Mumbai's answer to Paris Hilton, Ramona Narang christens herself 'stylista'

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

No sooner have we managed to recover from the term 'fashionista' that along comes news that Mumbai's answer to Paris Hilton, self-taught designer Ramona Narang, has christened herself a 'stylista'

No sooner have we managed to recover from the term 'fashionista' that along comes news that Mumbai's answer to Paris Hilton, self-taught designer Ramona Narang, has christened herself a 'stylista'. "Stylista Ramona Narang unveils her new festive collection, that lives up to the promise of all her name stands for," says the accompanying bumpf to an upcoming sale of her 'creations' in Delhi, written undoubtedly by a copywriter in a caffeine haze.

Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton

"Finesse, style, comfort and glamour all wrapped in one eclectic collection, specifically catered to", and this is where the reader guesses that the last cuppa has not been a good idea at all. Narang's garb for 'a real woman' involves 'Playing with shimmer and fringes, and using mirror work along net and embroidery married together,' resulting in 'a stylish mélange of graceful silhouettes, luxurious silk, flowy tassels' (but not as flowy as the prose we're sure) 'as well as sheer'. (Sheer what for God's sake?)

Ramona Narang
Ramona Narang

But given that desh bhakti is not too far behind these days, we are reassured that: 'keeping in mind India's rich culture and heritage, her designs are beautifully textured and intricately designed.''Comprising of lehengas and sarees, a favourite in the lehengas is one with all mirror, beige and net, with beautiful embroidery in white, and fringed with a tasseled dupatta made of net.' Narang's spiel informs, "Style this with beautiful silver chandbalis (spellcheck keys changing that to 'handballs' ) and a pretty bracelet – and be sure to win hearts!" Along with all this micro-managing of fashion advice from the one who knows, there is on offer Narang's deeper, more philosophical worldview for potential clients. Her motto in life, we are informed, is 'Ride the wave, hit the beach.' Come back, Paris. All is forgiven.

Close and starry encounters
"I've been a lifelong fan of Star Wars. I was probably 8 or 9 when I first saw it and have been obsessed with all things Star Wars. I own practically everything Star Wars related — T-shirts, toys, about 30 pairs of socks — I'm not exaggerating, four pairs of shoes, belts, underwear. Meeting Mark Hamill has always been a dream. I've seen him at Star Wars conferences and stuff (in London and Orlando), but never met him," said our friend and former colleague, TV, film critic and anchor Rajeev Masand about his close encounter with iconic Hollywood actor and voiceover artist Mark Hamill, whose role as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise had turned him into a legend.

Mark Hamill with Rajeev Masand
Mark Hamill with Rajeev Masand

As a rollout of the soon-to-be-released Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which has its world premiere tomorrow in Los Angeles, Hamill was in Tokyo, Japan, for a film promotion exercise, and Masand, an influential movie critic who gets flown frequently around the world to interview stars, was there to meet his childhood idol. "Yesterday, I got a quick byte from him on the red carpet for the new Star Wars film in Tokyo. Today, I did a one-on-one sit-down interview and I just couldn't resist asking him for a picture. He was lovely, funny and charming and immediately obliged. I tried very hard not to behave like a slobbering fan," he laughs. "Told him that I felt like an eight-year-old again."
Come to think of it, the duo's delighted grins and boyish glee makes them both look like eight-year-olds in the picture.

Women on top gather round
This weekend will see the launch of Barkha Dutt's 48-hour 'We The Women' fest at Mehboob Studios, which aims at bringing together influential men and women, to open a dialogue about women's empowerment (declaration of interest, we are a participant).

Twinkle Khanna
Twinkle Khanna

"It's an attempt to create a space where a community can grow," said Dutt, who, eschewing the usual marketing muscle of large hoardings and print ads, is using social media and word of mouth to garner the right kind of attention. Speakers include high-profile minister for I&B Smriti Irani, producer Karan Johar, philanthropist Neerja Birla, actress Alia Bhatt and author Twinkle Khanna, along with a host of lesser known, but equally, if not more, significant voices, who can add their perspective to the festival's theme.

Alia Bhatt
Alia Bhatt

"It's a paradigm shift from the usual seminars at five-star hotels where celebrity speakers and guests parachute in for a particular session and then disappear," said Dutt when we spoke to her yesterday. "We want this to be a true meeting ground, where the famous, the powerful and the influential meet and hear those whose voices are still not heard, raising issues that may not be so high-profile or visible, so that it can incubate and nurture a strong and collective women's voice and sensibility."

Mum's the word
Fresh from a quick getaway to Goa, where she stayed at her friend, London-based philanthropist Surina Narula's beautiful home, and a day after bringing in her beloved mother's birthday, award-winning actress, cancer survivor and free spirit Manisha Koirala flew to South Africa, where she resumed her role of Nargis Dutt in the biopic on actor Sanjay Dutt reprised by Ranbir Kapoor, in Raj Kumar Hirani's Sanju.

Manisha Koirala and a friend in Cape Town, South Africa
Manisha Koirala and a friend in Cape Town, South Africa

But looking anything like the mother of an adult male hunk like Kapoor, Koirala, who admits to being a fitness and health food freak, cut a head-turning trendy figure in dark suit, shirt, and glares. Interestingly, in her tribute to the late Shashi Kapoor, who she said she'd bump into often at the Prithvi Theatre, she wrote, 'He would lovingly advise me to wear traditional outfits whenever I wore western.' His grandnephew, who now plays her son in the film at hand, might not agree.

Riding high in the fast lane
This married Mumbai-based high-flying entrepreneur known for his flamboyance, who has a slew of successful enterprises to his name, has been giving his associates and peers within the profession much to talk about. For one, his relationship with a young female employee of his has become the talk of grapevine, given that their alleged affair is spoken about quite openly. More worrying are the indications on his health. "He's been driving himself too hard, which has resulted in some serious health issues," says a source.

"It's a very tough and stressful line he's in, the stakes are very high and the late nights, work meets and incessant travel, coupled with his own personal situation, could not be helping his health crisis. He should take a step back, get off the fast track, and prioritise his life again," they say. Indeed.

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