September 18, 2021

Fashion, Festivity and Frivolity from the City of Dreams

Fashion shows, fashion weeks and then fashion on the streets….usually you have designers wanting to showcase their creations holding fashion shows in places where they would get reviews and buyers, but in the past many years we have fashion weeks being held with a range of designers displaying their clothes. These are a lot different from the fashion shows held as they have a theme to it like Spring/Summer Collection, Winter Collection, Couture, Bridal etc..and also the period when it is held is fixed months before the actual event.

The event itself is managed by big corporate bodies for promoting business in fashion Industry globally. The best in the business for the particular theme are usually invited to showcase their creations in such events. However, we have also seen fresh faces and names making a mark at these events. Each designer usually clamours for the best models who can showcase their creations and an even more heated pursuit is done for the right celebrity who will be the showstopper for their individual show.

Earlier, where it was the senior models who were selected for the same, recently a new trend has started for making a beeline for signing up actors and actresses as showstoppers with the recent trend being looking out for celebrities who are known for their social status like maybe a socialite known for her cause towards Global warming or AIDS to industrialists or sportsstar (recently many boxers and other medal winners have made this list) or even their spouses if considerably beautiful with an attitude ,are seen sashaying down the ramp.

The past two months or so has indeed been a world of fashion and razzmatazz in Mumbai. Two different occasions with two completely different venues and settings gave me a wider aspect of understanding the very essence of Fashion as defined in Mumbai. Firstly there were few high profile venues in some of the most happening places playing host to Fashion shows displaying couture to bridal wear exhibiting dresses to jewellery and finery though these events were nicely timed for each week to get its proper due. With many Bollywood beauties and stunners, though a little less famous but undoubtedly beautiful, taking their place in the ramp, to the glitterati of Page 3 with equal mix of socialites and B town and industrialists too marking their attendance in the front rows of shows showing their support and camaraderie either for the designers or for the showstoppers. It was an absolute treat for the common eyes to see these moments flashed over on the pages of the newspapers and television channels transporting them to a sphere of beauty, fame and riches. And many youngsters or should I say all would definitely dream of being a part of such an event at the least as an audience.

And when we were transported to a different world, amidst this, what remained unlisted is the handwork of many unnamed hands that run about here and there, hurrying to put forth a show that is envied by millions. Designers were heard, models were seen, showcased displays admired or admonished and whichever the case the actual unsung heroes of these events are the workers whose days and nights work puts alive the designers sketches into flowing creations, the beauticians who work on the beauties to put forth the right appearance for the creations to be displayed and the labourers who go about setting up the ramps, seatings, decorations, lightings without feeling or knowing the gungho effect that their work is going to bring about in the finale.

This all is in addition to the creative talent of designers displaying their work with the best of the faces putting in hours to practise the walk and then waiting patiently to get the look needed to enhance the creations into life. Here I applaud to all these beautiful named and known as well as the unnamed and unknown faces in creating such beautiful moments removing us away from the maddening hustle bustle of the city life. Worth mentioning was the recently concluded bridal fashion week where few designers did put up creations which were worth a bridal wear though many did raise an eyebrow as to the actuality of it being worn as we Indians though graced with modern environment still want to keep their roots alive when binding themselves in holy matrimony. And now here I stop myself from further forming critiques or words discussing more in details about the shows because as a woman from the everyday walk of life it is indeed a feat that needs to be appreciated. I might not be able to buy one of those creations displayed there and with the budget disposal I might look out for working towards spending the money in something much more worthwhile than just the attires or finery but then I also do not want to be amplified as the fox with the taste of sour grapes.

The next important fashion event that I witnessed is different from the usual shows that one sees. As this is where many a thousands of citizens belonging from all strata of society participate in earnest. Here the very individuals are the creators and also the models of the creations. And most likely they themselves are their critics forming their opinions from the glances they get and from the other creations displayed before them. Welcome to the 9 days of festivity and dance the hugely popular festival season ‘Navratri’. People from all walks of life, of genders, of shapes and sizes are in a jostle to put their best foot forward not only for paying obeisance to the Goddess and merriment and dance but also to make a mark as chic personality. Where once upon a time there were only dandiya nights that showcased the display of traditions and modernity hand in hand now in the past few years the Durga Pandals that have emerged are also getting popular. And with proper mix of celebrities and Bollywood personalities thrown in we get another hugely successful Fashion event.

While Durga Pandals are of a more sombre atmosphere with poojas and bhogs as the main centre of activity held during the day. We do have a crowd with the older generation in traditional outfits while the younger generation displaying a fair mix of traditional and modern clothings. And then we have the B town stars once again mostly in traditional attire. And since we have many a Bong Beauties in bollywood they actually look resplendent in the beautiful white saree with red border worn in the Bengali style, with a complete Kohl eyed look and beautiful round red Bindi adorning the face. The night is usually where crowds culminate into the popular dandiya grounds or the nearby streets and local grounds. And since is the order of the night is a good volume of beats, music and dance the change to be seen in this venue is spellbounding. Backless cholis , with ghagras and dupattas, men in their chorno and kediyu that is a short coat with tight sleeves , with chuddidars as bottoms and colour coordinated phento or turban are  strewn with mirror work , beads , stones and gotas makes these lasses and lads look their glamorous best. What is more hearteneing is the fact that many of these displayers actually work towards creating their costumes and this preparation starts many a weeks before the actual festival begins. Nowadays, though we also have modern attires being mixed with traditional dresses. Many young girls are spotted wearing tight jeans with backless cholis and duppatas, while men mix and match with jeans and kurtas with bandini duppattas. With their dance and gait they are an absolute treat to watch. Everyone has their own mix and match technique and a clear idea of what and how they want to be seen and admired.

And rightly so in Mumbai such kinds of events and religious occasions are where we can best understand the real pulse of fashion of the streets, while the pulse of fashion in the high circle of socialites and celebrities can be well capsulated in the photos displayed in the entertainment section or more famously the page 3 section of fashion events. Only here do we see the most happening of fashion shows with the most wanted of celebrities bringing glitter to the dreams of common man and festivities like Navratri where the common man realises the dream of fashion and beauty in his or her own unique way. As many smart today say where there is a will there is a way but only where there is money then can we pay. Hats off to all the indigenous artists of Mumbai who in their different ways contribute to making this city an individual with a heart and eye like no other, never being the capital but always being a place looked upto by the capital too…. This is a harmony that has lived for many a years and will continue to beat for many more years to come making this city a city of dreams……Mumbai……



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