Just a thought..
‘Fashion is for everybody’ is a great tag line for a marketing campaign, but with the countless collaborations and quantity-over-quality formula of designer houses, is couture losing its true essence?
There is a certain irritating misconception about ‘couture’ out there. It is correctly defined as ‘the design and manufacture of fashionable clothes to a client's specific requirements and measurements.’ We’re talking devotion and loyalty to a designer that surpasses that of an Indian cricket fan – a sense of belonging that goes much beyond ‘clothes’ (And no, I am not exaggerating.)
Honestly, I cannot imagine life without prêt-à-porter, but for the love of all things fabulous, I work today and hope to earn heaps of money to be able to afford this so-called ‘couture’ someday. I eagerly look forward to the day that I can get my hands on my first ever couture piece and with the ongoing quandary if it is no more in existence - I would be greatly disappointed.
While our backs are recovering from bending over our laptop for hours, religiously stalking every show on style.com and expressing our admiration with 140 twitter love declarations, we seem to miss the fact that half of what we see on the runways never makes it to the stores.
Why are the biggest designer houses designing only for the ‘convenient’ buyer? Where’s the love for creativity beyond money? We’ve seen LBD after LBD on the runway, and frankly we’re begging for more. Take for example - the Lakme India Fashion week. What did it matter whether you had front row seats or were lazing around in your couch, the excitement was the same – zilch.
Have the conventional connoisseurs gone underground, or are we simply too blinded by ‘clearance sales’ to see them? Everything right now is about discounting – countless online stores that serve us 80% discount on a silver platter, but where’s the exclusivity?
Designers today indulge in advertising campaigns showcasing skinny models in contriving poses – rather pointless if you ask me. Wouldn’t you rather invest in something slightly (if not completely) more original, more personal, something that strikes a bond and honors long-term loyalty?
I’m a sucker for technology, social media and the advancing fashion spectrum, but my question in all of this is, is the love dying? Maybe not. But it is the relationship between the maestro and the consumer that is seeing a sad slow death. Not to forget – exclusivity today, is as scarce as a Louboutin without a red sole.
But then again, maybe I’m wrong. After all - nostalgia is selfish. Maybe we’re not degrading, but just simply evolving. The price of silk is not what it used to be 50 years ago, so why expect fashion to be the same?
- Masoom R. Minawala