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The week that was


If this is the oomph effect of the third choli Mandy baby tried on, one can only imagine how revealing the other “controversy inviting” cuts were!

The organic looking Satya Paul sari met a bombshell of a blouse on day four. Place them on Mandira Bedi and you have a showstopper of showstoppers.





special snapshots

Ronit Roy, who made his ramp debut at age 44 for Manish Malhotra at the grand finale of KFW II, made a few more Calcutta-based fans! Not only did he stop mid-ramp to pose for clicking camera-phones, he also took a moment to shake hands with audience members during his final bow!

Another favourite moment was when Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, also a ramp debutant, walked with his sons Amaan and Ayaan in sherwanis for Kashmiri designer Zubair Kirmani. The sons looked seasoned and the father looked a little out of place, but all in all, a moment that was magic.





Neil Nitin Mukesh created hysteria in the hall. Hearts skipped beats and before he completed his catwalk, the girls — and some boys — were love (or lust) struck. Swooning and screaming, at that moment only one man mattered.







The first day, first show of KFW II was reserved for Ritu Kumar. But as Spandan’s Renu Roy took the stage and started a speech, the audience was trapped!

Whether it’s Shah Rukh Khan or Renu Roy with the mic, there is no place for a speech in any fashion week. Ditto for felicitations on the ramp.







Apsara-type collections are gaudy and garish. And when Rocky S (above) tried to do a Tarun Tahiliani, he failed foolishly. The saris, the jewels… nothing worked. Neeta Lulla’s dud collection came a close second.



Rituparna Sengupta’s ramp romp did not end without incident. Halfway through it, off slipped her bangle, and with it fell the end of the pallu. She fumbled, snatched the side of her sari and held it like the fold of a skirt, leaving the pallu to trail behind her. To her credit, she handled it well and transformed the ouch into an ohmygawd!


Out of place showstoppers were just not happening. Parambrata walked for Threads and looked anything but Manhattan cool. Neetu Chandra tried to walk for Soumitra Mondal (above) and then there was at Pauli Dam’s attempt at Audrey Hepburn!




gimmicks of the week

Tejas Gandhi’s show on day four saw a host of city stars — apparently representing “Everyman Everywoman” — take the ramp. The list included Bickram Ghosh with wife Jaya Seal Ghosh, Chaiti Ghosal, Jhulan Goswami, Shamik Sinha, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Ishfaq Ahmed, Dr B. Ramanna, Alokananda Roy, Tulsi Sinha Roy, Bridgette Jones, Anjali Sengupta, Tina Mukherjee, Shweta Tiwari, Prema Rajaram, Sreeparna Saha and Ankush Gandhi… Why? Don’t ask. That’s why we call it a gimmick!

After AIDs awareness with little red ribbons on dresses in the last season of KFW, this time Bibi Russell chose the cause of swine flu awareness, by making a few models wear protective masks made of — yes, you guessed it right — gamchha!


face of the week

Madhabilata Mitra

This Sananda Tilotamma winner of 2006 stood out tall and proud in the second season of Kolkata Fashion Week. She was among the handful of Calcutta models who eventually walked the ramp (most of the others chosen at the auditions walked out due to “rate problems”). We liked her best in Ritu Kumar, Anita Dongre and Bibi Russell but the 5-ft-11-inch beauty loved sharing the runway with her Tilottama mentor Nayanika Chatterjee the most. And what does Ma’am have to say? “I am happy Madhabilata is finally doing well!”



controversy of the week

Batik was the bother of KFW season II. Hear it from the two contenders...

Soumitra Mondal: “My batik (picture right) is different from Dev R Nil’s. It is crack-less. Moreover, my collection is developed from my own autumn-winter 2008 collection where I had used a square cube in uniform placement. This time I have used a technique based on uniform weaving checks. Batik itself is an old concept of Bengal, so anyone can do batik, anyone can easily get batik, even from Gariahat. Batik can’t belong to any designer.”

Dev & Nil: “All we can say is that we happened to be wearing our batik trousers from our last season’s collection (picture left) on the day of Soumitra’s show. We didn’t have to say anything. People noticed the striking similarity of what was being shown on the ramp and what we were wearing off it!”

genext grievances

Emerging designers were the ones who paid to show at KFW.

They were also the ones to face the most problems at every step — from models to make-up. Here’s more...

Emerging designers got Pool C models that comprised Bangalore-based choreographer Rahul Shetty and six unknown Delhi models, most of whom made their ramp debut at KFW II, along with equally unfamiliar Calcutta models. Some fought for a better lot. Only one emerging designer group got lucky in landing Alison Kanuga to direct their show. In Delhi and Mumbai fashion weeks, emerging designers are on a par with the best with regards to models, choreographers and infrastructure.

They faced discrimination even with hair and make-up. A skilled team was always involved with the established designers. Not so for the young guns.

Random standalone stores formed the bulk of the buyers in attendance, occupying a large chunk of the seating capacity in the show area. And with camera in hand, they were more than ready to copy the catwalk collections!

• The designer line-up was new and improved. From 18, the number went up to 38. Quantity apart, even the quality of the established designers went up a notch. An opening by Ritu Kumar and a closing by Manish Malhotra… now that’s impressive!

• The change of venue was the best thing that could have happened to KFW. From the dusty PC Chandra Gardens to the plush ITC The Sonar, it made a world of difference.

• It brought the city alive for those five days and five nights. The shows and the parties around town, Calcutta was buzzing.

• Two of the country’s top choreography teams, Alison Kanuga and the trio of Anisha, Aparna and Tanya from Delhi-based Preferred Professionals, along with some of the best talent of Elite Model Management India Private Ltd made the show a success.

• Cancelled shows and last minute venue changes made the show management messy.

• Seating in Sunderbans was a nightmare. It left the audience cramped and confused.

• From no buyers, KFW went to “14 buyers”, but the number still isn’t good enough. “We took the registration route and 14 buyers turned up from Hyderabad, Mumbai, Calcutta and Delhi. Many who couldn’t make it are looking at the collections and are in touch with us,” said a Mindscapes Maestros official.

• The stall area resembled a food court! Established designers didn’t have stalls due to “space constraints” and some of the younger ones put out their goods and hoped for the best.

• Gate management was shoddy.

What do you want at KFW III? Tell

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