Celebrated passage through India

It was almost a regal passage through India for one of international fashion’s reigning queens, Fern Mallis, the influential former executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), and the lady who created New York Fashion Week. Mallis is an old India hand, her love for the country presumably stoked when she had been Senior Vice President of IMG Fashion and it had played a significant role in nurturing the nascent India Fashion Week.

Fern Mallis, Wendell Rodricks, Sabyasachi, Sandeep Khosla and Abu Jani
Fern Mallis, Wendell Rodricks, Sabyasachi, Sandeep Khosla and Abu Jani

Editors of glossies, designers and show biz stars in India and abroad have long regarded the Brooklyn-based Mallis as a visionary, and so no surprises that her most recent trip to the country was a mini fashion week of its own which saw her being feted by India’s best.

Kicked off by a dinner at Abu Sandeep’s leafy apartment in Juhu, the Goa leg of her visit saw the recipient of the Pratt Institute’s 2012 Fashion Industry Lifetime Achievement Award being feted at many beautiful Goan haciendas, including one which featured designer Wendell Roderick’s birthday dinner. What’s more the fashion maven’s engagement with India’s fashion frat does not end there.

Next month at the prestigious CFDA annual awards an event considered the Holy Grail of Fashion Oscars, we hear designer Sabyasachi is making an outfit that Mallis will wear on the red carpet. And given that the awards recognise outstanding contributions made to American fashion by individuals from all areas of the industry and related arts; it will be another significant showcasing of the best of Indian fashion in the international spotlight.

What will Sabyasachi design? Mercifully, no ball gowns expected here for sure!

Blue Chip Affair
It was said to be a true blue Mumbai ‘clubby’ event when the brainchild of Sanjiv Saran Mehra, which is said to be the world’s longest running and largest corporate cricket 7s championship, recently completed 20 years.

Sanjiv Saran Mehra (in blue)
Sanjiv Saran Mehra (in blue)

The celebrations included the annual CEOs Challenge match, in which Ajay Srinivasan CEO, Aditya Birla Financial Services Group, captain of the winning team lifted the trophy, and was awarded the Man of the Match.

The other participants were equally blue chipped, Sanjiv Mehta MD Unilever India; Ravi Chawla MD Gulf Oil, India; Shailesh Ayyangar MD, Sanofi-Aventis India and Russell Perreira (Partner, PWC) all donned their cricket colours and batted await to glory!

Candle in the wind
This is an exercise in live reporting. As we write this, we are inhaling the aroma of New York-based hostess socialite and philanthropist Meera Gandhi’s ‘Giving candle,’ the one she describes as the ‘best scent in the world.’

Meera Gandhi
Meera Gandhi

The olfactory passion, which Gandhi is caught up with currently, is connected to her philanthropic interests which is a perfume called Giving, the sale proceeds of which will go to Gandhi’s NGO The Giving Back Foundation.

Made after years of her personal involvement in laboratories around the world it is redolent with ‘Sicilian bergamot, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute, Heliotrope (French Sunflower), myrrh oil from Namibia, South American tonka beans, sandalwood from Mysore, Vanilla Bourbon (Reunion) with a spin off candle. She says “After 5 years of testing, this is finally available for you to enjoy! I promise you only the best because I demand only the best from life!”

So are we experiencing the ‘sweet scent of generosity’ as we write this right now? Well, at least we are writing about candles and not scandals...

Man in the centre
If a picture is worth a thousand words, than this one featuring Sahara Sri Subrata Roy, the out on bail tycoon surrounded by his family, friends and employees and looking very much like a demi God with his head shorn in respect to his recent bereavement and clad in a pristine white shawl, is worth at least Rs 200 crore.

Subrata Roy
Subrata Roy

Why so? Because that is allegedly the amount that Roy is said to have deposited to SEBI as bail for his parole to be extended to 11 July.

And going by the steely resolve in his eye and the inner calm in his stance, his recent incarceration and financial woes do not appear to have bowed the controversial biz man’s spirit much.

DJ Dev?
Dev Patel the affable Indian actor, whose professional success appears to be a scene straight out of his debut film, Slumdog Millionaire, is said to have walked into Juhu’s Trilogy over the weekend and by all accounts endeared himself to the crowd there.

Dev Patel and friends
Dev Patel and friends

“He waited patiently for the guestlist and didn’t throw any starry tantrums asking himself to be let in just because he is a celebrity,” says an eyewitness.

“Once inside he couldn’t get enough of the DJ’s console and he sportingly said a few words in the mic to pump up the crowd,” says the source who informs that the actor was accompanied by a couple of friends who did not appear to be from the industry.

And the icing on the cake?

Trilogy played ‘Paper Planes’ from Slumdog Millionaire in honour of the exuberant star.

Saving his soul
Sources say that Enrique Iglesias, charged anything between Rs 9 to 10 crore to perform at the two high profile Indian bashes he appeared at recently. Whopping nine cool criers for one night of warbling?

Enrique Iglesias. Pic/AFP
Enrique Iglesias. Pic/AFP

We don’t know if there’d be many who ‘Would you cry if (they) saw (him) crying? But as far as ‘save (ing his) soul tonight,’ there are obviously many takers.

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