Not that we are regulars at the Lakme Fashion Week, but even from our vantage point we can see that nothing has become the week-long fashion extravaganza like its new location-the Palladium Hotel.
Forget its proximity to both ends of the Sobo-Nobo spectrum, which makes it ideally suited geographically, it’s the wanton, frenzied energy of the hotel and its never-ending jam of the city’s young and restless, beating a path to its various nightclubs, lounge-bars, eateries and watering holes that makes it the perfect fit for something as manic as fashion week.
Varun Dhawan, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Manish Malhotra
And Sunday night, at the outstanding finale show ‘GLOSS’ - the Indian Cocktail collection by Manish Malhotra as we found ourselves in a throbbing crush of people climbing up and down private stairs, ebbing and flowing from one party room to another, taking elevators up and down and up again, we realised that fashion week has finally found its true home.
What does one say about a show where the women in the audience are more glamorous than those on the ramp? Malhotra is Mr Bollywood Style, the man who more or less invented the concept of stylish Bollywood and it was no surprise that half of Bollywood (the female half) had come to cheer their fav designer on.
So, in no order of preference, there were the Kapoor sisters, Kareena Kapoor Khan walking the ramp, her Lakme enhanced pout entering a full five seconds before her with sister Karishma seated in the front row, nervously applauding her sisters high-heeled pirouettes; there was Priyanka Chopra incandescent in a sari the colour of soft sand, chatting and giggling away through the show, her Mary Kom machismo retired for the night; there were Kajol and Juhi seated elegantly opposite each other in the front row, their body of Yash Raj films a palpable presence between them.
So redolent was the show with the memory of Bollywood blockbusters that SRK’s absence hung in the air like a rich perfume and one half expected him to appear midway during the proceedings and break into song.
But of course he didn’t. The sinewy black ramp was reserved for gorgeous models, gliding in bedecked in shades so exquisite that the audience almost held its breath for the beauty of it all.
Dark rose and Prussian mauve, silver spray and candy red; heads bedecked with forests of flowers like tribal queens and trailing skirts that swept through the runaway like slow trains. All set off by the sprightly energy of Varun Dhawan and the electric insouciance of Kareena.
It was a night of unexpected beauty and high voltage glamour, and then every one wiped off their make up, took off their high heels, put away their tiaras and their halos and partied on the 38th floor till dawn!
A man date for sure
Sunday evening saw us ogling an assemblage of astonishingly muscular young men dressed in nothing but their Speedos at the Orchid hotel in Sahar!
Winner Ubaid Shah with Yuvraj Juneja and Nari Hira
Before you jump to obvious conclusions let us add that we were at the Mandate Model Hunt where along with a slew of eminent personalities like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Ramesh Sippy, Divya Kumar Khosla, Shailendra Singh, Vijender Singh and Evelyn Sharma we had been asked to judge the contest. “The models will be judged on the basis of their looks, confidence, attitude and wit. Structured around four rounds (Club wear, swimwear, Q&A and formals) the program will allow models to flaunt their flair on the ramp and bring out the X-factor,” the Magna owned Mandate editor, Yuvraj Juneja, had said.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Ramesh Sippy
But faced with the sight of fourteen handsome hunks writhing on stage in the briefest of briefs, bereft of even body hair, their soft skin breaking in to goose bumps in the air-conditioned hall, we almost lost our nerve.
We weren’t alone. Actress Sharma too admitted to being fazed. “You never told me they were going to be in their ‘chaddis’,” she whispered into the mike, batting her long lashes coyly, when asked to comment on the group. “Please! Get them some clothes!”
And lo and behold, the next round the men returned in dashing formals, dapper and coiffed, each one a prince in his own right.
Our job does have some perks!
The Trousseau Araaish show that starts today at the Four Seasons, the brainchild of Mana Shetty and Sharmila and Shaan Khanna is sure to attract a heaving crush of women in the throes of retail frenzy.
The history of these city retail jamborees is an interesting one. Almost a decade ago, the IMC ladies Wing had pioneered the concept with their free for all grab-bag and-glitter carnivals at the President Hotel, more or less establishing the model.
Then a few years down the line, a splinter group of eminent women had broken away from the mother ship and launched the Design One exhibitions, mostly held at the WTC in Cuffe Parade.
Meanwhile Araaish with its flank of designers: Queenie Dodhy, Sangeeta Khanna, Vikram Phadnis had held fort at Blue Sea.
Over the years, each exhibition had developed a loyal following and a personality of its own.
“One attracts the well-heeled Sobo sophisticate, the other the filmy glam crowd and the third is for the fuddy duddy left overs,” a catty friend meowed.
And no, we are not going to tell you which ones she was referring to.
We aren’t so brave or so foolish.