It was sheer poetry and magic on Wednesday night when Manish Malhotra presented the 'Blue Runway' Collection in Association with WeEvolve and the World Bank, for Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2015.
Presented at the Great Eastern Mill, a cavernous labyrinth of beautiful furniture, which the celebrated designer had transformed into an Italian grotto, the show featured models walking the elongated sinewy ramp (the longest top models in Malhotra's exquisite latest collection) featuring mirror work and floral embroidery, adding a 3D and textural effect to the elegant pieces at the end, amidst a set of floral decor with Moroccan lamps hanging from trees.
Manish Malhotra presenting his collection at the Lakme Fashion Week
Malhotra, one of the country's most successful designers (in bottom line as well as impact) took in the rapturous applause the show elicited by walking the ramp shyly in his characteristic style. Deepika Padukone, Jacqueline Fernandez, Shabana Azmi, Sridevi, Kajol, Huma Qureshi and Neha Dhupia were among those who were seen applauding wildly.
That selfie moment
We've been running into jewellery designer and one of Delhi's most attractive exports to Mumbai Queenie Singh and her beau the swashbuckling Rishi Sethia, on more than one occasion lately and can't help thinking how a handsome a pair they make.
Queenie Singh with Rishi Sethia
And then, when we spotted them taking this selfie on the fringes of Manish Malhotra's show 'The Blue Runway,' we were more than a little charmed and persuaded them to share it. “Making beautiful memories,” is what Mumbai's most leggy diva said.
“Just hung out at the studio all day yesterday!” said Boman Irani, tongue firmly in cheek about this picture. Irani, easily one of the most urbane and likeable of actors if not one of the most talented in Bollywood (his hi-camp cameo in Dostana as Maka Murli, still has us in splits) was performing a stunt for an ad film.
“It was for Fru juicy jelly and I had to fall down a shaft. The stunt work was for an entire day,” he said. “After a while, I stopped asking how many more shots were left, and asked for my lunch up there instead,” said the man who started life as a waiter at the Taj before taking over the family's legendary chip shop Golden Wafers in Byculla.
No vertigo problems, we enquired gently. “No no, I quite enjoyed it,” said Irani, “Looks scarier than it is.”
An ode to a dish
When we heard of celebrated musician Ehsaan Noorani's sumptuous ode to a dish of mutton he'd eaten in Muscat recently, we were keen to feature both. In an atmosphere of creeping holier than thou vegetarianism, we think it is important that non-vegetarians celebrate their particular taste buds loudly.
Shankar Mahadevan and Loy Mendonsa
“Just OD'd on the most incredible Omani food,” said one third of the Amar Akbar Anthony trio of Bollywood composers that goes by the name of Shankar Ehsaan Loy. “The mutton is goat, cooked underground for two days.
Tastes incredible,” he said. What made it so memorable, we asked the musician who was performing in the Middle Eastern state? “Well it was earthy and eaten in peace and fun and, needless to say, it was more or less wiped out,” he said. Burp!
Zodiac Grill once more
More than a decade ago, we were the very first people invited to shoot inside the new Zodiac Grill when it reopened at its current venue with its famous Zodiac centerpiece on its ceiling and its stunning interiors.
Ratan Tata at Zodiac Grill. Pic/Atul Kasbekar
And who else could we think of to introduce the Taj's iconic fine dining eatery than the suave and ruggedly handsome then Chairman of Tata Ratan Tata himself? That he agreed to our request for a photo session was something of a small miracle given how low profile he is but when he did we contacted the ace of profile photographers Atul Kasbekar to shoot the feature. It was for the first issue of the revamped Sunday Times, which we were editing at that time.
And with another iconic picture of Anil Ambani (shot in B&W sprinting across the Mumbai pavements as the Marathon Man) the edition became something of a collector's item. Well, since we were the first to write about it, we take almost familial pride in revealing that the iconic restaurant might now become the fine dining adjunct to the Taj's prestigious and exclusive business club.
“Since the current Chambers eatery does not attract much footfall and neither does the ZG, we might consider merging the two,” says an insider. “Chamber's members will be able to entertain there in style.” Does this mean the aam junta will have to miss out on its Camembert Dariole? “No. The plans are that other guests will be welcome too.”