Thursday, April 6, 2006

I'll shake my little tush on the catwalk

India's fashion frat has been plagued with problems of late, starting with an unfortunate feud over ownership of the official fashion week and continuing, during Mumbai's Lakme-sponsored parade of couture, with several wardrobe malfunctions that grabbed national headlines in both English and vernacular media.

Carol Gracias, one of India's top models, caused quite the kerfluffle when her top fell off during a run for the Bennu Sehgal show. A synopsis, via Wikipedia:
During the annual Lakme Fashion Week, March 2006, Carol Gracias's dress fell off. This had created a furore in the semi-conservative India, which still hasn't come to terms with wadrobe malfunction. Hours after the show on 29th March 2006, the slip was for all to see as MMS clips on mobile phones all over India. Carol was modelling for designer Bennu Sehgal that day. Her wardrobe malfunction was caught both on still and video cameras.

An investigation was mounted, which determined that it was an honest mistake. But this still hasn't deterred the moral police, as the Indian Express explains today:

"A day after the Mumbai Police gave a clean chit to the models, designers and organisers involved in two incidents of 'wardrobe malfunction' during the just-concluded Lakme Fashion Week, the Chairman of the Maharashtra Legislative Council today directed the government to conduct a 'thorough inquiry' into the incidents and make a statement to the House.


In the Council today, Shive Sena MLC Pramod Navalkar said: 'The police have not completed a thorough inquiry.' He also urged the government to inspect he designs of the specific dresses."

Ravi Bajaj has a good response in HT (You're slipping, Carol!, page 8, Delhi edition). He writes:

"Now as a result of your rather ‘deplorable’ act, the entire spectrum of the fashion-glamour-modelling industry is under the scanner. The Mumbai Police, given the job of investigating why your halter came undone — and why your colleague Gauhar Khan’s skirt split right on cue as she was turning back — may have finally stated that there was ‘malfunction’ and not ‘titillation’ displayed on the ramp.

But it’s hardly over. Surely, they’ll be watching us more carefully from now on to check whether there is any such ‘publicity stunts’ that go on on the ramp. Lingering doubts will be fashioned in unasked questions like ‘How did the designers manage such timely choreography? Did they use a remote control? Or were they holding the models’ garments with invisible strings which they yanked on cue?’ The Maharashtra assembly will be interested in the answers to these questions...."

Seriously, have you NOTHING better to do? Does Maharashtra not have other problems -- such as the increasing number of farmers committing suicides because they are starving to death? Such as policemen raping women on Chowpatty Beach? Must we investigate these outrages of modesty ad infinitum, when there are outrages of...I don't know, human dignity?...occurring every minute of every day in different corners of this country?

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