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RITZ October 2013

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As we present to you a very special edition of RITZ, one that is high on style and fashion and even higher on entertainment, we are in the mood for celebration. Not just because the festive season is upon us, but also because October marks the fourth anniversary of our sister publication, Southscope, India’s leading south film magazine. This month will also be a hectic one for us, as the date for the fifth edition of the Audi RITZ Icon Awards, our one-of-its-kind initiative to honour inspirational South Indian icons on a national platform, fast approaches. As usual, expect the most sought-after film stars and the most awe-inspiring icons pioneering different fields and hailing from all over South India, right here in Chennai. Until next month, happy reading!
  • OCTOBER 2013



    VOL 10 ISSUE 3








    As we present to you a very special edition of RITZ, one that is high on style and fashion and even higher on entertainment, we are in the mood for celebration. Not just because the festive season is upon us, but also because October marks the fourth anniversary of our sister publication, Southscope, Indias leading south lm magazine. This month will also be a hectic one for us, as the date for the fth edition of the Audi RITZ Icon Awards, our one-of-its-kind initiative to honour inspirational South Indian icons on a national platform, fast approaches.

    As usual, expect the most sought-after lm stars and the most awe-inspiring icons pioneering different elds and hailing from all over South India, right here in Chennai.

    Until next month, happy reading!

    4 OCTOBER 2013

  • INSIDEBUZZINWe're buzzin about some sugar and some spice and everything nice this October!


    GLAM BRIGADEA round up of what the glitterati has been up to


    SNAPPEDLast month's hot and happening events and launches through our viewnder


    PORTFOLIOWe join in the fashion extravaganza that took place at the London and New York fashion weeks while showcasing some trailblazing designs that set the runway on re


    HAUTE STUFFOur fash forward lineup includes getting your royal bling right; the lowdown on quirky, artsy dresses and more


    PERSONALITYA candid chat with the versatile Suhani Pittie shows us why she is one of the top 10 most talented jewellery designers in the world


    74UBER LIVINGFrom the depths of the deep blue sea are harvested one of the most beautiful gems ever known to man Pearls. Find out what goes behind the creation of these coveted beauties and what makes them so valuable

    78HAWKEYEDestination Divorces are slowly gaining acceptance we scan the trend of clubbing a holiday with breaking ones nuptials!

    60ON OUR RADARWe go on a detailed tour of AM:PM designers Ankur and Priyanka Modis plush and fuss-free Delhi home

    80TAKE OFFPack your bags and head out for some live music as we bring you the lowdown on the hottest music festivals and camping festivals happening around the country this year







    6 OCTOBER 2013






    All correspondence should be addressed to:

    RITZ, 7th Floor, Sigma Wing, Raheja Towers, 177, Anna Salai, Chennai 600002. Contact: 42113871 / 2

    Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

    Edited and Published by Aruna R Krishnan from 7th Floor, Sigma Wing, Raheja Towers, 177 Anna Salai, Chennai 600002.All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. RITZ is not responsible for unsolicited material. RITZ assumes no responsibility for the veracity and authenticity of the advertisements published herein. Readers are requested to make appropriate enquiries before incurring any expenses or acting on medical recommendations or otherwise in

    relation to any advertisement or article published herein. Also views in articles published herein are those of the respective authors only. RITZ does not necessarily subscribe to these views.

    To advertise in RITZ, call Praveen Kumar on 9841973090 / 044 42113871

    INDULGEWe're on an overdose of foreign lms this month as we take a look at something to laugh over and something else to ponder. Plus we get talking to the powerhouse duo of Adil & Vasundhara on their music and writer Ashwin Sanghi on his literary inuences


    MAINCOURSEVidya Singh and her stylish friends check out China XO at The Leela Palace and come away happy while our Hyderabad correspondent has an equally awesome experience at The Olive Bistro


    THE RITZ READERShruti Haasan gives us her idea of luxury and the good life


    OVER A CUPPADirector Guillermo Del Toro takes you behind the scenes of his fantasy action ick Pacic Rim


