You see the real work happening. You see the exhaustion, the energy, the moods, the creativity, the real deal. The walls of illusions fall and the veil of glamour is shattered
When I was in my early teens, studying in a boarding school, every day I would grab copies of the entertainment pages of the newspapers we got our hands on, and read them over and over, especially the fashion supplements. They were glitzy and glamorous; everything I wanted to be and preached.
Fast-forward eight years. I am backstage, at one of the most happening fashion events of the year, helping a leading menswear designer who I’ve met for the first time. I have only talked to these people through my blog, and they have talked back by liking my writings. I am a part of them now, virtually at least.
I have just walked the red carpet, because being surrounded by ‘paparazzi’ as they go clicking here and there was always a dream. I strut down in a designer jacket everyone seems to love. Meesha Shafi has just told me she remembers when she wore the same jacket (oh, it’s a unisex item!). I am wearing what the ‘it’ and ‘cool’ people in the magazines wear. I am in those magazines now. I write for them, I get my pictures and my name published next to all the fashion celebrities I have admired growing up.
Having said that, being backstage has opened my eyes in ways those fashion magazines would never have done. What I grew up reading, what I listened to, watched and idolised was all so different from what I am seeing here, standing on the coffee-stained carpet inside the humungous Lahore Expo Centre.
The red carpet is about lights, the flashing of the cameras -- not to forget, the beautiful (plastic?) smiles -- the long, flowy gowns covering every step of the way. It’s the glamour of it all that seems so alluring -- the stage, the ramp, the gorgeous models, in gorgeous clothes, the five-minute-or-so designer segments -- that’s all just for the magazines and the onlookers. It’s an illusion. The magazines are now replaced by Instagram, Facebook and Twitter but the phenomenon of deception is still there.
But fashion is so much more than this ‘deception’. And, I realise it now. You see the real work happening. You see the exhaustion, the energy, the moods, the creativity, the real deal. The walls of illusions fall and the veil of glamour is shattered.
I watch the models munch on pizza bites, and the designers fidget and fret before their collections go to the ramp. I can tell the stomachs churning, everybody tense -- or super-charged. And, the make-up artists can’t stop screaming. You hear it all. You see it all. Beyond the lights of the ramp, the illusion falls apart.
One thing that strikes me is that they all work so hard to create the illusion. And, I am witness to both -- the work and the illusion.
Standing there, right amidst them, I realise that this is not superficial, no matter how much the common man may think. It is as much anybody’s reality as reality can be. It goes beyond the flashy clothes, the prêt pieces, the bling, and the celebrity-spotting. And, I think I don’t want to be stuck here on the red carpet forever, because that is just the façade. The media is to be blamed for showing the world the façade only.
Somebody said to me once that fashion weeks are just for fun. Sorry to say but fashion isn’t all about catwalk shows or the sales that follow. I think I can’t be that timid, that shallow, and that small, to sit in the front row, basking in the flashlights and think I have made it big. Because I haven’t.
xt-indent:11.35pt’>Overall, Tenerife seems to lack a focus. The success of a restaurant depends on the loyalty of its returning customers and one is unsure whether this particular restaurant will be able to secure that loyalty. Once the initial thrill of a new restaurant is over, it is the quality of food that takes us back to get our money’s worth. Some challenges await Tenerife on this front.