Soha Ali Khan and Lisa Haydon Light Up Kolkata Ramp as Viswanathan Anand Makes Style Statements | Blenders Pride Fashion Tour

By JP Mandal and Asmita Mukherjee (newsdesk.kolkata@washingtonbanglaradio.com)
Pictures: Biswajit Saha

Soha Ali Khan in Kolkata (C) WBRi Inc.
Soha Ali Khan in Kolkata

Kolkata, Dec 6 (Washington Bangla Radio): Celebrated Bollywood actresses Soha Ali Khan and Lisa Haydon turned showstoppers and chess ace Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand steppedinto the shoes of style-speaker as Blenders Pride Fashion Tour recently reached Kolkata.

Lisa Haydon in Kolkata (C) WBRi Inc.
Lisa Haydon in Kolkata

When WBRi asked Soha Ali Khan about how she differentiates between style and fashion, she said, “I think Fashion is what is time based, what is seasonal and what is in. For me some fashion trends are wearable and some I find really difficult to carry. Style is more individualistic approach to fashion and is more permanent.”

When asked about her must-haves in her wardrobe, the “Rang De Basanti” actress said, “I always like to have a pair of well-fitted jeans at ready. But for special occasions I prefer a saree. So a number of gorgeous sarees are must for my wardrobe from which I can choose from.”

About her personal style Soha said, “My own style is very much influenced by the era of 1950s and 1960s. I love to carry hair-styles of that era and the eyeliners. I think that my mom is responsible for such choice of style.”

When asked if ever her mother - Bollywood diva Sharmila Tagore - helps her out, Soha said, “My mother helps me a lot. She helps me so much that I often need to tell her that I am all grown up now and can take care of myself. But I love the way she pampers me.”

Soha Ali Khan with Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand in Kolkata
Soha Ali Khan with Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand in Kolkata

In the two evenings of celebration of style and fashion, four designers - J J Valaya, Rahul Mishra, Little Shilpa and Pankaj-and-Nidhi duo showcased their collections to a glamorous crowd in Kolkata.

Rahul Mishra and J J Valaya exhibited their collections on the first day and Soha Ali Khan walked the ramp as J J Valaya’s showstopper. JJ Valaya’s collection is inspired by a blend of Russian and Indian cultures. Rahul Mishra’s collection was an reflection on rustic villages.

Soha Ali Khan with Indian Fashion Designer JJ Valaya in Kolkata (C) WBRi Inc.
Soha Ali Khan with Indian Fashion Designer JJ Valaya in Kolkata

On his collection for Blenders Pride Fashion Tour 2015, JJ Valaya said, “My collection ‘The Bolshoi Bazaar’ is based on two unique ethnicities: India and Russia. My collection is a collaboration of two cultures. It is not a contrast but an amalgamation of refinement with subtle edginess, layered with luxury which is handcrafted yet intriguingly modern.”

Designer Rahul Mishra, known for his sustainable design philosophy, said, “This year my collection at Blender’s Pride Fashion tour ‘The Village’ fits aptly with this platform. Collaborating with the theme of good taste that remains with us always, the collection encapsulates beautiful stories of people, process, and craft. The collection is not just apparel but a design experience that was presented on the stage of Blenders Pride Fashion Tour, narrating the contemporary story of balanced existence of nature and mankind, with its roots lying in finest fibres, weaves and craft techniques, practiced in villages across the world.”

Blenders Pride Fashion Tour | India Fashion Designers Display New Collection in Kolkata (C) WBRi Inc.

The second day saw Little Shillpa and designer duo Pankaj and Nidhi showcasing their collection. Designer Little Shilpa, the goddess of small things, said, “The inspiration behind my collection for Blenders Pride Fashion Tour 2015 lies in the fantasy-soaked concoction by Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland. It is one of the most quintessential stories ever told which remains etched in my mind till this date, just like good taste always stays on. This collection is an attempt to present imaginative escapist theme which forms the core of my designs.”

Blenders Pride Fashion Tour | India Fashion Designers Display New Collection in Kolkata (C) WBRi Inc.

Little Shilpa, also known as a "mad-hatter" for her internationally celebrated designer headgears presented her very own ‘wonderland’ inspired by the animal world, the land of disjointed fierceness, blended with influences from Alice in Wonderland creating a parallel visual world filled with all things wondrous and quirky.

Blenders Pride Fashion Tour | India Fashion Designers Display New Collection in Kolkata (C) WBRi Inc.

On their collection ‘Savannah Song’ for Blenders Pride Fashion Tour 2015, designer duo Pankaj & Nidhi said, “Inspired by the pristine nature of Savannah grasslands of Africa, we have produced a blend of florals and wildflower patterns with artworks of the wild animal prints to present a breathtaking collection that pays tribute to the virgin beauty of the grasslands. It encapsulates the true essence of Blenders Pride Fashion Tour 2015, bringing forth a blend of style that, once witnessed, will stay with audience.”

Blenders Pride Fashion Tour | India Fashion Designers Display New Collection in Kolkata (C) WBRi Inc.

The Indian Chess Geandmaster  Viswanathan Anand who is known to maintain a sober and neat style, when asked about his wardrobe essentials, said, “I am on the run always around the world. I generally carry formal Shirts. Though I do not like to get extremely formal on some occasions, I definitely see that I am not giving the expression of a casual wanderer. I keep ties for the opening and closing ceremonies generally and don’t wear them at games as I don’t feel so comfortable doing so. Apart from these I carry some casual clothes for chilling out in and exercise sessions.”

Blenders Pride Fashion Tour | India Fashion Designers Display New Collection in Kolkata (C) WBRi Inc.

When WBRi asked the global Chess icon if going around in different countries has contributed to his style factor, he said, “Yes my style is adapted from many things I come across around the world. But to be honest my wife notices them more and tries to induce them in me.”

Blenders Pride Fashion Tour | India Fashion Designers Display New Collection in Kolkata (C) WBRi Inc.

Blenders Pride Fashion Tour strives to fuse Fashion, Technology and Music and features leading fashion designers, iconic musicians and some of the most stylish names of the day to offer a taste of life in style.

Blenders Pride Fashion Tour | India Fashion Designers Display New Collection in Kolkata (C) WBRi Inc.

Pernod Ricard launched Blenders Pride Indian whisky in 1995. It is a blend of Indian grain spirits and imported Scotch malt and contains no artificial flavouring. GQ magazine described the whisky as "smooth and smoky", and gave it a rating of 6/10.

Blenders Pride Fashion Tour | India Fashion Designers Display New Collection in Kolkata (C) WBRi Inc.

Pernod Ricard has identified Blenders Pride, along with Imperial Blue, Royal Stag, Chivas Regal and 100 Pipers as the company's five core brands to build its spirits business in India.

Blenders Pride Fashion Tour | India Fashion Designers Display New Collection in Kolkata (C) WBRi Inc.

The brand's main national competitors are Royal Challenge, Signature and Antiquity from United Spirits Ltd, and Peter Scot from Khoday India Limited. In some states, Blenders Pride also competes with Haig Gold Label from Diageo and Rockford Reserve from Modi Illva.

Blenders Pride Fashion Tour | India Fashion Designers Display New Collection in Kolkata (C) WBRi Inc.