Sunday, 27 February 2011

All that glitters is not gold...

A Lamborghini is always an absolute head-turner, an orange one more so, and one parked outside the DLF Emporio mall in Delhi entrance leaves you completely awestruck..

For a self-confessed mall rat like me, it was becoming a matter of intense trepidation that I had not visited the luxury malls in Delhi. I finally made time, literally on the last day of my long stay in Delhi and strode into DLF Emporio.The pride of Delhi, supposedly its what makes Delhi cool these days..a sign of the times, a bastion of India's progress and prosperity.

Malls in India are such security fortresses, you are frisked everytime you get in, it makes me wonder how people are so determined to go to them still. Anyway, the Emporio is certainly a high security zone, with x-ray machines and security officers who speak to you in accented English.

Right, security check done and my first stop is as always, Gucci. As I enter the store, I overhear this pre-teen boy asking the salesperson "do you have this shoe in my size?" Unfortunately, they don't...but really, are Gucci shoes for your average pre-teen?

The Fendi store was full, everyone needs a Fendi spy bag of course...

I continued strolling about, making regular stops at Rohit Bal, JJ Vallaya, Tarun Tahiliani and all the scions of Indian fashion, but when I saw a sari at Abu Jani Sandeep that retailed at a price equivalent to the annual income of many Indians, I began the wonder what the whole point of luxury was.

But then how different is this from a trip to Selfridges or Harrods? Why am I not really shocked at the price tag of an Alexander McQueen gown? Why am I perfectly comfortable with the people in a Channel showroom in Paris, while the ones in Delhi seem so out of place?

Cut to Burberry, there's a sale sign on, perhaps I can find a steal after all. Women of all shapes and sizes are clamouring to buy a Mac...or maybe even an umbrella, of course must haves in the relatively rain free Delhi...

As I walked out empty handed from Burberry, I began to wonder really, who are these people? Where did they come from? Why the mad rush to buy anything "designer"?

As my true-blue Delhi friends Mohit and Amrita say, but thats how it has always been. The Delhi crowd was always rich, always driven to splurging; its just that people have just graduated from buying gold and diamonds to LV bags...Or maybe it is because in today's day and age (malls, access to information et al) luxury has become democratised; What was once just the vanguard of the rich and famous is now accessible to the commoner;

As I drove out of DLF Emporio and turned around the corner, I couldn't help but notice the cliched slum with rags serving as walls, leaving a bad taste in my mouth...


  1. I agree that the rich always splurged (what is hte point of being rich otherwise?) but then I question whether: Gold, diamonds = LV bags??
    Certainly not economically...

  2. I like the phrase "luxury is democratized". True, people are more brand aware and brand conscious than they ever were. However, I agree with Vidya that splurging on designer bags is a wasteful whereas spending on gold is an investment.