The story behind Sonam's Sari

"The sari belongs to our couture collection from our book shoot nearly three years ago, just one of those things that was ahead of its time. So when Sonam and Rhea called about Cannes, we said let's bring that out, because if there is anyone who can do justice to a couture garment it's her," said Sandeep Khosla, one half of the Abu-Sandeep design team, about their ethereal garment draped on Sonam Kapoor, that appears to have taken Cannes by storm.

Sonam in the sari that took Cannes by storm and (right) in the black and gold gown
Sonam in the sari that took Cannes by storm and (right) in the black and gold gown

"The blouse was made especially for her, drawing inspiration from her personality stylish, fashionable and edgy!" said Sandeep. But the sari ensemble is not their only contribution to Kapoor's sartorial splendour. Another black and gold gown designed by them, which the actress wore to the Chopard party, also triggered much traction for the star.

"It's a black structured bodice lavishly embroidered with topaz and Swarovski crystals from our Butterfly collection," said the celebrated designer. "Sonam, of course, has done it more than full justice."  We agree.

A Green Shoot
A source tells us of a new short film known as The Green Batti Film, which released on Youtube on Monday, which has gained much traction on social media since.

Farah Khan and Shaza Morani
Farah Khan and Shaza Morani

Shot in Worli, it stars boutique Bollywood actor Saqib Saleem (brother of actress Huma Qureshi), who has featured in past films like Mere Dad Ki Maruti and Bombay Talkies, and has been produced by Shaza Morani, daughter of film producer and head of Cineyug Entertainment Karim Morani. Interestingly, Morani has chosen a strong compassionate theme to launch her film production company Samaaj Scope.

"The Green Batti Project is one of India's largest NGOs to promote mentoring programmes for children from under-resourced communities," said the source. "Rather than follow her family's footsteps into big banner commercial movies, it's interesting to know that the daughter of the producers of Happy New Year (Her dad was one of the producers along with Red Chillies) has opted for this route.

London's latest watering hole
Word comes in that a SoBo name is behind the launch next week of celebrated Parisian bistro Le Chateaubriand's first outpost in London. Called Le Chabanais and located in Mayfair's Mount Street, not many know that the restaurant, which opened for a soft launch for dinner on Monday, is the brainchild of SoBo's Varun Talreja.

Le Chabanais at London
Le Chabanais at London

Varun, who is the son of Bollywood producer Mukesh Talreja, opted out of a Bolly career to settle in London to conceptualize and set up the upmarket restaurant. Those who have visited the new eatery, rave about the luxurious décor and address of the 90-cover restaurant and bar, situated in what is arguably the world's most exclusive pin code.

Varun Talreja
Varun Talreja

What's more, we hear that acclaimed chef Inaki Aizpitarte of Le Chateaubriand (who has been named on the San Pellegrino's world's 50 best restaurants list) will take a personal interest and oversee the food along with Chef Paul Boudier, who helms the kitchen. One more watering hole for Mumbai's travelling epicures to head to, during their silly season in London.

Rahul Baba's Outing
For our money there's nothing more hilarious on social media than the post from the 'Unofficial: Dr. Subramanian Swamy' page. The one that caught our eye was the essay 'purportedly written in painfully loopy kidspeak' as in, 'Today I went to Amethi. It was very hot outside but very cool in the land croozer.

Rahul Gandhi. Pic/PTI
Rahul Gandhi. Pic/PTI

My SPG uncle prepared a sandwich for me. Some villagers came, I told them about the Land Bill.' This scathing parody of Rahul Baba, about a day trip to his constituency acutely emphasizing his entitled and naive approach to his political career, strongly echoes the pretentiously profound style of Private Eye's fictitious poet in residence, EJ Thribb (17½) whose dead beat poems of mostly deceased people deliver great mirth to readers of the iconic British satirical magazine. Incidentally, Rahul's alleged essay ends with the words, 'Then we returned to Delhi. Mummy made pasta. The end. Rahul.'

Blast from the Past
Legendary American fashion photographer Hiro, a beautiful Indian dancer, Marlon Brando's wife, the India-born Anna Kashfi, and an international glossy magazine. All this and more came together in the sixties when Delhi-based photographer Ram Rahman's mother Indrani Rahman modelled for a shoot for Harper's Bazaar, which was shot by Hiro at the Hauz Khas ruins in Delhi.

Indrani Rahman in the magazine
Indrani Rahman in the magazine

Today in his fifties, Rahman recounts the extraordinarily glamorous enterprise with delight. "It was coordinated by Anna Kashfi, Marlon Brando's ex-wife. Hiro used broken mirrors to cast highlights on her," says Rahman. "All the clothes and accessories were brought by Harpers. And taken back...That knit sweater was to be worn without a bra - I helped hold up the sheet so she could change.

Marlon Brando. Pic/Getty Images
Marlon Brando. Pic/Getty Images

As for Kashfi, who married the Hollywood legend, and had a son with him: "I overheard girl talk between her and my ma about Marlon," says Rahman, before begging off disclosing more about one of the most enigmatic Hollywood stars of all time. "You know what girl talk is like..."

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