Known as the faces and brains behind some of the most popular food brands of the City of Joy, five restaurateurs had a rendezvous with fashion for a change, for a The Telegraph exclusive. We approached Vicktar Ghosh of Perfect Place in Town (PPT), Reevu Wangdi of Momo I Am, Rishabh Killa of PPT, Abhinav Jaiswal of The Brewhive, and Rohit Ojha of Kaidi Kitchen, Scrapyard, Reality, cafe Mirosh and Ballu Da Dhaba, for a special Puja shoot. They agreed readily, nailed it, and how! With two fashion brands on board, Sharbari since 1991 by Kanaklata Datta and Amalin Datta and Warssi Kolkata by Anupam Chatterjee, t2 created an exclusive menswear lookbook for the festive season ahead, with ITC Royal Bengal serving as the perfect backdrop for the fun shoot. While Anupam decked them up in easy-breezy, solid-colour modern silhouettes, perfect for making festive daytime style statements; Kanaklata and Amalin gave them some gorgeous eveningwear rooted in tradition, with a smart and contemporary appeal.
The mood of the shoot was super fun, with the restaurateurs bonding among themselves while donning the looks with a hint of apprehension to start with, eventually getting comfortable in them. Post-shoot, The Telegraph sat down with the gang for a style chat...
The festive season is here and it is about food and fashion mostly. You all gear up about the food you are going to serve, do you gear up with your fashion as well?
Vicktar: Absolutely! We work in a place where people come wearing pretty clothes and click selfies… we also keep ourselves prim and proper stylewise.
Rohit: We eat good food to feel good. Just like that fashion is an integral part of a person’s life. When we style right, we feel comfortable, confident. And whenever we are wearing something comfortable, we feel happy. Personally, if I am going somewhere, I am conscious about what I am wearing because that reflects my identity, image and style.
Abhinav: We are restaurateurs. We have to keep up with the trend, be it fashion or food.
Reevu: In restaurants, people come wearing best clothes, so obviously we have to keep up with it.
Rishabh: Not really. But after this shoot, I would like to try to experiment more.
What would you define your personal style statement as?
Reevu: Very casual. I like wearing shorts, sneakers, nice plain T-shirts.
Abhinav: Casual and semi-casual.
Vicktar: As long as I am comfortable...
What is your festive or occasion-wear style statement like?
Vicktar: We work in a place where every Friday, Saturday or Sunday is party time or festive time for us; we need to dress accordingly. It is Western.
Rohit: In Calcutta, during festivals like Puja and Diwali it is a must to wear ethnic-wear but for us being in this industry we are always into something because every day we prefer looking different. So Western casual.
Abhinav: Puja, Diwali or any festival, it has always been ethnic for me.
Rishabh: Indian ethnic.
Is there any fashion item you are obsessed with?
Rishabh: Shoes and watches.
Did you ever have a weird styling phase?
Reevu: There was this time when everybody used to wear bell-bottom jeans. I tried that.
Abhinav: Long-time back we used to hang key chains with baggy pants... it used to be funny.
Rohit: Like he said... we were in school and there used to be baggy pants, but during those days that was the style, today I laugh about it.
Vicktar: Bell-bottom was a fashion for me then, today it is funny.
Rohit,Vicktar and Abhinav: We used to cut the jeans from the side....
Rishabh: I was a very casual kind, so no weird phases.
Do you follow fashion and have a favourite designer?
Reevu: I used to follow Virgil Abloh.
Abhinav: I follow a lot of people but I wear what suits my body.
Rohit: There’s no particular person I follow. If it is even a common man wearing something looking good, I can visualise how I would look in that.
Vicktar: My personal favourite is Raghavendra Rathore.
Rishabh: I just wear what suits on me.
Who do you take style advice from?
Reevu: No one.
Abhinav: Not from anyone. I believe style should come from within.
Rohit: Highlight this for me... mine comes from my wife (everyone laughs)
Rishabh: My near and dear ones.
Do you shop for yourself and are you a shopping addict?
Reevu: Wherever I travel, if I see something nice, I pick it up. And I do like shopping. Online I used to do a lot but off late I stopped.
Abhinav: I see something I like, I buy it.
Rohit: I love exploring. It is not that I go shopping every now and then. If I like something, I pick it up. It should be comfortable.
Vicktar: I never shop for myself. My friends shop for me. I am not a shopper at all.
Rishabh: Not a shopping addict, if I like something, I pick it up.
What did you think of today’s shoot? Have you tried these styles before?
Reevu: This was definitely a first for me. I am not sure if I will wear such styles again but it felt good to try.
Abhinav: The casual one is good for a vacay and the other one I would definitely like to try during the festive time.
Rohit: The first set of outfits were unique and comfortable. And for the second set, I have experienced it only once in my life and I hope it is the only time... that was my wedding (everyone laughs)
Rishabh: The first sequence is more my style but I liked experimenting with the second sequence, too.
Pictures: Pabitra Das
Location courtesy: ITC Royal Bengal
Hair and Make-up: Bivas Jana
Styling: Anupam Chatterjee