Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Modern Avataras Of Age Old Sari

The new  generation of  designers are taking care that the age old sari - Sita's legacy  and Draupadi's pride -  does not die out, by bringing in innovations, that would have scandalized our grandmothers  Yes there are  different ways of carrying the traditional six yard cloth and how to make it more stylish. Shamita Singha, who was present at the Lakme fashion preview, says  " I love the elements of youth and fun in  saris of modern designers. In fact, I plan on wearing them to parties as often as I can". In case of the sari, upcoming and even established designers are giving the traditional garment more modern interpretations to suit a young clientele, whom they feel are not averse to  accepting of such change.  Yes there are  different ways of carrying the traditional six yard cloth and how to make it more stylish.

Sabyasachi  the eminent fashion maestro says, " In my recent collection, I have showcased the chhotu sari, which is not really a new concept because women in tribal areas wear them. The only difference is that I have removed the pleats so that it just becomes easier for the youth. It's important to create a blend amongst the traditional and the commercial. The chhotu sari helps the women flaunt their shoes." Sabya's chhotu sari has been made in khadi and the silhouettes are also Indian.
Stylist Priya Agni  says, "I think it is imperative to innovative with the sari. Unless we are not hampering with the aesthetics  of the six yards it's fine. I used leggings and strong shoulder pads, because I wanted the sari to be more western. Another way of wearing a sari would be to drape it around in cowls."

Fashion designer Anju Chotrani too has modern ideas of combining sari with western dress and explains, "Wearing a sari with a long  jacket is very Western. Also with a long Kurti. Interestingly, the blouses don't stop at the waist these days, they are long and stretch like a kurti.

Also long ruffles over the edge of the pallu make the sari look like a Victorian gown. Trousers or a skirt replace the traditional 'ghagra' (skirt) and the sari is pre-draped using various notches that can be adjusted to accommodate weight gain".

New designer Masaba Gupta's saris were pieced together in such a way that they made perfect sense for everyday wear for the young or experimentalists. With thick black and white stripes and a green border, they were styled well giving it that needed young , Indo-Western silhouetteRitu Kumar the leading fashion expert   is of the opinion that the sari has been recently often innovated to make it more appealing for daily wear. She says, " I recently draped a sari totally differently, the pleats were stitched, the pallu more like a scarf around the neck and the blouse fits like a corset."

Puneet Nanda of Satya Paul is trying to make the same basic structure fresh for new clients. His pop art line of saris, most recently, sported by Bollywood celebs like Jacqueline Fernandes and Mughda Godse, have sold like hot cakes. "People are bored with the traditional designs they find in stores, they want something new and exciting," Nanda explains the reason for the success of the line. "We tread a fine line when creating pop art. An image of Ganesha or other gods might work as pop art in New York, but here it will be interpreted as misusing religious images."

Nanda has also launched a line of pre-constructed saris to capture the working woman, who has no time to patiently drape six yards of fabric. According to him "Personally, I prefer the original structure because it's hard to improve upon a garment that isn't even stitched. But our pre-constructed saris are practical and meant for women on the go. We've avoided the use of the zipper form because that leaves you with just one size. By using strategically placed notches, the sari can be adjusted, because women tend to go through cycles of weight loss and gain."

Monica and her design partner Karishma Swati recently unveiled their own festive collection of hand smocked and silk macramé saris which were traditional in their look and fabric but very contemporary in their presentation.  "The sheer magnitude of what you can do with a sari is amazing," says Monica.

Fashion designer Anamika Khanna, who feels that saris should be made innovative, broke the mould when she showed a range of muslin saris in hues like lime green, magenta and saffron. The saris were draped unconventionally and instead of a ghagra underneath, she teamed them with pajama pants and all parts of the outfit were in one colour only.

Butterfly pallu saree is a type of designer saree where the pallu narrows downs to the shoulder with cut work. The style is being inspired from the Bollywood film industry. The work on the shoulder can be of pearl and kundan which adds a fusion look to the designer saree.  Sharara saree - It is a style of saree which looks like a sharara. It has two flares and the second flare makes it looks like sharara. The sharara saree is very heavily emblazed with work of zari, zardosi or thread work on the bottom or second half of the flare. It is worn on special occasions like weddings and bridal functions.  A thin fabric saree with a belt highlights your curves.  Belt can be of a fabric or leather emblazes with embroidery or stone work. Adding a glam belt to the attire gives a fusion look to the attire. It can be worn on any party wear occasion or festivals.  Lehenga saree - This is another experiment of designers. This kind of designer saree has a flare in the end but less than sharara flare. This style is getting popular among Modern Indian brides. This gives a fusion look to traditional lehenga choli.
Neo- saree is another experiment with saree. This designer saree is a saree with a reduced height and is above the ankle. You can team this saree with a strapee sandal or juttis.  Net saris are trying  to get a toehold this wedding season, vying for attention with ethnic silks, finds   fashion  designer Sangeetha Devi Dundoo
Bling still rules, but understated elegance is back in saris. "Heavy silks are preferred for the wedding ceremony but women want cotton-blends for the smaller functions. Kotas with kalamkari, cut-work and intricate borders are dressy while remaining easier to handle in the heat," opines designer Mamata Reddy of Kalam Creations.
Yes    There are many modern  avataras for the age old sari.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sunidhi Chauhan and Raveen Tandon


Turns out singer Sunidhi Chauhan’s connection with actress Raveen Tandon is an age old one! It was Kalyanji Aanandji’s tour to Bahamas in 1994 in which Bollywood-biggies like Amitabh Bachchan, Raveena Tandon, Manisha Koirala and Sridevi participated.Among these top-notch actors was a little bundle of talent, Sunidhi Chauhan. Being a part of Kalyanji Aanandji’s music academy, the 11-year-old toured for the first time with the then A-listers.Seen with the Mast Mast girl Raveena Tandon, the coy little Sunidhi, clad in a salwar kameez, became the centre of attraction for the actress. Interestingly, it’s the same sparkler who has sung an item song Main chandigarh di star, Munde checking me from far, munde slowing down the car for Raveena in ‘Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap’.

