It was an evening of unmatched glamour and aesthetic allure, when 400 leading individuals from the world of luxury, fashion, media business and society gathered to celebrate Italian jewellery and luxury goods brand Bulgari’s store opening in New Delhi last week.
Described as ‘the party-of-the-year’ and hosted by Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin at the Taj Palace, the evening featured a unique melding of the best of India and Europe in the form of a spectacular fashion-set, showcasing glamorous Bulgari High Jewellery pieces paired with the unrivalled creations of Anamika Khanna’s couture designs - an exclusive association between the luxury Maison and one of India’s most respected and talented fashion couturiers.
Ravi Thakran, Feroze Gujral and Arjun Rampal
As if that were not enough, the presence of some of the country’s most elusive and coveted personalities like Kolkata’s all powerful and rarely seen publishing tycoon Aveek Sarkar, industrialist Sanjiv Goenka with wife Preeti, Udaipur’s Maharana Arvind Singh Mewar, Hindustan Times publisher Shobhana Bhartia, Bulgari’s attractive MD Wong Weiling, LVMH Group President & L Capital Managing Partner Ravi Thakran, amongst others who added to the evening’s elegance and high voltage glamour.
Anamika Khanna with Sanjiv Goenka and his wife Preeti and Aveek Sarkar
Designed by Anamika Khanna and Sumant Jayakrishnan, with wall-to-wall images of Bulgari’s iconic international clientele that included Liz Taylor and Sophia Loren, guests were riveted as the impossibly leggy and statuesque Talia Bentson sashayed down the sinewy ramp dressed in an Anamika ensemble singing out jazz hits, followed by a gaggle of exquisitely clad models.
The dinner that consisted of tables groaning with delicacies of unlimited truffles, oysters, green lip mussels, lobster, burrata and artichokes, paired with fine wines and unlimited champagne was another highlight. “Easily one of the most elegant and well attended parties in Delhi,” said a Capital insider. “And the jewels, fabulous!”
6 degrees of separation
In which we join the dots...
Bimla Nanda Bissell: The grand dame of Delhi's intelligentsia and culturati, Bim Bissell, married to FabIndia founder, the late John Bissell, has variously in her long and illustrious career, run the Playhouse school that incubator of Delhi's best and brightest; served as social secretary to Ambassadors Galbraith and Chester Bowles in Delhi and worked with the World Bank. Known as the Capital's hostess with the mostest, each year she moves for a few months to New York's Upper West Side where the pedigree of her guests is said to be equally, if not more, impressive.
Payal Jauhar: One of the most dynamic, quiet and respected names in the universe of international luxury, Payal Jauhar, Associate Group Director LVMH India and L Capital, is the daughter of the family that owned the grand old lady of Mussoorie, The Savoy, along with those other north Indian F&B phenomena, Gaylord and Kwality. A successful restaurateur in her own right, Jauhar currently divides her time between Singapore and Delhi, when she's not hobnobbing with international cognoscenti in Paris and Milan.
How they are related: Bim’s first cousin is Payal’s dad’s first cousin.
Other relatives of this talented duo are Rediffusion's founder and CMD Arun Nanda, style aficionado and Rajiv Gandhi's friend Romi Chopra, founder member of IIM-A, Dr Kamla Choudhary, MD FabIndia William Bissell, writer actress Monsoon Bissell, former wife of ex-Defence Minister Nina Singh and jewellery whiz Hanut Singh.
Bitterly fought elections
The goodfellas at the RWITC are at it again. With elections in mid December, word comes in that campaigning is so contentious that it puts the Vijay Mallya vs Cyrus Poonawalla battle to shame.
Vivek Jain and Khushroo Dhunjibhoy
Readers will recall past elections when figures as prominent as Cyrus Poonawalla, Vijay Mallya, Jaydev Modi, current RWITC chairman Vivek Jain and Khushroo Dhunjibhoy, have used their considerable clout to swing votes towards themselves or their candidates.
This time the team led by Khushroo Dhunjibhoy, who sources claim has already hosted a string of parties is allegedly wooing the female vote by hosting a fashion soiree by Dior, at the Presidential Suite of the Taj Lands End tomorrow. “Gifts worth thousands of rupees will be showered on the ladies who attend!” says the source.
Meanwhile, team Vivek Jain, claims to be relatively low key. “Other than one party at the Dome, the few others are at private residences,” said Jain, the recipient of a caustic missive from a few members alleging losses of Rs15 lakh for the current year, amongst other things.
Oh boy, fur will fly.
It’s known the world over as the greatest musical of all time and the last time we heard about Alyque Padamsee’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ it was in 1974 and we had gone to audition for a role as an understudy.
Madhukar Chandra Das as Jesus
Starring Madhukar Chandra Das as Jesus, Nandu Bhende as Judas, Sharon Prabhakar as Mary Magdalene and our own sister Devieka Bhojwani as Mother Mary, the play had been a sell out, and raised the bar for future musical productions in the country.
And now, in what is a resurrection befitting of its theme, JCS is being directed thirty years later by Padamsee once again and will star Bhojwani once more in the role she reprised three decades ago!
A feat as unprecedented as the fact that a Padma Bhushan (Akbar Padmasee on Visual Design) and two Padma Shris (Wendell Rodricks on Costumes and Alyque Padamsee on Direction) are working on the production.
Produced by Raell Padamsee’s Ace Productions, the musical boasting a cast of over a 100 multi-singers and choreographed by Shiamak Davar is said to have already broken all records with its five premier shows sold out.
“It’s a must see production and will leave the Indian audiences enthralled!” As for that time that we’d auditioned as an understudy? We didn’t make the cut. Ah well, win some, lose some...