With Mumbai’s biggest fashion event kicking off today, perhaps the rich and the famous can learn a thing or two from the fashion shows in the west.
With this season’s Lakme Fashion week kicking off in Mumbai at the plush St Regis hotel, city’ crème de la crème have been keeping busy for a while, planning their ‘looks’ for their grand entrance. However, all their efforts will come crumbling down when these self-proclaimed divas will be seen frantically scrambling towards the ‘frow’ (front row) at one of the city’s biggest fashion event.
All the preparations and the details have been put in place months ago. The hairdresser, who will give them the perfect blow-dry, has been arranged and booked; the appointment at the nail spa has been confirmed so that their hands and feet look perfectly pampered before they can cram the latter into stilettos (red soles of course), which, mind you, is going to be painful. But remember no pain, no gain.
And so, the city’s top makeup artists will be juggling appointments frenziedly, as they will have to skilfully paint over the blemishes of these self-obsessed prima donnas, using a mask of insanely expensive products. The next challenging task in line would be to speed dial and beg their favourite designers of the season for outfits to wear to the high profile fashion show. You can almost hear them saying: “Oh M, I have lost inches and inches just for you sweety. Our instas will look amaze. Promise!”
They’ll arrive on the big day, partly with a lust for freebies, and partly to be papped at the red carpet. But they kid themselves and tell each other that they have come to ‘support’ the designer.
Although, fret not, it’s the designers who’ll be having the last laugh, as their business comes from Tier 2 cities and not these pushy women. Nonetheless, it is a tough task to shake off these pesky socialites, but one can’t discount that they offer the best ego massages on earth.
These socialites and ‘influencers’ love being in the orbit of top designers and it actually benefits the designers just fine because they too want a glamorous, thirsty and affluent entourage flocking around them. Why give up on all that juicy ‘goss’ anyway? Plus, most of these A-list designers are flown around in private jets by the country’s wealthiest and often seen holidaying in the most exotic and coveted global destinations. So why complain?
This summer, I went to study fashion styling at Regents University in London. It was such a gruelling and enriching experience to get a thorough insight into what it takes to style a fashion shoot or create outfits from scraps of materials. We were also sent for a graduate fashion week, where students had put together the most spectacular outfits from recycled waste material. These are the same students who will be then instantly picked up by brands like Givenchy and will get instantly hired.
In my time at the fashion show, I noticed that the etiquettes of the rich and the famous were nothing like what I see at events back home. The frow at these shows attracts actual buyers and merchandisers. There are no paparazzi clicking anyone’s photos, and neither is there any air kissing. No one pushes other invitees to get to their seats, claiming to be somebody important. Instead, ushers politely and efficiently take care of the seating. Even though people do walk in trendily (but not comically) dressed, the event remains what it is – a hard-nosed business.
I found all of this vastly refreshing. We have to give credit where it’s due, and we should take an instant crash course from the world’s fashion capital on frow etiquette before we demand a pass for ‘the next big show’ and risk ridicule. Ladies, frow anxiety is so uncool!
Lighten up and take your designated seats. Merci beaucoup.