The Case of Show Stoppers

Posted by on Dec 12 2016

It’s strange. Some believe that films influence fashion. Yet what films do not want is most wanted in fashion.

Yesterday actor Shah Rukh Khan went to meet Raj Thakrey to request him not to stop his show of his film Raees. A couple of months ago Karan Johar did the same for his film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. Both did not want ‘Show Stoppers.’

The analogy here may be misplaced. But I thought it would be interesting to play with the words ‘Show’ and ‘Stoppers’ to build a case in point that I staunchly believe in… that there should not be any showstoppers at fashion presentations, unless of course it’s a brand-sponsored showing where a designer is showing his/her collection and the brand ambassador makes an appearance. Here the fashion designer of course doesn’t have any say as the dough is put in by the brand concerned.

In normal cases I fail to understand why our fashion designers bring in actors – from A list to C list depending on their capacity to pay them – to their runways while making a collection presentations. I’ve always believed that if the intention is to show what they have made for the runway, and if they are confident that the collections are good enough, there is no need for them to drag these show stoppers to close their shows.

Yes I do understand the strategy. Newspapers today, for reasons I failed to fathom, gasp for movie actors for their pages. No offence to the movie stars here. I state this because every single day, columns after columns, these papers fill the space with the same actors who appear as show stoppers for some fashion designers. Then why such desperations to print the same actor again just because he or she appeared in a fashion designer’s show?

From a fashion designer’s or his/her PR agent’s point of view, it’s a well thought out strategy. They know some Editors are suckers for such pictures and the moment the designer brings in an actor, regardless of the status, the image will be printed. So, it works well for them. But are such tactics necessary?

It’s okay for an actor to be in the front row especially when he or she is a client or a friend of the fashion designer. This is what happens in such matured markets as New York, London, Milan and Paris. But here it’s just the opposite. Often, some fashion designers bring in a slew of actors and make them walk one after the other. Some bring in one and make her open the show. Most use them to ‘stop’ or ‘close’ shows (so, if the actor hasn’t been there the show would have continued endlessly like a runaway train, I wonder).

Some PR agents often send emails stating that certain actors will be the showstopper for their clients. Some even make it a point to call and tell me the same. And I tell them “So what?” I mean, how does it matter to me who the hell is the showstopper? I don’t even like the idea of a showstopper in the first place!

I feel, fashion designers should drop this idea. I don’t think good designers need showstoppers. I would like their collections tell the tale. Not the actor.

Imagine a day without these dramas on the runway; a day when you don’t see caravans parked outside the show venue; a day when shows starting on time as no-one is doing her last minute touch ups; a day when pure fashion fills the runway and the venue, and most importantly, a day when people come out of the show, they’re talking excitedly about the collection and not how nice the actor looked as he/she walked the runway…

That will be the day.


  • Principally I agree with u, Vinod..that collection should it self be so good that it is actually the showstopper.But having said that, rhe whole problem is that except some 5- 6 designers ..the media doesnt want to cover/ write about the collection until they have a big name opening or ending the show.It is actually a catch 22 situation. At the end of the day..designer wants good publicity and also buyers, this strategy of getting in a celebrity helps them get both…


      Precisely. Large part of the blame should go to the ignorant editors who print average or below average designer and his/her show stoppers.

  • Shahab Durazi

    Word! I’m with you 100% on this Vinod. Celebrities dilute the essence and distract and detract from the purpose of the presentation.


      Thank you Shahab. Coming from a designer of your standing, this means something to me.

  • Aaliya Singh

    I agree with you word by word. For a designer these days its more important to put up a high studded star as a show stopper rather than concentrating on putting up a great show to present their view and ideas through their clothes. And the hard working models are completely side lined and not well appreciated for their work if there’s a movie star as a show stopper. Its high time to stop such wannabe activities. Kudos vinod! Spoke the truth!


      Thanks Aaliya for reading and putting your comment. Do continue to read my posts and express your views.

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