Thursday, October 26, 2006

A night out with A

Last night I had a chance to be at the Absolut launch party. Absolut has been marketed by Seagrams so far and I had no idea that it is a Swedish brand (born in 1879 - talk about old brands).

We got the invite through a friend of ours. Both of us are recluse of sorts. We usually avoid parties and other such gatherings, but this friend of ours requested us to shoot the event for her. So, there we were with our cameras, copying the night onto our tapes.

Dress code was "All Black" and both of us were falling short of such items. I went out on an emergency shopping spree. I love shopping. That's my poison. Whenever I am sad or depressed I like to shop or if finances don't allow such indulgence, at least walk through the malls. Nothing can soothe my nerves as quickly as a few shopping bags in both my hands. Sometimes I feel like starting a “shopping assistance” service in Mumbai. Those men and women who have money to shop but not the companion who’d tell them what’s looking good on them could entail my services. But I am too chicken to try it. Anyhow, I needed a black Dress Pant and A needed a Black dress shirt. I searched through endless racks of clothing at Shoppers’ Stop, Life Style, UCB, Planet Fashion & Zodiac before settling on two pieces I liked the moment I set my eyes on them. I thanked my stars, because usually when I have the money to spend I don’t find anything to my liking. And trust me to find something to–die–for when I can’t afford it. And I usually give in to the temptation. I have had many lectures on virtues of spendthriftness from A.

We started from our home for ITC Grand Maratha and cruised through the deadly Andheri traffic ( imagine starting from Lokhandwala – Indian Oil Nagar – Saurashtra Circle – Juhu Gali – Andheri Fly–over – Chakala – ITC Maratha). We were met with the welcome crew at the entrance of the Grand Ballroom and were handed our masks. Yes, did I mention it was a masked ball? But before that I had to correct them that we were not from the media (thanks to the camera bags slinging off our shoulders). In the reception parlour liquor was flowing freely and we were standing amidst the society butterflies and moths. No body bothered to put on their masks.

The event started two hours later than it was supposed to as the special guests had increased the time limit on their ‘fashionably late’ slot. At around 9:30 the media went crazy and I thought to myself “someone really important must have turned up” cause the regular page three crowd was already loitering around. Imagine my disappointment when I see Mink ( One of the failures Dev Anand launched through one of his absurd movies) her brother, Preeti Jhangiani, her yummy boyfriend and Praveen Dabas walk in. Though Dabas looked hot in his black see through shirt.

The event was opened by stunningly beautiful Gaysil Noronha. I have known her for three years now. She started as a student of A and now is a close friend and confidante. She is an amazing dancer. I have seen dancers from across the world. My partner is a person who’s been trained in classical ballet, jazz, tap, modern, Spanish classical dance and flamenco dances since he was 7. I have watched Riverdance, Alvin Alley, Cirque D Soliel (only on tapes) and various other national and international dancers / performers / troupes, but the way she can make your heart beat faster, it’s amazing. A says, she’s a better performer than dancer. She captivates her audiences. She’s also an amazing singer. She was the lead singer of the India’s first girl band. None of us have heard it’s name because the group managed to release only one album before the two background singers hit it on their own. They are now known as Anaida and Mehnaaz. Mehnaaz sounds melodious when the music is right but I have no respect for Anaida as a singer. I have heard Anaida singing live and I was constantly praying her to stop. Anyhow, Gaysil opened with a ballet piece set to Satie & Debussy’s Gymnopedie No.1 Version A .

This marvellous piece was followed by a fashion show where the lingerie selection of Absolute designer Ashish Gupta was presented. I was on the verge of puking. Honestly the clothes on display through those tired looking models were the last thing I would want to see on my beloved’s body. Lingerie can be sexy but uncomfortable is the last thing it should be. There was a piece – try and imagine – a satin & lycra vest, the letters forming ABSOLUT scattered on the front in the form of heavily sequined patches surrounded by equally heavily sequined elephants. Designer’s inspiration? E M Forrester’s “A Passage to India”. Bull–crap!! I was fining it hard to digest the connection between the book and the hideous piece on display. Other dresses were equally bad. I can do a better job any day. The saving grace of the show was the male model who had to wear a sheer undie leaving his package for all the world to see.

Gaysil burned the stage with stunning performances on Lady Marmalade, Buttons & Hips don’t lie.

As a part of the launch, the Absolut people had supposedly scouted the entire country to find four elegant beauties from the four zones. These poor things had to walk the ramp in pathetic dresses created by a lady designer whose name I can’t remember. Now the designer herself was wearing tights made of some stretchy material with horizontal navy–stripes in black and white. One look at the designer and the pathetic dresses where self explanatory. Satin gowns? With no girth whatsoever? Who is using satin anymore? And so little of it? I could see what those gowns needed to become notice–worthy for reasons other than the vulgar shine of satin.

That concluded the night for us. We didn’t give the tapes to our friend because A had concentrated on certain areas of certain someone. All the criticism I have lined up doesn’t mean that I did not enjoy the evening. I was having a blast dissecting everyone and everything.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zebra print tights? absolutely hideous! One would think a brand like Absolut can do much better.

Nice post and the blog!


4:56 PM, October 28, 2006  
Blogger Prasann said...

The fashion show was indeed a disappointment, a view endorsed by the media as well. Thanks for dropping by.

5:00 PM, October 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

man, Gaysil was one of Anaida's dancers and friends and Anaida apparently is the one who got her into singing and into some group project they did together much against Mehnaz wishes i heard. so go get your facts right!

11:17 AM, November 02, 2006  
Blogger Prasann said...

A Abraham: I am back with straightened facts. I was wrong about the whole 'lead and background singer' thing. But Anaida had no role to play in Gaysil's inclusion in the group. Gaysil replaced the third girl after Mellissa Machado (who used to work at BMG then) introduced her to Suresh Krishnan ( the then head of BMG Crescendo?). They liked her demo very much and made her a part of the group. All said and done, Anaida still can never measure up to gaysil's singing talent.

2:35 PM, November 03, 2006  

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