October 18, 2021

Is fashion week ready to rethink the runway?


Textual content by Avani Thakkar

Photographed by Uma Damle

After a month of nearly attending exhibits throughout New York, London, Milan and Paris by way of an limitless barrage of Instagram stay streams, it was lastly time to return house this week and get ready for the Indian fashion fête that’s FDCI X Lakmé Fashion Week (FDCI X LFW). The phygital version, orchestrated by Lakmé, Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and Rise Worldwide, might be effectively underneath method whenever you learn this, with the grand finale slated for tenth October. Whereas the ins and outs of assorted exhibits might be reported by Group Verve, we’re first going to unpack the claims of sustainability and variety which might be taking centre stage.

The S phrase in fashion may by no means be affixed with a singular that means, however a singular date on FDCI X LFW’s annual calendar is anointed as…no surprises right here…Sustainable Fashion Day. Happening on eighth October this 12 months, the occasion was conceived a couple of seasons in the past to highlight aware collections and their makers: assume upcycled material, home-grown textiles, round design challenges and collaborations that includes environment-friendly viscose fibre developed by worldwide producers resembling Lenzing Ecovero. Whereas a day devoted to showcasing the fashion trade’s eco-conscious endeavours suggests all good intentions (and that is true for the most half), the pandemic has actually put some issues into perspective. Do we actually want so many garments? What’s the level of fashion when we’ve nowhere to go? Who or what are we dressing up for? These are simply a few of the existential questions (sartorial version) which have emerged over the previous 18 months, not to point out the heightened nervousness about the penalties of local weather change and overconsumption that await the subsequent generations.

When you view “sustainability days” via a post-pandemic lens, different gray areas grow to be extra apparent. As an example, is it becoming to create a separate event to applaud a #woke design philosophy that ought to, by now, be a cornerstone of each model or enterprise? These symbolic days may, the truth is, danger masking the day-to-day actuality of clothes manufacturing’s environmental prices for the remainder of the 12 months.

The same line of considering may be utilized to the thought of illustration, so far as magnificence requirements go. Variety is taken into account, however simply sufficient to tick all the proper bins and sidestep criticism. Amongst runway line-ups that also largely embody the “tall, honest, skinny” ultimate, we now typically discover strategically positioned plus-size, dark-skinned or different bodily “unconventional” fashions. However when the present’s over, and nobody’s watching, issues snap again to established order.

With many organisations establishing new roles like “Chief Variety Officer”, there was a notable reset in movement. Nonetheless, the execution is missing, and customers are fast to name it out. Food plan Sabya, Indian fashion’s critic-at-large, encapsulated these superficial makes an attempt at inclusivity in a latest meme that made enjoyable of designers scrambling to discover plus-size fashions, prompted by designer Manish Malhotra’s transfer of getting content material creator Sakshi Sindwani to don a glance from his newest bridal assortment, Nooraniyat.

The mannequin additionally made an look in the body-positive fashion movie that accompanied Nooraniyat’s launch, and what adopted was widespread appreciation (even from Food plan Sabya) for the Indian couturier’s efforts in normalising plus-size bridalwear.

A lot of the feedback underneath the aforementioned meme, nevertheless, level to the drawback of capitalising off the inclusivity motion for publicity’s sake and never following up with any actual modifications in the direction of an equitable trade. And as customers grow to be extra knowledgeable and proceed to take an energetic position in influencing demand, fashion’s powers that be are realising that merely maintaining with the Malhotra’s isn’t sufficient.

Ready? Regular? Reset.

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