The jury of The Showcase tells Khushbu Kirti the must-haves in the aspirants to catch the eye
Blenders Pride Fashion Tour is back with the second edition of The Showcase in association with Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI). With over 16 years of presence, the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour has spearheaded fashion and established a definitive name in the industry. This year, opening up a world of avenues for budding talent, The Showcase, a platform for discovering hidden talent, will catapult the journey of the aspirants in a two-month talent hunt, giving them a platform to showcase their creative expression and owning it with pride.
The event will witness the coming together of some of the biggest names in the fashion fraternity as judges, such as designer extraordinaire Gaurav Gupta, Bollywood actor Neha Sharma, celebrity stylist Shaleena Naithani, celebrity photographer Rahul Jhangiani, leading fashion and lifestyle influencer Masoom Minawala and FDCI President Sunil Sethi, who will bring with them both credibility and influence on the table. Together, the jury and the aspirants will curate a remarkable journey to bring alive their own distinct versions of pride as an expression of success.
In conversation with the aforementioned esteemed judges, we received some interesting responses. We asked them what their take on the crop of aspirants for the second edition of The Showcase is.
Gaurav replied, “I am expecting the next gen designers to be proud of who they are, be original, to be able to express themselves and be inquisitive. I am expecting their individuality, passion and curiosity to show through their craft. I am looking for an individual who will echo the vision for the platform and help us redefine the future of the fashion industry.
President of FDCI, Sethi, to the same question, said, “The Showcase is an inclusive platform with the objective of nurturing and giving voice to budding talent across the country. As India’s leading platform to discover talent across four categories fashion designers, shutterbugs, models and content creators, The Showcase will open a world of new avenues for the aspirants and redefine their career path, by giving a chance to the winning talent to showcase their work in the next edition of Blenders Pride Fashion Tour.”
Sethi added, on how the fashion tour is helping budding talent, “The Showcase, powered by the FDCI, will help aspirants hone their skills as there is mentoring at different steps. We will guide them through the process at different stages through a 360 degree plan, hence making it the perfect platform for all the young and budding talent.”
Minawala commented, “I want the aspirants to embrace their individuality and uniqueness now more than ever. I would love to see that come through with all the participants, I think we’re in this age of comparison, we’re trapped in this age of looking at other people’s work, ideas and innovations, when actually all we need to do is look within, and I would love to see that reflect in the participants’ work.”
Jhangiani expressed, “I am looking forward to meeting contestants who are true to their work and make sure they stand out from the rest. As a jury member, I would want the winner to have the ability to capture beyond what the naked eye can see and understand that the camera is the extended eye, and it opens up your mind to things you are not able to see. I want the young shutterbugs to understand the depth of a photograph and how it narrates a story. Keeping all this in mind, the winner should also be able to translate the identity of the person behind the lens in the photograph. A photograph should always echo the personality and aura of the subject or the individual.”
To these bouquet of unique responses, Sharma added, “I am looking for individuals with the right attitude and confidence, that’s the most important thing when you need to seize the stage. I would like them to have a certain aura of conviction and flair and at the same time a sense of humility. The contestants should be driven by passion and fire to overcome every obstacle that will come their way. The fashion industry isn’t a cake walk and we want the future designers, models, shutterbugs and content creators to follow their dream and collectively redefine the future of fashion. Through the partnership with Blenders Pride Fashion Tour The Showcase, I want to support the path breakers who will dare to break the stereotypes and stand out for their boldness.” We, further, had a heart-to-heart with celebrity stylist Nathani.
One of the core themes of Blenders Pride Fashion Tour The Showcase is ‘My Identity. My Pride.’ How would you want the aspirants to express their individuality and identity through their styles? What are you expecting the young creative minds to exhibit on the fashion showcase?
Blenders Pride Fashion Tour has unveiled the second edition of The Showcase in collaboration with FDCI, with the objective of nurturing talent. I personally want the aspirants to express their individuality through their unique design aesthetics and their passion and understanding of the elements required to create diverse looks – and that’s what I’m expecting the young creative minds to exhibit on the fashion showcase.
I am looking for someone with a wide lens of what is in trend and understands that every individual has a unique sense of style which needs to be taken in consideration. Through the partnership with Blenders Pride Fashion Tour The Showcase, I want to support the disruptors, who are not only authentic and true to themselves, but also dare to break the norms and create looks that are unconventional and bold. I am honoured to be part of the jury for The Showcase and I’m very excited to meet a lot of young, fresh talent from this country.
Your view on the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour The Showcase? What’s your take on the initiative of bringing in budding designers and models and creating a pathway for them to be a step closer to achieving their dream?
Blenders Pride Fashion Tour has been a definitive voice in the fashion and design world. In collaboration with The Showcase will be a breakthrough opportunity for budding talent across the length and breadth of the nation to hone their skills. The Showcase will open a world of new avenues for the aspirants and redefine their career path.
How much, according to you, does it benefit the environment when an outfit is repurposed or recycled?
In India, things were never disposable. People would buy clothes and throw them away. We have only recently become more sustainable in the last few years. The whole fashion spectrum of this world is ever-changing, growing and evolving, every single day. The essential R’s when it comes to sustainable clothing is reuse, repurpose, reinvent and these will change the way one looks at fashion.
The small changes that we alter in our lives as individuals will make the biggest impact on the environment and create a monumental impact on the fashion industry. In my opinion, sustainable development is not an option but the only path to the future.
How has Covid-19 affected the fashion industry, according to you?
Covid-19 has impacted the fashion industry across the world in a lot of ways. However, I would like to focus on things have instead been possible only because of the gradual shift to a ‘virtual world’. Digitalisation, for instance, has allowed aspiring and budding talent to showcase their skills and craftsmanship at a much larger platform. I am thrilled to be associated with The Showcase, a platform which will further give voice to talent across the nation. With massive reach and connectivity, the digital world has made it easier for the upcoming talent to connect with the relevant audience and build credibility.
Being an athleisure model yourself, would you prefer fitness to be taken into account while styling?
I feel like fitness should be taken into account while styling. I just feel like fitness is an important thing that we should have as part of our lives. It’s not only about being thin and staying fit. And I’ve always said this for myself — it’s such a great thing for my mind. It takes away my anxiety. And I think we have such stressful jobs so, that hour in the day is just mine, where I focus on something that I really love to do.
You’ve styled the most prominent actors in the past, is there a particular instance you enjoyed the most and would like to recount?
I think the most fun I’ve had is when I went to Fashion Week with Deepika, it felt like it was just so much fun. It was like a little girl’s trip that we took. And also working on Cocktail with Anaita, and styling the entire film, I think it was one of the most memorable experiences. We had a great time. I had one of my best friends on the film with me. And I think we did some great work. I really have learned a lot from Anaita and Homi. And I don’t think I would want to do anything else in my life, and I truly am grateful.