Category Archives: oped

To do or not to do! That is the Question!

To do, or not to do?  That is the question!  What makes the fashion entrepreneur tick?  Some jump in for love and some to make a living.  Is it wise to jump right in?  The business of Fashion is a risk – not for the faint of heart.

For a population of seven billion is Fashion really worth betting on?  If the Nightingale of Kuala Lampur, the diamond studded dress designed by Faisol Abdullah at a price tag of 30 million, in 2009 is any indication of Haute Couture, you bet it is!  If 2% of the Indian elite equivalent to the entire population of Australia is craving 450 dollar skin caviar then I would bet this blog on the future of fashion! In 1945 the Paris fashion week had 45 designers on the runway today there are 17!  500 people in the world can afford Haute Couture or High Fashion where the dress is stitched just for them!  “The insides are as magnificent as the outside” –George Simonton FIT.  Is this the sign of the times? Or is there a famine in design? If I could forecast the future, I would think the 20’s are in the horizon.  Fashion never really went away it just got Americanized!  We just loved the idea of shorts and a plain t-shirt or Jeans, Boots and a cowboy hat!  The French are still appalled by the uncouth Americans showing off their hairy legs on the streets of Paris!  Well don’t take my word for it just ask any 60 year old in an American church their opinion on the dress culture at Sunday service.  You’ll see what I mean.  It will probably be the uncouth American who will bring back the dress code to its beloved theaters and operas like it was during the good old days when chivalry was still alive and men wore dark slacks, bow ties and buttoned up shirts; women were impeccably dressed the minute they walked out of bedrooms!  So, if you are impossibly talented and you are the next best thing to “Worth” and “the Minister of Fashion” you best jump in!  If not keep your day job and serve the rest of the 6.99 billion!

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Simplicity is timeless.

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a movie that exemplifies Simplicity as a style statement.  Irrfan Khan described it best – “Piku is Madhur”, which means melodious.  I would agree and characterize the film as a sweet and melodic experience to be shared with people of all ages. The film, written by Juhi Chaturvedi under the direction of Shoojit Sircar and exhibiting exemplary acting by the all-star cast of Padma Vibhushan, Shri Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Irrfan Khan, is perfect!  Juhi Chaturvedi did a fantastic job addressing issues ranging from familial roots to aging, parents, marriage, sex, success as a woman in India, melodrama and emotional blackmail all in one little tale that comes alive as the story unfolds. Credit is due to the director and actors who gave memorable performances in telling Juhi’s tale of Piku.

So the question is, why are we discussing this on a fashion blog?  Well, movies create fashions and trends. In “Piku”, the total absence of overdramatic and outlandish clothing is apparent.  The writer and director gave life to the persona of an everyday, successful family without pretensions, and just portrayed the story of a typical Bengali family whose lives are entwined with those of other families in the northern region of India and a very typical Architectural firm.  You have to see the movie to appreciate the simplicity of the plot.  Music by Anupam Roy is very sweet and apt for the film.  Watch the movie to see how an average Indian family carries on with day to day life – it is far from what has been portrayed by the majority of movies coming from the Indian subcontinent, the world’s largest producer of film.

Style Statement!

One in ten workers is employed by the retail industry in America making it the largest industry in the world.  The textile industry declined by 80% in the US, however, the productivity doubled since 1987!  The world has spent over 2600 trillion dollars on fashion including apparel, accessories and footwear.  The amount of money that is spent on Fashion in the world deserves a style statement.  So, what is your style statement?  Is it really only the looks or is it the thought behind the look?  Is the bottom line the all important criterion or is it the philanthropic reach of the Company?  Must we do our due diligence to be part of this amazing world we live in?

Consider this: 80% of humanity lives on less than 2 cups of Starbucks Vanilla Latte.  According to UNICEF 22,000 children die every day of poverty.  The millennium development goals set in 2000 to end poverty show that targets can be achieved if all nations came together.  Sustainable development is key to sustaining the Earth – a place we all call home.  Climate change is real – the science proves it.  So why are the rivers in China running the pantone colors of the season?  Luxury brands continue to lead inflation.  As designers and consumers are we doing enough?  Is just the look our style statement or is it more than just the look?  Donating a pair of Tom’s shoes for every shoe sold – NOW that is a Style Statement!  What’s yours?