Shah Rukh Khan
Another year, another fashion show for Mijwan. Named after a village in Uttar Pradesh, the NGO, led by Shabana Azmi, and Naresh Goyal's daughter Namrata in memory of the actress's father, the late Kaifi Azmi, was launched with the goal of creating employment opportunities for the region's women, and reviving the art of Chikankari embroidery.
This Sunday will mark designer Manish Malhotra's sixth year with the show. Coming on board in 2010, he had adopted the Kaifi Azmi Sewing and Embroidery Centre in Mijwan. "Today, I am proud to share that the number of such centres in UP has increased many times over to employ 300 women," he says.
Shabana Azmi and Anushka Sharma
And this year, like the previous ones, the combined clout of Azmi, Goyal and Malhotra will once again ensure a star turnout on the ramp and in the audience. A source informs that the showstoppers are none other than the Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma, who will soon be seen once again in Imtiaz Ali's next on screen.
To see the queen
"Tonight, I'm wearing a jacket embroidered by women artisans in Barmer and carrying a mirror-work leather-free vegan bag, also embroidered by them," said designer Anita Dongre, when we spoke to her a few hours before she was to attend a reception by the Queen at Buckingham Palace last evening to kick off the 2017 UK-India Year of Culture.
Anita Dongre and Kate Middleton in the dress designed by her
Dongre along with the likes of choreographer Shiamak Davar, actress Ayesha Dharker, cricketer Kapil Dev, musician Anoushka Shankar, designer Wendell Rodricks, and dancer Astad Deboo was amongst the luminaries who had been invited. Of course, this would not be the designer's first tryst with British royalty. On her maiden visit to India last year, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, had chosen to wear one of Dongre's creations — a summery flowery tunic — to attend a cricket match at Azad Maidan. Photographs of the future Queen had ricocheted around the world for all to see and admire, and the dress had flown off the shelves.
"I guess I will mention the dress if I get to meet her," Dongre had said when we'd met her on Saturday evening, a few hours before she'd boarded her flight to London. And then, she'd popped a tablet to ward off an approaching headache. I really do not like travelling at all," she said. "But since I am going to London, I thought I might as well check out some new properties for stores in New York."
The two Priyankas
So though her film Lion did not pick up any Oscars, Priyanka Bose, the Mumbai-based actress who essayed the role of Kamla Munshi to much acclaim, had certainly made her mark on that ultimate of red carpets.
Even before the credits had rolled on Hollywood's big night out, the Indian media had already begun comparing the two recent red carpet turns of the two Priyankas from India, with Bose trumping the better known Chopra in the looks department.
Make-up artist Nick Barose, who had perfectly complemented Bose's Vivienne Westwood gown with his artful make-up, says he created a look which was 'part old Hollywood actress Rita Hayworth and part Bollywood silent screen goddess Seeta Devi'. As for Bose, the absence of Oscars did not appear to dampen her spirits.
"Gutted that we didn't bring that golden thing home," she'd posted a few hours later, "But super stoked for @moonlightmov We are all winners!"
A moveable feast comes to town
This Saturday Adarsh Jatia of Four Seasons Residences will be hosting cocktails to introduce the city to Darshana and Marcus Ubl, the founders of a luxury European road travel experience called 'The Verve Rally,' based in London.
Darshana and Marcus Ubl
Marcus, an entrepreneur and motor enthusiast, and Darshana, a businesswoman, have combined their love for exotic cars and luxury travel to come up with what appears to be a moveable feast for the discerning.
Nandini Singh and Ghazalah Moolobhoy
Last year, Mumbai girls Nandini Singh and Ghazalah Moolobhoy had experienced The Verve Rally when they'd driven across six countries in Europe, and they had been so delighted by it that they had convinced the founders to introduce it to the Indian market.
"We drove, we flew, we sailed; we made some amazing friends and had so many OMG moments," says Singh. "Every single day during the rally, the next day was better than the first, and literally, we had expectations at a certain level, every single day superseded them," says Moolobhoy.
Incidentally, Verve Rally 2017 is to be held in June across the south of France, and we are informed, Jatia is also considering signing up for it.
Upcoming big fat wedding
Word comes in that another big fat Indian destination wedding is scheduled to take place this summer. The soon-to-be-wed couple is Sonam Vaswani, a London/Dubai-based entrepreneur, and the daughter of Rita and Sunil Vaswani (chairman of the Stallion group who topped the rich list of Indians in the Gulf for the past two years), and Navin Fabiani, son of the Madrid-based Kamal Fabiani (brother of Harish Fabiani), co-promoter of the large Americorp group. The couple got engaged last year in London and the wedding is set to take place in Vienna (the city that also hosted the Jindal wedding last year) this summer.
Sonam Vaswani and Navin Fabiani
The wedding is expected to see OTT celebrations, as both sides are known to be flamboyant: the Vaswanis host a massive New Year bash annually at their mansion in Emirates Hills, Dubai, which includes a large car park for super cars at the entrance, a casino, and a private nightclub. And equally so, the Fabiani family hosted a large destination wedding for Navin's sister Kajal Fabiani a couple of years ago in Monte Carlo. A match made in heaven!