Richa Chadda doesn’t mince words or beat round the bush. She is direct… just like the characters she plays with unblinking conviction. The award-winning actress speaks straight from the heart on movies, men and more…
There are some people who radiate positivity, energy and happiness – what we call ‘good vibes’. Yami Gautam is one of those people. And she has reason to be. Not many actors from television make the cut to Bollywood. Her debut film Vicky Donor, directed by Shoojit Sircar was a sleeper hit. Made on a shoe-string budget the film not only vowed both the audiences and critics but also earned her many female debut awards.
But how did a girl born in Himachal Pradesh and raised in Chandigarh land up in Bollywood? A civil servant aspirant Yami was pursuing a law degree when her uncle sent her pictures to a production house. An audition for a television serial landed her in Mumbai and Yami never returned.
Singer, model, daredevil, actor…Anushka Manchanda’s life has taken many turns. But it is music that binds it all for this rock chic.
She became a sensation even before she turned 18. Discovered on one of the first reality shows in India Anushka Manchanda went on to be a part of India’s first girl band VIVA. And though the band split, Anushka moved on to be a VJ, model and even lend her bold and sassy voice to the Hindi film industry. Currently she is making waves for her uninhibited performance in the film Angry Indian Goddesses.
Luxury brand Stefano Ricci evolved from a tie manufacturing firm into a full- spectrum luxury lifestyle brand, on the basis of serious investment in research and craft-based expertise. After a strong retail footprint of 43 stores across the globe the brand recently opened its first store in Mumbai, India at the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel. I caught up with the founder Stefano Ricci whose mission is to design garments for the wardrobe of a man who already has everything.
The recently concluded India Luxury Style Week (ILSW) in Bangalore had quite a few notable trends that are going to be filtering into men’s wardrobe anytime soon. Playful mix and matches, slim fits, splashes of bold colour, etc. ruled the runway. Here are the five biggest trends for menswear and more importantly how to work with them
Every year, Bollywood sees a barrage of new faces, new hopes and new aspirations. The year 2015 is no different and the industry is geared to welcome talented debutantes. Check out these hottest newbies, who are all set to make their marks and became stars, almost overnight.
Ayesha burst onto to the scene in 2005 with Sanjay Leela Bhasali’s Black. As a deaf, mute and blind girl she delivered a multilayered performance that undercut expectations. Though she went on to win awards for her performance she soon faded into oblivion. “I went back to school in Pondicherry as my parents were very particular that I get myself a good education,” explains the heir of Hidesign the leather accessories company. Post boarding school and whilst waiting to get into NYU for an acting course Ayesha landed in Mumbai for a short internship with Sanjay Suri. Her fondness for the camera bloomed into serious passion and she stayed back in the city to pursue her acting dreams. Auditions for over two months with Yashraj Films casting head Shanu Sharma led the child prodigy to bag a three film deal with the production house. The first film is slated to be Shekhar Kapoor’s futuristic Romeo & Juliet set in Mumbai in the future when water is the greatest wealth. Sushant Singh the male lead plays a boy from the lower city who steals into the higher city where he meets Ayesha.
Undaunted by the delay in her debut Ayesha says, “I am positive about the wait period as I know I am working on my art. I want to show the audience of what I am capable of with my first film.” The preparations for the big ticket debut include hectic schedule of a run in the morning followed by acting classes, dance classes, lip-synching, Hindi classes and so on. What’s her strategy to be ahead of the curve in Bollywood? “I am not worried about the competition. I just need to stay true to my art and creativity as an artist. As long as you are in the industry for the right reasons I believe things will happen naturally. I have the right team backing me.” When not honing her acting skills the equestrian sets off to Pondicherry to ride horses, write poetry and work on her brand of accessories – Ayesha.
Would she join the ranks of other phenomenally talented child actresses like Sridevi and Urmila Matondkar who grew up to be stars in their own right? Only time will tell.
As daughter of Karim Morani, Shah Rukh Khan’s closest friend, film producer and owner of Bollywood’s biggest event management company Zoa Morani’s Bollywood aspirations aren’t surprising to say the least. When kids her age were playing doll Zoa was touring the world and watching Karisma Kapoor and Shah Rukh Khan enthral audiences with their stage performances. “The energy was contagious and watching the actors on stage would give me goose bumps. I think that sowed the seed of acting in me,” she remembers.
After a dream debut with Shah Rukh Khan production Always Kabhi Kabhi Zoa faced some rough weather when the movie tanked at the box office. There was more bad news in store as another film with Shyam Benegal too fizzled out and her father Karim Morani was embroiled in the 2G scam. When it became hard to find good work Zoa immersed herself in theatre. But all that is behind her now as Zoa is now gearing up for the release of her film Bhaag Johnny co starring Kunal Khemu and directed by Shivam Nair.
