Prasad Bidapa talks about his latest venture, The Virtual Runway, and the future of the industry
The pandemic has forced almost everyone into the virtual world. And while we’ve been able to work remotely, take museum tours online and make do with ordering in instead of eating out, all these alternatives come with their own set of limitations. However, Bengaluru-based fashion consultant, stylist and choreographer, Prasad Bidapa, sees this turn of events as an opportunity — one that allows him to reach a wider audience. Tapping into the growing popularity of virtual events and online streaming, Prasad is set to launch The Virtual Runway — a series of fashion shows conceptualised, choreographed and produced by him and his team of experts. “Like every other industry, fashion has also been hit hard by the pandemic and The Virtual Runway is an effort to bring it alive,” says Prasad.
While the first two episodes of the series, featuring Aviva Bidapa’s swimwear and Bangladesh-based Bibi Russell’s khadi and summer separates, have already been filmed, the following shows will be shot over the next few months. As social distancing continues to be the norm, Prasad clarifies that all precautions will be strictly followed. “We plan to shoot with four models each day, to ensure there are fewer people at a given time. And there will also be temperature checks and all other hygienic practices will be in play,” he says.
Aviva, who launched her label Aviva Swimwear a year ago, believes that the world of fashion is gearing up to move online in a big way. “The fashion industry is going to pivot into the online space slowly, but surely. I think it is important that we adapt and continue to showcase fashion for the world, to stay relevant, entertained and inspired,” she explains. Aviva has launched three collections so far, the first two were inspired by Hollywood and Japan, respectively, while the latest one is an ode to pop culture. “I wanted to tackle what was trending and put my own spin on it,” she shares.
Noted designer Bibi, known for her work with gamcha and khadi, will be showcasing her range of separates for the summer. An important feature of the series is that viewers can shop for their favourite outfit from the platform. “Typically, a fashion show will have about 200 guests, but when you put it online, the sky’s the limit. Another advantage is that audiences can see how the garments move and the way it fits the body, so when they decide to buy something from the collections, they will know exactly what they’re getting. The problem with online shopping is that it is static and not all clothes have hanger appeal. Some garments need to be worn to showcase how beautiful they are. For instance, if you’re trying to buy a sari, it would make a huge difference if one could see how it drapes and falls,” explains Prasad. In addition to getting as close an experience as possible to sitting on the front row, the episodes will also serve as inspiration for styling and beauty tips.
“Going forward, people will have no choice but to learn a new way of living their lives, and consequently the fashion conscious will have to learn a new way to shop,” he says signing off.
The fashion shows will stream on Prasad Bidapa’s social media pages, starting June 15.
Catch Indulge in conversation with Prasad Bidapa on our talk show, Better Living, on indulgexpress.com and our social media pages shortly.