Realisations & Hope.

 

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Greetings,Here’s what struck me when I was watching a show called “The Achiever’s Club”, and the guest being interviewed was (and continues to be)  one of India’s top designers:Sabyasachi Mukherjee-Fashion doesn’t fulfill it’s purpose if only a handful of people get to enjoy it.
Mr.Mukherjee graduated from NIFT, and makes brilliant Indian garments.In fact, his first show was such a success that he became an overnight sensation, and all the Bollywood actors love his designs.Here’s what I love about his venture:The fact that his clothes,( which are 100% Indian) has so many wearers.I love that he is trying portray Indian garments in such a aesthetic yet, modern way that  women out here, buy his designs.

In today’s India, where most of the people want to own Gucci Bags, Jimmy Choos or Fendi belts, Sabyasachi has an entire clientele who wait to wear his Lehengas,Sarees and Anarkalis.
Another thing I learnt from watching this particular interview, is the importance of the “business” aspect of a fashion venture.When a person thinks about fashion, the first thing that comes to a person’s mind would be:Six feet tall,skinny models,8 inch stilettos and a long runway with gleaming sets, and themed music.
But, here’s a question:Is this really what fashion is about?
To make my question a little more clearer, I’d like to tell you what Sabyasachi said when the interviewer asked him why he made saris only for the upper class, his response was that a business like his would boom initially, only when it catered to that segment of the market.It would slowly gain recognition and then percolate to other segments.
This statement,however true it was, led me to asking myself the above question.Like I’ve said, I’va always wanted to be a designer, but now’s not the time.I don’t come from a extravagantly rich family, my mom and dad are well-off, but  this fashion business which I have in mind,should solely be my effort,my money and my determination.And to get there, I need to answer the question that kind of, well, haunted me.
Here’s the answer:Fashion isn’t about the best outfit,alone.(Although so many critics would disagree with me,so many fashionistas may judge me)
Fashion isn’t just for the rich, or the semi-rich.In the status quo, we’ve been led to believe that only a handful of people can buy branded clothes, I believe,very strongly, that fashion would be so much more meaningful, when everyone can access it.After all, all of us want to make a good impression, we all want to look good,whenever possible,so what’s the point of fashion, if it’s not available to everyone?It would mean so much,to make clothes fairly priced so that an average women/ man would wear a design,be complimented or smiled at, and in turn , they smile.

They needn’t wear a gown for the Oscars, or the Grammys, but for a normal Christmas party, or a work event.When this happens, I would embrace fashion so much more.
Sure, the entire business aspect would clash with my views, but think about this.No-one’s asking a designer to price a Rs.50,000($935) dress for Rs.10,000($187) design, but simply make even lower end design look great, so the customer would be elated.
After all, Exclusivity , however important to a designer,shouldn’t be the first preference.
So,Equal Access,is all I’m saying.
Again, from a business perspective, selling five Rs.10,000 dresses is going to fetch you the same cash, and when the public realize that you’re giving them a rather high-end product for a more, fair amount, they will rush to your stores.
To be continued, when I look at more designer interviews, and when I give you more statistics and data in my next post.
Thank you for reading!

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It’s been a while,and honestly I was just waiting to see if my last post’s been read.Sadly,statistics disappoint me,but I love fashion,and I’m a fighter.(Rawr)
On to the next post.I thought I’d start off along the lines of whether a person really needs a fashion “degree” to be a designer,because a lot of people,and personally,I’ve always been confused about this whole thing.
For my 12th grade Business Studies class,all of us had to pick a company and had to make a case study on the company,say 2o pages long-Hell,I was excited.I came home and immediately Googled Basil Soda, because he was,and is my favorite designer.But back then in 2011, he wasn’t all that famous, he was barely one or two collections old, and I couldn’t find company statistics on his brand, so I was disappointed to say, to the least because all my friends were doing car and bike companies, make-up brands, but none designer…
Back to my point…a little digging around , and found out that Basil Soda, studied Architecture.
Eventually, my project was on Armani, and that really opened my eyes.Giorgio Armani started out as a doctor, he hadn’t studied design at all, So I thought “Three years, to draw clothes,learn to stitch and sew,hmmpph.But boy,were my parents deeply disappointed.
From the hours I sacrifice in watching fashion shows,reading fashion magazines and going to new stores, I realised a few things:

Numero Uno: To be in the Fashion Industry, a person just needs a strong sense of color , pattern and rest develops by itself as a person moves by in the industry.

