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Beauty in Love with its Beast


In this issue vocal fashion critic and renowned entrepreneur Kanika Bhatia asserts that anything new is often ugly because beauty is predictable in the industry.

Fashion, just like all beautiful things, has had a long run, with no end in sight thankfully. However, often we seem to stretch our definition of beauty. As much as it lies with the beholder; some do not make the cut and it’s high time we accepted it. Here’s a quick read on why being heinous is so hot right now!

For someone from the industry, awkward shapes and clumsy cuts might make it to my wardrobe sometimes. I prefer to call it research, but between you and me, it’s as much as a white elephant as those $500 clogs celebrities are donning currently. New York Fashion Week had the world’s eyes on it, bewildered may I add, on most occasions at not just the lack of wearability but flimsiness of fashion falling all over the runway, literally. Why though? Why is ugly fashion attracting the eyes more and more? As the much revered shoe designer, Manolo Blank, puts it “I think these very big organisations put huge pressure on a designer to produce something of the moment rather than focusing on something should be enduring. It should transcend fashion and trends.”

While women’s wear has been sweeping the floor or 5th dimension above the models head (not in a good way, may I add), men’s fashion is relatively protected for now. We understand how fashion since years has been about self-reflection, raising awareness about issues that surround us and even provocation. But are we stretching it too much with pushing novelty and out of box ideas in young minds? We often blame age old designers for not bringing freshness in the stores but limiting it to the ramp, but when was fashion about making a mark with deliberately awkward or epidemic fashion!

From Cavalli to Zuhair Murad, celebrity designers known for celebrating feminity and traditional style of female body, their approach to sensual fashion has been applauded for generations. With sexuality and sexual orientations becoming more fluid by the day, designers seem to be influenced by chaos, thus trying to sell hurly burly clothing. But kids, ugly is not sensual. Isn’t the idea of good fashion to make you feel more beautiful after all?

However, we have another flip side to the story. Beauty is boring (picture a lot of designers nodding their heads as I say that.) As Miuccia Prada said in 2012: “Ugly is attractive, ugly is exciting. Maybe because it’s newer.” From casting unconventional models (kudos for that by the way) to loud prints, clumpy shoes and odd headwear, we are challenging the norms. Anything new is often ugly, because beauty is predictable in our industry. Let’s not forget that super thin eyeglasses, skinny jeans and crocs were considered jolts on the eye for a long time. Currently they are a must have for anyone contesting trends. Maybe deduct the crocs, they are still a terrible idea worn by really smart people. Maybe the idea is to create something ugly and make others fall in love with it?

Either way, we wouldn’t be anywhere if we didn’t push our boundaries for beauty. Taming the beast and putting a bow on it might just be a better approach.