Rajesh Pratap Singh is known for doing things differently, right from his beautifully crafted clothing to the camera-shy persona, the designer has done things very differently compared to other Indian designers. For his Spring Summer 2014 campaign, the designer has used "models" that are representative of normal people. The watchman in his factory and his gym instructor for example are part of the campaign.
“I have, since the inception of my label in 1997, avoided professional models, especially the chocolate-faced, beefed-up boys who are quite quotidian,” says Singh. “I wanted intelligent and intellectual faces that have a certain unexplained purity and exude rectitude.”. The designer prefers to use musicians and arists as models. He vene managed to convince photographer Prabuddha Dasgupta to be his model for the campaign.
About his catwalk show, he said, “I wanted a diverse mix. Most people think that designers are obsessed with beautiful bodies. A lot of musicians are my clients and this prodded me to do a rock ‘n’ roll show, in which I replaced the pretty boys with real men.”
This is a trend that has been on the rise amongst the Indian fashion fraternity. Some years ago, other designers like Sanjay Garg used normal people rather than conventional models for his show. “Whenever I see a model, I feel that she won’t wear my sari in real life as she has no connection with the product,” says Garg. “And a lot of buyers wonder whether the creation that looks good on a model will look equally good on them or not. When real people, who may be size 10 or 14, model the clothes, you feel that the collection is for everybody.” The designer adds, “Real and regular people add freshness to the shoot as they possess a unique body language. I often see photographers telling models, ‘keep your hair forward’, ‘tilt your head like this’, ‘give me only a half smile’ or ‘hold your breath’, which I feel is synthetic and orchestrated. But with real women, who don’t understand camera tricks, their original, uncut, raw personality shines through.”
Pic: Rajesh Pratap Singh Website, Spring Summer 2014 Collection