Filmi fundas at fashion week

Filmi fundas at fashion week

Filmi fundas at fashion week

Sushmita Sen with Vikram Phadnis AFP

Anna Singh, who is often called the first fashion designer in Bollywood, has long prophesied that neither can exist without the other and that while fashion designers dream up the clothes, Bollywood stars popularise them — but it’s taken years and fashion weeks aplenty for her vision to become reality.

Over the five days of this week’s Lakme India Fashion Week, stars twinkled down the ramp, radiated love for their designer mates from the front row and generally burst out of the woodwork to the buyers’ general fatigue.

Some might say holding the event in Mumbai automatically ensures a stellar turnout (not to mention saving on accommodation and first-class airfare), but whatever the reason, anyone there solely for the fashion could be forgiven for mistaking the Grand Hyatt for an IIFA convention.

Mera dhoti bhi sexy!

The week began strong, with screen diva Hema Malini, in a white sari, smiling benevolently on Neeta Lulla and daughter Nishka from the audience. On the ramp, Dia Mirza brightened up the day in a layered, sequined mini dress for newbie Niksha, while Sameera Reddy bared her power abs for mum Neeta in a zipper dhoti and crystal-covered bustier. “I tried this outfit on and I just feel really sexy and that’s what is important so that’s important,” Reddy told ANI rather intelligently!

Elsewhere in the mix were Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’s Prateik Babbar, in a cream suit and kurta top for Kunal Rawal; Shreyas Talpade in a witty, asymmetric sherwani-kurta-churidar ensemble with cutaway detail for Digvijay Singh; Urvashi Sharma wore gold Swapnil Shinde; while Aftab Shivdasani and Manoj Bajpai propped up Troy Costa. Malaika Arora Khan upped the wattage on an already sensational collection by Mandira Wirk in an orange dropped-waist delight that could easily hide a multitude of sins (including early pregnancy) on a real woman, and Deepika Padukone modelled Gauri and Nainika’s Valentino-style stunners.

“Whenever people ask me about my fashion sense or what I like wearing, I have always said that I always like very simple, classic and elegant designs. I think that’s what their clothes are. You might see a different range every time they do a fashion week. But the basic look and inspiration has never changed. I have always been a huge fan of theirs,” Padukone said.

Vampire John

On Day 3, Rocky S made what was perhaps the finest use of Bollywood models, roping in mate John Abraham. Poster boy John, in a charcoal three-piece velour suit strung with chains and crosses, was styled in keeping with every teenage girl’s fantasy: as a vampire, and he looked good enough to put the bite into Twilight star Robert Pattinson. (Except of course that vampires are supposed to be afraid of crosses, but like so many Bollywood films, the end result more than made up for such minor inconsistencies.)
And in the audience for Rocky were Dia Mirza and Katrina Kaif. “The one thing that makes him distinctive from every other designer is the fact that when he designs garments for women, they are feminine and chic. But they are strong when he designs for men,” Dia told media at the event.


Vikram Phadnis, not one to be outdone by anyone, served up a collection of bridal wear in a show presented by Philips. And walking the ramp for him was the pageant winner who will always have a special place in our hearts: Sushmita Sen, dressed to the nines in a gleaming, heavily jewel-encrusted gold lehenga choli and dupatta, wearing kilos of uncut diamond jadau hardware.

Surprisingly, crowd pleaser Manish Malhotra, who closed out Day Two, chose to make an anti-statement and eschewed Bollywood’s finest to recreate a beauty pageant for ugly ducklings, whom he sent out in unusual bridal tones.

In the audience, applauding dutifully, were Kajol, Urmila Matondkar, Shabana Azmi and Amrita Rao (seems nostalgia even determined the invitee list). Azmi, whose own wardrobe puts couture-buying industrialists’ wives to shame, had this to say: “Manish has kept all the traditionality and yet given it its zing.”

Over the week, there were plenty of assorted tinselly elements popping up in the audience: Pooja Bedi, Gul Panag, Dev D star Kalki Koechlin, model-VJ Sophie Choudhary, Minissha Lamba, beauty queen Shonali Naghrani, Sanjay Kapoor, a very-pregnant Amrita Arora and Tellywood’s cricket lovely Mandira Bedi, who hobbled in on crutches after fracturing her ankle on the sets of Khatron Ke Khiladi 2.

All of them had to be content with eyeballing the action in Mumbai, while bombshell Mallika Sherawat wowed the likes of hip-hop mogul and Phat Farm founder Russell Simmons at New York Fashion Week.

But we must leave the last word to media darling Manish Malhotra, as quoted by the Entertainment Daily blog after Kolkata Fashion Week, held earlier this month: “Showstoppers are not must for me. But all my friends are from Bollywood and now, sports, and they all want to participate in my show.” Everybody wants Manish. You read it here first.

There’s only one antidote now: time for Anna Singh to do a show with — shock, horror — only fresh, new models. Then at least, people might notice the clothes instead of the measuring who shines brightest.

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