My essay on the response of the Indian fashion community to the pandemic was published this week in Scroll. It was well-received, and I was overwhelmed by the reactions to it: some people nodded in agreement while some had a different take on the issue. I truly appreciate both points of view, but here’s something on one particular criticism I thought I must address.
Yesterday, The Voice of Fashion put out an Instagram live video where the editor Ms. Shefalee Vasudev spoke about fashion journalism during COVID-19. She also brought up my piece in Scroll and talked about how it came from a very surface-level understanding of fashion.
The in-depth understanding of fashion that stalwarts like Ms. Vasudev have comes from several years of experience of working in the industry. I truly admire The Voice of Fashion’s work and the kind of stories Ms. Vasudev and her team strive to create.
However, when the rhetoric of one of our country most popular fashion magazines is telling people how to “look-sexy-in-sweatpants”, or when a journalist thinks a story about “top 5 lockdown looks” is a good idea, given the current circumstances, I think there’s a problem that needs addressing.
As a creator, consumer, and avid lover of fashion, it’s unsettling to see people looking down on fashion as frivolous, when honestly, as Ms. Vasudev rightly pointed out, it’s so much more than that.
My intention with the article was to point this specific problem out, not to take away from the fact that there are many great fashion journalists doing a wonderful job at telling stories that matter. 🙂