The argument that fashion shows are all about showcasing creativity is similar to the what advertising types argue about the Cannes awards.
The challenge is to marry creativity and commercialism. To achieve impact in terms of sales, or at least influence thinking / behaviour.
Not produce 'creative' ads to enter for awards - one-off efforts which appear in obscure publications in the last week of December which the ad agency pays for, not the 'client'. Preferably a 'public service' kind of campaign where no measurable objective is to be achieved anyways.
Of course, there are always honourable exceptions. I must make special mention of the 'No condom, no sex' ads running on TV currently, as part of the 'Heroes project' on AIDS awareness.
The best of the series is the one where the couple ends up playing carrom in bed because they don't have a condom at hand. I think that's an image that should stick in the heads of a lot of young people who might have 'just done it' otherwise.
The other noteworthy thing is that for the first time, an AIDS awareness campaign is specifically targeting young people who are 'upmarket'. The kind who think AIDS is something that happens to truck drivers, prostitutes, and other 'People Like Them'. People with names like Balbir Pasha.
The Fashion farce
Getting back to creativity in fashion, I do agree that since it is a show, some amount of dramebaazi is required.
But, at the end of the day, people have to be able to walk into retail outlets to pick up a scaled-down version of those styles.
And when they buy something for 2000 bucks - at the very least - there has to be a certain quality.
This morning, I checked out the Be: store in Ludhiana (yes, this city is one BIG market for designer clothes - mainly to show off at weddings). I actually located something quite nice - an aquamarine and turqoise print cotton shirt by one of the more sensible designers - Priyadarshini Rao.
At a price tag of 1195 it wasn't value-for-money but I liked it enough to consider buying. What put me off: the 'dry clean' only label.
The salesgirl said: "first time only" but then added, there's no guarantee after that. So I spend Rs 1195 and then keep spending on dry cleaning. Or risk having the colour run.
For something with zardosi, sequins or whatever - I can understand. But a casual cotton shirt?
I'll let Be: just be, for now. And take good old Cottonworld, thank you.