This appeared in Dubai's leading English daily.... I liked the spontaneous mood of the photograph a lot! The write-up's pretty good , too. And this appeared in Bombay Times this morning.....
Kick up your heels….!
Fashion is a strange and compelling creature. At a time when the world was reeling from those horrific images of the devastating tsunami\earthquake coming in from Japan and wondering whether TV channels were actually showing clips from a forthcoming disaster blockbuster from Hollywood, here in Mumbai, young Japanese designers were bravely going ahead with their scheduled shows at the ongoing fashion week. Their gravity- defying shoes (minus heels!) must have knocked the socks off the fashionistas in the front row. Wow! Japan has always favoured futuristic fashion and the young designers representing Tokyoeye certainly carried this tradition forward. But it was really amusing to note that the biggest celeb around on Day 2, was not a Bollywood hottie, nor an international rockstar, but a middle-aged, portly West Indian ex-cricketer! Viv Richards effortlessly stole the limelight and made front page news when he attended his daughter Masaba’s show, with his former wife, Neena Gupta. Not only did the publicity generated by the ageing legend establish the power of cricket, but it also revealed our own sentimentality - we felt genuinely happy for Masaba, who looked over the moon herself! For a young girl growing up without her famous dad must have been pretty traumatic, especially since both parents were high profile individuals. The initial buzz generated by Masaba at her fashion debut a couple of years ago, had a lot do with people’s curiousity about her persona. Had the girl not been talented, her foray into this tough and competitive business would have ended right there. The reason Masaba succeeded is because she has what it takes to hack it in this field. She also has the one thing most newcomers lack – a signature style that differentiates her from the pack. One can tell a Masaba from a mile …that says something about her confidence and individuality.
As for the rest – yaaaaawwwwnnn! The one fashion trend that needs to be instantly discarded is the floor length anarkali which makes the wearer resemble a moving tepee.Short women looking still shorter, the rest look like fancy,over decorated tents. The other unflattering addition to a pretty long list of ‘ugh’ looks being thrust on unsuspecting women is the Granny-choli with fitted three quarter length sleeves and a wide neckline. Come on, chaps… only Lalita Pawar was entitled to wear that as she wept her eyes out inside a temple. As for the attempt to impose sexless androgyny on clients – why would a beautiful, curvaceous woman wish to look like an anorexic, adolescent boy? Why? Or the other way round, for that matter? Great, for shock value. But for fashion to endure, to be appreciated, worn and enjoyed, it has to go beyond gimmicks…. and starlets as show stoppers. But hey – who knows?? Last week, I fell off my chair when I saw full page coverage of a Delhi wedding with the hosts clad in gaudy,heavily embroidered anarkalis ( yes sir… anarkalis, not achkans), complete with zari bordered chiffon dupattas. And we are talking about two heavy weight (literally!) political players , here! The canny designer must have laughed all the way to the bank after pulling off this garish con job on those Money Bags. New bakras are born everyday. Jai ho!
The Delhi winter continues to linger and linger. I felt envious observing Dilliwallas flaunting their woolies while we swelter in Mumbai. All the public spaces and roundabouts are abloom with petunias, cannas, dahlias, sweet peas and more. The evenings are crisp and cool with a delicious nip in the air. And Dilliwallas are flocking to open air soirees, doing what they do best – free loading! Cheers!
Bollywood mystery: Why didn’t Jimmy Shergill make it big? He is tall, good looking, charismatic and a terrific actor. Watch him as Raja in ‘Tanu Weds Manu’, if you don’t believe me, particularly in the last scene where, as a rejected bridegroom, he is forced to accept defeat but reignedly, gallantly says, ‘Dhol bajaaney shooru karo.”