United colours of Bollywood

Recently, I bumped into a website called www.celebwears.com, managed by Vatsal Seth (the guy who was a side-kick to the DC automobile in Tarzan: The Wonder Car). The site as the name spells retails merchandise, clothes worn by stars (hopefully dry cleaned) and even production items and props used in films. So, everything from Kareena's wine-colored dress from the movie Main Aur Mrs Khanna to Bipasha's gym wear in All the Best to Ranbir's doll from the movie Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani are all just a mouse-click (and several hundred dollars) away. With a customer base predominantly including wealthy NRIs who want to buy a piece of their desi filmdom, this could just seem like the next big idea?

But the idea of this post is to not speculate whether Vatsal Seth has a whole new career (or a career to begin with) or not. What is of concern is that almost every film that has released in the last few years has released a fashion line to promote the outfits worn in the film (from Wake up Sid to Kites). And in a world where Katrina sells a Barbie doll styled like her, the question is, are we giving in to merchandise mayhem?

Luckily, in more than a few cases, these in-film designer labels have hardly managed to make it beyond the mannequins and their sole purpose has been to promote the film in question rather than the other way around.

This is an odd phenomenon, since films have unofficially dictated fashion trends over time. Right from the Salman's 'FRiEND' cap in Maine Pyar Kiya to Shahrukh's Polo Sport tee in Kuch Kuch Hota Hain to Aamir's 'a-ring-for-every-finger' in Ghulam, all made epic statements and were proudly flaunted by fans everywhere. But now that these products are being officially retailed, why are they less marketable than before? This says something about us as people. We believe imitation is the best form of flattery but if someone points out that wearing Deepika's tee doesn't magically hide our paunch, we're not wearing it. So, the conclusion: stars can dictate fashion but if they try to market it, we become too conscious about aping them.

Come to think of it, Mogambo's bling throne could replace our lazy recliners any day, what say?