High fashion in Santacruz

Aug 08, 2017, 06:00 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

It is a measure of how far we go back, that not only were we present three decades ago when India's first multi-designer store, Ensemble, opened its doors in Kala Ghoda, but that we were the first journalist to write about it!

Tina and Tarun Tahiliani now; (right) Tina and Tarun then
Tina and Tarun Tahiliani now; (right) Tina and Tarun then

It is a measure of how far we go back, that not only were we present three decades ago when India's first multi-designer store, Ensemble, opened its doors in Kala Ghoda, but that we were the first journalist to write about it!

The store's launch had set the haute couture ball rolling, and the fact that the Doon school-educated Tarun Tahiliani, an Admiral's son fresh out of Wharton, was getting into fashion, had gone a long way in giving the industry credibility.

Which is why news that the brand now run by Tahiliani and his sister Tina Tahiliani Parikh, is opening their newest Mumbai store, and it's in Santacruz West, interested us. After all, the store set the bar for high pricing in haute couture, retailing outfits that cost as many zeroes as the Swarovski crystals that adorn them.

Does this mean that like everything else in Mumbai, the market for such labels was going northward too? We asked Tahiliani Parikh. And did market taste differ according to location?

"Kala Ghoda and Kemps Corner have some overlap, but Bandra does cater to a different clientele," said the Stanford grad former investment banker. And what were some of the biggest fashion trends recently.

"Hand-woven textiles and saris," she replied. "An incredible amount of young talent; clothing for destination weddings both for the bride and her guests, and the market for the accessories," she said. Note that she did not mention that dreadful phrase 'red carpet gown' any where. Oh boy, Santacruz is in for some 'ensembling'.

A salute to the fisherfolk
He may be called many things (foodie, blunt and garrulous), but there is one lot of people, who when they think of Rishi Kapoor, think: Mumbai's fisherfolk!

And they are the ones who have seen the 1973 blockbuster Bobby, in which Kapoor plays Raj Nath, the son of a rich father who falls madly in love with the daughter of a Christian fisherman called Jack Braganza, and they all go ghe ghe re saiba into the sunset.

Rishi KapoorRishi Kapoor

No surprises then that yesterday when the good folk at the RPG Art Foundation were unveiling their latest instalment of public art, an 11 feet-tall sculpture titled Fishermen, in partnership with the MCGM, they invited the actor to do the honours.

The 1500-kg work of art made with fibre glass and iron work by sculptor Debanjan Roy, is meant as a tribute to one of Mumbai's original inhabitants, the Koli community, and the fact that it was unveiled on Narali Purnima, an auspicious day in the lives of the Koli community (they will bravely sail back to the sea today) makes it all the more auspicious. Almost makes us want to go 'ghe ghe re' towards safe journeys and rich hauls.

Of unspeakable sadness and unfathomable pain
Readers might recall our tribute to the beautiful French Kathak dancer Veronique Azan last week on the occasion of her death on August 2. We'd written how social media had recently reconnected us with the Indophile dancer, who we'd met in Delhi two decades ago, and how in the interim she'd been married to a Mexican diplomat, and now lived in Bali with her family. Her life had struck us being infused with magic realism, including an evening when she'd danced with the Nobel prize-winning Gabriel Garcia Marquez, on his birthday in Mexico.

Veronique Azan
Veronique Azan

News of Veronique's sudden passing away in her fifties had left us shocked and saddened, and we had penned a heartfelt tribute to the beautiful and gentle artiste. Over the weekend we learnt that her death has been even more tragic: she had been suffering from depression and had hanged herself in her villa in Bali last week. We have since been reviewing our virtual correspondence to try and fathom any sign of this coming. But no, all that comes through is beauty and light, a generosity of spirit, and what appears to be joy.

So this has resulted in an important realisation about social media. Not all the happy shiny faces you see on it should be taken at face value. Some of them might be carrying unspeakable sadness and pain. The irony is that yesterday was 'Friendship Day' and had she lived, Veronique would have undoubtedly received her fair share of cheery friendship messages from many. And not one of the senders might have guessed the pain and sorrow she was carrying in her own heart.

The kitchen laboratory
That Swati Piramal is a lady of many parts, and some of these include horticulture, academics, science and food, is by now well known. But this week, when the wife of leading Mumbai industrialist Ajay Piramal combined two of these passions (food and science), and came up with Nitrogen temple rasmalai, one can understand the depths of her engagement. At a recent family occasion this week, this enigmatic dessert was served as Prasad to the guests.

Swati Piramal
Swati Piramal

"We took the rasmalai that is made as an offering each morning to the deity at the Radha Krishna temple in Chowpatty. Then scientists from my lab added nitrogen to make the saffron milk as light as air and piped it in a cold grill below which liquid nitrogen bubbled at minus 200 degrees C. The ice cold grill instantly froze the saffron cream and a tiny rasgulla was added and a lollipop stick," she posted about the experiment.

"The food didn't touch the nitrogen but was cold grilled! The nitrogen is inert and just vaporises into the air. The scientists could not make it fast enough as everyone wanted to taste this unique recipe," she adds. "I'm glad I paid attention in my chemistry class!" Indeed.

The party hearty crowd
Mumbai's very own version of nightclub mogul Flávio Briatore, Rishi Acharya, brought in his birthday over the weekend at his buzzing South Mumbai waterhole.

Rishi Acharya, Surily Goel and Kanika KapoorRishi Acharya, Surily Goel and Kanika Kapoor

Friends say Rishi, a new father (his wife gave birth to their son six months ago), had just returned from a getaway in Mykonos and London last week, when he hit the ground making personal calls to his close friends (read: half the party hearty city), and so, though it was supposed to be a small affair, a huge swathe of people showed up and stayed onto celebrate with the birthday boy till the wee hours.

Spotted on the occasion were the rarely seen Mukul Deora with wife Nitasha Thapar along with the usual suspects: Chunky Pandey, Surily Goel, Kanika Kapoor, and Raja Dhody.

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