Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Confessions of an Unfashionable Plate

Okay people, what the hell is a prêt line?
Which more or less says all that there is to be said about my fashionableness quotient. But let me elaborate.
You’re thinking this is going to be a sour grapes piece because Manish Malhotra didn’t ask me instead of Kajol and Preity to walk the ramp wearing his…..omigosh, I don’t even know the name of his collection. But I know that Sabyasachi’s collection is called “The Snail”. Wow. I heard Sabyasachi explain to Sreenivasan Jain in an interview on NDTV why he chose that name. It all sounded terribly intellectual and arty but I didn’t understand a word then and I can’t remember a word now. But I do remember thinking one possible reason would be that everyone – or at least unfashionable plates like me - will be so puzzled by the name that they will remember it. And see, I do. “The Snail”. Lovely. I’m told his earlier collection was called “the Frog Princess”. Maybe I can call my collection “The Dung Beetle”. Or how about “The Karela”? Or then just simply “Loofah”? Anyway, no need to rush as the next LIFW (in Internet chat rooms, that would probably be a very rude set of alphabets to say to your chat buddy) is a while away and my chances of becoming anything close to a fashion designer a tad further. But do send in your entries anyway because the winning entry will get a year’s supply of whatever it is that you name my collection after. For obvious reasons, names like Penthouse-in-Malibu and Brad Pitt will be disqualified.
Talking of names, I’m secretly glad that I don’t wear Sabyasachi’s clothes. (Though I’m sure he’s going to beg me to the minute we meet.) Because what would I call him every time I pop into his er, studio is it and we air kiss? Can’t be “Sabyasachi” because I’d trip over it dreadfully every time and sprain my tongue. Which would be both embarrassing and inconvenient because then how would I tell him that “ecru” isn’t really my colour or that we should go slow the overdyed crochet a skip as a choice of material for the underwear to go with my outfits for the Aish-Abhi wedding. (They’re getting married?!! Dunno, really. But no harm in being prepared.) Oh, dear, I should have said “lingerie”, na? Only people in baniyan ads say “underwear” and only mustachioed wardens of girls’ hostels wear them, na? I might as well have said chaddi or kachcha….
Anyway, point is, I’m at least trying. To be fashionable, that is. Because in life, who knows? I might just yet walk down the next LIFW WIFW (any relation of WWF?) ramp wearing a Sabyasachi a la Preity-Kajol-Manish. So I’m practicing my ramp walk. And as a back up, I am also planning my collection which will inspired by the structured lines of vada pav and the colours of Brihanagar Mumbai Pallika’s rubbish dumps…. But that’s the future.
And the present? Well, what can I say? In public I perfect my feminist-frump sneer and rant about anorexia and the disgrace of clothes that cost as much as an average Indian’s dowry fund. But in private, I watch F TV. And heave gusty sighs of longing and despair. At the undulating fields of slender, willowy legs flashing in and out of wondrous wisps of fabrics I don’t even know the name of. At the seas of silken bottoms bobbing saucily in and out Victoria’s secret and swimwear that would set the Mediterranean Sea on fire. At the acres of pouting gorgeousness and the mincing nonchalant elegance. And as I do, I desperately tell myself that real men prefer women with a bit more er, flesh on them. (Then how come Arun Nair is dating Elizabeth Hurley and Richard Gere was Cindy Crawford’s baa-lamb and not mine?) That one day, childbearing hips and thunder thighs will be the rage and it will be “fashion bowl” and not “fashion plate”. (WHEN?) And I ask myself, would I swap two slabs of chocolate truffle cake for two sticks of carrot…er, sorry 2 juliennes of carrot, a bread stick and a cup of hot water for just to look like Heidi Klum? I can’t tell you what my answer is on grounds that it will incriminate me.
Heidi Klum. Hm. I’m a very optimistic person, but even to me, things don’t look too good. Because even if I draw myself up to my full height, I will probably be few inches shorter than the length of an average model’s legs and we won’t even talk about the rest of khatey-peetey me. And high heels give me a crashing headache in 5 minutes of wearing them. So my only chances of become a fashion model is if I quickly become very rich or the Princess of Bikaner or Jaya Bachchan.
That leaves my chances of being one of the Beautiful People, fit enough to rub my spaghetti strapped shoulders with other BP’s in the front row of the LIFW. Well, the thing is I am a Beautiful People but nobody can see it because I believed all those beauty queens and that inner beauty stuff. And while I wait for my inner Page Three Person to out (it will, it will), there are other things that I have to fix. Apart from my thighs and stretching myself from 5’2” to 5’9”. I have to learn that there is no such thing as purple, only “aubergine”. And I have to find myself a corsetiere. (Till I started writing this article, I thought that’s a kind of pastry shop.) And try not to remember what me mum said – that nice girls don’t go to LIFW wearing only their underwear. Oh alright, lingerie. And learn how to pronounce Sabyasachi. (Do you think he’d like “Saby-baby”? Or then just “Kiss-kiss”?)
Incidentally, have you noticed how easy it is to tell who is the designer in a fashion show? At the end, it’s the odd-looking creature at least 2 heads shorter (3 if it’s a man) than all the models that scurries on to stage, looking just like you and me. (Except for Manish Malhotra who is quite gorgeous.) I’d like to see one of them wearing a structured pink balloon skirt over discharge printed pencil cut pants.I know. That is definitely a touch of sour grapes but I’m human aren’t I? But I am also hopeful. Because look what the fabulous Diana Vreeland, reigning deity of the international fashion for over 50 years and who coined the word “pizzazz” said, “With health, a good figure and brown skin in the summer, people should spend very little money on their clothes…. The only real elegance is in the mind; if you've got that, the rest really comes from it.” I’ve cracked the good health and my brown skin is kinda a year round thing. Now I just have to work on the figure…..

2 comments:

farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

So then, Ratna, are you a bowl or a plate?

From food to flowers to fashion - God, you are a versatile writer, me friend.

Like me ;-)

Anonymous said...

hey1 you are simply amazing.i love your writing and adore your sense of homour.