After a Banglaore-based designer came under criticism for her recent spring fashion photo-shoot, showcasing a model in a rural setting, those in the fashion world say designers should desist from showcasing poverty as a theme even as they exercise artistic freedom. Deepika Govind had shot a model wearing her new fashion line - a blue outfit- with two villagers squatting beside her in a rural backdrop. The designer, says in her over 15 year-long career in fashion industry she has been recognised for innovations in fabric and style using local traditions and her intention was not to portray poverty through the shoot.
"The very collection from which this visual is taken from is an ode to the weavers of the town of Ilkal in Karnataka, which continues to uphold and make alive a 1400-year-old craft. "It uses traditional fabric from this very town in contemporary silhouettes and thus generates livelihoods for the said weavers of this town and many other such towns," says a spokesperson of Deepika. While the vibrant colours and rich heritage of the country are often sources of inspiration for fashion houses and designers globally, several of them who have received flak in the past for juxtaposing poverty and fashion. An Indian edition of an international fashion magazine had some time ago stirred up a debate when it showed villagers modelling for a luxury house wearing its high-end clothes and accessories. Previously, a print advertisement displaying a pretty model sitting among luggage and railway porters was at the receiving end globally for being in poor taste.