Secondly, who says you have to be extremely loaded and stocked up in the green dough department?All a person needs is heart, and patience, because agreed it isn’t an easy place to work in, especially if you’re a start-up, but a fighter will survive.
That’s how a lot of designers come up, and some I know personally in India.
Finally, the people who decide “what’s in” and “what isn’t”-Now to me, those two concepts are ridiculous.Designers can’t dictate what people want to wear,well, they try,but it isn’t a 100%  success, because people are fickle, they want to imitate other people and sooner or later, there will an alarm buzzing moment where people will break all rules and stop following trends,no matter who sets them-Kate Middleton or Beyonce.
A designer who can still appeal to thousands at that point of time, has the best set of skills.
After all, fashion is still a business,as much as its’ all glam,runways and spotlights, it’s revenues, accounts and expenses.
It is a tough place to get into, but we all live in a greedy little world.

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Well,it’s already the first day of the new year here,in India and hopefully,it is going to be an amazing year for me,you,fashion and everything good and true.
So,yesterday I was at this movie,and I was thinking about what my next post was going to be about,and I hit rock bottom.It’s my third post and zero.Zilch.Nada.No ideas.
And the movie was a waste of money,trust me.It was that boring.And as usual,I was shoved to the seat where I had to sit next to four guys,courtesy of me being late.
All through the movies,I had little ideas pop-up to me as to what I wanted to write,Like my favorite designer or a review of a new collection,maybe even a post on dress materials,but none seemed “soulful” enough?(If you get my drift!)
So here’s what.
I’m gonna keep this post really brief and to-the-point.
Two/Three things a fashion lover (or an aspiring fashionista) should find themselves having for a “better” fashion experience:
To start off, an app from google play called “Fashion Style”.
This app saves me EVERY SINGLE time i’m out at the doctor,or waiting for a friend and whenI’m really bored,but music isn’t enough.It is a comprehensive app which has listed collections by year,season and on clicking each of these,you have a list of say 50 plus designers,right for the top brands to aspiring new-comers.It also provides an option where you “star” a design you like,so you can just see your favorite designs from any designer later.I spent hours searching and downloading fashion apps,but to me,this one is pre-tttyy good.And useful.
Here’s the link for the app:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wangsong.fashionstyle&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMShttps://satinstilletosandstreet.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=133&action=editwyLDEsImNvbS53YW5nc29uZy5mYXNoaW9uc3R5bGUiXQ..

Numero Dos.Fashionary.
I don’t know if you’ve heard of it,but as soon as I saw this,I had to buy it.
It’s basically a notebook,a planner,a “fashion” journal, and like the official website reads “It is a “Fashion + Dictionary + Diary”=FASHIONARY”.
This intrigued me,so I had to check it out, and trust me,you will not be disappointed.This notebook comes in A4 and A5 sizes,and it has 400 figure templates for sketching designs down,in case you’re out somewhere,or on a train and you’re caught off gaurd when inspiration decides to strike you then.
The dictionary part is massively impressive too.It has around 35 pages,and contains extensive details,right from measurement to an impressive 1300 brand index,plus a fashion event calendar.And if you’re fashion writer,there are a couple of pages too.The FASHIONARY comes in two editions:Men and Women,whichever might suit an individual’s need(s).It costs between $35-$40, but worth the money if you’re a hard-core fashion aficionado or simply,love design.They have retailers all over the world,so geography isn’t gonna be a problem if you’re in Hong Kong,Paris or India.
Here’s their website:http://fashionary.org/
Finally,one of the fashion dictionaries I own.
It’s by a world famous,brilliant designer:Christian Dior.
It’s called “The Little Dictionary Of Fashion”.I saw it when I was at the Papyrus store in New York last year, and I dropped everything in hand to get it.Since I own this,I have a couple of pictures,but the book’s a little worn out(pictures can be put on request!).It has an index of materials,illustrations (by Dior) and a couple of pictures to illustrate each concept or word.This is where I learnt about different materials;like Fraille  and Egyptian silk and their differences.
It is priced at $19.95 and if you really want to learn about materials and fashion concepts from a top designer,buy it.

