Express Adda on Indian fashion’s silver year


Express Adda on Indian fashion’s silver year

Tonight, Express Adda marks 25 years of the Indian fashion industry through an informal and informed conversation with three well known fashion designers. In many ways, this will also alter the notion that media only loves frivolous fashion coverage. With the country’s first supermodel Anna Bredemeyer co-moderating a free wheeling chat with Tarun Tahiliani, Suneet Varma and Madhu Jain, all pioneers in some way or the other, I have to admit I have sweet little goosebumps! Last night, I was chatting with Anna over the phone (she was Miss India 1975 when I was a 7 year old girl with a crush on a neighbourhood darzi called Mahendra!!), She continued to refer to India’s senior most designers as boys! She was serious but I found it hilarious. “Tarun will not recognise himself in the photos I have of him, he has a head full of hair,” she added.

Anna was not only the showstopper for India’s top designers but walked for almost one and all—Wendell Rodricks, (who I will sorely miss tonight and one of my all time favourites both as man and designer), the late Rohit Khosla, Tarun Tahiliani, JJ Valaya, and everyone who was anyone in the pre 2000s era. With Suneet, she was a co-model in a bike ad in the late Seventies, that she has a cutting of. Suneet says he was just a wayward teenager then.

But it is Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla, the Mumbai duo of craftsy extravagance who Anna loves the most. “Abu-Sandeep are my life but I had fun walking for all the boys,” she went on.

Express Adda, one of the most engaging properties launched by The Express Group last year is a series of informal conversations with news makers—all moderated by our editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta. We have had mighty important people all through, Sir Martin Sorrell, Fareed Zakaria, Vidya Balan, Arun Jaitley being some.

This edition particularly reassures me as a features journalist as I have never stopped debating the space for and attitude towards popular culture in mainstream media. Especially fashion. Does it get covered to add the glamour quotient to a publication or is it seen as a subject of social anthropology, a commentary on our times? Express Adda provides an answer.

Much-needed questions about the Indian fashion’s industry’s collective achievements in the last 25 years, the quality of fashion and design education, in India, issues of retail pricing, is fashion elitist and whether there is a wrangle between indigenous crafts and art and modernization will dot the chat this evening. As will myths about dumb models or the fact that retail sponsors are actually unfair to the younger designers. Tarun Tahiliani, compulsively called TT in the industry is a tough talker, just what we need. An original too. Ritu Kumar the matriarch of Indian fashion will be in the audience and has promised that she will ask the first question.

I will make sure that funny anecdotes come up all through. More tomorrow.