Designers, media war over professional competence

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New Delhi, Sep 5 (UNI) Fashion designers and industry, which have a hand-in-hand relation with the media, today turned cold, trading charges of incompetence and hollowness, but which way the truth lay became difficult to decipher.

In fact, the atmosphere became so charged in a tete-e-tete at a seminar here, that acclaimed ad filmaker Prahlad Kakkar said that some greenhorn mediapersons ''write poetry without knowing the language'', thereby meaning that they do not understand fashion nor have a command of the language.

He charged that what prompts them to take on the second oldest profession in the world is just to rub shoulders with creme de la creme and enjoy a high life.

''I have a classical view of fashion and would want the media to understand fashion in a classic and artistic sense,'' Mr Kakkar remarked.

This was a bit too much for the media and they retorted that the fashion designers have nothing on offer, that they are hackneyed, lacking in creativity and ideas, that designers merely ape the West and that they make it up by holding events with much fanfare and style to make up for their inadequacies.

The platform where the debate took place was a workshop on the 'Future of fashion: is India ready?' organised by 'Marie Claire', a global fashion magazine.

The designers were aghast at the sensation created by the multifold electronic media, but also the print world, which made capital of model, who suffered wardrobe malfunction during a beauty pageant last year.

Ms Chandralehka Roy, a well-known fashion journalist turned entrepreneur, said the media reports on the events that happen.

But what happens is the world of fashion is devoid of novelty and it would be absurd to expect the media to dish out something new while covering fashion.

Fashion designers have themselves to blame. Much that happens is launch functions at hip parties and glitzy fashion weeks. The Indian customer and audiences have never got anything new, which they only crave, she bemoaned.

The industry got a shot in the arm from Ms Meher Castelino, a fashion writer, who said the most of the media which covers fashion was shallow, without an aesthetic sense or professional competence, the new crop among them being worse than the older lot. ''Sometimes crime reporters are assigned to cover fashion events, which is pathetic. Tell me what kind of piece of writing you expect from a crime reporter who covers fashion,'' Catelino wondered.

Other panelists, who took part in the debate, included Mr Dilip Cherian, a man from the PR world, Mr Anurag Batra, a Web consultant, and Mr Prasad Bidapa, a fashion consultant.

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