After the initial hiccups, the Aamby Valley India Bridal Week started breathing properly. The second day witnessed, albeit behind the scene, actress Kangna Raut throwing tantrums that I thought were reserved for more successful stars. I heard from designers that after walking into the venue for doing the ‘role’ of the showstopper for Anjalee & Arjun's show, she almost stopped their show by deciding to take a nap in her room.
Then there was another round of problems with the selection of garments for the actress. The designers’ other celebrity friends who came to see the show were ready to leave as the Bollywood damsel delayed the event well beyond anyone's imagination. And finally when she did appear on the runway, she was all smiles while the audience just sat shell-shocked. Urmila Matondkar, on the other hand, who walked for Nisha Sagar, was a darling, I was told. She's welcome back any time, but not the designer!
The organisers were also forced to do a golden handshake with the event manager Purple People on the second day. The story that was making the rounds was of the problems faced by models in terms of their fees, and that the confusions that erupted subsequently, were caused by the event manager.
Now VCI Hospitality's brigade, along with event director Marc Robinson, are making the event run smoothly. It appears that Robinson even introduced Vijay Singh, the man behind the event. The models were reassured and agreed to fall back in line. So, once again, it was lights, camera and action.
The first aspect of business that I have seen stemming from this event is the launch of Manish Arora’s Indian wear label at Jona, the designer boutique opposite the JW Marriott Hotel. Apparently, it is a strategic location as the hotel crowd are bound to come here for their high-end shopping. “I have a few garments here to start with, but I will be bringing more inthe next few days," said Arora to me at the launch.
“Vijay Singh supported me throughout with sponsorships for my Paris shows for the last three seasons. I’m happy to be associated with his event and this retail venture.”
Anyway, moving on to the third day, all three shows were nice and pleasant to watch. The first one was by Kolkata-based Monapali. Their creations were nice and blended well with the bridal theme, with carefully done colourful surface ornamentation. Then came Mumbai's Shane & Falguni Peacock. Moving well away from their heavy chunks of embroidery and embellishment, the duo this time brought in bridal wear that was more subtle in nature, in terms of their colour palette. At the last showing, Delhi's Shantanu & Nikhil displayed some contemporary styles, especially the way they played around with the fabrics and draping, structures and fluidity. The day ended well with their show.