Brands and style are not synonymous as many believe; style comes with a good dash of self-assurance, says Nisha JamVwal
“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months,” said Oscar Wilde, and wouldn’t you agree when you see society ladies with bulges and protrusions in all nonrequired places at ‘fashionable’ soirees strutting designer labels meant for an entirely different body type with all the bliss of feeling that they are immensely ‘right’ on the fashion front. What doesn’t seem to count is appropriateness, comfort, or the fact that an outfit must be right for the figure and age, but of paramount importance is the desire to don a ‘brand’ and be socially acceptable.
Whatever happened to the joy of wearing a great designer for the admiration of his cut, style and signature than to prove a point to the paparazzi and society at large? Part of India is still so nascent in its mingling with the big designer labels, even though big brands are begging to make a foray into our luxury malls. We need to enjoy the look, feel and philosophy of a designer for our own experience than becoming fashion victims ‘branded’ for life.
As for me, I see clothes as an experimental adventure created for me – a woman who does not conform to accepted norms of age and ‘beauty’. I endeavour to retain the free spirit of the person I am, one who strides over barriers of narrow traditionalism and preconceived confining notions of feminine, masculine and ‘branded’.
As a judge for the Navy Ball, I worried about the fashion interpretations of the youth today when I saw the ladies pirouetting on stage. If you can call what they were wearing fashion, that is. When I see what the ‘designers’ churn out in the name of fashion, I shudder, especially at the OTT bridal outpourings that the unsuspecting Navy Queen aspirants had adorned. I winced at the impact it might have had upon the impressionable minds Un branding fashion watching the pageant.
The glitter and sequins were out of place and the outlandish cuts did not look like skirts, lehengas or gowns but some confused mix. Why would the designer kill a graceful sari with so much embellishment for an officers’ ball at a formal colonial club? Their bad diction only managed to subtract more elegance from the ladies. The content was inane, but all said and done, the fervour with which the girls came to win the crown carried them through; three girls finally made it to the Navy Queen and the runners up.
When Cool is Uncool
I also cringe when jeans go way below the derriere, and when the trousers reach the ankles. I must admit I have to fight away the desire to go and yank it up in order not to tempt fate. Is it so important to be ‘cool’ that you really forget the importance of all else in view of that one state of being?
As much as fashion has been a magnet for some, it has always undergone palpable disdain from certain others.
While I would not reject a creation by some of the more inspired thinking designers, fashion is something that must speak about YOU… a signature that makes one stand apart. Not because of ‘whom’ you are wearing, but how you’ve put it together to enhance your personal feeling – an identity, not a clone!
My take is this: don’t be slaves to brands, instead enjoy dressing for you. Don’t blindly follow trends but dress appropriate for an occasion. Try not to bow to that herd mentality ‘cool’. Attempt that sense of well being that comes with being comfortable in your skin – no, that does not mean frumpy grunge; it means sharp, professional, making the impact of someone who is with it but without trying too hard and being someone you are not. It means making an impression without shouting out aloud.
Read more of Nisha’s point of view at http://nishajamvwal.blogspot.com and follow her on Twitter @nishjamvwal.