Tag Archives: fashion industry

Celebrity Fashion Tips For Women

The Indian fashion industry is leaving no stone unturned to position themselves amongst the best designers of the world. Looking back at the history of head gears, one will realise that these are very much in trend on the Indian runways as are in the European fashion industry. “Accessories tell the best stories….be it the belt, bag or headgear. Clothing have a universal influence, the difference in each culture of time frame can only be justified by the styling or the accessories.” This is what the ace designer Suneet Verma has to say when we asked him about the latest trend of larger than life headgears on Indian runways.

Nida Mahmood whose collection, ‘High on Chai’ made big news because of the larger than life headgears said, They are set according to the mood of the collection. Since my collection was targeting the common man, I portrayed headgears like black crow, tea kettle; etc.” Most designers confessed that the whole idea behind these huge and grand headgears is to weave the collection well. It enhances the look of the collection and helps to tell a story. But few of them also accepted that these act as a perfect visual treat when seen on the ramp and create a style statement of sorts.

Theses massive designs are not only creating waves among the famed designers but are also impressing budding designers. Props always add that extra zing to the whole collection. Varun Bahl commented, “I showcased headgears in my couture collection. I would say, the credit for these innovative headgears goes to Little Shilpa (accessory designer)”. Sometimes the ideas are totally freakish when it comes to headgears. There was a time when designers used to have fun creating awkward shoes and hats and now it looks like theyve changed their vision and moved on with odd ones.

Suneet Verma throws caution to the wind, It’s important to be true to your inspiration and be very well researched in the kind of accessories and headgear one wants to show…because it can be misleading for the audience. Also never use headgear for the sake of it, it has to work in balance with the garment and compliment it”. The designers who have brought in this trend have diverse option when it comes to making large and huge headgears. They can go really wild while hunting for the techniques and materials to create those amazing head pieces, “the best material would be one that is gentle to sculpt and mould and wouldn’t be too heavy as it can be uncomfortable for the model” directed Suneet. Materials can range from a kettle, a telephone, newspaper crafted in any shape, usage of beads, feathers, Indian jewellery pieces, trays, vibrant handmade sheets, biscuit packets, jute ropes, cardboards, wires, colourful threads, aluminium glasses and many more.

Though we see a lot of experiments with the headgears on the ramp, how do the models cope with these huge creations on their head? Nida Mahmood opines, “I don’t think, they have any problem, in fact I think models are very much open to new experiments and creations. Models are very supportive and even they like to try out something new and unique.” It is pretty much clear that headgears are more visual than functional. But nothing lost at the end of the day. The wearability of these pieces may or may not be justified, but they sure add that X factor to the show which works wonders for the media frenzy. The bottom line is, if you have them in your runway show, you are bound to make it to the front page next day, even if you don’t have a celebrity showstopper.

Environmental And Social Standards In The Fashion Industry

Environmental, social and ethical pressures on the global textiles and fashion sector emerged in Europe in the early 1980s. The main driver was consumer concern over the safety of the materials. However in parallel with this trend, a minority group of ethical consumers demanded chemical-free and low environmental impact clothing and fashion goods. This resulted in the European and later the US organic labeling system being extended to include criteria for clothing and textiles, such as organic cotton. As of 2007, the sector was the fastest growing part of the global cotton industry with growth of more than 50% a year. With reference to safety standards, primarily addressing consumer concern over chemicals in textiles, the Oeko-Tex standard has become highly popular in the industry. Although unknown to consumers, It tests for chemicals such as flame retardants in clothes and categorizes goods according to their likely exposure to humans (e.g. baby clothes must adhere to the strictest standards for chemicals). Thus the issue of chemicals in clothing has become largely one of liability risk control for the industry with the consumers obviously expecting products to pose no risk to their health. Organic and eco fashion and textiles attracts a far smaller, but fast growing group of consumers, largely in Western Europe and Coastal US.

Of far greater concern to the global fashion sector is the issue of worker welfare. The issue was highlighted by pressure groups such as Global Exchange in the US targeting Levis and Nike and others.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s anecdotal evidence began emerging from labor activists in the US and Europe concerning the supply chains and overseas factories of leading US and European multinationals. A key target was the world’s leading maker of denim jeans Levi Strauss, but more significantly Nike, the world’s largest sports shoe marketing firm. Global Exchange launched its Nike Anti Sweatshop campaign, focusing on the firms sourcing in China and Indonesia.

Issues included child labor, minimum wages, working hours and employee benefits. Activists argued that such issues should not differ too widely from standards mandatory in the West, while Nike argued at the time that differing national economic and social conditions dictated different standards globally. A good deal of negotiations and stakeholder meetings led to a generally accepted code of practice for labor management in developing countries acceptable to most parties involved. The SA 8000 emerged as the leading industry driven voluntary standard on worker welfare issues. SA 8000 supporters now include the GAP, TNT and others and SAI reports that as of 2008, almost 1 million workers in 1700 facilities have achieved SA 8000 certification. Such a certification requires investment in the process but also more significantly in changing labor practices such as wage structures. It is clearly being driven by large US and European multinationals that may require certain suppliers to gain certification.

The Fair Trade movement has also had a significant impact on the fashion business. The standard combines a number of ethical issues of potential concern to consumers environmental factors, fair treatment of developing country suppliers and worker welfare. The Fair Trade label has show explosive growth.

Albeit on a very small scale and not always at the top end of the fashion industry, many niche brands have emerged which promote themselves primarily on sustainability grounds People Tree in the UK states that it creates Fair Trade and organic clothing and accessories by forming lasting partnerships with Fair Trade, organic producers in developing countries. Leading fashion journal Marie Claire ranked its top 10 eco brands in a recent issue. The key issues remain chemicals in clothing (certified by organic and Fair Trade labels), worker treatment (certified by SA 8000 and Fair Trade) and increasingly mainstream environmental issues such as climate change. The Carbon Reduction Label verifies a products cradle-to-grave carbon footprint, although is not specific to clothing. Mainstream brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, H&M and Zara have been slower to make firm commitments on the full rage of ethical issues due to the difficulties of switching their supply chains and products lines completely in favor of organic or Fair Trade certified or other standards and norms. They are however, moving slowing to ensure they capture the market if it becomes significant the worlds largest fashion brand Louis Vuitton recently acquired a small eco fashion label. It is clear, however from the example of Nike and Levis, however that certain issues are here to stay, such as a demand by Western consumers that leading brands manage the issue of worker welfare in their supply chain properly.