14.11.05

Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening

That's a Coco Chanel quote since I have had a weekend of fashion study that actually made me feel fashion is not so trivial as most of us tend to think. After all it has a history of its own. A fascinating one at that.

The workshop was at Manesar Heritage Resort (two hours from Delhi). The place itself was not five star but it was nice and quiet. Some of us were lucky enough to get single double bed rooms to ourselves because of cancellations by other journalists. And my room faced the swimming pool.

Some highlights from my trip:

As I sat on the other side of the desk and listened to lectures, I rediscovered the pleasures of studying.

I met several 'interesting' people on the trip. People with heavily false accents, supercilious attitudes, dirty old men, geeks and someone who suddenly and inappropriately reminded me of Horse & Hounds.

The individual in the first category, goes without saying, was shunned by all and somehow I did not feel sorry. And let me not stretch it to the plural. There was actually a dirty old man who insisted on latching onto every female on the trip. By the end of it he had succeeded in pissing off one and all. At the beginning of the trip when we met I remembered him from a French opera where we happened to be talking to the director of the opera. When we reached Manesar, he insisted on telling me that it is the dirty weekend retreat for some. Besides filling me up on how he sits at the Press Club all day and loves getting drunk. So when he was sitting alone on a field trip to a factory and asked me to sit next to him, I literally ran for my sanity. And plonked myself next to a person who reminded me of Hugh Grant.

Now when I say he reminded me of Grant, I don't mean physically at all. He was a nice guy with a sophisticated air about him. He was from some trade magazine, the name of which brought back Horse & Hounds to my mind. Weirdly I didn't at all feel he was trying to be overfriendly or irritating when he asked me about my beat and myself. Some people I am glad to say just don't rub you up the wrong way.

The export factory we visited had amazingly fashionable jackets. They apparently export to Zara, Tommy and the like. The owner and his wife (who impressed us highly with her oratorial skills) showed us around the place. Inside the place were some thousands of workers sewing, checking and rechecking the garments. It might be employment for those people, but a huge huge room chock full of people doing the same mechanical job for 10 hours every day didn't seem very cheerful. I can't explain it. It was just the sight of row after row of sewing machines and other machines and a sea of people inside that freaked me out.

Once back at the resort, we had more classes. For which PR girl BS made sure we were seated inside. She even trailed behind us to the loo!

The classes itself were really cool. And the persons taking them cooler. Not for a single minute did I feel bored. Though I must say the German lecturer, who took us on a presentation on fashion through the ages, was so flat it was unbelieveable. She could have made even rock n' roll sound flat.

As it became dark and we got back to our rooms to freshen up for cocktails and dinner, I was feeling so happy. There were diyas floating in the pool and Rajasthani folk singers playing there. It was just perfect. And the happiness increased as I tossed drinks down my gullet. One after the other... LIT, red wine, white wine, a delicious vodka drink...teamed with yummy chocolate cake. The effect may I say was profound. Besides the fact that I could hear only through one ear, the next morning I found my watch cracked and a spot of pain on my forehead.

The unexpected happened too. There were designers Ashish Soni and Manish Arora at the workshop. Credit to geek journalist who asked them, "Why don't these export houses tie up with you? The house we visited said Soni and Arora just make a lot of noise." You should have seen the reactions of the two. Arora who needs a setdown really badly got it. And it did Soni good. He spoke. At any given occasion, he who has the least to say couldn't stop making his point and making sense too! While Arora was this picture of amiability.

In the feedback sheets we were given to fill up, I recommended such workshops once a month. I asked some others. They wrote once in 6 months.

I guess I couldn't have asked for more. A drunken weekend and let's not even begin counting the calories...oily bacon rinds, pineapples, cheese, lots of meat, malpuas, gulab jamuns and chocolate... Besides of course the worst pasta I've ever had!

36 comments:

Docs Dope said...

Well well...you seem to have had an awesome weekend..I have been to Manesar some time back..and yes, it is very serene and beautiful...

I too hate all those superlicious and pretentious people ..with heavy accents..trying to pretend what they are not..come on we are born Indians ..and we shall stay so...life is much more than just dose of heavy accents...:)

I had been to a fashion show once, organised by TOI at Surajkund, when a friend of mine brought me a couple of passes...well really a good time with all that feast for the mind, eyes and tummy... :)

First Rain said...

Ah see guhl that yew hahd a pwetty goohd thime!
N since ah dohn't kno dah Eff of Fashion, ah am gonna shut up now. :D

*errr... did you get any of that chocolate cake home by any chance?*

AB said...

Docs Dupe: But what I learnt was part of what goes behind putting up a fashion show you see.

If only I could tell that individual that 'life is much more than a dose of heavy accents', but may I say something without trying to sound mean...Life is also not only about lingerie and women.

First Rain: No but I did nick a shower cap from the loo. Had it been possible I would have carried the entire loo with me back home :-)

In between trying to stash in the goodies, I left behind my cell charger. Serves me right for being greedy guts I guess.

PS said...

Hmm...sounds like a great junket!!!! and yes of course, the chocolate cakes, pineapples, cheese...sigh...all the good things in life...........

Sonia said...

sounds like u had a great weekend! :o) i miss delhi!

Docs Dope said...

Aha....but for all these social pretensions, this world would have had been a better place to live.. Alas ..!!!

thalassa_mikra said...

