The extraordinary in the ordinary

“Our shoots, very much like our brand, are about individuality and sticking your neck out in this increasingly homogenous world. Both Monica and Poorna are symbolic of that,” says Bungalow 8's statuesque creative head and owner, the lissome Maithili Ahluwalia, inheritor of cheek bones as formidable as her style lineage, about a striking fashion shoot featuring Monica Wazir Ali and Poorna Jagannathan to showcase Geometricity, a curated selection of garments, jewellery, interiors and food this Friday and Saturday in Bandra.

Monica Wazir Ali and Poorna Jagannathan’s shoot for Bungalow 8
Monica Wazir Ali and Poorna Jagannathan’s shoot for Bungalow 8

“In keeping with our tradition of shooting striking women from Bandra, this time we chose Poorna and Monica since they are both such strong and individualistic women in their own right, and represent two completely different age groups,” says Ahluwalia. “In the past we have captured the likes of Kiran Rao and Adhuna Akhtar, who did full justice to our brands identity and aesthetic at the time,” she added.

The shoot - a series of edgy black and white portraits - features the two women enacting the heroic narrative of flatmates living together in a modest and familiar Mumbai apartment. It is heroic because unlike most fashion features, it eschews the usual airbrushed photoshopped and overwrought styling that such a narrative would call for.

The women in their billowing boho-Mumbai dressing gowns, bed heads and beads and baubles appear real, their stories believable and their extraordinariness is set off by the ordinariness of their settings and the unspoken dignity of their lives. As photo features go, it stands head and shoulders above others of its ilk, that too often get lost in the braggadocio of their cleverness and wit.

“The idea was conceived by Bungalow 8’s creative director Maithili Ahluwalia, in collaboration with ELLE Editor-in-chief Aishwarya Subramanyam and styled by Fashion Editor Nidhi Jacob,” says a spokesperson for the store.

“Since this year’s theme is Black & White GEOMETRICITY, Poorna and Monica were the perfect fit. Together they define ageless beauty and timeless elegance that are very integral elements of our label. Being active Bandra residents, we couldn’t think of a pair that was more ideal,” says Ahluwalia.

Nice. But er, what does ‘active Bandra residents’ imply?

Hollywood Calling
Word comes in that Hollywood aspirant Siddhartha Mallya has landed himself a role in a Hollywood movie currently being shot in Bangalore!

Siddhartha Mallya
Siddhartha Mallya

“He might not be able to attend his dad’s birthday celebration this evening,” says a lady friend of the family about Vijay Mallya’s birthday party, which was held last night at his Mumbai residence.

“We don’t know more about the film but it sounds big,” she says. A text to young Mallya about the movie did not elicit a response. Perhaps he will announce it with a big splash soon.

Uber woes
Of course, it is a coincidence, but then if you like us believe that nothing in the world really is one, the feature on Travis Kalanick, the beleaguered founder of Uber, in the latest issue of Vanity Fair is only fitting.

Titled ‘Man and Uber Man’ and written by Kara Swisher, it talks of the thirty-something techie entrepreneur’s legion of international woes and setbacks and must have been written as these things go-months before the incident in Delhi which has resulted in the cab service being banned in India.

‘He says he will not stop until he has won every city across the globe. With international protest roiling Parisian cabbies have gone as far as slashing Uber cars’ tyres and smashing their windows-Kalanick has his work cut out for him, even as his ambitions are larger than ever.’ Premonitory? And then some.

Merry Christmas from the Queen
And to celebrate the honour bestowed on Pakistan-born British poet and artist Imtiaz Dharker, who had once lived in Mumbai and has been awarded the Queen’s gold medal for poetry, joining an illustrious roll call that includes WH Auden, Philip Larkin and Ted Hughes, we can think of nothing more apt than reproducing her poem on Mumbai in Christmas and Christmas in Mumbai

Imtiaz Dharker
Imtiaz Dharker

Mumbai? Kissmiss?
Of course! Who is not knowing this,
that after Happy Diwali comes Merry Kissmiss!
Impossible to miss, when allovermumbai,
Matharpacady to A to Z Market, rooftops
are dancing in chorus
and alloversky
is fully full with paper stars.
Hear! Horns are telling at midnight on every street,
Happy Happy Happy! We know very well
to make good festival, and Saint Santa is
our honoured guest in Taj Hotel.
We are not forgetting.
And allovermumbai alloversky
is fully full with paper stars.
See! Tree is shining and snow (cotton-
wool but looks good, no?). Small child also
face is shining, licking icing, this
must be what snow tastes like
under the paper stars.
And allovermumbai alloversky
is fully full with paper stars.

- Imtiaz Dharker, Over the Moon (Bloodaxe Books, 2014)

International skulduggery
With the latest installation in the prodigious battle for control of the Aman luxe hotel empire resulting in a set back for Russian oligarch Vladislav Doronin, ex-fiancé of supermodel Naomi Campbell and one of the key figures in the snafu, it is no surprise that IPL founder, architect, the London-based Lalit Modi appears to be a happy man.

Naomi Campbell Lalit Modi
Naomi Campbell and Lalit Modi

Why so? Well, a few months ago it came to light that Modi, no slouch when it comes to international high rolling stakes himself, had thrown his weight behind chairman Omar Amanat, the son of Indian immigrants and Doronin’s arch rivals in his struggle for control of the group.

And with its gathering storm of ‘Fraud, intimidation, threats, evictions, locked doors - and supermodels,’ as described by Fortune –it makes the IPL –Srinivasan Modi shenanigans resemble a teddy bear’s picnic!

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