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A Reality Check of The Fashion Industry

3 mins read

Author: Meher Castelino
Genre: Satire
Publisher: Self Published on Amazon (Print and Kindle version)
Pages: 160

This book opens with the disclaimer about resemblence to any person living or otherwise, but those who have an inside view on the fashion industry will recognise the caricatures that Meher Castelino sketches out. The author gently peels the mask off the apparently glamorous fashion industry, letting the reader in on the ghory realities, with a laugh and a chuckle. Meher has neatly segmentised the content into five parts, each with several short conversational Q & As, which are hilarious, and at the same time, accurate in highlighting a different malaise or issue. While the designers, old and new, are the popular protagonist in many segments, the author has not spared the pretentious members of her own tribe – the members of the media. There are  the ignoramous fashion reporters, the pompous editors of fashion magazines, the front-row mongering journalists, the celebrity smitten writers et al.

The narrative in its conversational format talks about the various issues of filmy show-stoppers, over-priced bridal wear, mushrooming 2-day Fashion ‘Weeks’ , plagiarism, chasing sponsors, selection process of fashion week organisers, the craze to participate in foreign shows, outfit – borrowing celebrities, going on to tackle every unglamorous aspect that face the fashion designer, the model, the stores, the organiser and whoever else is out there in this business.

Meher Castelino has practically witnessed the birthing of the business of fashion in India, as an insider all along, in different roles as model, beauty pagent winner, fashion journalist, columnist, examiner, as well as board member at several fashion insititutes. This gives her the rare vantage point, which she uses here in ‘Fashion Musings’ as she picks out the fakery and points to the deep rot setting in, albeit all with a funny tweak in her narrative. This makes the book an essential read for the many starry-eyed youngsters who have enrolled at the hundreds of fashion institutes in the country, perhaps smitten by the perception of glamour and glitz.

The book is an easy read, beautifully embellished with fashion sketches by Aniket Satem, which are in colour in the online Kindle version and black and white for the print. With its racy, witty writing style, and easy readability in good font size and quality paper, Fashion Musings is the recommended reading material for journeys, lazy evenings, bed times. Would not be surprising if soon this book is adapted for a film version and serialised for an OTT platform. It would be a first of its kind.

This book is reviewed by Neelima Agrawal

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