    VIEWPOINTAward-winning gallerist Sharan Apparao takes you step by step towards preserving your works of art to be enjoyed for years after, while Sujaya Chandran tells us why some aspects of social networking are not working for her




    8 OCTOBER 2013

  • Diwali Delights from BISCOTTI

    Choose from exclusive hand crafted festive hampers that you can customise as per your desire. Take your pick from traditional sweets and signature Biscotti goodies like macaroons, dry fruit halwa, dried apricots, chocolate trufes, dark chocolate bars, ladoos, cookies, dry fruits and more. Available in a range of festive colours and sizes, starting at ` 499 onwards. To know more about the Biscotti sweet surprises, call Hyatt Regency Chennai at +91 99620 01647.

    Celebrate the weekend with a difference at the rst-of-its-kind Sundown at 365 AS, with six hours of unlimited music, free owing spirits, BBQ and delectable food fare to delight your soul. Saturdays and Sundays will never be the same in Chennai. Starting October 2013 2 PM to 8 PM every Saturday and Sunday at 365 AS at Hyatt Regency Chennai.

    SUNDOWN at 365 AS


    10 OCTOBER 2013


  • Lladr unveils the limited edition Ram Darbar

    Frame your Style


    This Diwali, the iconic 60-year old Lladr has unveiled a special limited edition sculpture titled Ram Darbar, at their agship boutique at the Bergamo Mall, Chennai.

    Ram Darbar summarizes the best expressions of Lladrs work and includes the highest level of excellence that the Lladr family has to offer. The sculptures of Lakshman and Hanuman capture the essence of uninching devotion to the Divine Couple. Drawing from the Hindu iconography and embellished in nery, both Lakshman and Hanuman are depicted in their traditional posture, next to Ram and kneeling in prayer respectively. This new creation is a limited edition of 1800 pieces and is approximately 46 x 29 cm in size, available worldwide.

    Ram Darbar is a part of The Spirit of India collection, which includes other sculptures

    such as Goddess Lakshmi, Ganesha series, Divine Love, Radha Krishna, Lord Krishna, Sacred Cow, Indian dance etc. The luxurious attributes of the baroque and enthralling wonders of India are captured in the various pieces of this collection.

    For those who love their shades, the Fall Winter Diesel Eyewear collection is a collection worth checking out. It suggests a new vision of style, mainly inspired by denim, vintage and colorful touches. Following the previous successful season, Denimize shades make their comeback with a full denim edition. Asymmetric temples and exclusive real denim inserts transform the unisex Wayfarer shape into an iconic piece dedicated to real denim lovers. The captivating, colourful collection, featuring mirror lenses and unbalanced frames, is inspired by the most unconventional people and sets a statement worth your style.

    Price: On Request

    Availability: Available in all leading optical and multi-branded stores across country

    Spring/Summer or Fall/Winter, shades are a fashion constant. With Diesel and Marcolin collaborating to bring about Fall Winter 2013 collection, we nd out more...

    Ram Darbar, the limited edition Lladr stands true to the brands focus on heritage and craftsmanship

    12 OCTOBER 2013


  • Every Diwali, we promise not to overeat but still end up devouring many boxes of fattening sweets. This year, why not switch to healthier options like dry fruits and chocolates, which are much lighter on the stomach? For healthy but tasty gifts, head to Brown Tree this festive season where you can choose from a wide range of dry fruit hampers and imported chocolates like Lindt, Hersheys etc.

    It has been four successful years since young entrepreneurs Dinesh Kumar and Abhinandan B started Brown Tree. Since then, they have opened 16 stores, of which are 12 in Chennai and four in Bengaluru. The duo plans to open many more in every major city in the country, very soon.

    Says founder Abhinandan B, This Diwali, gift health to your loved ones with our wide range of dry fruit hampers. The advantage of gifting dry fruits is that they have a longer shelf life compared to sweets. Plus, a lot of people are unable to eat sweets due to diabetes etc., so dry fruits are a good alternative for them. We have a wide range of price points as well; we have gifts from ` 120 to ` 4000. So, there is something for everyone at Brown Tree.