Here you go:http://www.amazon.com/Little-Dictionary-Fashion-Guide-Dress/dp/0810994615
Ooooh.lastly,where would I be without FashionTV?I spend atleast two-three hours a day,watching the channel,and this channel was my first mentor.Must have,definitely.

So,that is basically it from me,today.Happy a happy,happy new year!:)

Fashion is…?

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“Fashion is not necessarily about labels. It’s not about brands. It’s about something else that comes from within you.”
—Ralph Lauren
I agree.For my first post ,I wanted to,well explore the “meaning” of fashion, and find out what it means to each individual out there!
Lady Gaga wore a meat dress to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, and Jada Pinkett-Smith wore a red Atelier Versace gown to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, and yet I’ve heard people look at Lady gaga in shock,awe(kudos to her guts!) and some even disgust.Here;s what amused me-the fact that people still remember her “dress” and still talk(or argue) about it.
On the other hand, one of my favorite collections was  one in the 2011-2012 Haute Couture Fashion In paris,none other than Atelier Versace.(I thought the collection,eascecially the sequinned gold gowns were a magnificent piece of art!)
Back to the point.Jada-Pinkett Smith wore one the designs,and another beautiful gown was worn by Paris Hilton,a Basil Soda piece,but not many people remember,or for that matter,even know the gown!
That brought me to my question:Does fashion mean making a long lasting impression on one’s mind,even if the piece in question,is say, a meat gown?Or is it worshipping and applauding the intricacy of patterns,layers and sequins that go into a,well,”traditional red carpet gown?
I still haven’t found the answer.
Like Ralph Lauren says though,we associate people with what they wear-Lady Gaga,with her bold and “I do it my way” style, or maybe even Gwyneth Paltrow ,with her more elegant,feminine dresses.But does fashion make a person what they are?Does it speak volumes about character,charisma and soul?
Maybe not.I find that it has not much to do with character.As a typical teenage girl, I love to lounge around in Skinny Jeans and cropped shirt when I go out with a bunch of friends,that is “fashionable” to me,but during a party, like any other girl,I love me an LBD.That’s fashionable too.
So “Fashion” is such a lucid,complicated term because it changes wherever we go.
A beach,a club,a runway or school.
Fashion is us,or rather we decide what fashion is.
And, what I learnt is to have open arms towards new ideas,particularly in fashion, like when I saw Viktor and Rolf’s collections in 2012.
So next time,think about what fashion means to you,please leave a comment below!:)shion

The Starting Point.

Date:February 2010.
It was my first live fashion show, and not many fashion shows took place in my city, and the fact that I got an invite made my stomach leap a dozen times.
R’eve-It was in Raffles Millenium, a design school and the designs of three students were showcased.Sure,I didn’t expect all that much, considering my standards of good design were that of Basil Soda and Atelier Versace.And let’s not forget-I felt that the epitome of design was Frederick Watson.
Nevertheless,I went on to see the show,and all I did was criticize, I was 15 then.
I still remember everything so clearly-the set, the lighting, the people(who clapped for every design), my friends, the cute guy in front of me(Yes,I enjoy cute guys as much as good clothes) and the CLOTHES.
Sure,it wasn’t nearly world-class, but it struck me then:The power of fashion,art and strangely globalization.The fact that 70% of Indian women wear ethnic clothes-Saris,Kurthis or Salwars.But the fact that in R’eve there were 30 odd gothic gowns being presented,one by one fascinated me and I loved the entire blanket of design.
Then came criticism, negativity from all around me.I was 16 and my friends and the society here,consider “fashion” an industry for the elite and the reckless kind,who can afford to splash money on satin,fraille or solitaire diamonds.I’m actually ashamed to say,I believed it all and turned to my next career option-Journalism.I started Uni in June,and it was no irony that I would spend hours online looking at collections from Paris Fashion Week, whether it was Men or Women, Versace or Victoria’s Secret.
But what’s the point of a dream if we just kept dreaming?
So here it is,my blog.I share my thoughts on design,sometimes a plain,straightforward opinion on a designer’s collection or maybe a more creative post,where I hope to find new ways to look at art.
Hope you like it.