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Regal chic

Shantanu Goenka likes flamboyant. So it comes as no surprise that the 27-year-old’s new couture house is all about the royal and the colourful. Tucked away in a corner of Vrindavan Gardens near Chinatown, Couture — what Shantanu has dubbed his 1,000 sq ft studio which opened on Friday — seems the perfect workplace to churn out eye-catching designs.

“I want to give personalised attention to my clients. I see them only by appointment so setting up a studio away from the heart of the city was no problem,” explains Shantanu, busy cutting a huge chocolate cake to celebrate the occasion. He was flanked by city models Pinky, Joy, Tina, Sanjukta, Jessica and Amrita, sporting what he calls his pret collection. Asymmetrical cuts in bright reds, oranges and pinks was what they wore, but a walk around the studio yielded better, more diverse results.

Starting with the decor — crimson and gold wallpaper and comfortable golden couches and mannequins in queen-like attire that meet you at every corner. While the stock proves that bridal and trousseau collections are still his forte, Shantanu’s Spring-Summer collection 2004 is also on display.

“My colour palette has developed from fuschias and flaming reds to more subtle corals, pinks and muted oranges,” he points out.

Shantanu has designed three lines for the season, namely, Girly, Thar and Wine. Girly consists of layered polkas in bubble-gum pinks and powder-puff blues on wispy white chiffon and georgette. Lacy layers, quilted pockets and feathered tassels lend a “retro look of the 60s” to the garments. The man from Rajasthan is also inspired by bandhej and gota work. Thar reveals his Indian influences with bandhni kaftans and gota ponchos. The designer has also tried to make the most of the city’s cocktail culture with his Wine collection. Embroidery with Swarovski crystals on black, crimson and coral lend a mystic charm to this line.

Boutique buzz

A new boutique is opening at Forum on Saturday, and the buzz began earlier this week. First Impression, or FI, organised a fashion show to give Poila Baisakh party-goers a sneak preview of the ethnic ensembles they will soon be able to pick up.

“The evolution of the Indian woman” was the theme of the night, choreographed by Ashish Banerjee at Cloud 9, featuring the regular run-up of city models. The first sequence was a range of traditional saris in silk and cotton, moving on to kurtis and jeans and short kurtas in silk and georgette.

The ensembles were teamed with footwear from Mams, a few steps away from where the FI boutique will open, on the second floor of the Elgin Road mall.

Choreographed dance was thrown in with the package at the restobar as well as earlier at The Serai, the Indian restaurant at The Astor, where diners were also treated to a few card tricks.

FI opens with an “inauguration festival” on from April 18 to 25.

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