“I’m pretty sure my grandmother had a very similar saree in 1970s which didn’t cost her a kidney”
“Its giving me Sridevi from English Vinglish vibes”
“…so Sabyasachi recreated my watchman’s outfit which costs Rs., Rs., Rs. – an eye-opener that misra ji was a style icon all along”
“we asked for representation and we got a collection of clothes goras wear when they go to a south Asian country for the first time”
“I’m gonna wear my mom’s almost same saree and tell everyone it’s Sabyasachi X H&M”
These memes ran rampant while stores ran dry, underlining the sentiment ‘fashion is as fashion does.’ Yes, I am most definitely alluding to the East meets West collaboration between Sabyasachi and H&M.
We don’t know if this line will continue through the fall or breathe it’s last in a warehouse under piles of dust to be rediscovered decades later by some Parisian genius designer desperately awaiting inspiration. Meanwhile, below are some conjectures based on the above memes.
Papa looked at his credit card bill and would not have blown a fuse looking at the Rs. 16,000 charge until he mistook Munna for the chowkidar. The conversation went like this:
Munna: Hey Papa, Dudemaan – what do you think of these (twirling to show his apparel).
Dudemaan: Ki baat? Bahadur di naukari le leva?
Munna: Be with the times maan, this is from the new Sabya collection
Wrinkled hand met the Mohawk, a chase began around the house and epithets boomeranged off the walls.
In another household Grandma and Dolly twinned it in maroon Lepaxi saris, for which the former paid about Rs. 400 in the 70’s and the latter emptied her bank balance.
Khushi and Jaanvi went nostalgic with the garb reminiscing their mom in the message giving movie English Vinglish.
Even as I double up with laughter, I wonder if poor Sabya, responding to trolls that he wanted to design an affordable line of clothes, realizes that he is channeling Marie Antoinette of ‘Let them eat cake?’ In his defense, I wonder if he thought that by dressing the elite like bus conductors and bhajiwalis, he was leveling the field. Or, he was prepping Banerjee’s wardrobe for the 2024 elections?
While we discourse the shoulds and should nots of this Himalayan blunder, the gora H&M shoppers are prepping wardrobes for their first trip to South Asia (as rightfully surmised by some memesters). The collaboration has minted millions, the store has garnered even a larger fan base and the designer has sullied his reputation.
By the time this column hits the stands, this debacle will be forgotten, designers all over will continue to make pieces that normal people eating two meals a day cannot wear and the hungry and homeless whom the clothes would fit to perfection can now or never be able to afford them. The celebrities will continue doing photo shoots for the Fashion houses as the camera turns a blind eye to their anguish. The youngsters will con their doting parents into paying for their shopping sprees, and those in their late twenties, still living at home, with fat monthly paychecks will pay for absurd garbs contributing to eyesores in common folk – namely yours truly.
This leaves me with no choice but to share my worldly wisdom:
Functionality has a purpose as does common sense and the dearth of which can create behemoths transparent and open to ridicule subsequently causing the demise of a society with the promise of so much more to attain.