‘A PEEK INTO THE REAL WORLD OF FASHION’

powder room book review

There have been many books written on fashion.  The ones that usually make it to fashion colleges are the history on textiles and fashion the most boring of its kind with little or no information on the people who weave and print. Some designers come out with their own books full of pictures – exotic and enticing but little to offer in terms of content and the creative process of the making of the garment. It’s always the end result that we see.

What makes this book different on many levels is that it delivers a consistent antithesis to the gloss and wasteful. It is an opinionated book, a strong and intelligent voice (and a wonderful sense of humor) that talks about fashion in the true sense of the word.

This book came to me as birthday gift. The author, Shefalee Vasudev (Ex-editor Marie Claire), digs miles into the seemingly shallow world of fashion and forces the readers to think. Being a strong supporter of weavers and Indian textiles, this book has fanned a new fire in me!

Weaving is discussed passionately, almost angrily. For designers, it is a wake-up call to save the dying art and legacy of weavers across India. The importance given to Bollywood in fashion shows and clothes—Swarovski-laden and blingy— is abhorred. Is this what we really are all about? Is this maybe why the world isn’t taking Indian fashion seriously?

The book also talks about the rich and fashionable Ludhiana ladies who are victims of their own doing— wearing designer clothes , high heels, luxury-branded bags that change with every outfit, diamond-laden, pressurized to deliver a baby “boy” and getting back in shape  to look like a Victoria Beckham. These women wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a sari, let alone one of our own textile treasures like a Patan Patola or Kanjeevaram.

Interviews with the big designers and models, written with wit and sarcasm is a valuable read for anyone interested in the fashion industry.  Neither intimidated, nor scoffing she has managed to uncover the famous and their personalities.

This book has something to offer for everyone interested in the fashion industry as it talks about everything from pampered actresses, luxury brands eating into every corner of the city space and magazines (wolfing down yet another vulnerable customer), exploited models, disillusioned weavers and printers, struggling designers, established designers – all making blingy clothes for the money, the politics and chaos of fashion weeks, and young brides so lost in the dictate of the fashion moguls that they’re unaware of their own uniqueness and tradition.

Passionately and lovingly written, I would say this book cannot leave you indifferent. It commands that attention from your conscience and makes you think. You begin to fall back in love with fashion all over again, but this time for the right reasons!

 – Monica Chopra

5 thoughts on “‘A PEEK INTO THE REAL WORLD OF FASHION’

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    Parvez Ansari

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    I am not much into fashion but I must say that the Review is very well written.

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    INTOTO

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    Thanks Parvez for your wonderful response. Do continue visiting the blog. We will have wonderfully written articles coming out every week for our readers!

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    kavita chani

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    Very well writren. So true. Looking forward to read more blogs on fashion from you. Good review of the book. Surely want to read it to know about fashion the correct way. Thanks!

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    RVR

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    Growing up, I had always viewed fashion as something that is superfluous. That’s probably because I’ve seen more of the “the rich and fashionable ludhiana ladies”. To a large extent, and even now, I do not comprehend how luxury “designer” goods have such a large market, and if it is anything more than just another way to show off fell better about oneself.
    Over the last few years, I started looking at it from more than just a utilitarian angle -That all of fashion is not superficial and without merit. Reading this wonderfully written review only reinforces this thought.

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    INTOTO

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    Thank you all for the wonderful comments. We shall endeavour to bring you many more such interesting and well-written articles!

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