E-wearing or repeating red carpet outfits is something many celebrities have been warming up to in the past few years. The topic was brought to the attention of social media users once again last week, when Indian composer Ricky Kej posted a picture of himself wearing the same outfit to both the 2022 Grammy Awards and the ongoing Cannes Film Festival.
Ricky, an environmentalist who won the award for United Nations’ Global Humanitarian Artiste in addition to being a multiple Grammy-winner, cleverly used the international platform to bring attention to a cause close to his heart. Along with a picture of himself in a blue sherwani at both events, he posted the caption: “Fast fashion isn’t always fashionable... It’s time we consider our planet in this equation. Fashion Can Be Trendy Twice.” (sic)
It may not be an entirely novel concept. Princess Diana, one of the most influential fashion icons of the 20th Century, had done it as far back as the ’80s. In recent times, names like Kate Blanchett, Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lopez, and Diana’s own daughters-in-law—Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle—have made a case for giving statement designer garments more than one outing. However, in a world where information is coming to you from all directions, one is in constant need of reminders. That is why Ricky’s message is significant.
Sending a message
The Bengaluru-based musician is an influential name and his choices have an impact on a generation who let social media dictate their values. We asked a few designers to give us their thoughts on the topic. Delhi-based designer Ruchika Sachdeva, founder of Bodice, believes that carefully crafted garments deserve to be taken for a spin more often.
“It is quite unusual for people to re-wear event outfits and normalising it is a step in the right direction,” she tells us.While Ruchika stresses on the importance of craft, David Abraham, one half of designer duo Abraham & Thakore, brings the focus back to their impact on the environment. “In the context of all the discussions about sustainability, reducing waste and unnecessary extravagance, it’s a very important message. This business of throwaway clothes is brought in by fast fashion retailers,” he explains.
The celebs who are not afraid to step out in previously photographed outfits are known to get creative when it comes to accessorising. Some do their hair differently, some go with new jewellery, others alter their clothes to make an off-shoulder style a strapless number, etc.
For instance, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, first wore a pleated, soft lilac Alexander McQueen gown to a BAFTA event in 2011. While she paired it with a silver belt and matching bracelet over a decade ago, the second time, she wore it to the The Earthshot Prize Awards 2021 ceremony with a golden belt and left her wrists bare.
Ruchika says, “Accessorising with contemporary pieces immediately updates a slightly vintage outfit. Style is quite subjective and it is about finding that one piece that you can build your entire look upon.” David echoes Ruchika’s thoughts but also points out that building a wardrobe that hinges on timeless pieces is half the battle won.
“Something that is been worn over and over again can be styled differently with intelligence,” he says. Another name that comes to mind when one thinks of timeless garments is Urvashi Kaur. She says, “Celebrities like Tillotama Shome, Sonam Kapoor and Tisca Chopra have re-worn my clothes multiple times. I think any celeb who endorses re-wearing, especially at important red carpet events, is really walking the talk.”