Sunday, September 26, 2010

IS BRANDED SEXY & DESIRABLE? BY Nisha JamVwal

B(r)AN(d) IT


Nisha JamVwal on Slavery to Luxury Brands


B(r)an(d) it!!


Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months. ... said Oscar Wilde, and wouldn’t you agree when you see society ladies with buldges and protrusions in all non-required places at ‘fashionable’ soiree’s strutting designer labels meant for an entirely different body type with all the beatific bliss of feeling that they are immensely ‘right’ on the fashion front . Never mind looking horrifyingly ‘wrong’. What doesn’t seem to count is appropriateness,




comfort, or the fact that an outfit must be right for the figure and age, but of paramount importance is the desire to don a ‘brand’ and be socially acceptable. To make the cut to a tenuous shaky ‘A’ list that is made and broken with the changing loyalties or stations of ‘fashion critics’.


Whatever happened to the joy of wearing a great designer for the admiration of his cut, style and signature than to prove a point to the paparazzi and society at large, or to gain acceptance with a lunch group?

Part of India is still so nascent in its mingling with the big designer labels, even though big brands are begging to make a foray into our luxury Malls. We need to enjoy the look and the feel and the philosophy of a designer for our own experience than becoming fashion victims ‘branded’ for life.
Why brandish some other human beings name across our chest like a badge of having 'arrived' upon the social scene?

'Accept me because I am wearing an important 'name', invite me because I live in the 'right' neighborhood, talk to me because my kids go to the 'it' school and most importantly respect me because I am friends with 'so-and-so' 'famous' person (never mind if my value systems are askew and i'm an ill informed dead bore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)'

As for me I see clothes as an experimental adventure - a woman who does not conform to accepted norms of age and 'beauty'. I endeavor to retain the free spirit of the person I am, one who strides over barriers of narrow traditionalism and preconceived confining notions of feminine, masculine and 'branded'. Sometimes that does relegate me into an 'OTT' bracket but anything is better than being 'branded' into slavery!!!

As a judge for the Navvy Ball this weekend I worried about the fashion interpretation of young women today when I saw the ladies pirouetting on stage. If you can call that fashion that is. When I see what the fashion ‘designers’ churn out in the name of this much abused word I shudder. Especially the bizzare bridal outpourings that the unsuspecting ‘Navy Queen’ aspirants had adorned, I wince at the impact it might have upon the impressionable minds watching the pageant. The glitter and sequins were so out of place and the outlandish cuts that did not look like skirts, or lehangas, or gowns but some confused mix that did not help makes them more amiable to the eye. The sari is such graceful attire, why would the designer have killed it with so much embellishment for an evening serving officers Ball at a formal Colonial club? Their bad diction did not add, but in some cases it significantly subtracted to the entire feel of the ladies. The content was inane, but all said and done one noticed the fervour with which they came to win the crown and the aspirations of the young and enthusiastic that carried them through so that three girls finally made it to the Navy Queen and the runners up.

And so as much as Fashion has been a magnet for some it has always undergone palpable disdain from another section of opinion makers. While I would not reject a creation by some of the more inspired thinking creators like my hot favourite Anamika Khanna , to me fashion is something that must speak about an interesting individualistic me , a signature that makes one stand apart. Not because of ‘whom’ I am wearing, but how I’ve put it all together to enhance my personal feeling above par- an identity, not a clone!


affectionately & in the hope that we develop a greater sense of choice  and freedom of thought than slavery to well advertised luxury brands and that itching desire to ape the Jonses!!!

Nisha JamVwal

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