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Malavika’s Mumbaistan: The Bold and The Beautiful

The 6,000-sqft two-storey store is nestled in a heritage structure in Mumbai’s newest fashion district Kala Ghoda

Updated: Nov 20, 2019 06:35 IST

By Malavika Sangghvi, Hindustan Times

Falguni and Shane Peacock with Gauri Khan.

After having their couture gowns worn by the likes of Beyonce, Madonna, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga and Shakira and most of Bollywood’s bold and beautiful brigade, on the 15th anniversary of their collaboration and label, designer couple Falguni and Shane Peacock announced their success with what most would say was the fashion world’s ultimate achievement – the launch of a sprawling flagship store in SoBo, designed by none other than celebrity designer and star wife Gauri Khan, which opened its doors with a glittering reception last night.

The 6,000-sqft two-storey store, nestled in a heritage structure in Mumbai’s newest fashion district Kala Ghoda, replete with a colossal antique chandelier, bespoke marble and hues of powder pink and speckled gold, that Khan created, is said to be in prefect synergy with the label’s edgy, intricately detailed western cuts with Indian embellishments. “Gauri’s design aspects are modern, contemporary and luxurious. The duo’s clothes have all of the above. It’s a perfect marriage of the two,” said a spokesperson.

“While designing, it was important for me to make the space functional and not imposing.” It is the product that is most important, and that should stand out. The idea is that when a client walks into the store, they would want to buy at least one outfit. I love how the store has achieved it all,” Khan said.


Last week saw singer, actor, composer and stand-up comedian Ash Chandler curate an evening of jazz entertainment at the St Regis hotel that harked back to the Roaring 1920s. Titled ‘Ash Chandler’s Limelight All Stars’ (ACLA), it included some of the city’s noted jazz talents coming together for an evening of rousing entertainment. The full house (yes, it was packed!) saw the likes of actress-musician Suchitra Pillai, corporate honchos Ashwini Kakkar and Vivek Singh, restaurateurs AD Singh and Rachel Goenka and cultural impresario Parmesh Shahani, amongst many other familiar faces gathered to cheer, as Chandler, wearing various hats as anchor and performer brought on the acts.

The ACLA team

These included a jazz dancer and her troupe kicking off with a performance of ‘Fever’ to burlesque and Broadway moves; a well-known radiologist delivering a stand-up routine; a mentalist demonstrating his mind-reading prowess; a theatre actress performing a song and dance routine; and a tap dancer putting on a fleet- footed performance. One of the highlights of the show, according to sources, was model, actor, performer, singer and video jockey Sushant Digvikar, in his celebrated drag avatar, rendering a power-packed cover of Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ to an enthusiastic reception. “It is the birth of the Revue / Verité show in India,” said an elated post show Chandler. “It was such a blast”

And even while it featured under the umbrella of the larger Jazz Legends Program of the hotel, we hear that the next instalment of ACLA is already ‘brewing’!


What’s a Mumbai cultural event without its share of local grandees throwing hissy fits? At a recent high-brow gathering, attendees were amused by the ongoing tussle between this high-profile gent, a leading light of India Inc and an overzealous usher, who kept trying to dislodge the former from his seat, in the first row.

No sooner had the famous gent sat down, when a member of the establishment’s staff had bustled up to him, to point out that the seat had in fact been reserved for someone else. The argument conducted in stage whispers, loud enough for all to hear, is said to have rapidly escalated to a point where, when the usher pleaded. “Please sir, this row has been reserved for the trustees, please sit elsewhere…” the furious response he received was: “Move away from me! My man! I pay for all of this.” Accompanied by a sweeping gesture towards the proceedings. “This little cameo was definitely more riveting than anything that was being said on stage,” informs a tickled young lady who was seated a row behind.


If you asked anyone in the India of the seventies and eighties, who were the most powerful and celebrated women of the country, they most certainly would have mentioned the late Indira Gandhi who had served as India’s prime minister from 1966 to 1977 and again from 1980 to 1984, and Zeenat Aman, the pathbreaking Bollywood actress of her era, who had captured the public imagination with her very first film, Hare Rama Hare Krishna, in 1971.

Sushmita Sen

Both these women, in vastly different careers had dominated the mind space and media headlines as strong independent female icons of their times. Many years later had arrived Sushmita Sen, who’d heralded India’s spectacular winning streak in international beauty pageants with her Miss Universe 1994 triumph, certainly no slouch in the strong, independent female icon stakes. That’s not all they had in common though. All three were born on the same day – yesterday, 19th November. As were Meg Ryan and Jodie Foster further examples as it were.

(But before one is tempted to give sun signs and horoscopes a relook on the basis of this, one must also take in to consideration that Dara Singh, the epitome of the alpha male of the good old days, was also born on 19 November!)


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