Prasad Bidapa’s new venture brings fashion shows online

The models are ready. The runway is set. So slip into those stilettos, dab on some lipstick and take your seat. It’s show time… in front of the computer. With everything going virtual, fashion shows too have followed suit. And fashion choreographer, consultant and stylist Prasad Bidapa is pleased with the development. It’s all about adapting and reinventing, he believes.

“With COVID-19 ensuring there are no shows, gathering or audience, it was imperative to move to an online platform,” says Prasad. Normally fashion shows have an audience of 250 to 300. But with an online show we can get 50,000 hits. So, it was a no-brainer, really, he says. That is why, he is currently setting up The Virtual Runway, a project that aims to stream fashion shows “at a device near you.” It is set to launch later this month but the ground work is underway.

Models sporting swimwear from Aviva Bidapa’s collection

Models sporting swimwear from Aviva Bidapa’s collection
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The show will have everything, right from a complete set/beautiful location to hair and makeup, stylists and models. The only aspect missing is the live audience. “At the end of each segment, you can directly connect to the online portal of whichever brand’s show you just watched,” explains Prasad. Virtual runways are a great way to start moving stock, he says.

To give viewers an idea of what to expect from The Virtual Runway, Prasad, along with daughter Aviva (designer and founder of Aviva Swimwear), has created a template that will go live on Thursday. “The whole video will be produced fresh. Right now, for the teaser we are using stock images from previous fashion shows. But when we start the shows, we will have fresh productions, shot from scratch”, says Aviva.

Each show can be customised depending on what the designer wants to do. For example, Aviva, who will be one of the first on the show, showcasing her line of swimwear, says, she likes to introduce her collections and talk the viewers through the process. “Since it’s a filmed process, a mistake can be re-shot,” adds Prasad, who has been part of the indutsry for four decades now.

A collection by Samanth Chauhan

A collection by Samanth Chauhan  
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A flagbearer for slow fashion, Prasad believes in the present scenario, it will come into its own. “It will be more appreciated and the culture of buying, using and throwing garments will go,” he says. The Virtual Runway will also highlight other aspects of fashion such as sustainability and upcycling. It is perfectly fine to repeat garments, Prasad reiterates, adding, “I have been proudly posting pictures of my repeated garments styled with maybe a different pair of shoes or kurta inside a jacket. You can wear a garment 10 times in a row and make it look different each time,” he says.

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