Grit and glam at Sabyasachi show

It was a power packed attendance for Kolkata-based designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s opening show for Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2015 on Tuesday night.

Held at Byculla’s Richardson & Cruddas Mill, a crumbling structure redolent with history and the flavour of Mumbai it heralded a new direction for the designer one that was edgy, young, fresh and exuberant.

Models walked down the almost 200 ft ramp in echoes from the designers fav period that of the Seventies: flares, bell bottoms, drapes, slick long hair and granny glasses, the glam side of Lennon’s.

Kiran Rao, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Rani Mukherjee
Kiran Rao, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Rani Mukherjee

“The Seventies is Sabyasachi’s favourite period, but he has reinterpreted the decade with current modern glamour,” said a spokesperson for the designer. “While disco and flower-power were the major recurring trends throughout the Seventies, Sabyasachi likes to reinterpret the whimsical period with sophisticated power dressing.”

Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s show for Lakme Fashion Week
Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s show for Lakme Fashion Week

The audience comprised stylistas like Deepika Padukone, Kalki Koechlin, Sridevi and Rani Mukherjee, amongst many others. “We fell in love with the ambience of the Mill,” said show designer Anu Ahuja to us later at the power woman dinner that followed the show. “In fact, we wanted so much to retain it that we even went to the extent of hiring period chairs, each carefully chosen to complement the ambience.” Nice!

The crossover actor?
He might be the unlikely crossover Indian movie star to Hollywood (Bollywood has long been expected to bring forth one) and so when British Indian actor of Slumdog Millionaire, The Exotic Marigold Hotel series and now the sci-fi Chappie fame Dev Patel visited Mumbai, besides the usual promotional activity he found time to chill ‘with the boys’.

Dev Patel, Acquin Pais and Abhay Deol
Dev Patel, Acquin Pais and Abhay Deol

The scene was a night out at a rooftop midtown bar and his buds included top male model Acquin Pais (who also runs butter events) and the thinking waif’s pin-up Abhay Deol. Nice!

The talking bench
Recently, a friend engaged us in a wish list of people from any century whom we’d like to invite to sit with us on an imaginary park bench to converse with. And whereas our taste ran to a clutch of fiercely creative artists mostly dead, we know who the living candidates would be.

Lord Meghnad Desai. Pic/PTI Lady Kishwar Desai
Lord Meghnad Desai. Pic/PTI and Lady Kishwar Desai

One of them would certainly be celebrated economist, author, and British Parliamentarian Lord Meghnad Desai, married to our cousin, the author Lady Kishwar Desai, because in our experience he is one of the most interesting people to talk to we know.

Films, literature, politics, fashion, food, art, cricket, music — there is very little that Desai cannot add some scintillating insight, detail or wit to. But what we like best about him is the fact that despite being very intelligent he doesn’t take himself or the world around him too seriously.

In the city to talk about his school, The Meghnad Desai Academy of Economics and his newest book ‘Hubris: Why economists failed to predict the crisis and how to avoid the next one’, Desai, an academic from Berkley and LSE whose previous tomes include ‘Marx’s Revenge: The Resurgence of Capitalism and the Death of Statist Socialism’ and ‘Nehru’s Hero’, a biography of Dilip Kumar, commanded a scintillating discussion on Tuesday, at The World Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade.

“The event introduced Desai’s path breaking new academy which can cause a paradigm shift in the study of economics in the country,” said a spokesperson. Launching in July this year, the Academy has been founded with a vision for students to ‘Learn, think, apply and prepare to take leadership positions in the global economy.’

“I think we are very fortunate today that we are able to see that change in education and specially in economics as these young graduates will be the policy makers of the future and they will determine India’s economics,” says Desai. So you see now, why we would want some one like Lord Desai on that imaginary bench for great conversation.

Oh as for on our left we would invite our friend Mani Shankar Aiyar, the Delhi wit and raconteur. As for avoiding a gender bias and inviting a woman conversationalist on that bench with us (it’s a long bench, remember) we have no clue. Who are the great living female conversationalists? We’d love to know.

Mumbai gals best
Is there any doubt that when it comes to pure undiluted sassiness, not to mention a certain joie de vivre sauciness, Mumbai girls are the best in the world?

Behold this picture of such prime city hotties as Karisma Kapoor, Malaika Arora Khan, Gabriella Demetriades, Amrita Arora, Malika Haydon and Nina Shah at their pointiest and perkiest recently posted with selfie vigour on to a social networking site. Move over Rihanna, Beyonce and Katy! Mumbai’s LBD wearing, auburn mane sporting, princesses just upped the game.

Big Boy Chatter
While there is no consensus on what women say to each other when they’re alone, we now have an inkling of what Mumbai’s biz alpha males discuss in each other’s company.

On the fringes of a recent Mumbai financial occasion, a few big boys (at least a couple of billionaires amongst them) were trying to evaluate who the most obnoxious person in their circles was. And whereas a couple of names came up, the one that receives the most ayes was that of a high profile banker, regarded as something of a carpetbagger in these circles for his irresistible rise up the slippery slope.

As for what constitutional unacceptable boorish and offensive behaviour, a few examples of other offenders were thrown up prime amongst them, which was: asking a very grand management consultant from overseas what his current salary was. The story goes that the preternaturally well-bred gent spluttered into his glass of St Emilion in shock.

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