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Living it up

Hungry for Hollywood'

Does star power sell' Planet Hollywood, the restaurant for the starry-eyed, is coming to India next year and it's laying the ground for its launch by announcing its plans well in advance. The first Planet Hollywood will open in Mumbai in 2006 and muscular superstars Sly Stallone and Bruce Willis will be flying down for the occasion.

Planet Hollywood International has tied up with Arch Millennium Corporation, run by US-based NRI Siddharth Mobar, to develop five Planet Hollywood restaurants in the country. Sadly, Calcutta isn't on the map with Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Goa and Hyderabad being the destinations of choice.

'This franchise agreement will bring the excitement of Hollywood and combine it with the charm of Bollywood in a special way. It is a recipe for a huge success,' said Robert Earl, founder and chairman of the chain. Added Arch Millennium president and CEO, Mobar, 'We will also be displaying and selling Hollywood movie merchandise.'

Besides serving up recipes that are favourites with the Hollywood stars themselves ' there's Chicken Crunch, based on sizzler Demi Moore's recipe, and Banana Strudle, based on a recipe from Arnold Schwarzenegger's mother ' you can amuse yourself by going through the movie props stacked within the restaurant, all picked out from the biggest Hollywood blockbusters.

True blue

The theme for Aigner's Spring-Summer 2005 collection is inspired by the waves caressing the beach. No prizes for guessing the predominant colour of the collection then! A dazzling turquoise ' a blend of azure blue and sparkling aqua-green ' dominates most of the outfits from Aigner's latest range of womenswear. The launch, which took place at Delhi's Maurya Sheraton, had models sashaying up and down the poolside, all donning Aigner's prescription for looking hot and cool all at once.

The options were plenty. A short trench coat made of fine velour with a pair of smart silver-grey pants. A military-style jacket with a sporty feel worked well with wide pants and even straight silk skirts with floral prints. While making use of sensuous materials like stretch satin and jersey, Aigner's new line is high on style. Even their business suits are fashionably detailed with edging in contrasting hues. It's all about looking sinfully sexy too, evident by side-slit pants, plunging necklines and peek-a-boo gaps.

The new line reflects a 1970's sensibility and does manage to go beyond the cool blue theme to explore a wide range of shades like platinum, soft cognac and dark chocolate-brown.

Designer dreams

It was a new beginning for fashion designer Nisha Merchant, who has made her name as a bridalwear specialist. Merchant has just opened a new store in Bandra to show off her brightlycoloured wares and she held a rip-roaring party to mark the occasion. The outfits on show ' ghagra-cholis, lehengas and salwar kameezes ' were mainly in vivid shades like red, pink and mauve. Also, there were bridal saris in reds and maroons with heavy Rajasthani embroidery.

Among the early birds to arrive at the store was television actress Shweta Salve. Also seen at the event were Achala Sachdev who looked lovely in an ornate ethnic outfit, socialite Anuradha Tendon, singer Anaida, former Miss India Swetha Nair, VJ TJ Sidhu who came with good friend Manoj Bohrah, and designer Salim Asgarally.

Wine is fine

It's a strange name for a wine company. But strange name or not, Australian company Howling Wolves is coming to India in collaboration with Brihan-Maharastra Sugar Syndicate. Brihan and Howling Wolves have already introduced eight different varieties of wines in Mumbai.

The partnership is a result of a chance meeting at Wine for Asia expo in Singapore, after which Brihan executives were invited to visit the Howling Wolves winery in Margaret River in Western Australia before being offered the distribution rights. As a bid to create awareness and understanding for wine and wine drinking, Brihan hosted the wine--cheese evening at the J. W. Marriott with the Australian consulate general, Don Cairns, other Australian diplomats and top corporate honchos.

Spotted at the event were cricketer-turned-actor Salil Ankola; television actress Mrinal Kulkarni, dancing duo Naved Jafri and Ravi Bahl; restaurateur Kishan Mulchandani, theatre personalities Dolly Thakore and Mahabanoo Modi Kotwal, and Ruby Bhatia.

Brihan is in talks to get licences to sell in Maharastra, which should happen in a month. And it's hoping to get licences to sell in all the big metros in the next six months.

Photograph of the Aigner item by Jagan Negi

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