Wear My Face
She walked into the room, with her sari pallu following behind her, like a cherished photo album in tow. It was her convocation at college and she decided to have all those memories printed on her attire as a tribute. Of course, it became the talk of the party with everyone gushing around this piece of art, to see if their faces featured onthe fabric than anything else. It’s amazing how technology allows us to emote in mobility. Then again, it’s not like she can wear this sari at another celebration now. That’s a given, because who else will understand its sentiment. So she does the only thing she can do – turn it into a quilt. In this way she diluted her innovation on a blanket – something that has been done to land’s end since digital print on cloth came into existence.
People have tired of putting their faces on mugs, stationery, furnishings and food, or even of those they wish to flatter by tattooing objects with their photographs. If we must insist on putting a picture on things, the neoteric age demands it be done in an ingeniously novel manner. The 1980s had seen an influx of photographs on t-shirts, which somehow became the coolest way to profess your love, express yourself. When it got too much, it became something that awkwardly social people did, like goofy dads, geeky teens, funny grandpas.
The first time anyone really went all the way with ‘digital-narcissism’ in India was when fashion designer Prashant Verma dared to launch his debut collection in 2007.It had his face on black dresses glaring back at you. In fact, even Verve decided to put some of its iconic cover images from its last 100 issues on a TarunTahiliani shift. Could we term this as borderline egotism? Perhaps. Not for the pallu innovator though – hers was affection. Okay, maybe with a tad touch of pomposity.
As fads have a way of reappearing, let’s go back to the age-old t-shirts. How can we ever forget the effortless Ryan-Culkin stunt. Hollywood heartthrob Ryan Gosling, and Macaulay Culkin of Hollywood’s Home Alone fame hijacked the Internet with their spectacular t-shirt act: Ryan Gosling wearing a t-shirt with Macaulay Culkin wearing a t-shirt with Ryan Gosling wearing a t-shirt with Macaulay Culkin…. Now suddenly everyone wants to pull off something as ‘cool’ as this, and the trend is here to stay…for a while. Does this mean that wearing people’s faces is the new crop-top again?