The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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A summer story
(From top): Models in outfits from Sabyasachi’s new line; Farah Khan, Suzanne Roshan, Anna Singh, Sunaina and Hrithik Roshan (left to right) at Kimaya; Esperanza Gasper at the Pond’s makeover event; Valmik Thapar and Kapish Gautam Mehra of Rupa & Co at the release of Jim Corbett — The Hunter Conservationist; Phil Nicol in action at the Olive Bar & Kitchen

When hotshot fashion designer Sabyasachi decides to preview his new collection, naturally expectations are sky high. And the Calcutta boy didn’t disappoint at the recent showing of his Spring-Summer 2006 collection at Carma in Delhi. The show kickstarted with music by wedding singer Meena Bakshi, providing the perfect ambience as models Amanpreet Wahi, Parul Choudhary, Sanjukta, Angela Sharma, Milana and Jaishree Tahilini came sashaying along in clothes inspired by folk and Mughal elements. Sabyasachi’s muted floral prints were evident on the Patiala salwars, and these were teamed with mismatched kurtas. The mismatched salwar- kameezes, shirt-waisters and chiffon coats also attracted attention, as did the sequinned saris.

The embroidery for the collection, says the designer, was sourced from Andalusia, Turkey, Morocco, Rajasthan, Bihar and Bengal. “Internationally, craftsmanship is the fashion statement. Anything handcrafted enjoys exclusivity. Also, I like Indian women in traditional clothes. Nothing looks better on them,” he said.

When asked about his upcoming collection for the India Fashion Week in Mumbai, Sabyasachi revealed, “There will be lots of volume ' an unlayered look. My fashion week collection celebrates simplicity with sportswear going into eveningwear.”

Laugh riot

It was a date with a stand-up comic that had Delhi laughing non-stop for almost an hour. Canadian comedian Phil Nicol performed at the Olive Bar & Kitchen for the first time in an event sponsored by Kingfisher. The evening saw Nicol strumming the guitar and doing take-offs of Bjork, Nirvana and Bob Dylan that had the audience in splits. In between came a short break with the audiences gorging on Olive’s delicious thin-crust pizzas, while the stand-up comic interacted with the guests.

The performer admitted, however, that he has sometimes been unsure of his audiences. “This being my first time, I had no idea what the audience would be like. In Mangalore where I performed, I managed to raise hackles with jokes that I cracked on Jesus. Also tonight, I was performing on the terrace which is always more distracting than doing the act in a nightclub,” he explained.

Born in Scotland and raised in Canada, Nicol is more famously known as the guitarist from the top musical comedy trio, Corky and the Juice Pigs. The comedian is touring seven Indian cities and trying to figure out the audiences of the sub-continent and see whether they will lap up his brand of rib-tickling humour and jokes.

Booked for success

Jim Corbett ' The Hunter Conservationist was the last book that writer, poet and journalist Reeta Dutta Gupta authored before she died of cancer in November last year. The launch of the book recently at Delhi’s India International Centre amidst the author’s family, friends and the media by Valmik Thapar, well known Indian conservationist was a tribute to Dutta Gupta.

Admiring Reeta’s zest for writing, Thapar said it was remarkable that she could put a book together while she was suffering from cancer. Empathising with Reeta’s family, Thapar said he shared a similar experience; he’d lost his mother to cancer when she was working on a book.

Kishore Thukral, a close friend read out excerpts from the book (published by Rupa & Co) describing Corbett’s passion for tigers and friendship with the locals living in the hills who called him Gora Sadhu. The book and cover design have been done by Reeta’s sister and brother, designers Peali and Vivek Dutta Gupta. Recalling the last days of the author Peali said, “Working on this book was like medicine for her and even the doctors felt that it was the best thing for her to do during the last days of her life.”

Religious inspiration

Designer Anna Singh clearly isn’t afraid to dabble in religious icons even though people can be touchy in this day and age. That was evident when she released her Art Icons, menswear line at Kimaya in Mumbai recently. The creations are inspired by old Christian art icons offset by contemporary adjectives. The result is an eclectic mix of old religious and fun figures on simple silhouettes.

Singh has built a loyal customer base in Bollywood over the years. So it wasn’t suprising when the stars showed up to lend support. The first to walk in was Jackie Shroff and others soon followed. There was Hrithik Roshan with wife, Suzanne, and mother-in-law, Zarine Khan. Newly- weds Zayed and Mallika Khan, Bobby Deol, Rahul Khanna and Kunal Kapoor were also present as were Aditi Gowatrikar, Farha Khan and DJ Aqeel.

Makeover magic

Makeovers are the flavour of the season and modern Indian woman will go a long way to look and feel good. Small wonder then that the Surprise Makeover show organised by Pond’s in Mumbai recently was such a hit. Keeping in mind the Women’s Day Celebrations, three Ponds Femina Miss India 2006 contestants ' Natasha, Garima and Radhika ' were surprised with a free makeover for one special person in their lives. The event, which took place at Mumbai’s Grand Hyatt saw Natasha and Garima both choosing their mothers for the makeover while Radhika chose her elder sister.

Some of the best known names in the beauty business were in charge of the makeovers. Ponds flew down Esperanza Gasper, the Pond’s Institute skin expert from Madrid to guide the makeover team. Also in the house was Dr Jamuna Pai, the ambassador of Pond’s India, fitness expert Deanne Pandey, hairstylists and make-up artistes Bharat and Dorris Godambe and fashion designer Neeta Lulla.

Photographs by Jagan Negi, Rupinder Sharma and Gajanan Dudhalkar

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