
News flash, guys: ‘Slow fashion’ exists, almost thrives here. By this, I mean that no show is ever on time. A minimum delay of 30-minutes is a statement. Your time is not yours at the fashion week, and you better understand that.
Sometimes the clothes are so garish and obnoxious, you wish the models would rebel on the ramp. It’s common knowledge that certain designers make it to the roster purely because they can get a sponsor on board. Big ups to the guys providing the music to these shows though; it’s usually the only good thing about those 20 minutes.
If you find yourself on the FROW, remember to sit right. Cross your legs, straighten your back, and definitely no slouching. Sit on the edge of the sit, place your hand on your chin, run your fingers through your blow-dried hair, and ta-da, you have aced the FROW game. No one cares about your posture in the other rows, so slouch away.
It doesn’t matter if a row can fit only 15 people, if you are important enough and can throw a fit, the PR person will fit 20 pairs of bums in that much space. Sometimes, to fit an extra bum, they even pull out these mysterious stools from god-knows-where. Ain’t no reporting like FROW reporting, after all.
A lot of people actually end up watching the shows on their iPads and phones. No, they’re not streaming the shows at home in their PJs; they literally take a photo of every garment to walk the runway at every show. The blue light from these gadgets gives me nightmares for a few days after. Carry a portable charger and a tube of Volini next season.
A lot of effort goes into putting together a press-kit, so don’t flick one from another seat. A few seasons ago, I sneakily followed around an elderly gentleman who would jump across rows after each show to pick up tiny boxes with scarves or pens or candy sticks left on the seats by the designers. This year, a label decided to give out kaliras.“It’s a sign”, screamed my mother at 10am, waking me up from my deep slumber. “Yes, a sign of bad gifting,” I barked back.
Excuse me for being blunt here but when “journalists” can’t recognise a prominent political figure but know who designed a brooch on a model’s jacket on the ramp, I am allowed to raise a brow. When Shaina NC, BJP leader, took to stage during the AIFW finale, two or three fashion reporters sitting next to me wondered who that lady in that ugly sari was. Wake up and read the papers, darlings.
Like senior school, fashion weeks are also full of cliques. Each group follows a certain fashion trend, and that’s how you spot them. The seniors wear established industry names, the popular kids wear ensembles that will make it reasonably big in the next year or so, the rest turn up in clothes you don’t care about. Quite a few saris turned up on the FROW this year, and I am beyond delighted.
If you didn’t Insta it, you didn’t attend it. It’s one way of telling the world you belong here, amid the flashy lights and air kisses, also among those stunning designers making avant-garde collections or promoting textiles, or just producing soul-pleasing clothes.