Mallika Sherawat


It was a festive evening at Puranmal Juhu, as the air was full of anticipation and excitement, with Double Dhamaal’s Jalebi Bai Mallika Sherawat expected to visit and herself make jalebis for everyone!! The glamorous actress arrived at the eatery in full enthusiasm and straightaway went  to the jalebi frying counters and started making piping hot jalebis!!...Also making jalebis with her was director Indra Kumar, and the duo fed each other, along with everyone present, including media persons! After the fun feast, Mallika went on to speak about her much awaited comedy film and the sizzling item number Jalebi Bai,” I had a blast dancing to Jalebi Bai. I want to thank Induji for giving me such a amazing platform and role with his sequel to the hit Dhamaal...the entire cast and crew was so much fun to work with!” Indra Kumar’s comedy sequel film Double Dhamaal, produced by Maruti International in association with Reliance Entertainment, is a much anticipated comedy film starring the previous Dhamaal team- Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Ashish Chowdhry, Ritiesh Deshmukh and Jaaved Jafferi, with Mallika Sherawat and Kangana Ranaut.

Neha Hinge

Bollywood Happened Just By Chance : Neha Hinge

If fate would have willed, smart and beautiful Neha Hinge may have made her debut with Madhur Bhandarkar’s film Dil To Bachcha Hai Ji, but now she is all set to make her bow with Madhur’s friend Joe Rajan’s maiden film as a director- Luv U Soniye in which she has been teamed in the romantic lead opposite none other than Tanuj Virwani, the handsome and dashing son of actress Rati Agnihotri.

Neha confesses that she is in films today only because she had won the crown of Miss India. “When Madhur selected me as Bombay Diva, which was a part of the Miss India pageant, he told me that he would sign me on for his film Dil To Bachcha Hai Ji, but it did not materialize for reasons best known to Madhurji”, quips Neha.

How did Joe Rajan discover you I ask Neha. Pat comes the reply, “It was Madhur who had suggested to Joe that he should cast me in his film Luv U Soniye, when he told Madhur that he was all set to make his debut in films as a director with his film Luv U Soniye. Joe signed me on as the leading lady of his film even without me giving any audition. On hindsight, I think that whatever happens in life happens only for the better, because nothing can be better than a film, with which you are making your debut with a title role.”

The reason she decided to make her bow with a new production house like that of Joe Rajan and not wait till a big banner like say that of Yash Chopra offered to launch her, is that she had to start somewhere. “All that I can say with due respect is that Yash Chopra is Yash Chopra but all of us have the capacity to reach that place slowly and steadily, since Rome was not built in one day. Joe is one director, who knows exactly what he wants from his actors. Joe lets us give variations in our expressions and besides being creative, also takes ideas from each and every one on the sets, from the spot boy to the light boy.”

Neha confesses that it was not at all difficult for her to portray her character effortlessly, because in the first place, she plays a sweet and cultured young girl, who loves her family and always makes it a point to fight for what is good. To let her get into the skin of her character, Joe asked voice teacher Joy to help her now the technicalities of modulation of her voice and also subjected Tanuj and her to exercises,  which helped them build up chemistry between both of them.

Neha confesses that she is not at all a trained actor and it was for the first time that she faced the camera on the sets of Luv U Soniye. “I am the face of Pantaloon. I confess that on the first day of the shooting, I was quite scared and nervous but started enjoying the process of acting, when I got its essence. It is amusing, but the fact is that though I was nervous while giving the rehearsal, I was okay when the take was on. My first take was what you’d call in film parlance a one take”, gushes Neha.

Neha is a software engineer, who has worked for two years in Accenture, Pune and though Miss India was something that she had always yearned to be, Bollywood is something that has happened just by chance. “Though I concede that I did not ultimately act in his film, the fact that a director of the stature of Madhur Bhandarkar selected me for a part in his film Dil To Bachcha Hai ji was, by itself, a big pleasant surprise to me.”

Neha admits that her parents have always treated her like a son. “My father told me to go ahead and avail of the opportunity when the offer to act landed in my lap. Though I had heard horror stories about the casting couch in the film industry, I realized that it is not the case when I started working. I now know that it is only women who want to be exploited, get exploited in Bollywood. If you are strong, no one on earth can force you to do something that you do not want to do.”
What is your take on exposure? I ask Neha point blank. “As an actress, I certainly would love to look glamorous on the screen. I am quite confident about my body and am even ready to flaunt it.  However, if it is not required, I am not game for exposure. I am okay as far as lip-locks are  concerned and also can look hot, but please no Mallika Sherawat kind of role in films like Murder for me, because I do not want to get saddled with that kind of image as far as I am concerned.”
Neha confesses that she had turned down an offer some time back when the producer asked her to appear in a bikini in his film, because the role was not at all appealing enough for her to say yes. “If it is shot aesthetically like it was on Priyanka Chopra in Dostana or Kareena Kapoor in Tashan, I do not mind at all appearing in a bikini,” asserts Neha.
When I ask her whether she fell in love with her co-actor Tanuj while the shooting of the film was on, Neha signs off by stating that she is still single and her search for the Mr Right is on and adds, “You should not mix your personal life with your professional life.”