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Mumbai Fashion Week preview: Fabs, fakes, faux pas and family

As Fashion Week begins tomorrow at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Santacruz, a look at some mirth and memories from the shows of before. There are eye-catchers, showstoppers, head-turners, singers, dancers, Bollywood blitz and lotsa glitz. Lotsa? Just trying some American accent, dahlings. Enjoy.

Hit wicket
Cricket can wait - that's what former West Indian cricket star Sir Vivian Richards may have felt as he opted to skip the India versus South Africa match to spend an afternoon at a fashion week. Daughter Masaba was showcasing her collection. Yes, this time around not just mommy dearest Neena Gupta was in the front row but also the great Richards. Vive La Richards, what fashion maaaan.


Paint the town red: They have designs on you and are unafraid to show them as this one proves 

Button up
Once, we remember that Raageshwari Loomba's belly button caught the eye of Pooja Bedi who was heard gushing about it. Raageshwari sang 'We Are The World' at Pallavi Goenka's show, looking like an ethnic rockstar. Pal la va Loomba like the song Boomba goes.

Polo panache
A refreshing change from Bollywood babes, Bollywood big boys and TV stars as showstoppers (surfeit of them, frankly) was the presence of polo players some time ago. Three polo players, Angad Kalan, Kamran Ahmed and Shrinivas Bobade, were there walking for another polo player and horse lover, designer Rina Shah who was showcasing her polo chic collection. Here's to the polo pals.


The walk, the talk, the gawk: All the world's a ramp, isn't it?

Hip, hop and happening
You could call them showhoppers. We're talking about the models, particularly Deepa Chari and Rachel Bayros who were seen hopping on the dance floor at China House at an after-party hosted by Anil Chopra and N Rajaram. And they danced to the trance-like house music. There was no disputing the energy of these models who continued some nifty legwork post catwalk. Also hitting the dance floor were designers Narendra Kumar, Nachiket Barve and Swapnil Shinde. And the action continued till three in the morning. You could call it a page three spree till three. Tee hee hee.

Boom in the room
Loud and clear good golly it is Dolly! Who could miss that voice from Dolly Bindra which had nearly drowned out the music played in the lounge. Dolly had to speak on her friend Sabah Khan's show that she had just witnessed. It was a funky town kind of show with catchy music and a collection inspired by the auto-rickshaw or tuk-tuk. Of course, Dolly broke the sound barrier - tuk-tuk tuk.


Hush, the show's on: Fashion designer Rohit Bal (centre)  

Different strokes
Welcome Kelly Dorji as an artist. The man was there in the pre-show area, showing off his paintings on his mobile to sculptor Arzan Khambatta and wife Khushnuma. Word has it that Kelly has been painting seriously in his hometown Bhutan. We learnt that he began as a photographer and then started translating some of the pictures into paintings. A Kelly on your wall -- are the gals saying we want the painter not the painting?

She can dance
We all know that Babita Malkani is a designer. But you also discovered that the lady can dance, as her jig proved on the catwalk at the end of her show.


Who knows what about fashion: Style it is, here

Song sung true
There's nothing like live music to set up the tempo. Singer Shaan sang the theme from 'Love Story' at Troy Costa's show titled Helen of Troy, or HOT in short, with sultry and sexy, full-on glam evening gowns, cocktail dresses, chic tailored suits and curvaceous knee-length dresses. Talking about singers, there was Manasi Scott singing with passion 'Defying Gravity' from the Hollywood musical 'Wicked' at Neeta Lulla's show with shining showstopper Sridevi in a silver willpower fishtail gown. O Sri, gillpower and willpower. We know you have it - Hawa Hawaaaeeee gal.

Mouse in the house
Besides some in the audience, cartoon characters do make their presence felt. Like Minnie Mouse doing her little thing on the catwalk at the Disney Couture presentation with Little Shilpa and Nitin Chauhan at the show inspired by Mickey and Minnie with a view of polka dots, stars and hearts and headgear, neckpieces, stylish shoes and bags. Go grouse about this mouse.


Height is might: A model gets ready for Lakme Fashion Week's press conference held earlier. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Jaggered edge
You can always expect the unexpected when designer Narendra Kumar is concerned. In his 'Moves like Jagger' with music by Maroon and Christina Aguilera he was seen in a Mick Jagger wig in the DJ's console in one corner. In fact, all the male models on the ramp also sported Jagger wigs as their hairstyle statement as they danced and pranced on the ramp. The female models, on the other hand, did not wear wigs but had what you call a good hair day - or good hair night.

So sweet
Some shows not only look good but also smell good. The path was lined with sweet-smelling mogras at Rohit Bal's grand finale show in the outdoor open-air garden of the hotel hosting the fashion week. Adding to the impact were the hundreds of flickering candles all proving that mogras or candles, for Bal baby the flame of fashion and the scent of style, it all seems to add up.

Eye of the tiger
The catwalk was a cat walk, literally at the Save Our Tiger show styled by Aki Narula and featuring as many as 41 garments inspired by the tiger. Neha Dhupia was also there on the catwalk. And there was a jury who declared Arjun Khanna, Sougat Paul and Vaishali Shadangule as the winners. Roooooaaaaar of approval.


Sashay Way: Models walk the ramp last year

Movie magic
The magic of the movies came alive at the Cinemascope show by everyone's favourite Bollywood designer Manish Malhotra who was there to celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema with top directors Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap and stars Varun Dhawan and Siddarth Malhotra with the show ending with Priyanka Chopra. Also on the ramp were Bhanu Athaiya, Hema Malini and Asha Bhosle with an impromptu ramp walk by Karisma Kapoor and Kajol. Paiso vasool, as some would say in Hindi movie terms. And yet others, think that the Bollywood intrusion in fashion is complete. From selling us TVs, becoming brand ambassadors for banks and health causes to book launches - they seem to be everywhere raking in the crores. And, yes, when they get time off, they act in movies too.

Family pack
Family fashion fare was what it in one day with designer duos related to each other. There were sisters Jinali Sutariya and Heena Suranik, the mother-daughter team of Pragya and Megha Samor, Sonam and Paras Modi, Rahul and Shikha. Like they say, it's all in the family.

Twice as nice
You felt that perhaps you had one too many at the hospitality lounge in between shows when you spotted identical twins Tapur and Tupur Chatterji on the catwalk. Sometimes they crossed one another like a mirror image unfolding before your eyes. Of course, now the twins are not seen on the ramp. But you can have a view of another set of identical twins designers Riddhii and Siddhi Mapxencar who take the final and double bow.

Chic change
Journalists have no choice but to wear the same clothes on all shows on a single day. But some people are quick-change artistes, who are always dressed in chic, creative and quirky outfits. They all are of the ilk of one-time party perennial Kishin Mulchandani who changed in his cars while he party-hopped from one party to the next.

The writer is a journalist who propped his Etro framed glasses on his nose, crossed his Jimmy Choo shod feet, adjusted his Calvin Klein tie complimenting his Armani suit, as he sat in the front row of fashion shows for more than 14 years. After that, he attended the after-parties. Hey! A man's got to work after all.

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