Prasad Bidapa the Fashion Guru

In the past 20 years since the creation of his company Prasad Bidapa Associates, Prasad Bidapa has been in the forefront of the Indian Fashion industry. His work ranges from design to nurturing models to becoming a distinctive brand in his own right. DESIblitz caught up with him to find out more about ‘The Style Guru’ as he is known in Bangalore.

"I would ban fake and untrained designers"

He is known as the fashion guru in the Indian fashion industry, his training agency for models (Prasad Bidapa Associates, Bangalore) is legendary for having created some of the biggest names in Indian Fashion and Bollywood; he is, the one and only, Prasad Bidapa. One of the most prominent names in the Indian Fashion fraternity.

Prasad has provided a plethora of services to models, actors and fashion. These also include being one of the official trainers for Miss India pageant. introducing and grooming super models and actors like Vidisha Pavate, Deepika Padukone, Dino Morea, Anushka Sharma, Lara Dutta and many more to the world of film and fashion.

Hailing from Kodagu, a small place in Coorg, Ooty, India,

Prasad has created a distinctive niche in the colourful scene of Indian Fashion.

Exclusively for, Omi Gurung met with the fashionista and talked to him about modelling, love for Indian textiles and his native Coorg.

Omi: What is fashion to you?
Prasad: Fashion is on par with literature, music, dance and theatre in defining who we are as a society and marking our progress and cultural development. For example, can you think of Cleopatra or Marie Antoinette or Noor Jehan without thinking of what they wore? The more developed and progressive we are, the more evolved our fashion will be.

Omi: Prasad’s signature style is…
Prasad: Ethnic and very Indian! I usually prefer hand-loom products. I think that the beauty of Indian garment is incomparable. Every Indian should buy and own exquisite textiles and ensembles that make you look your best.

Omi: Modelling is perceived as a very glamorous field, can you tell us more about it?
Prasad: Yes, it is a glamorous and rewarding field with infinite options. Young people with a good personality and looks should always try it as a hobby and find out if they are serious about modelling as a career. It polishes you and brings out the best in you. It is the yellow-brick road to stardom!

Omi: How do you compare ramp modelling to print modelling?
Prasad: Modelling can be categorized as ramp, print, TV and film. Ramp models need to be tall and well formed with a good attitude. Print models need a proportionate body and photogenic looks as height does not matter. TV demands a sparkling personality and acting skills. It does not matter if you are short or tall, dark or fair, thin or fat there’s work for all on TV. Models, who have a combination of ramp, print and TV skills become supermodels and stars like Aishwarya Rai and Arjun Rampal.

Omi: What are the basic requirements to be a model?
Prasad: As I said, a well toned and proportioned body with a positive attitude and good looks are the basic requirements. A clear hard headed look in the mirror and honest friends will help you make up your mind. If you think you have the talent, get some inexpensive pictures shot in any local studio and mail them to model coordinators but beware of the sleazy ones.

Omi: If you were to be the Fashion Minister of India what are the things you would ban?
Prasad: First, I would get ‘Fashion’ recognized as an Industry, a status it still does not have. I would ban the import of cheap synthetic fabrics and encourage the use of our rich indigenous textiles. I would ban fake and untrained designers. I would also ban film stars and cricketers from doing too many ads.

Omi: What do you like to do in your free time?
Prasad: I love to read and you will always find a book with me. I recently completed reading The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson and now I am reading Orhan Pamuk’s – The Museum of Innocence. Photography is my hobby, so I do enjoy capturing beautiful images and I just love chilling out at home.

Omi: One thing people don’t know about you?
Prasad: Many people in other cities don’t know I am from Coorg. I am very proud to be a Kodava and feel very connected to my people and places in Coorg.

Omi: Funniest rumour you have heard?
Prasad: That I was an Alien from the planet Mercury.

Omi: Most precious thing in your wardrobe?
Prasad: Has to be a traditional gold bordered dhoti, I wore for my wedding. I still have it.

Omi: If you could exchange wardrobes, it would be with?
Prasad: Designer David Abraham for his impeccable, elegant and seriously designer wardrobe.

Omi: Controversy sells. What is controversial about you?
Prasad: Nothing! I’m basically a very ordinary person with very basic values in my life.

Omi: What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Prasad: My relationship with God, my family and my work. These are the things that define me.

Omi: What do you wear when you sleep?
Prasad: Ha ha… nothing very exciting. Boxer shorts and an old, soft much washed t-shirt is a look I can live in.

Omi: The trend for this Summer?
Prasad: In India the only answer is white in colour, flowing in design and natural in fibre.

Omi: Any advice to aspiring models…
Prasad: Remember that health is beauty. Eat right, exercise regularly, maintain your skin and body; groom yourself to perfection and learn to dance, kick box, drive and ride. Polish your skills and get ready to be discovered. Drink only sensibly and avoid drugs, like the plague it will destroy you.

Wardrobe malfunction:
Only stupid designers with lousy quality can compromise a model on the ramp.

No longer a criminal offence. It’s wonderful that Ricky Martin or Ellen Degeneres can be such great role models to the young, gay and confused.

Size zero:
I hate it. India is a country of voluptuous women and all the men like it that way!

The deal you do with the Devil. It will destroy your soul and end your life. Just say NO!

Fantastic when it’s meaningful and when love forms the foundation. Sex without emotion is a barren distasteful thing.

Prasad Bidapa’s Favourites
Model: Carol Gracias
Designer: Abraham and Thakore
Photographer: Prabuddha Dasgupta
Food: Pandi kari and Otti
Film: Y tu Mama Tambien
Place: Pollibetta (Coorg)

Here as some photos from the Prasad Bidapa Associates fashion shows. Giving you a taste of how clothes and models are combined for an Indian fashion extravaganza, all with the Prasad Bidapa touch!

Omi is a freelance fashion stylist and enjoys writing. He describes himself as 'a dare devil with quicksilver tongue and maverick mind, who wears his heart on his sleeve.' As a writer by profession and by choice, he dwells in the world of words.

Prasad Bidapa Associates collection photos copyright and courtesy of Prasad Bidapa Associates and