Hindu groups condemn bikinis with images of Hindu goddess. Designer says "Sorry""

May 8, 2011

Lisa Burke's collection of bikinis made of hindu goddess

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal Saturday condemned the prints of Hindu goddess on bikinis at a fashion show in Australia and said they will stage a protest at Jantar Mantar here Monday.

‘Vishwa Hindu Parishad and its youth wing Bajrang Dal would demonstrate at Jantar Mantar against hurting religious sentiments of Hindus in Australia,’ said Vinod Bansal, the media chief of the VHP.
According to reports, bikinis with images of Lakshmi were displayed Thursday at a fashion show during the Australia Fashion Week. Under the label ‘Lisa Blue’, the swimsuits have been reportedly designed by Lisa Burke.

The group said it will also submit a memorandum to the Australian high commission, ‘demanding immediate action against those involved in the designing and conducting the fashion show’.

 Hey, we know Indian imagery is a hit in western fashion, but many times, designers have ended up with an unfashionable foot in their mouth for taking 'pretty Indian pictures' and splashing them with the enthusiasm of a graffiti artist all over their clothes and accessories.

The love affair with Hindu Gods and Goddesses in particular, refuses to end. If Heidi Klum made Kali a Halloween outfit, Guess got into hot water for its tank tees that had Ganesha on the front, with the words, 'handsome elephant' printed on the lower back. Then there was French shoe brand Minelli, that had images of Lord Rama on shoes. Of course, it was followed by protests from Hindu groups, and the shoes had to be withdrawn.

Who is Lisa Burke?
Lisa Burke's collection of bikinis made of hindu goddess
Australian designer, who held her first individual show at the Australian Fashion Week. Her label is called Lisa Blue. The inspiration for her show was apparently to "raise awareness for whale and dolphin conservation". Err... What? Anyway, her collection features a number of prints, from bold colour with 'the Bollywood story' to studs and metallics, and Romance Era art in Divinity

What's She Saying?
When called, the designer at first identified herself as Lisa. Asked about her designs, she said, "Yes, Lord Krishna. I'm really inspired," but then, began to question, "Who is this?" On saying we were calling from India, she said, "You need to talk to the operations department if this is for business." When told we were calling from the Times Of India, she said, "I am sorry, but I am not authorised to comment." Probed, she said, "I'm not Lisa, she stays in Sydney. Please send her a mail."

Despite controversies, western fashion refuses to learn. It's now the turn of Australian Lisa Burke, who showcased a swimsuit at the ongoing Australian Fashion Week with Lakshmi's image on front as well as on its bikini bottom. Are Indian designers taking to this creative play kindly? Evidently not.

Lisa says Sorry
 The Indian fashion fraternity reacted strongly against using gods and goddesses' imageries without doing a proper research first by designers in the West.

The impact was such that the label, Lisa Blue, by designer Lisa Burke, released an official statement apologising "to the Hindu community."

The statement:
Lisa Blue has been born out of a love of conservation, spirituality and a respect for all people. At no time would we ever have intended that the brand would cause offence. The use of images of Goddess Lakshmi was not in any way a measure of calculated risk taking, simply it was a desire to celebrate different cultures and share that through our brand.

We would like to offer an apology to anyone we may have offended and advise that the image of Goddess Lakshmi will not appear on any piece of Lisa Blue swimwear for the new season, with a halt put on all production of the new range and pieces shown on the runway from last week removed. This range will never be available for sale in any stockists or retail outlets anywhere in the world. We apologise to the Hindu community and take this matter very seriously. 

Lisa Burke's collection of bikinis made of hindu goddess

Lisa Burke's collection of bikinis made of hindu goddess 
Lisa Burke's collection of bikinis made of hindu goddess

 Lisa Burke's collection of bikinis made of hindu goddess