High octane party glam and Laila the cat

Updated: Dec 12, 2016, 10:32 IST | Malavika Sangghvi |

Some of the happiest moments of our journalistic career have been at photo shoots. Those intense sessions of heightened aesthetic awareness when technicians, artists, models, stylists come together to capture a moment in time

Maheka Mirpuri (Centre) with Gayle and Mariana
Maheka Mirpuri (Centre) with Gayle and Mariana

Some of the happiest moments of our journalistic career have been at photo shoots. Those intense sessions of heightened aesthetic awareness when technicians, artists, models, stylists come together to capture a moment in time.

Which is why, when last week we chanced upon designer Maheka Mirpuri at the entrance of a five-star in the middle of a photo shoot, for her latest collection of ‘high octane party chic,’ posing with what was easily one of the most gorgeous Persians we had ever set eyes on, we were easily persuaded to attend the rest of the shoot at one of the hotel’s new F&B outlets. And what we saw charmed us and took us back to the days we’d spent on many such occasions in similar pursuits.

“Since it’s all about dressing up for the December party season and I am a perfectionist, I wanted the shoot to reflect the theme,” she said. “I personally vetted each shoot prop from the feathers, eye masks, poinsettias, polka-dotted balloons etc,” she added.

“The models, Gayle and Mariana, were very easy to work with, and photographer Shilpa Mukerji (niece of actresses Nutan and Tanuja, and cuz to Kajol) was simply magical,” said the designer, who though she’d started that morning at 9 am, looked suitably fortified by the copious amounts of home-made brown bread, low fat Mayo chicken sandwiches and red velvet cupcakes (with her logo and sprinklers on them.).

But the cherry on the cake had been Laila, who’d deigned to pose for a portrait with Mirpuri. “Being a total animal lover I always try to shoot with animals. From dogs, to birds, to elephants in Jaipur last and now the cat, I try to make them part of me, my campaigns and my journey,” she said, adding, “and so my dear friend, the actress, and compere Kubra Sait came with her mom Yasmin, accompanied with Laila to fulfil my dream.”

Mirpuri’s collection is slated to preview with high tea at her store at the end of the week.

Two babies in a week
“My other daughter Aru is going to have her baby any day now,” said Shobhaa De when we met her at the launch of daughter Number 4, Anandita De’s fitness and fashion blog over the weekend. She was referring to daughter Number 3, a visibly pregnant Arundhati Sheth. “It just might be two babies in a week for the family,” she said.

Sahil Sheth, Arundhati, Dilip De, Anandita, Shobhaa, Avantika and Dr Pramod Raju
Sahil Sheth, Arundhati, Dilip De, Anandita, Shobhaa, Avantika and Dr Pramod Raju

Daughter Number 4’s blog, launched by Hrithik Roshan to a crowd consisting of Kanika Kapoor, Athiya Shetty, Yash Birla, Gulshan Grover and Suchitra Pillai, expresses Anandita’s passion for ‘fitshion’ (‘a combination of fitness & fashion) and ‘twinning.’ Two babies in the same week for the family is another kind of twinning too.

Madame La Cave’s Super Tuscans
Aman Dhall is a well-known name in the hospitality industry. Today his Delhi-based company is one of the country’s largest importer of branded spirits with over 300 labels of wine under its portfolio and a pan-India presence.

But Aman appears to have healthy competition in the form of his better half, the Bengali Madhulika Bhattacharya (alias ‘Madame La Cave,’ in pic) who runs the state of the art La Cave wine (and spirits) boutique in Delhi. And this Saturday night Bhattacharya teamed up with a five-star’s restaurant to put together a curated five-course wine experience bringing together Super Tuscan wines and fresh Alba white truffles.

“People mostly only focus on classic French wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy and forget Tuscany makes some of the world best wines,” purred Madame La Cave, before getting the sundry oenophiles to participate in a delicious communal clinking of goblets which she described as a ‘wine wave!’

Just smoke without fire?
Irony has a way of raising its head and reminding us of its presence. Over the weekend, social media was buzzing with a picture of a familiar mid-city hotel with what appeared to look like its roof on fire. Fortunately, it was later explained by the hotel’s PR machinery as ‘just a reflection of the sun bouncing off the glass façade — NO fire’.

The irony is that there have been concerns about the structure’s fire safety compliance from the very beginning. According to one of its previous head honchos, who’d manned it in a previous avatar, one of the reasons its earlier ventures had gone pear-shaped was because other international chains had doubted that the structure’s fire safety norms were in place.

“With its poor and ill advised construction, it is a fire trap” he says, adding, “the city’s just lucky that there’s been no incident so far.” Which is why the social media story carried its share of irony.

All in a day’s work
Shaina NC, the indefatigable BJP spokesperson, fashion designer and society pillar, called on Friday evening in a bit of a quandary. Should she attend an event in Bandra or zip off to another further one first, she asked caught in one of the city’s more horrific traffic snarls.

Shaina NC with Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das and Rina DhakaShaina NC with Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das and Rina Dhaka

We, only a few traffic snarls ahead of her, advised her to go for the former option as we were doing and then for the nth time asked how she managed to do it all.

Only recently, word had come in that she’d taken a delegation of fashion designers including Rina Dhaka, Varun Bahl and Ambika Jain to meet the Chief Minister of Jharkhand Raghubar Das, to collaborate with Jharcraft, an initiative to support the regions’ handloom industry.

When we ran into her at the Bandra event later that evening, we were happy to note that the multi-tasking politico had taken our advice. “But I also have a TV appearance to make later this evening,” she whispered.

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