When photos of Baby Doll singer, Kanika Kapoor, looking svelte in an Alexander McQueen figure-hugging Mermaid gown topped off with a stunning Anita Dongre animal mask on her brow, whilst giving Prince Charles the full impact of her grey green gaze, emerged recently, we could not help but inquire from the singer: who had been responsible for styling her. “It was The Animal Ball, a fundraiser by the Elephant Family last week, and I was invited as an ambassador for the British Asian Trust…” said Kapoor, a recent part-time resident of Mumbai via Lucknow and London, who’d come to Mumbai that morning. “…so I was styled by professionals. In fact, when they gave me a choice between picking a mask from Kenzo, Philip Treacy and Anita Dongre, I picked Dongre as she seemed the most interesting.”“I’ve always admired the work the Elephant Family does and when they approached me to be a part of the fundraiser there was no second thought,” said Dongre, who, along with fellow designers Sabyasachi and Gaurav Gupta, was invited to participate in the annual charity Ball. “Our masks were hand-moulded by a papier-mâché artisan in a village outside Mumbai and then painted using the art of Pichwai by master artists in Jaipur. Being an animal lover, I want to do the best I can to help support conservation and provide a safe environment for the animals.”Incidentally, The Ball was hosted at the Royal Residence in London, and saw The Prince and The Duchess hold masks designed by Mukherjee and which were inspired by the Royal Bengal Tiger.Tweet Talk“It’s the 17th of June and Leander Paes is 46 today. He just reached the 2nd round of the French Open, still battling it out at the top level almost 30 years after turning pro. What’s your excuse for quitting?”- Tweet by Joy Bhattacharya this weekFussing Over Her FinallyHT Photo Simone Tata at the reunion. It was a reunion for the executives of the erstwhile Lakme company, those who had worked in the leading Tata-owned cosmetic brand prior to 1998, after which it had been sold to Hindustan Unilever. But make no mistake about it, amidst the 50-or-so former managers who were present at the Amadeus this weekend, the star of the show had undoubtedly been Lakme’s erstwhile chairperson, the octogenarian Simone Tata. As is known, the statuesque Swiss-born Tata, who’d married Naval H Tata, scion of the industrialist family, in 1955 had joined the Lakme Board in 1962, when it had been a minuscule part of the conglomerate, and with steady stewardship had led it to assume pole position in its field. She had become its managing director in 1961, and then its chairperson in 1982 until its sale to Unilever. “She was the star attraction and appeared to really enjoy catching up with all those who had made Lakme an iconic beauty brand along with her,” said its former CEO, Anil Chopra, from London, when we spoke. Incidentally, one of the contributing factors to Lakme’s domination of the Indian beauty market is said to have been Mrs Tata’s unerring eye for detail. Slightly aloof, she’d been known to allow her guard down once a member of the staff had met her high-standards of work ethic. We recall the times we used run into the business icon in the 1990s, sitting like any ordinary walk-in client at the Lakme Salon at Churchgate, under a dryer, her nails being attended to by the same girl she’d been going to for years, decades ago. If she was aware of the awe her presence evoked, she never showed it. “She doesn’t like being fussed over,” one of the manicurists had whispered. Good to hear that at this weekend’s reunion, her former members of staff could defy the Grand Old Lady with impunity, and get away with it.