That sounded like so much fun! Now I'm super jealous. By the way, if you are reallly interested in fashion, and want more fashion gyan than you can handle, check this out

http://www.thefashionspot.com/forums

AB said...

PS: Hardly a junket babe. 2-day thing and short. But yes, at least its better than nothing!

Sonia: May I say the weather is fabulous. Am in love with Delhi winters.

Docs Dope: You think what I said was for the sake of social pretensions?

Thalassa: Definitely gonna check it out. After this workshop I feel like buying up magazines like a maniac.

Sonia said...

ooooh! i miss winters in delhi! hell! i even miss the summers!
i practicalle used to live in that Barista in Green Park! but the weather here is pretty good too (now). the evenings are lovely! and they have a mall here where we can go skiing! (mall of the emirates) it's pretty cool! :o)

Docs Dope said...

Not you Baby..!!! Definitly, not you..but there are a lot many people out there wearing a facade and living a life of what they are not...I detest that lot...

pink panda said...

wow i love chanel! god it's sooo glam! have you ever been to nz?

AB said...

Sonia: Now I wish I could go skiing:( By the way, do you live there alone?

Docs Dupe: Ok.

Pink Panda: Why? No. But I would love to. Once I thought of moving to NZ (for purely hedonisitic reasons:0)and wrote to this NZ guy who can get you a job. He became very serious about immigration. It sounded quite comical -- the serious note that he sent me asking me for details about my family who he presumed would want to move there with me. Somehow I never ended up taking it on from there.

Sonia said...

nope. i have to live with my parents. back home you could say. except it ain't my home. sigh!

AB said...

Sonia: Confused. But if it is your parents' place how can it not be yours?

Toe Knee said...

Some people get all the nice assignments. Did you met SM there (from my office)?

acidrocks said...

Thats the advantage of being a journo. you get to go around places, get to stay in good hotels and eat a lot of food. Ah... i miss my days as journo back home....

AB said...

Toe knee: Yes I did. And I don't think you should complain about good assignments. Remember Amsterdam?

Acidrocks: That's true:-) So you were a journo?

couchpotato said...

You have an icy cool life, AB! How I envy you!

Sonia said...

cos i don't wanna live there. i've been on my own for the past 6 years. it's hard getting used to listening to parents again. *grin*

shyam said...

One of my good friends is in the trade and it is often laughable how the big labels source their material from India and all of us go to the US and buy the stuff from there, which is actually made in our backyards.

Some people I am glad to say just don't rub you up the wrong way

I am sure that was not meant the way it was written?

AB said...

Couchpotato: Don't. When I have to churn ideas constantly and finish stories on deadline, it is so not enviable.

Sonia: Ask me about it. I have been contemplating moving back home but the thought puts me off.

Codey: Ok fine no it was not meant that way. But it did get the meaning across na?

Jay said...

'Freshen up for cocktails and dinner' eh? Who cares if the lecturer was crap - the rest of it sounds amazing!

shyam said...

AB: I know, i know, but could not resist the deskie nitpick :)

BTW, unrelated point, if by some chance you were fond of long denim skirts while at ITO, I'd really have to shoot myself.

AB said...

Jay: It was, it was.

Codey: Oh shit. Me too. As in shoot myself. Give me an equivalent identification:-)

shyam said...

Okay, this is really freakily funny, because I used to have a monster of a crush on you around that time if the identifying factor is right, which is the reason for the shooting at self.

Meself is hardly noticeable anywhere other than for my very obvious malluness. I used to sit in the smaller online room on the third, I think we'd even dragged you in once for one of the uncensored shows, again, if I got the identification right.

Any tring tring yet?

A fool on the hill said...

The Horse & Hound episode was hilarious. But isn't "journalist with a sophisticated air" an oxymoron?

AB said...

Codey: Omigod!! I think yes. The world is indeed small. And it is reinforced on me in every way.

You were Aastha in the same room usually, isn't it?

Fool: Hey hey wait, who told you journos can't possess a certain modicum of sophistication. I protest!

shyam said...

AB: Yep, it is a tiny world, apparently I know some of motheater's friends too, people I've known from all the back home in college, without realising it. Inbreeding is all over the place in media. We need fresh blood! But nice to run into you here, it only proves once again that I am knucklehead when it comes to guessing.

Heheh.. yes, me and A were working out of the same room, though the way it has been put has an ominous sound to it ;-)

AB said...

Codey: Knucklehead when it comes to guessing? Hey what does that mean?

Fresh blood! Ask me about fresh blood. I am going out of my mind with babysitting.

And regarding A, missed out the with in the line. Sorry deskfreak;)

shyam said...

Knucklehead because I should have guessed who you were, esp after factoring out who all you could not be, but it totally escaped me that it could be you. Last time I tried this, I was working out which shop eM works with similar results. Obviously, being a snoop is not a career option for me :)

Well, the missing out part was not without reason and not quite a desk freak, more like a nitpick freak right now.

AB said...

Ok nitpick freak, ya you would not have made a great detective. Now I had dreams of being a first class snoop. It is a different thing that I decided to give this a go:)Which shop eM works with or which paper?

shyam said...

Umm.. I'd get killed for ratting on her, but she was ratted on by a college senior of hers from DT of all places. Behind laid back waters should be a good enough clue.

AB said...

I guess I know who u r talking about. ND right?

shyam said...

aye aye, it was dear good old ND only :D

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