Zara Umrigar carves a niche for herself in international haute couture

Updated: 27 October, 2016 13:13 IST | Malavika Sangghvi |

Zara Umrigar, daughter of Sabita (the former model and granddaughter of the erstwhile ruler of Dhanrajgir) and businessman Neville Umrigar, is certainly carving a niche for herself in the world of international haute couture

The gown that was featured in Vogue Italia; (R) Zara Umrigar
The gown that was featured in Vogue Italia; (R) Zara Umrigar

As we say, one of the happiest moments for a parent is to witness not only their own kids, but also the kids of their contemporaries blossom and take their place in the world.

Zara Umrigar, daughter of Sabita (the former model and granddaughter of the erstwhile ruler of Dhanrajgir) and businessman Neville Umrigar, is certainly carving a niche for herself in the world of international haute couture. After graduating from the LSE, Zara studied fashion at the London College of Fashion and returned to apprentice under her mother Sabita, who’d been in the line for decades.

Recently, one of Zara’s creations, an intricately beaded wine gown, was featured in Vogue Italia. “The model in the picture is Rachel Flett and it was photographed by Thanh Wang,” says the Bengaluru-based designer, who has dressed the likes of Dinah Jane Hansen from Fifth Harmony, Country star Kelsea Ballerini and Suicide Squad actress Corina Calderon in the past.

“After being approached by Mel B's (from the Spice Girls) stylist, everything else seemed to follow from there, “ she says. Nice!

Celebrated NRI chefs
Is it only us or does there seem to be a plethora of celebrated NRI chefs who seem to be emerging out of the wood work at an alarming rate these days? Yesterday, we learnt that for the 7th year in a row, the prestigious Michelin Guide has awarded stars to the Taj Group’s Campton Place Restaurant in San Francisco.

Chef Srijith Gopinathan
Chef Srijith Gopinathan

What’s more, this year, for the second year in a row, the restaurant has received two Michelin stars and the person being credited is Executive Chef Srijith Gopinathan. To think we hadn’t even known of the existence of Chef Srijith until now –or even that the Taj had a hotel in Frisco! We better wear some flowers in our hair and visit soon.

Walking, talking and sharing secrets
“Shekhar Gupta is my favourite political journalist and I have always loved his show and have nursed a secret wish to be on the show,” says uber ad man, writer, director and mid-day columnist Rahul DaCunha, about his appearance on the show with Gupta, to be aired this Friday. “We chose Chowpatty as it’s opposite our iconic Amul billboard,” says DaCunha.

Shekhar Gupta and Rahul DaCunha
Shekhar Gupta and Rahul DaCunha

“We spoke of the Amul campaign that completes 50 years this year, the controversies we've had, the celebrations, etc,” he says. Was there any one thing he said that the weathered and well-seasoned Gupta didn’t know? “I told him my grandfather HM Patel had been finance minister of India,” says DaCunha, adding, “He was taken aback that I was half-Gujarati!”

Barkha Dutt in Washington Post
A few weeks ago friends of the country’s leading news anchor Barkha Dutt, were intrigued to learn through one of her social network posts that she was in the throes of an important life decision.

The advice, good wishes and concern and curiosity came flooding in. We too had commented saying that hopefully henceforth all the iconic media maven’s decisions would be no more challenging than whether to order the red or the white with lunch.

Now it might be that Dutt’s quandary was an even more pleasant one. “Very happy to share that I start officially as a #ContributingColumnist for the Washington Post from today,” she announced yesterday, adding, “ I will be writing for their Global Opinions Pages on a variety of issues.” How did it come about?

“They asked me to do one column on India-Pakistan and what it may mean for the next US president, said they loved the column and invited me to be an official contributing columnist,” says Dutt, adding, “It’s an absolute honour to work with some of the most respected and talented journalists in the world.”

Now if that was the decision she had to take it appears to be an excellent one-so pass the vino–red or white and cheers.

A birthday full of love and laughter
Even science says that one of the most empowering things for strong, creative and independent women is the company of other strong, creative and independent women.

At Soni Razdan’s birthday celebrations
At Soni Razdan’s birthday celebrations

And so when actress, director and one of the least of starry of filmy wives and star moms, Soni Razdan celebrated her birthday (we promised not to say which one) on Tuesday night, she was surrounded by her tribe of girl friends, who brought their better halves and families to celebrate the occasion at an elegant sit down dinner hosted at close friends Shalini and Suchetan Pradhan’s Juhu bungalow.

“Soni’s parents, her daughters Shaheen and Alia, husband Mahesh Bhatt and some of her closest friends like Kalpana Lajmi, Raj Nayak and Vinta Nanda were all around her,” says noted actress Neena Gupta, a friend of Razdan’s ever since they shared a room during the shoot of Shyam Benegal’s ‘Mandi’ 30 years ago. Gupta had brought along her husband Vivek Mehra and daughter, the designer Masaba Gupta.

“It was an evening in paradise with lots of love, laughter and heart connection,” said Nandini Sen, whose known the birthday girl from the seventh grade at BIS. “The evening was catered by Chef Chinu from Gaia Gourmet and the food was truly exceptional,” she says, adding, “Everyone shared their favourite Soni stories. Mahesh said he would absolutely die without her and that gratitude was his wife’s religion. “Soni is always so grateful for everything,” he said, adding, “The sun, the flowers, the mountains, her children, her friends ...” We like!

First Published: 27 October, 2016 09:15 IST

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