The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Phew! Fashion slips through
- Police give clean chit to wardrobe malfunction

Mumbai, April 4: The greatest mystery vexing Maharashtra’s lawmakers has been cracked.

No, it’s not the farmer suicides dogging the state or the looming power crisis, but whether the wardrobes of Carol Gracias and Gauhar Khan malfunctioned by accident or design at the Lakme Fashion Week.

Carol’s bodice ' designed by Beenu Sehgal ' had come undone and Gauhar’s skirt ' designed by Lascelles Symmons ' had slipped off while they were strutting their stuff on the ramp last week.

Mumbai police today gave the fashion fraternity a clean chit, a day after they were put on the job by state home minister R.R. Patil on the insistence of Shiv Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe, BJP colleagues in tow.

“We told Carol and Gauhar that if they had complaints against anybody, the focus of investigations would change and police would not hesitate to book those guilty,” DCP, enforcement, Sanjay Aparanti, said.

“The designers, Beenu Sehgal and Lascelles Symmons, were apologetic about the incident.”

This morning, the two models and their designers as well as the show organisers were summoned to the crime branch headquarters at Crawford Market.

Carol and Gauhar were the first to be questioned, but both said they did not smell anything fishy. They did not hold anyone responsible nor did they want police intervention, they said.

Next, a 15-point questionnaire was handed to all those summoned. All were unanimous that the incident had been blown out of proportion by the media.

Symmons said she had told the cops that wardrobe malfunctions were a part and parcel of the fashion world. “It is sad that the fashion week is over, but all that people talk about it are the malfunctions.”

Sehgal said she had been designing clothes for 15 years and would not do “anything of this sort” intentionally.

“Ultimately, we look for business from all over the world. A wardrobe malfunction would be a hindrance to it. Why would I do it'” she said.

“The garment was not hooked properly. Carol was the eighth model during the ramp walk ' and this was the first garment she wore. So, this has nothing to do with the lack-of-time-for-changing-outfits theory. This was pure accident.”

Both Carol and Gauhar seemed to feel the same way. Asked her reaction, Carol told a TV channel: “Every time a shoe strap comes apart, you know your shoe strap does break, sometimes your hair, it’s blow dried, it falls, it’s just a bad day.

“It’s no one’s fault, no one’s to blame and as long as the show goes on, it’s all good.”

Gauhar said this was not the first time such a thing had happened. “It happens on a daily basis, sometimes a sari pleat comes off and no one seems to know'

“It happens every single day but just because it was fashion week and unfortunately it happened two days in a row, that’s why there’s been so much coverage.”

But the man on the street is angry. Not because of the obscenity alleged by the lawmakers or the ill effects on children, but with the rush to order a probe.

“Have they settled all the problems faced by the people' There are so many serious issues like farmer suicides, a looming power crisis' All they find to inquire into are fashion show fiascos,” a lawyer fumed.

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