I was completely underdressed. The elegant saris and stylish suits outshined my dark jeans and polo. The venue continued to overwhelm me. Large ornamental chandeliers hung across the ceiling while the massive spotlight-decorated front stage gleamed onto the audience. Cameramen and their assistants fought for floor space, aiming to get the best view of the show. Groups of men and women anticipating this highly popularized event started filling their seats. Whispers debating which Bollywood actor would be making a short cameo started emerging.
And I felt clueless. I was standing in the middle of the entire spectacle with no idea on what was really going on. I was taken aback by the fancy decorations, clothes, and sophisticated ambiance. My simple and apparently obvious questions prompted smirks from the security guards and confirmed their suspicion that I was a newcomer. Through the chaotic traffic of people, I eventually found my seat and briefly scanned the pamphlet. The lights dimmed and the show began.
I was at the India Bridal Week fashion show held at the Grand Hyatt Mumbai Hotel. As fashion stylists who started their own company called The Wardrobist, Aastha Sharma (my older sister but technically my cousin) and her business partner Mohit Rai invited me to this show. Aastha and Mohit styled the models during the first half of the show. Given my extensive knowledge and expertise in bridal fashion, expensive jewelry, and designer heels, I had no reason to go. However, I felt it was important to support my sister and Mohit.
My front row seat gave me an up-close view of the entire show. For the next 90 minutes, models filled the walkway wearing stunning bridal outfits and dripping in expensive jewelry. I appreciated the beauty that stood right in front of me. My neighbors impressed me with their vast fashion intellect – I kept my mouth shut in these conversations. But that did not matter as I was enjoying myself just watching the show. Furthermore, I was a shocked and amused to hear many of the cameramen cat-calling to the models and yelling loudly at them to pose for an extra second.
Halfway through the show, the main attraction entered. Saif Ali Khan. Cheers and screams inundated the crowd. His white suit contrasted the 12 models surrounding him who were covered in black. He was not as tall as I expected. His task involved taking pictures next to a flat screen TV that was lowered from the ceiling, highlighting that his role in the show was to advertise the product. Even though his appearance lasted at most two minutes, its fun to say that I saw a Bollywood actor up close. It would have been more captivating for the male-dominated audience if Kareena Kapoor was with him. Or if it was just Kareena. Yeah, that would have been better.
At the end of this two-hour enormous, posh, and expensive show, I can confidently say that I still do not know anything about fashion. Or at least, in regard to the level of fashion depicted at this event. It was an arbitrary, yet entertaining evening. Let me know if any of you want to go to one when you are in Mumbai!