For years,Indian fashion has been creating a stir at Cannes,sometimes for the right reasons. Yet,other times not for the right reason. The way our so-called fashionable turned out at Cannes this year was rather upsetting. It seemed a desperate cry for attention. They fail to understand that Cannes is not a platform to endorse the stereotype Indian fashion with elements screaming for attention. If kept simple,Indian attire spells elegance and opulence instead,they all went about the costume route going overboard with the veil,the embellished jackets and the jewellery. Unless it is a wedding,I would never propose heavy clothes as well and overpowering jewellery. Clearly if this is our way to grab eyeballs,I think we are missing something. While the same people are known to take Indian fashion sensibility to a new high with a taste in simple yet extraordinary attires,they manage to go wrong at the international front. Maybe its time for them to reconsider their designers,stylists,whatever needs to be done,but it is really necessary to reinvent their looks for themselves. We like to believe that Indian cinema deserves to be recognised as global cinema and so does Indian fashion. Yet we do not give the world enough reasons to believe so,with the fully clothed typical Indian look. Why is it so difficult to get it right? They could have kept it simpler. On the other hand,there were those who failed to make a statement all together,yet were in the news for their effortless and shabby fashion statement. I feel that in either case,Indians have given way to a lot of speculations about the potential of Indian fashion and cinema as well.
This time I noticed a sense of comfort among our Indian celebrities at the Cannes. And more than that,I was happy to see them more confident about their choices. Vidya Balan,for instance,is portraying a certain image of who she is as a person and as somebody who is part of Indian cinema. Sabyasachi says,The anarkali is the gown for Indian woman then why should we ape the West always? Some of the biggest international designer labels are inspired by India,Indian silhouettes,fabrics and colours then why not have our own celebrities embrace this beauty on a platform like the Cannes? Also,this is just the beginning. Aishwarya Rai wore an Elie Saab one day and an Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla the next day and thats a good mix. Balance can also be seen overall this time with a traditionalist like Balan and a more contemporary fashion-forward actor like Sonam Kapoor. Also,we are celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema and these women represent our cinema,so its absolutely wonderful if they flaunt Indian attires. Of course,we did go a little overboard with the veil and nathni on Balan.
Balance,according to me,is key. Basically,a good mix of contemporary and traditional to honestly represent the fashion that exists in India. Look at Mallika Sherawat and Nandita Das. They did a wonderful job on the red carpet and both have very different fashion sensibilities. Also,this platform can work wonders for our own fashion industry. From Sabyasachi to Anamika Khanna to Nachiket Barve,we are there in a good number and it makes me quite happy.
Debate conducted by Somya Lakhani