Summer Coolers

Apr 10, 2015, 06:01 IST | Malavika Sangghvi

This evening, designer duo, Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, also known in certain circles fondly as 'The Boys', will be previewing their Spring Summer 2015 collection at their Sobo store

This evening, designer duo, Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, also known in certain circles fondly as 'The Boys,' will be previewing their Spring Summer 2015 collection at their Sobo store.

"The duo have created a veritable feast of whites, beiges and neutrals in sensuous Kerala cottons and georgettes. The ranges include their classic thread and resham embroideries," said their spokesperson and added, "This season's collection also celebrates the richness of colour, juxtaposed against the stark beauty of whites, creams and beige.

Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla will be previewing their new collection today evening
Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla will be previewing their new collection today evening

Richly hued fabrics come alive with cream and beige embroideries." When we asked the designers, famous for reinventing the traditional Mughal arts of chikan and zardozi, to tell us what it was about summer that they liked/hated the most, Abu said, "Summer is about brightness, sunshine and, of course, the crazy humidity that saps the heck out of you. Thank God for the heavenly caress of cotton and linen. And air-conditioning!"

"Beating the heat! The magic of mogra, the majesty of white, the maddening mayhem of temperatures that threaten to turn the brain into bheja fry," said Sandeep. And what's special about their new summer collection, we enquired.

"We create classics so every collection carries forth that sensibility," said Sandeep, adding "This year, we've played a lot with infusing our whites with bursts of bold colour. The silhouettes are made for the season; there is a lot of flow and ease. It's high style, high comfort. Exactly what one needs to feel as fabulous as one looks in the heat."

And where will they be this summer? "Working," said Abu. "There's no rest for the wickedly inspired." "But we hope to be able to get away for a bit and attend a friend's son's wedding in the midst of this," said Sandeep.

Just desserts and humble pie
One of the more fascinating anecdotes in Editor Unplugged, the late great Vinod Mehta's book which we are currently savouring, is his explanation of what contributed to the great divide between former Tata group Chairman Ratan Tata and Ajit Kerkar, who headed the Taj, the corporate entity's famous hotel chain.

Ajit Kerkar Ratan Tata
Ajit Kerkar and Ratan Tata

According to Mehta, the bad blood might have all begun on account of a pineapple pastry or the lack of it. Describing Kerkar as 'a rags-to-riches fable,' Mehta says "he single-handedly turned a one-property hotel of the 60s into the country's largest hotel chain." But his downfall apparently was his pastry policy.

"Ajit made it a point to send fresh pineapple pastries from the Taj bakery punctually at 4 pm to go with his (JRD Tata's) tea. When someone suggested he should include the new chairman (Ratan) in the pastry list, he was dismissive." Writes Mehta, "Ratan got to hear of the pastry snub."

Proustian as this low level of corporate scoring of brownie points sounds there might be some truth in it: very soon after Ratan took over as chairman, Kerkar was given his just desserts and made to eat humble pie. His kingdom for a pineapple pastry!

Art's Patron Saints?
The art world is agog with news that industrialist Ajay Piramal and his wife Swati are showing every sign of becoming amongst the foremost patrons of art in the city.

Ajay and Swati Piramal
Ajay and Swati Piramal

"They had a stall at this year's Art Fair in Delhi; this was followed up recently with a splashy party hosted by them in the city, to commemorate the commissioning of a painting by Krishen Khanna for their foundation; and now, word comes in that they have approached the head of a cultural body run by another industrial house to come on board, and strategise a series of art-related events for them," says an artist source.

"Ever since Kiran Nadar assumed the mantle of Delhi's patron saint of art, the question was, who was going to win that title in Mumbai," said the source and added, "And given that Swati has proved her prowess in various fields, whether it is horticulture, cuisine or the dhow she'd acquired, it's not too long before the Piramal name will be synonymous with art in Mumbai!"

Aiming for gold in the marriage stakes
It's a family that makes up in wealth, what it perhaps lacks in social niceties. And whereas one arm of it is busy expanding its home appliances conglomerate, the other 'manages the environment' through its political persuasion. Which is why, when the progeny of this arm was introduced to the world through a high-profile press conference a few months ago, many eyebrows were raised in corporate circles.

"Who arranges a press conference to announce that a twenty something year old is joining the family business?" said a corporate insider. Well, the carping didn't stop there. Recently, when the same individual was featured in the supplement of a reputable financial daily through an over-the-table payment of an alleged Rs 6 lakh, once again the grumbling began.

"It's all to do with marriage prospects," said one source. "The family is trying to position the young man as someone eligible in the marriage stakes. Hence, all the hype," said the know-all. "In fact, this has become the practice in a lot of business families these days," said the source. "Renovating their homes, upping their social profile, buying fancy cars in order to attract the right (read: rich) proposals for their children of marriageable age!"

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