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There is always a fashion week around the corner in some city in India. But with designers as over-worked and under-rested as the Indian cricket team, will this artistically sensitive community also do its mite to support Anna (Hazare) for the next ramp show?
There is no doubt that the anachronistically dressed Gandhian has effected a resurgence of retro and triggered a revalidation of white khadi for a new generation that should catapult him into the same league as the fashion world’s Anna (Wintour).
Indeed, thanks to him there has been an unexpected Indian contribution to the current international Autumn/Winter 2011-12 accent on ‘statement’ accessories as well. Though the dhoti Anna wears is yet to catch on with a motorcycle and metro-rail habituated youth, his inscribed Anna topis (a 21st century recasting of the defunct headgear paradoxically named after a man who never wore it, Mahatma Gandhi) are undoubtedly the fashion statement of this season of discontent.
Thanks to its sleek silhouette and androgynous appeal (another A/W 2011-12 trend) the chances of it making an international splash are high, especially as it has potential for a seamless transition from couture to pret-a-porter.

Anna Hazare's fashion
Anna Hazare.

Divya Nair and Simki Dutta. The Indian fashion industry reacts to the anti corruption movement and tells us why they see Anna Hazare as a new icon.
A wise man once told me “You won’t realise the power of a stone lying on the road, until you get hit by it.”
Similarly, while most of us who had attended the Lakme Fashion Week had come there with a strong desire to cover the event and talk about the recent designs and collection doing the rounds, while a man called Anna Hazare had decided to fast unto death at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi.
At the Grand Hyatt in Mumbai, there were televisions on either sides of the corridor that kept the audience updated about the shows that were playing that day, besides random clips from last season about interviews from models, designers, stylists and celebrities about their experience and their take on fashion and fashionistas.
Camera men and journalists were all injected with an extra dose of adrenalin when they were bombarded by such buzz from all quarters leaving them no time to think, but act and report them back to their desks in time. Models and designers had to no time to breathe as they were shuttling between changing costumes, meeting buyers, giving interviews to the press etc
Behind these closed walls of a world that walked and talked all about fashion, most of us were unaware about the happenings elsewhere in the city. Needless to say, most of us, including me, had undermined the whole anti corruption movement that was gaining momentum in different parts of the city.
Following Anna Hazare’s arrest, the second day at Grand Hyatt had some surprise visitors who had absolutely nothing to do with fashion yet ensured that they set some trends right. All they did was spread the message of fighting against corruption and distributed some Gandhi caps. Soon, the caps became the new identity for people there.
Such was the impact that media representatives from TV channels who generally park themselves at leisure for the rest of the day till a celebrity lands up, stood up from their spots and rushed with their mics and other camera equipment along with camerapersons and photographers to find out how the fashion industry was reacting to the anti-corruption revolution.
Since it was a pretty unlikely event to happen at a fashion week, both media persons and fashionistas were caught unawares.



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