The Voice of Fashion

The Voice of Fashion

The Voice of Fashion will be “a new digital destination on fashion and design” we told those who were curious or serious about it. But “new” is a tyrannical word when pinned to the taskbar. The promise of newness in a digital space in fashion, already so fascinatingly fat with content made our taskbar glow and glower by turns.

Quite spectacularly a certain “voice” began to clear its throat the moment we reached out to content collaborators, fashion designers, writers, painters, artists of various persuasions. Our vision was to create a space that is fashion forward, democratic, creatively charged, imaginative, funny, urgent, responsible with its facts, entertaining and global in look and experience. Yet something that distinctly sits on the intersections fashion in India makes with society, culture, arts, music, cinema, literature. A platform for good writing and reportage. Filled with uncommon visual elements instead of classic fashion photographs and old-style written content. Our aim is to bring stories that are consumer focused not told only from point of view of brands and retail houses. We aspire to stir in dress and identity issues, seek thoughts from under-the-radar designers and take a deep, incisive look at the fashion industry, its business and its bustle. Also its stars.

Voice though needs a context. The simplest and strongest context is home. Some call it national heritage, others the “Indian” in fashion, some insist it is time the crafts and handlooms story of India is brought to the mainstream in debate and discussion without patronizing, while others emphasise diversity, inclusivity, sustainability. Whichever way we look at it, a “new” fashion vocabulary (new compared to even the last few years) is already in currency.

We are living the history that is being made. It is as inclusive of glamour, gender and celebrity fashion as it is of water and waste management, ecological responsibility, fair trade, gender and wage parity in manufacturing units and weaving clusters. Every colour and shape trend, every lipstick tint and hair hue, every texture, textile and tectonic shift in couture and craft now resonate with meaning. Today fashion is an even more compelling confluence of culture, livelihoods, personal and political preferences than it ever was. It is flamboyantly mindful.

The Voice of Fashion intends to track this evolution. By deconstructing glamour, by glamourizing craft. By exploring international fashion stories from a unique Indian perspective. We have invited designers to write, paint, photograph and illustrate and brought in writers from different persuasions—the book critic, the social anthropologist, the fiction writer, the advertising professional, the song writer— to do the storytelling. Along with us—a regular, nose to the grindstone journalistic team.

An entire section devoted to sustainability with a global-local, socio-scientific perspective is “new” in the Indian digital space. Says the taskbar.

Significantly, instead of an obligatory drum roll and sweepstake coverage of “crafts and textiles”, The Voice of Fashion will focus on one region every few months and bring back an ensemble of culturally relevant and urgent stories. Our inaugural focus is on the Northeast, seen both homogenously and through its different states. Forgotten bazaars, profiles, Mekhala and Phanek collections, silks and Gamochas, the economic significance of women working at looms, the destabilizing impact of insurgency and conflict on weavers of Manipur, royal costumes, weaves waiting to be seen, saved, used and revived, people who have been documenting ideas and personal histories…look out for these stories every week. This deep dive into the Northeast retold by “outsiders” as well as local artists, photographers and writers will go on alongside our ongoing coverage of crafts and handlooms issues that are topical.

The Voice of Fashion is neither an ally or adversary of any fashion week body. It is an industry enhancing platform. All our shopping guides and retail stories have been created without any advertiser obligations.