|(From top): Anu Ahuja, Malini Ramani, JJ Valaya, Aparna chandra, Narendra Kumar, Mandira malik, owner of Manna Studio line and co-ordinator Rita Arya (left to right) at the launch of the Fashion Floor at Galaxy Towers; a model shows off an outfit by Anita dongre; George Michell at the release of Palaces of Rajasthan at crossword
Teeing off in style
we know golf is the fashionable sport for the rich and famous. And it gets even more fashionable when a designer makes clothes inspired by the sport itself. That's exactly what Mumbai-based designer Anita Dongre did last weekend in the Capital ' she mixed golf, fashion and believe it or not, cars. The event was organised by Mercedes-Benz to felicitate the participants of the company's Pro-am regional golf tournament.
Dongre concentrated on clean lines in soft colours like pink, beige, white and green. With 30 outfits, the designer showcased both her labels: AND ' the pr't line, and Anita Dongre ' the couture line.
The AND collection was all about white linen trousers teamed with pink, green and white flowing tops more often than not, accentuated with frills. The AND skirts were clean with some layering. For the Anita Dongre label, the designer preferred to stick to the same colour codes but the skirts and lehngas, in linen, were more ornate. Said Dongre, 'This collection is inspired by Vedic texts, and so there's more tone-on-tone coordinates reflecting harmony and calm.'
Floored by fashion
what's a swanky hotel without a couple of high-end stores thrown in for good measure' Galaxy Towers in Gurgaon has gone beyond the regulation two or three shops and recently threw open an entire floor devoted to fashion and all things stylish.
Appropriately called the Fashion Floor, the hotel's first level has a host of big players jostling for shelf space. There's JJ Valaya, Shahab Durazi and even Malini Ramani not to mention several other rising stars like Aparna Chandra, Narendra Kumar, Namrata Joshipura and Rabani and Rakha. Episode adds a sterling touch with its outlet while the Ashley shoe boutique has also thrown its doors open to those looking to step out in style. The best of traditional Indian fashion comes by way of the crisp cotton kurtas and a whole lot more at the branch of the Central Cottage Industries Emporium which has also opened in the hotel.
The woman behind the Fashion Floor is former model, fashion choreographer and TV personality, Anu Ahuja who gave careful thought to the mix of big brands in order to give the project a complete feel. 'We promise a fabulous shopping experience, not only for overseas guests but also for the people of Gurgaon. The Fashion Floor is going to be the hippest place here' said Ahuja.
A royal treat
Palaces have always fascinated the common man ' their history, the secrets hidden within and their sheer architectural splendour. It is the last of these that consumes George Michell, a renowned architectural historian who recently launched the first comprehensive compilation on the royal palaces, forts and havelis in Rajasthan titled Palaces of Rajasthan at Crossword. The book is a visual feast containing as it does spectacular photographs by noted photographer Antonio Martinelli and others contributed by author Aman Nath.
The splendour of Rajasthan's rich palaces, majestic forts, and traditional mansions is revealed in this lavishly illustrated book. A sumptuous visual evocation of Rajput courtly life, the book showcases magnificent landscapes, outstanding architectural features and interiors, as well as murals, royal collections of paintings and furniture. The author also explores the fascinating royal architecture of this desert state from the 15th century to the 20th century, focusing on the major capitals of Rajput power like Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, and Bikaner as well as other centres such as Bundi, Kota, Jaisalmer, Alwar, and Shekhawati. Palaces of Rajasthan also sheds light on the early fortresses of Chittorgarh and Kumbhalgarh, the spacious city palaces in Jaipur and Udaipur, the vast art deco-styled Umaid Bhawan in Jodhpur and the picturesque palace at Samode among others. Besides the various cities and towns, the book also describes the palaces still standing to this day like the Nimrana Fort Palace, Devi Garh, the Chanwar Haveli and Rajvilas.
Antonio Martinelli's stunning photographs also survey the architectural developments in Rajasthan over a period of more than five hundred years, providing a detailed visual record of magnificent facades and opulent interiors. His photographs evoke the grandeur of Rajput courtly life at its height ' be it the imposing darbar halls where maharajas held court or the mirrored apartments where they enjoyed private moments.
Martinelli is an architecture graduate from Venice University and has worked extensively in India, Europe, and Japan, publishing a number of books and magazines on various architectural and geographical topics. Michell, for his part, specialises in ancient Indian architecture and took a PhD in early Chalukya temple architecture from London's School of Oriental and African Studies in 1974. Since the 1980s, he has co-directed an international team of scholars and students at Vijayanagar in Karnataka.
Photographs by Gajanan dudhalkar and Rupinder sharma