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News18 » Lifestyle
3-min read

Will Bollywood Ever Make A Fashion Statement As Powerful As Golden Globes All Black Red Carpet? Designers Answer

At an event like Lakme Fashion Week, wherein some of both Bollywood and Indian fashion industry's biggest names get together, we spoke to a few designers to hear their side of the story, here's what they had to say.

Kriti Tulsiani | News18.com@sleepingpsyche2

Updated:February 8, 2018, 3:39 PM IST
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Will Bollywood Ever Make A Fashion Statement As Powerful As Golden Globes All Black Red Carpet? Designers Answer
At an event like Lakme Fashion Week, wherein some of both Bollywood and Indian fashion industry's biggest names get together, we spoke to a few designers to hear their side of the story, here's what they had to say.

Gone are the days when fashion choices were decided solely on the basis of what looked the most marketable. In today’s day and age, fashion choices drive a much larger moment, even a revolution, across countries. The recent case of Hollywood stalwarts dressing in black at the Golden Globes red carpet and standing in solidarity with the Time’s Up campaign is one such example.

But while heavyweights in the West have been called out for their sexual predation, will India ever see a fashion movement as powerful as this? Will Bollywood ever stand in unity and call out offenders on any level? Will the actors use their star-power to make statements which carve into history - not just as “best-dressed moments” but about the times that changed the course of how things flow on red carpets?

At an event like Lakme Fashion Week, wherein some of both Bollywood and Indian fashion industry's biggest names get together, we spoke to a few designers to hear their side of the story, here's what they had to say.

Ace couturier Tarun Tahiliani, who has been a part of India’s fashion evolution for more than two decades, said he doesn’t foresee something like that in the near future when it comes to Bollywood.

“The fact that Bollywood has not acknowledged the need to campaign makes me wonder if they ever will? I don’t think they will,” he says adding, “It’s also because, unfortunately in India, there is not the same level of freedom of speech. Like Padmavati (now Padmaavat) for instance, which is a fictional character – it garnered such rage and protest which people sat passively and watched this intimidation.”

He further noted that it’s difficult for people to stick their necks out and take on people who are offenders in any situation for that matter. “I think this is possibly the reason why in India people just turn to look the other way because getting involved is too complicated. I just got a new notification wherein we are being to those people who bring somebody to hospitals won’t be harassed and implicated, I mean imagine we had to have legislation so that people can fearlessly help someone on the road otherwise they would be left on the road to bleed to death,” he said.

Tahiliani added that while it’s easy to make isolated statements about Bollywood, in general, the celebrity statuses are utilized for monetary gains. “Barring a few, who use their celebrity status for a good cause, most Bollywood stars use their celebrity status to endorse large sums of money. I mean they still do fairness creams ads when they are millionaires and they know the kind of effect on the Indian psyche. So I don’t think there will be any fantastic solidarity on any issue anytime soon,” he explained.

Another icon in the fashion industry, Anita Dongre, believes that fashion can certainly be impressionable and the examples for that have surfaced time and again, noting, “The recent ‘Black Dress’ fashion protest at the Golden Globes Red Carpet was proof enough, how powerful visual solidarity could be. Even in the past, Lagerfeld tapped into feminism’s wave and staged a protest at the end of spring/summer 2015 Chanel show.”

“As an industry, I am hoping we can also come together and use our influence and power for the greater good, sooner than later,” she added.

Designer duo Saaksha & Kinni, who tapped in to traditional Gujarat for their latest collection, pointed out that fashion can be a tool to stand up for and against several social evils and hopes for Bollywood and Indian fashion industry to now take a stand. “It’s important for all communities to stand together for there to be any chance in the eradication of gender bias and sexual harassment and other such issues,” they said.

Statements are best when they are relevant to one’s own society, feels Nikhil of designer duo Shantanu & Nikhil. “India has many relevant situations- socio-economically as well. We’re now focusing on taking care of ourselves and also of the country. It’s beyond Me Too, it’s about the entire country and how we are rising again. So maybe a hashtag Rise Again will be the future.”

He further added that India is a unique country in terms of its problems as compared to the rest of the world. “I don’t know if that’s ever going to happen on a fashion scale where we make a statement as one because we have such diversity in culture.”

“Before that happens, the idea is to focus on one issue which is relevant to all of us. Once that happens, the fashion statements will happen automatically,” he said.

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