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Monday, Jan 20, 2020
Home / Mumbai News / Malavika’s Mumbaistan: The emperor and his clothes

Malavika’s Mumbaistan: The emperor and his clothes

There will be a series of events in Delhi to celebrate Tahiliani’s 25th year in the business.

mumbai Updated: Jan 16, 2020 03:46 IST
Malavika Sangghvi
Malavika Sangghvi
Hindustan Times
Tarun Tahiliani
Tarun Tahiliani ( )

He is certainly the emperor of Indian fashion, having set the fashion ball rolling — along with his comrade-in-arms, the late Rohit Khosla — with the launch of the country’s first serious fashion store, Ensemble in Mumbai, in the late eighties. (How well we recall that time: The Urshilla Kerkar-designed spacious store at Lions Gate which had changed the retail aesthetic quite definitely; and the country’s most exalted hostess, the late Sunita Pitamber, throwing a party in its honour at the now defunct Piano Bar, which had boasted not one or two, but three international socialites in attendance — Shakira Caine, Princess Ira Von Furstenberg, and Princess Erza, the wife of the erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad).

And yet, Tarun Tahiliani, the Doon School and Wharton-educated son of a highly decorated admiral of the Indian Navy, is so much more than just his fashion brand. A highly evolved aesthete and an astute observer of social mores, he remains one of fashion’s consummate commentators, someone who brings a cerebral quotient and a heightened sensibility to the business of making clothes.

And next month, there will be a series of events in Delhi to celebrate Tahiliani’s 25th year in the business, starting with a tour of his design studio, which will feature an installation of the 25 ‘looks’ that encapsulate his art, followed by a sunny winter lunch, followed by a drive-by visit at his flagship store at Mehrauli and an optional stroll through the neighbouring Qutub Minar area, followed by a joyous no-holds-barred celebration at his home, encapsulating ‘Desi Modern’ fun, for his legion of industry friends and admirers.

“From starting out in Mumbai to moving up to Delhi in 1995, when we started the TT label, we have arrived, survived and are ambling along to self-discovery and evolution of our design fingerprint,” says the man responsible for making fashion a respectable profession one that the sons and daughters of reputable families could enter.

“Hopefully, the best is yet to come as I now have shed all hats and focus only on design,” says Tahiliani, about his upcoming milestone anniversary. To which we say: And here’s to the next 25!



Legendary warrior Arjun’s arrows had N-power

— Statement made by West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar at science fair yesterday.


Come to think of it, perhaps that’s what impressed Malaika.

It’s only words

Pritish Nandy
Pritish Nandy

For long have they sparred, jousted and jabbed using the arsenal of their considerable wit to take swipes at each other, mainly about each other’s advancing age, and so yesterday, when producer, poet and erstwhile editor Pritish Nandy turned 69, no surprises that his long time punching–partner, marketeer Suhel Seth, marked the occasion with a well-aimed tweet at his old friend from his Kolkata days.

Suhel Seth
Suhel Seth

“Here’s wishing the senior statesman@PritishNandy many many happy returns of the day...Bhalo Theko Saar...” he posted. Nandy, who is not known to pull his punches, must have been too happy, having his cake and eating it too on the occasion, to indicate that he’d even noticed the ageist jibe. “Thank you Suhel. Lots of love,” was his measured response, but knowing their past history, this seems just a harbinger of words to come…

Inclusive, Diverse and Colourful

Panelists of the inclusivity and diversity discussion, along with Condé Nast India members.
Panelists of the inclusivity and diversity discussion, along with Condé Nast India members.

Word comes in that Conde Nast India‘s panel discussion on inclusivity and diversity in the workplace, held on Tuesday evening at the Soho House, was riveting. Moderated by publisher Alex Kuruvilla, and featuring panelists such as Parmesh Shahani, head, Godrej India Culture Lab; Keshav Suri, executive director, the Lalit Suri Hospitality Group; Jerry Johnson, corporate communications, Reliance Industries Limited; Shobhna S Kumar, founder Queer Ink; and Zainab Patel, director, Diversity and Inclusion, KPMG, the topics discussed included the celebration and encouragement of individual identity in everyday life.

While Shahani, Kumar and Suri are well-known advocates of the LGBTQIA+ community, who have been working on inclusion from various aspects for years, what was a pleasant surprise to witness was the articulate transwoman who shared an honest and thought-provoking story of her journey and her experiences in both professional and personal life, says a source.

“Patel is a dear friend who relocated from Bangkok to Mumbai and from the UN to KPMG, so that she could work in our country and help change the scene,” said Shahani, about the discussion, adding, “She shared how the Trans act, that has been passed recently is actually totally discriminatory.”

Shahani’s address dealt with the subjects close to his heart, such as the young intersectional organisations coming up like the Dalit Queer and Queer Muslim Projects and how companies need to walk the talk and not just indulge in tokenism. “We need to see companies actually hiring queer people and sensitising existing staff. Lots of actual work needs to be done on the ground,” he said.

And as expected, given that the subject under discussion was that of individual expression and acceptance of diversity, the panel was a colourful one, with the likes of Suri and Shahani, both known for their playful sartorial styles, dressed up in their flamboyant best for the occasion.