From watching our favourite women of Sex and The City attend fashion week dressed to the nines to seeing the stereotypical FROW snobbery unfold in the movie Fashion, we learnt that all eyes aren’t just on the runways. The fashion scene may have evolved to include a more diverse set of people occupying the coveted seats but the unswerving hype around their looks continues to motivate them to dress up and how.
The front row, which used to be hyper-exclusive is now welcoming new takers as the fashion industry continues to expand. This also means there is a whole new perspective coming to the FROW, which often involves being dressed in the designer whose show you’re attending. With FDCI x Hyundai India Couture Week 2023 having concluded, it’s safe to say the row with the best camera positions and the most active IG feeds, was also brimming with possibly as many looks as the runway.
In unique silhouettes and intricately detailed, often returnable outfits, sit the fashion editors, influencers, stylists, actors and guests of the designer, watching the exhibit with their discerning eyes. As surprising as it sounds, there indeed is a dress code for that!
Trust these fashion influencers, on top of their front row fashion game, to decode it for you.
“From what I've observed, the front rows have really taken on a whole new dimension. It seems to have shifted from mere conformity to becoming a canvas for self-expression. Sarah Jessica Parker is an absolute timeless icon. And, I really have to give props to Julia Fox and Cardi B for their outrageously amazing fits. They're proof that when it comes to fashion, rules are meant to be broken. Fashion shows are like stepping into a world where style is the language and you're contributing to that dialogue. I always make sure my outfit complements the essence of the brand's show. It's a way of showing my appreciation for the designer's vision while staying true to my own style, of course. One rule for me is to avoid wearing outfits that could cause any inconvenience to others.”
“I feel like the front row crowd has evolved a lot. I think initially fashion weeks were a lot more exclusive. You know, it was super tight, like for fashion insiders and clients. And then I think it started opening up to more and more people. My take is to always kind of adding an edge because it is Fashion Week which is the time you can dress up and make it look different from your everyday usual stuff. Anything cool, anything extra really works. I feel it's a great time to express your style. You can go all out and do some really fun stuff.”
Mitali Sagar Patel
“Choosing the right look is very important to me and I prefer to find something that speaks to me rather than just gets attention. And then you accessorise to perfection. Now that doesn’t mean go OTT; the final look has to represent both you as a person and the brand, so I choose with care. I have worn a lehenga too! A no-no for me is too much skin show. Nothing anyone can consider vulgar or crass will ever go on my body while attending a show. With regards to celebrities, Deepika Padukone always looks fantastic; she’s never too much nor too little.”
“I used to attend fashion shows as a teenager with my mum and of course, I didn’t know much back then but I do remember being in total awe of the 'glamorous' and well-dressed people around me. I don’t know if I’ve changed or the front row has but I don’t see a lot of personal style that excites me anymore. I think there’s a lot of pressure to look a certain way, especially now as a content creator. So a lot of times one just ends up looking like an advertisement. I think if you’re being dressed by a designer (which is now the case for most, and I consider a huge honour) just make sure you’re wearing the outfit and not the other way around. I think when one is uncomfortable in what they’re wearing it really shows, and for me that is a no-no.”
“Front row fashion isn’t just about showing up to a show anymore. It’s about actually wearing a creation from the showcasing designer and sometimes even from the actual collection being showcased. However there is an unsaid rule about FROW dressing, it needs to be practical and not OTT to a point where it’s a hindrance to other guests seated next to you. A complete no-no is wearing something so over the top that would take up to three people’s seats to try and get seated (I’ve seen that happen).”
“I think people are dressing up a lot more with great attention to detail rather than just throwing on a formal dress or suit. It’s more about accessorising better; Jewels, hairstyles, shoes and bags all are well thought out and put together now. I wore a lehenga for the JJ Valaya show at India Couture Week and loved it! It’s about wearing a piece from the designer’s collection and making it look beautiful for everyone to appreciate and want to want to own it too. In my eyes, anyone who puts in the effort to complete a look is a winner in the front row!”
“I think the key is to stand out and be noticed for your creativity and have fun while you’re at it! Hats are a complete no-no because nobody behind you would be able to see the show and that’s always unfortunate.”