A thriller shot in Thailand Bhaag Johnny also involves a lot of intense emoting and action sequences. “It was tough and we had to run through fields with dried grass and sometimes thorns. But we pulled through and the result was totally worth it,” says Zoa who is an ardent practitioner of Ashtang Yoga. A theatre enthusiast she has also acted in a couple of plays including Taj Mahal Ka Udghatan. For this Alia Bhatt fan the ultimate Bollywood dream is to work with Sushant Singh and Farhan Akhtar.
Between now and the new year, these actors will go from being relatively unknown to virtually omnipresent. Will they rule the marquee or fall by the wayside – only time and box office grosses will tell.
Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty’s daughter Athiya is poised for a debut with Salman Khan’s production Hero alongside another newcomer Sooraj Pancholi. “Growing up I wasn’t part of the film world and never visited dad’s sets. But I was always a Bollywood fanatic when it came to movies. I grew up watching DDLJ, Kuch kuch hota hain and Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham a zillion times,” says the 22 year old who wants to stay in the film industry for a very long time. It’s a dream debut as the Bajrangi Bhaijaan actor is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that that his best friend’s daughter gets the biggest opening on September 25th. Hero is a remake of the 80s super hit by the same name. Sooraj and Athiya are enacting the characters essayed by Jackie Shroff and Meenakshi Sheshadri in the yesteryears.
Gaurav Gupta created a world of fantasy, sculpted structures and silhouettes for the grand finale of Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2015 at Mehboob Studios. Bollywood actor Kareena Kapoor Khan added grandeur and glamour to Gaurav’s creations.
The stunning show had a magnificent white giant sculpture of a gorgeous women rising from the centre of a circular stage around which the spectators were seated. A flight of stairs amongst the white stage décor created the mood for a breath-taking opening.
Couturier Gaurav Gupta’s designs were were minimal yet vibrant with moondown gray, albatross black, showtime ivory and reminiscent red. The silhouettes, colours, embroidery and sculpted fabrics were just breathtaking. Gupta’s models strutted down the runway with well-defined matte and crème lips in a stunning palette of rich plums, deep reds and feminine pinks from the new Lakmé Absolute face collection.
Fashion’s darling Tarun Tahiliani showed a line of easy silhouettes that featured kaftans, tunics, shift dresses, capes, capelets, jumpsuits and saris against a backdrop of a very stylish video featuring model and Bollywood actress Lisa Haydon modelling Tarun’s collection.
International model Ujjwala Raut opened the show with a looped black will-powered midi, which was followed by a great mix of black creations with occasional bursts of colour.
The line had exotic prints with a marked Russian influence of vibrant stripes and the tribal gypsy elements. The black and white striped cascading top and the asymmetric kurta with leggings, will-power corset dress, the black dhoti sari and choli brought a great fusion story. A maroon jumpsuit with embroidered printed belt and lungi dress were interesting diversions.
Some interesting variations seen on the ramp were the jumpsuit-sari, which looked easy to step into and and zip up, kedia style blouses with skirts, satin draped lungi cowl gowns, saris with velvet obe belts and printed tees with satin dhotis.
Monisha Jaising’s “Riviera” collection, took me back to the future at Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2015 with an inspired glamorous line.
Focusing on the 1960’s and 1970’s Monisha Jaising’s collection offered her trade mark kurtis paired with leather mirrorwork pants and minis, relaxed flared pants and some really wildly printed pop coloured dresses that could move with great ease from beach to brunch. I personally loved the line of gowns, minis, racer back dresses and halters with the heavy zardozi bands. A line of sensuous swimwear and luxuriously body-hugging gowns were the highlights of the show.
Monisha’s specialty – the gowns had deep plunging necklines; hip-high slits; lots of backless interest with sexy drapes and gold corsets to add drama to a black gown. The three white long creations with metallic insets in strategic places had a Riviera goddess vibe. Stopping the show was International model Ujjwala Raut who sashayed onto the ramp in a breathtaking sheer net crystal drenched, long sleeved gown.
A line definitely not for the demure wallflower.
Bollywood star Dia Mirza made a touching introduction of the theme at the beginning of the show. Anita used precious crafts like Ahir embroidery from Gujarat, ikat from Karnataka and Hyderabad, Gotta Patti from Rajasthan, weaves of Banaras, intricate Warli and hand block prints to create a line of asymmetric striped/solid tunics, shirt waister dresses, cascading poncho tops, capris, slit sleeve capes, summer frocks, batwing ponchos, striped shifts, front buttoned tubes and cross-over multi-print flared dresses. The fabrics were gorgeous khadi and hand spun silk from Bhagalpur.
The collection used block printing, mirror work, Warli and embroidery to draw attention. I also loved the collection of eco-conscious and functional bags and the natural line of jewellery in semi-precious stones on silver.
Anita moved from the cliched Bollywood showstopper for her finale and instead brought 26 master craftswomen from Gujarat to walk the ramp. The talented ladies are truly the stars of fashion and traditional craftsmanship.