The air is electric and filled with excitement, you can hear the consistent but crescendoing snap of cameras with borderline-blinding flashes at almost every corner. Fashion week brings out the inner sartorial slickness everyone has to offer, as glamorous personalities of the industry flock together with hungry eyes for a preview of the latest from the country’s best designers. With another successful showcase under their belt, Amazon India Fashion 2016 came to an end last week at the country’s capital. As the beautifully adorned models would glide down the ramp to the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ of spectators, the real action was in fact taking place backstage. Photographer Aastha Manchanda was amid all the madness, between the various stages of hair and make-up, and a quick cigarette break for models as they slipped in and out of designer threads; that’s where Aastha found her frames. There is a sort of fluid order in the chaos that prevails backstage, where the bright lights and music are subdued and models get a chance to relax, however briefly.
Aastha took us backstage at last year’s show too, capturing some of the action, or off-ramp inaction in a way, displaying a side of the models we don’t usually get to see. “Being backstage was just like before,” she tells us, recalling her experience from last week, “dramatic, chaotic and fighting to squeeze in a model for a picture.” Being an ‘in-between shots’ kind of photographer, Aastha wouldn’t ask a model to step away from the group and strike a pose, “I’d rather try to capture her from another angle while the herd of photographers would be doing the aforementioned.” Finding them through her lens in those brief moments of casual abandon as they laugh and interact, we get a glimpse of the fun side of creating a fashion show, but what we can also see is the frenzy and nerves that at times take over but are gracefully contained. “I simply love the candid images--they’re more dramatic and just so much fun. I want to have fun when I go back home and look at my photographs, which is exactly what I try to capture,” she says.
Earlier, we brought you a wonderfully candid peek at some of the people, who, to us, are the most fascinating aspect of any fashion week—the eclectically-clad attendees. Now, we take you backstage through Manchanda’s fascinating photos to see what goes on behind the scenes and in the making of a runway show.