“Women in South Asia are some of the most policed in the world. Their sexuality, their bodies, their desires are constantly monitored and judged through the morality of societies in South Asia,” says Myna Mukherjee, director of Engendered. “Fashion has an incredibly popular appeal yet is considered frivolous or superfluous – both its creative roots as well as its worth are constantly questioned.”
He’s designed togs for Jay Sean, Fugitive, Mumzy Stranger, Juggy D, Ameet Chana, Bikram Singh and several other musicians and actors. Now he’s designing for the new film ‘London Town’ and soon the staff of Bloombury Hotel in London will be wearing uniforms styled by him.
Meet Saran Kohli, 24, a fashion designer from London who translates musicality into a fashion statement with an urban collection of menswear launching in New York.
A store is born – or should we say a star is born?
Misha Nicole, a new fashion concept store which is opening in Soho in fall 2010 gave shoppers a peek at things to come with Global Runway’s Night Out, a fashion show organized with the Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC) at the Paramount Hotel. Over 300 people turned up for an evening of cocktails and style-gazing as a battalion of models showed the collections of 10 designers from India, the US and Canada in a series of looks conceptualized by Misha Nicole Shivdasani.
This event is one for the Little Black Book with a sizzling fashion show highlighting the collections of names like Naeem Khan, Padma Lakshmi, Amrita Singh, Payal Singhal, and Sachin+ Babli, White + Warren, Stephanie Singh, Sachin + Babi, Babita Malkani and Stephen Rahate.
It was the Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week and Sabah Mansoor-Husain was one of six student designers from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco who showed their debut collections at the tented extravaganza. For Sabah, the destination was particularly thrilling for the journey to Bryant Park had started all the way in Bangalore, her hometown.
You have to hand it to Myna Mukherjee, Director of Engendered, the small but spunky human rights organization dedicated to gender, sexuality and minority rights. She not only talks about these difficult topics in the South Asian diaspora, be it HIV-AIDS or sexual orientation, but also makes them more accessible through music, dance, movies – and now fashion.
‘Positive’ by Manish Arora, who is one of the biggest names in fashion, was a tribute to the resilience of AIDS victims: “I chose color to signify ‘positive’ because that is a sign of happiness for me – and I took ‘positive’ to mean happiness – I love happiness! It doesn’t take much to make yourself happy.”
A visit to Naeem Khan’s penthouse showroom is like being transported into a different world. It’s embedded in the bustling garment district of New York with its countless wholesale showrooms, and you see racks of dresses and the occasional store mannequin being ferried on the crowded pavements. Ascend to Khan’s 10th floor showroom, and you are in an 18,000 foot space with soaring ceilings and a touch of 30’s Hollywood.
Ever since the news broke that he was designing First Lady Michelle Obama’s gown for the State Dinner in honor of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Khan’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing. Now with the passing of a few weeks, I managed to have a face-to-face chat with him, asking him of course, about the famous dress.