Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Fashion Martian at Fashion Week

Very High Fashion Image.

‘What is a fashion Martian?’, you will ask, and to that I will respond with ‘a phrase I thought was SPLENDID to describe my state of affairs as the only alien life form at the magazine I work for who can’t tell culottes from coat-tails (okay, I can, but I like alliterations) but is yet to be approved by my editor. So now its on the only thing that doesn’t require anyone’s approval to publish—a blog noone reads’
When I first joined this magazine, my situation was compared routinely to The Devil Wears Prada plot diagram. Aspiring writer joins large-scale fashion conglomerate despite knowing close-to-nothing about the fashion world (I say ‘close’ because, for all my feminist nonchalance, even I wouldn’t wear that ‘lumpy blue sweater’.
So, for me, it was an easy experience when I needed to fill an audience seat on Rajdeep Sardesia’s Special Feature Show (‘Has Delhi become safer for women since Nirbhaya?’ Nope.) happening on a lower floor of the selfsame office. But going for my first Fashion Week (not this one, I should clear up. Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week in October) was an experience because, truly, I was as out of place as Lady Gaga at a t-shirt store.
For instance, a famous designer whose table I was at, for reasons beyond my recollection, smirked politely as I struggled to pronounce a fashion designer’s name with more than the appropriate amount of ‘Vs’ and ‘Ws’ in it. I have since learnt how to pronounce it from kind friends, and am now ready to bring it up nonchalantly in conversation, should we ever chance upon each other again—just so I can floor him with my fluency.
The second time around, however, I decided that I had been around five months—ergo, my behaviour needed to be more fashion-week savvy. I borrowed a dress from the fashion closet (I don’t think ‘This Dress is by Rediwala, Sarojini”, would fly even if I put on my best snooty voice) and put on a lipstick lent to me by the resident beautyperson (Chops to you, my friend. You’re one of the rare people who can vaguely fix my hideous face in 5-7 minutes.) and feigned some degree of self-confidence as I walked in… to face a large woman in fishnets and a skirt that was almost afraid of leaving the area around her ample bottom.
This is fun, I decided, looking at a number of people swanning about, decked to the brimful in everything from hooker-length boots (disclaimer: this isn’t a fashion term, for those as uneducated as myself. This is just prejudice run amok) to anarkalis to sunglasses indoors (only in Delhi, brah). I felt at ease in my simple, striped dress and plain black coat, and for the first time like I wasn’t out of my depth. I was doing it! I was being sophisticated! I was handling my fifth drink like a pro!
Turns out if you think you’re doing fantastically, the whiskey sour in your hand is encouraging you to think it. Evil whiskey sour. Like a Disney villain, whispering comforting crap in my ear as I;
1)   Skin my knee, because I trip right next to the runway in full view of numerous fashion whose-its.
2)   Have an odd, amorous moment with a girl whose face is now a mix of Kalki and the Pillsbury doughboy in my memory.
This treacherous friend of mine met her though :(
3)   Pass by two ex-colleagues with a borderline-creepy smile to show friendship and then go ‘HAHA BITCH!’ with friendly colleague in full earshot of them, whilst believing I am quite stealth about the matter.
4)   Rob an abandoned candy store, first casually and then in a manner apropos criminal, asking the reception for a bag and filling it with my weight in gummy bears and silly strawberries.
5)   Dance at my reflection in the mirror because why not, right? Noone is here except me and a CCTV camera.
6) Was so out of it that I MISSED KALKI! The main reason I was even there. Whole plan to give her the fangirl heebiejeebies FAILED!
What lesson have I learn about fashion and work etiquette? That, evidently, I have neither. The dress has gone back, but the shame remains. Luckily, I can bury that shame (and myself) in purloined candy.

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