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European designs & a gala dinner

From cuisine carnivals to art soirees, Delhi’s glitzy people know how to live it up. We give you an update on what’s been keeping the rich and the famous busy this past week.

Ragini Bhuyan, Nidhi Gupta & Aditya Mani Jha  23rd Sep 2012

Frances Atkins

Gourmet meal flatters to deceive?

Recently in the Capital, a one-of-its-kind 'gastronomy summit' brought together six world renowned chefs (who also run their own Michelin-star restaurants) from across the world. Organised by Anand Kapoor's non-profit organisation, the Creative Services Support Group, the programme stretched over three days. The chefs included Ian Curley from Melbourne, Vineet Bhatia – the only Indian chef to have two Michelin stars, Frances Atkins, the Brazillian born Marcello Tully, Laurie Gear – who has been appointed a Master Chef of Britain, and Anjum Anand, who has made a career out of espousing and perfecting healthy Indian recipes.

The programme started with a press interaction on the 15 September, followed by a picture perfect dinner the next day, where the chefs prepared and curated a nine-course meal, paired with Fratelli wines. On Monday, the programme revolved around Anjum Anand, who launched her latest book, Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast. This was followed by a dinner she prepared.

Unfortunately, the food did not live up to the expected standards. The mutton curry and the desserts were mouth-wateringly yummy, but the rest was forgettable fare. An artist was heard complaining about the tasteless (and undercooked) chicken. Nonetheless, all the chefs appreciated the fact that they got to meet school children who were eager to learn the ropes and pursue similar careers.

— Ragini Bhuyan

Ipe Cavalli's new homeImage 2nd

This week saw the launch of Italian luxury furniture brand Visionnaire's flagship store at the Gallery on MG Road. The uber-luxe store is a joint venture by International Furniture Brands and Ipe Cavalli, who already have a presence in the capital in the form of another store for their classic brand Streamline and a high-end café. The launch saw a cocktail party where Delhi's swish set, including diplomats, designers, socialites, artists, mingled over cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.

Located in the basement of the mall, the store is a 5,000 sq. ft. showroom, housing some rather glamorous looking furniture. With specific stress on fur and metal, and done up in warm creamy tones for the most part, the furnishings saw the guests oohing and aahing over them. Visionnaire is a niche brand with a niche clientele, catering in the luxury segment for the most part.

The event was also graced by the Italian ambassador to India Giacomo Sanfelice Di Monteforte. From Delhi's social circuit, we spotted the omnipresent Ramola Bachchan, Jatin Kochhar and Ramneek Pantal (looking ravishing in a one-shoulder coral dress) among others.

— Nidhi Gupta

Rai's Divine Moments unveiledImage 3rd

Luxury watch makers Vacheron Constantin and Tasveer unveiled 'Divine Moments', an exhibition of photographs by the world famous photographer Raghu Rai in the capital recently at the Stainless Art gallery. The exhibition was structured in a thematic manner, with separate sections to invoke the audience's faculties of taste, touch, sight, hearing and smell. Among the highlights of the exhibition was a display of the veteran's first ever photograph, A Baby Donkey, clicked nearly five decades ago in 1965. A collection of luxury watches from Vacheron Constantin was also on display. Some of the eminent guests at the exhibition included Kalyani Chawla, Dilip Cherian, Simar Duggal, Jyotindra Jain, Linus von Castelmur, Nancy Jo Powell and Anoop Mehta.

During his long and illustrious career, Rai's photographs have been published worldwide, in publications like Time, Time Life, GEO, The New York Times, Sunday Times, Newsweek, The Independent, and the New Yorker. A 1992 National Geographic cover feature on 'Human Management of Wildlife in India' won him widespread acclaim. The exhibition will be ongoing from September 14-25 in New Delhi and thereafter the complete range of photographs will travel across Tasveer and its partner galleries in Mumbai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

— Aditya Mani Jha

Manish gets a ticket to Paris Fashion WeekImage 4th

Manish Arora is arguably the only Indian designer who has been most successful in making a name for himself in the international fashion scene. Until earlier this year, Arora was the artistic head for the French fashion house Paco Rabanne. Now a business conglomerate, AMR group, has come forward as Arora's principal sponsor for his upcoming show at the Paris Fashion Week. Unveiling this strategic tie-up, Arora announced that in return he would be designing the presidential suites of two of the group's upcoming residential projects in Greater Noida. As any Indian designer who has burnt their fingers showcasing abroad will tell you, it's an expensive exercise, and one that doesn't always result in immediate sales returns. Hence, the need for a sponsor.

To announce this collaboration, a truncated fashion show was held at the Aman Hotel in the city on Thursday. A cacophonic blend of fluid lines, kitschy colours, and bling, it was a sneak peek into the designs that Arora will present in Paris. If one had to judge by the limited fare on offer, it seems that Arora is bucking the latest trends to stick to his forte. Shunning the minimalist, bright single colours that have dominated the ramp this season, he showcased jumpsuits, tunics, and a kurta dress. Let's hope this garners a warm reception for Arora in Paris.

— Ragini Bhuyan

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