Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Finally, Soho House
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Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Finally, Soho House

For a certain kind of hipster, all roads will lead to Juhu, where the opening of Asia’s first Soho House — a members-only exclusive franchise — will be celebrated with a big fat launch party later this week

mumbai Updated: Nov 13, 2018 01:15 IST
Mumbai,Malavika's Mumbaistan,malavika Sannghvi
Karan Johar, Kiran Rao, Rhea Kapoor and Masaba Gupta are on the committee of the newly opened, members-only Soho House.(HT PHOTO)

For a certain kind of hipster, all roads will lead to Juhu, where the opening of Asia’s first Soho House — a members-only exclusive franchise — will be celebrated with a big fat launch party later this week. The project, which saw many delays since its inception almost eight years ago, has been up and running this past week, and we hear 400 or so of Mumbai’s denizens have already signed up, with many new members being inducted and potential candidates shown around. Located in a 10-storey structure, with a sweeping view of the beach and sea, Soho House hopes to attract its preferred clientele of creative, artsy hipsters, keeping out the moneybags and suits, much the way it does internationally. Worldwide, the brand seeks to associate itself with film-makers, writers, artists and musicians, and the Mumbai agenda has given little indication of wavering from this. And with people like Karan Johar, Kiran Rao, Rhea Kapoor and Masaba Gupta on its committee, plus founding members like AD Singh and Narendra Kumar on its rosters, Mumbai gets its first taste of international hipness. Of course, whether its opening its doors in Juhu rather than at BKC will serve its purpose is yet to be seen.

A Fashion Hub?

Bibhu Mohapatra

Is Goa going to become a fashion hub? As is known, the seaside state, with its laid back vibe, is a magnet for all manner of visitors and settlers, especially during its high season. Artists, writers musicians, sun-worshippers and lotus-eaters have all, at some point or the other, been seduced into setting up home and studio in Goa. And like the rest of the creative ilk, fashion designers have also not lagged behind: Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla have a home here, as does gypsetter and yoga teacher Malini Ramani. As for long standing resident , Wendell Rodricks, his son of the soil antecedents have made him something of a Goan institution. Besides these, other designers like Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna, Rohit Bal and JJ Vallaya, are regular visitors while Tarun Tahiliani runs a successful parallel enterprise designing luxury villas in Goa (his latest creation of a glass house for Delhi-based industrialist Sanjay Labroo is said to be a design landmark). Now it appears that another Indian designer, albeit an internationally celebrated and based one, will be the latest addition to this bubbling pot of fashion talent. According to sources, New York-based fashion and costume designer Bibhu Mohapatra will soon be renting an elegant home from a well-heeled Goan couple to spend time there. So far, besides being featured in India’s fashion glossies, his collection of hand-woven silks to champion the cause of traditional weavers in his home state of Odisha, and a line of diamond jewellery for the local market, Mohapatra, who has dressed the likes of former first lady Michelle Obama, has not really engaged with the Indian fashion scene. As a resident of Goa and as part of its fashion eco-system, all that might change. Would it mean new collaborations and associations and a more international outlook for the community?

Watch this space.



‘Tej Pratap Yadav, who announced his decision to divorce his wife of six months, has refused to return home unless his family agrees to his demand.’

-Recent media headlines


‘Now, the RJD is said to be contemplating a different kind of Ghar Wapsi to bring him home.’

Old Bombay in Full Force

Ferson da Cunha and Vatsala Mendonca

Old Bombay had turned up in large numbers to the stately Yacht Club over the weekend, for the release of journalist, scriptwriter and recently-turned author Vatsala Mendonca’s book, ‘The Shadow of the Palm Trees’, a family saga set in Goa of the 1920s. By the time we reached, braving the frenzied traffic outside the Gateway of India, the Club’s iconic ballroom was almost choc-a-bloc with familiar faces, including veterans of the trade, such as Rahul Singh and Dilip Thakore. The presence of Bishop Agnelo Gracias, recently appointed by the Pope as the Apostolic Administrator of Jalandhar following the controversy around Bishop Franco Mulakkal , added the correct amount of frisson, as did members of, what we were informed were not one but two of Sobo’s prominent book clubs. The launch saw two passionate Goans — advertising guru, thespian, sometime poet and civic activist Gerson da Cunha, and the author, hold forth about the hitherto, little known aspects of their beloved state. From its tryst with slave trade, the uneasy peace it made with the Hindu caste system even as it embraced Christianity, its Portuguese heritage and its dissolving into the Indian republic after liberation by the Indian army in 1961, new insights and revelations were offered. ‘Shadow of the Palm Trees’ is the story of one Goan family, the Abreus, and its deep links to the family of a Mozambique slave who has been brought to work in their household; and the effect of the curse she wielded on them. With a rich cast of characters, a tight plotline and much insight in to the milieu she writes about, Mendonca’s book was seen to be flying fast off the counter by many eager takers by the evening’s end.

First Published: Nov 13, 2018 01:14 IST