It is understood that all forms of creative expression come with their fair share of criticism but what merit does that criticism really hold? How much impact should it really have on creatives and in this instance, designers? Two powerhouses of the Pakistani fashion world discussed the purpose of critics and the power of their opinion.
Although some would consider critics necessary for audiences to gain an objective opinion, the argument still prevails to how plausible their observation actually is. During the most recent session of LIVE With HSY, he pointed out that a lot of fashion designers’ work looks identical to one another’s and asked Perwani how critics could tackle that problem.
This led Deepak Perwani to question the value of that criticism and the critics themselves. He responded by asking, “Fashion critics… who? Are these critics or are these people who just want money?”
He continued by stating “I think 80% of the reviews are all favourable to the people that they specifically like. To be honest with you, this is a general comment that has nothing to do with all of our journalist friends. As far as the critics are concerned, if they knew what they were talking about, in the last 15 or 20 years they would’ve gotten a soap right and they still haven’t. I think 80% of the time they have no idea what they’re talking about.”
HSY further went on to ask Deepak Perwani what he thinks about critics and journalists. He responded by addressing how fashion is actually supposed to be evaluated, “the fact of the matter is, if you don’t do a cover shoot editorial how would you know what’s in trend? If you’re going to put every shoot in your magazine or your newspaper, which is being shot by the designer and put into your newspaper and they’re paying for their printing then what is real fashion?” Perwani continued by stating that a fashion is defined by what the editorial/cheif editor decides and that is the marker of what is going to be in fashion that season, further questioning the purpose and credibility of critics.
He proceeded to state how fashion designers should actually be treated, “A job of a journalist is to look at that designer, see their potential and also put a light hand on the designer so the designer can move forward.
You nurture a designer. You don’t kill a designer just because you don’t like him. You don’t emasculate a designer’s collection in the first go just because you don’t see the potential.”
As the conversation progressed, HSY continued to ask Deepak Perwani’s perspective on the topic. Perwani responded by stating that just because journalists have the power of the pen and the paper to fill with words, they still need to understand that what they’re actually critcising are people’s businesses and their livelihoods. “Why is there so much antagonism, why can’t it be done in harmony, where you can believe in someone’s product and you can give them a chance.”
When reflecting on this debate, what do you think as a viewer? Should the opinions of critics be held high or do designers need to be more accepting when their work is evaluated?
For all those wanting to watch the complete session, it is now available on HSY’s IGTV and will soon be available on his Youtube Channel.