What are the chances? Two of India’s most beautiful women — both with ties to Bollywood’s leading man Akshay Kumar — are seen wearing the same designer outfit on the cover of two different fashion magazines out on the stands now.
Twinkle Khanna, now married to Akshay, graces the September cover of L’Officiel and Shilpa Shetty, who dated Askhay in the 90s, is seen on the Harper’s Bazaar cover. That they’re both in the same lilac halter neck gown with matching belt from Dior’s fall-winter ’09 collection has been described as a “scandal” by some in the fashion fraternity.
The editors of both magazines say the choice of dress is co-incidental. Ami Patel, Fashion Editor of L’Officiel, who styled the Akshay-Twinkle cover, said, “It’s not a big deal. When you do a shoot with a celeb you keep options in hand. This one worked. It’s not about the dress but about the chemistry between Twinkle and Akshay.”
Sujata Assomul, editor of Harper’s Bazaar, said the dress was in keeping with their September theme of celebration. “Lilac is the colour of the season, and the dress looks simple yet elegant,” she says.
A source close to Shilpa said the actress would be “very upset” by the news. “She will ask the magazine for an explanation and they better be ready with a good one,” she said.
But designers say it’s just not done. Designer Rohit Gandhi said, “It’s scandalous. The brand shouldn’t give out the same garment to two different publications. Magazines should get contracts signed by the brands mentioning that repetition won’t happen.”
Dior’s VP marketing, Kalyani Chawla said, “Having two of India’s most stylish women on the cover of two of the most coveted fashion magazines wearing one of the key dresses of the season is a happy coincidence! Two different angles make two completely different looks. Both are fantastic covers.”
—With inputs from Rajesh Ahuja and Minakshi Saini