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New Bal on the block

Since the time he first showed at the LFW, designer Nitin Bal Chauhan has been one of my favourites. Always ready to take risks, he has pushed the envelope with collections, writes Umesh Jivnani.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2009 19:03 IST
Hem ho! | Umesh Jivnani

Since the time he first showed at the Lakme Fashion Week, designer Nitin Bal Chauhan has been one of my favourites. Always ready to take risks, this shy designer has pushed the envelope with collections, which are truly avant-garde.

In a short time span, he’s won several awards including the NIFT trophy, Ritu Kumar’s Award for Best Design Collection at FASHIONOVA 2002 and the Gen Next Award in 2007. Also, the Femina, FDCI and British Council Award 200 and a scholarship for Masters in Fashion Design by the Domus Academy, Milan, Italy.

So, it came as no surprise to learn that he had been selected by the Council of Fashion Designers, Tokyo, to be a part of the Japan Fashion Week last fortnight. He showcased his Women’s Wear Spring/Summer ’09 Collection. It was titled Conditions Apply Part I. He also previewed his Autumn/Winter ’09 Collection, a sequel titled Conditions Apply Part II.

Chauhan is one of the few designers who started off with the LFW but has successfully shifted loyalties to the FDCI. In fact it was the FDCI and not IMG which sent him to Japan. And he’s been thanking Sunil Sethi since he returned. Has he forgotten his mentor, Anil Chopra?

So eye-catching
At designer Varuna Jani’s store launch last week, socialite Sheetal Mafatlal stole the show with her really spectacular jewels. Her ruby and diamond bazuband and shoulder- length chandelier earrings outshone everyone present at the show.

Hello.. goodbye.. hello again
Hosted last week, the FHM Manzoni Style Awards saw a good turnout. The organisers of the event, Bhavana Pandey and Sharmilla Khanna, roped in most of the winners. The award ceremony was a casual affair but the after party was fun. In Gautam Singhania’s VIP room, most of the celebs let their hair down. It felt more like a private party than an award function.

The highlight of the evening was the open war between Yash Birla and Vikram Chatwal. It seems Birla who had come to accept the Most Stylish Industrialist Award walked out after spotting Chatwal. He was later coaxed to return and recieve his trophy.

Line up
The LFW auditions of models are starting next Monday at the Hotel Grand Hyatt. A panel of eminent personalities including designers Vikram Phadnis, Nandita Mahtani and Krishna Mehta will be zeroing in on fresh faces.

Last season over 150 models turned up to try their luck. This season, the numbers are expected to go up.