Guest Post by Aarti Saxena Deoskar
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see” – (Thoreau)
Based on that slightly twisted and open to interpretation thought, I feel that I can put out there, my opinion of the Blenders Pride Bangalore Fashion Week – A/W 2011.
There was a lot to see and a lot to say so I have divided my thoughts into 3 areas that mattered most to me:
The event itself was a bit disappointing. While technology makes everything look so ‘neat’, professional is truly a human factor. The venue though perfectly suited for such an affair in terms of size and shape was a tad too far away from the city to be a style center – somehow in my head ‘electronic city’ and ‘fashion’ have never been friends.
Here is a chicken and egg story for you – the organizers of the event (Dream Merchants) were a bit, well, disorganized. Oh sure, they got a whole 4 day event together with designers, sponsors, media and guests; but guys, God is in the details! So even if you ignore that shows were running behind schedule and the ‘reception’ desks were least receptive – even bored and ignorant, why did the ushers and the MC have to be downright rude? I guess the answer to that would be, they did not feel that the crowd deserved their respect. Hmmm? Why invite such people then. There you go – the famous vicious circle. The organizers feel that the guests were not truly appreciative of fashion or potential buyers or even critics of importance and therefore they felt it was their duty to make rude comments on the mike and direct them around like cattle. But stop right there – why send out indiscriminate invitations? Does Bangalore not have any fashion lovers who know what it is to attend a runway show? Next time – do reserve seats but ensure that those they are reserved for get them. Put upward slanting seating so everyone can get a glimpse of what is on display. Don’t usher everyone into the far end and then fill out the seats in the front with whoever walks in. Get fashion editors and potential buyers to come view the shows and not just anyone who thinks it’s cool to gawk at models and grab a few free drinks and be ‘seen-at’ a fashion event. As I have learnt time and again – small things go a long way in making an event a memorable one.
I have to say though the after party each night was something else!
Autumn- Winter? – Really? How and then Why? None of the clothes really had a seasonal aspect unless one feels that weddings are usually an A/W affair. In India, one needn’t follow the western definitions of collections based on seasons. I suppose it is just simple to divide the year into 2 halves and design for them separately.
Nude Pink – definitely my favourite colour from the pageant and used by quite a few including Narendra Kumar.
Other trends – jodhpuri pants, sleek silhouettes, peacock feathers and nude colours.Buttons can be used other than to button up – definitely a try-it-yourself trend. So go ahead use them in a pattern, stick them on your slippers – go wild – Jatinn Kochhar and Narendra Kumar did.
Nothing New – The real disappointment – no innovation. Not that I ask for doing design for the sake of design, but surely we can do better than catering only to design for the ‘wedding market’. Almost everything was ornamental or embellished – overkill.
Jatinn Kocchar stood out from the rest of the shows for me – probably because he presented his collection of black and white favourites from over the years. The styles were timeless and wearable and with little embellishment except for the odd buttons and crystals when needed. Using George Michael in the backdrop – nice touch but Shibani Kashyap singing in the end – avoidable.
Some of the work showcased was tacky and mediocre – even the seams and stitching was unfinished and that made you feel that even if designs are not creative certainly technique cannot be lacking.
Narendra Kumar’s collection inspired by smart work wear for men and women was interesting enough especially the sleek lines of the trousers and jackets.
In conclusion, I can only say that it is probably not the lack of creativity in design but catering to what people want that drives our fashion trends. It is more a statement of what Bangaloreans / even all Indians want from their designers and what they will pay for. After all a designers gotta eat too!
Also, the 5th Edition of the Bangalore Fashion Week, maybe at an early exploration on its journey to make an impact on the Indian and Global Fashion scene. After all not everything can come easily to India’s silicon valley!
Now the event was not a washout or anything – despite what it sounds like so far. It was definitely a large body of work from a wide range of designers. The atmosphere was interesting and the crowd ready to be seen and heard.
The courtyard with the Blenders Pride Lounge had a nice atmosphere and the slight drizzle did nothing to hamper the mood there. Clothes worn by those attending ranged from the couldn’t-care-less to the dressed-to-kill. In true Bangalorean style no one had made too much of an effort but I definitely felt that the occasion demanded some avant-garde stuff.
All-in-all, depending on what you were looking for , I would rate the BPBFW 2011 at a 5.5 on 10 , and call it an enjoyable experience in its own way, leaving you with a hope for better things to come
Note- Photos courtesy Pepper Interactive Communications , Kingfisherworld.com and dnaindia.com