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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Out out, damn spot!

mumbai Updated: Jul 04, 2018 15:35 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
(LtoR) Rohit Bal; Shahab Durazi; a model wearing one of Durazi’s designs.
(LtoR) Rohit Bal; Shahab Durazi; a model wearing one of Durazi’s designs.

It appeared to be the mother of all rants, when celebrated SoBo-based fashion designer, the Mumbai-based Shahab Durazi, took to social media this week to unburden himself of his pet peeves. Durazi, widely seen as a maestro of silhouettes, whose exquisitely crafted suits and jackets have found favour with the likes of Maureen Wadia and Simi Garewal, is also one of the few of his ilk, who has not jumped on the Bollywood bandwagon. “I have been wanting to express this for a long time,” he began. “As a player, who is a part of the fashion industry for over three decades, I have witnessed the continued bastardisation of Indian fashion…The most potent is the Bollywood bug that has rendered Indian fashion almost insignificant,” he wrote. Durazi went on to air his many grievances with the Bollywoodisation of the fashion industry: from the costumes it generates, which do not represent contemporary Indian fashion, (“These are merely costumes, specifically designed to style a script and clothe a character within that script, which have begun to dictate Indian fashion trends completely”) to another pet peeve: the Indian fashion media. “Fashion glossies compete with each other, to patronise and pander to (often totally undeserving) film celebrities to adorn their covers and feature in their editorial content,” he says. “Gone are the days of supermodels and super fashion. Fashion publications should present fashion trends, styles and accessories,” he thundered.

Next on Durazi’s dhobi list of woes is the incestuous link between designers and celebrity clients. “Designers (with turnovers less than half the daily fee of these celebrities) are expected to provide their creations for red carpet appearances in exchange for publicity. My question is...why can’t these celebrities pay for what they wear, like everyone else, and why are designers succumbing to this for momentary mileage?” he asked, pertinently. Running into many paragraphs as sharp as the jackets he creates, Durazi’s rant appears to have found many takers within the industry. From Rohit Bal to Ana Singh, Diandra Soares, Madhu Jain and Prasad Bidappa, his words have received acclaim, with many commending him for stating the truth. Was he happy with the response, we asked the soft-spoken and reclusive designer, yesterday. “Extremely! There isn’t anyone who disagrees. I have been inundated with messages, emails validating my story,” he said. But, if you think things will change for the better in fashion and Bollywood — respected as two different industries — now that strong voices have been raised, think again! Not too long ago, we recall reading similar rants by no less than JJ Valaya and Wendell Rodricks bemoaning Bollywood’s cannibalisation of fashion, which garnered similar support, but made little difference!


Heart-breaking news: Word comes in that the lovely actress, author and mother, who bowed out of her role as a judge on a reality show recently, citing personal reasons, had to do so as she’s been diagnosed with a life-threatening ailment. “It’s in a very advanced stage,” said an actress friend of hers. “And she’s been flown abroad for treatment.” Our prayers and best wishes are with her for a complete and speedy recovery.


Who were supposed to be caught?

Vijay Mallya

Nirav Modi

Mehul Choksi

Dawood Ibrahim

Lalit Modi

Black money hoarders

The corrupt

Rapists, murderers, fraudsters

Who are being caught?

Plastic bag users

(Meme doing the rounds recently)


Darius Shroff.
Darius Shroff.

Rainy days are meant for time-pass and thoughts of pakoras and hot chai, as Mumbaiites wade through knee-deep water and watch out for falling planes, breaking bridges and open manholes! And, what better way to pass time than to treat oneself to hilarious and self-deprecating Parsi humour? The weekend saw us at the Royal Opera House to watch Silly Point Productions (the makers of the hugely popular Laughter Therapy) bring out their other winner, ‘The Relationship Agreement’. Written and directed by Meherzad Patel, starring veterans of the genre like our friend, the eminent lawyer, Darius Shroff (we first saw him 45 years ago in that runaway-hit, Ah Norman!), former model Pheroza Modi and TV’s Sumona Chakravarti, it had all the staples of the genre; founded by the late great Adi Marzban. Seasoned actors, good production values and an audience that seemed in on every joke, especially the ones directed at SoBo residents! “We’ve played for almost a year,” said Shroff, when we met him backstage, inviting us to see their next production, ‘Bapai and the Beast’, opening especially for – you guessed it – Parsi New Year! Then, he was off to Café Zoe for a Tango session.


First Published: Jul 04, 2018 15:35 IST

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