    Perfect gifting solutions

    One of their best-selling gifts is the intricately designed gold or silver-coloured basket, which features apricots centered around cashewnuts, almonds, raisins and pistachios in a pleasing arrangement. The whole pack is sealed with a thick transparent lm with the dry fruits packed

    individually inside. It makes for a great corporate or private gift. Another fast mover is the ornate fruit gift box inspired by the art of Rajasthani royalty, complete with coloured, jade-like metallic nish, sure to create a lasting impression. This compartmentalised gift box contains the nest quality of cashew nuts, almonds, raisins and pistachios.

    Brown Tree also has a Celebrations and semi-ornate range which is suitable for all occasions. This dry fruit gift box comes with an ethnic touch, using designs inspired from the traditional block-prints of India. It comes with a brilliant shine derived from the glass embedded on the boxes, packed with loads of healthy dry fruits to fulll the nutritious dietary needs of your loved ones.

    Healthy yet tasty

    Brown Tree also offers organic and natural foods, gourmet coffee beans, cereals, biscuits, instant noodles, roasted snacks, teas and sugar free products. Freshness and goodness is the driving motto of the founders at Brown Tree. All the products are healthy, yet there is no compromise on taste. Going forward, we hope to continue to delight our customers with our healthy offerings, signs off Abhinandan as he gets ready for another exciting festive season.

    Not surprising then, that Brown Tree is fast becoming everyones favorite health food store.

    Call the toll free number 1-800-1023360 for bulk orders.

    Brown Tree promises to make your festive season extra special and healthier with a even wider range of yummy gift hampers, says Richa Tilokani.


    Gift Brown Tree


    14 OCTOBER 2013


  • Sanskrriti offers a range of custom-made, ethnic, and innovative wedding trousseau packaging, corporate gift hampers and festive giveaways to complement any celebratory occasion. Sanskrriti works closely out an inimitable style to your

    celebrations, making every moment count.

    Old No. 14, New No. 15, Sulaiman Zackariah Avenue, Casa Major Road, 3rd Lane, Egmore, Chennai - 600008.Ph: 2819 4489, 64992496 | Email: [email protected]

    Weekdays: 10am 7:30pm | Closed on Sunday

    Trousseau packing | Gift boxes | Gift packing | Garlands and more...

    Celebrating in Style

    where celebrations become grander

  • With the festive season around the corner, The Chennai Silks is all geared up to make your shopping experience even more special


    style this festivaly


    This Diwali, The Chennai Silks brings you a lot of surprises loaded with some enviable and exquisite collections. Get geared up for the grand sale this festive season. One of their signature designs this month includes the Perfumed sarees, which will stir the senses of every woman. The saree is crafted in a way that it retains its fragrance for a minimum of 20 washes. This is something that has never been attempted before in the history of the traditional saree!

    The Chennai Silks has also launched a unique product in the kids' segment called 'Bublee - 2500 in 1' for the rst time in the world, where kids can wear a single outt in 2500 different styles. Likewise, The Chennai Silks is also launching various innovative clothing merchandise for boys like reversible t-shirts, reversible bermudas and convertible pants. Besides these innovative designs, comes the 30-metre skirt and top set with shawl for teen girls, which will denitely jazz up your wardrobe this festive season.

    18 OCTOBER 2013


  • Casa Paradox hits French Shores

    Raseel Gujral Ansal, drawing inspirations from the two facets of India, the sublime and the irreverent, recently showcased her much-anticipated collections Neophile and Illustratti at Maison et Objet, a major French trade fair for interior design. As always, Casa Paradox transforms the lifestyle of its clients, by providing a space that is novel yet familiar, with the only constant being luxury and elegance. The luxury design brand continues to deliver the top trends with distinct and bold collections.


    20 OCTOBER 2013


  • One Among The StarsWith the introduction of its Constellation Star in two sizes, Omega joined hands with Orbis International and its Flying Eye Hospital, which delivers high-level eye care to some of the worlds more remote regions. With the debut of its exquisite and sophisticated Constellation Star 24mm and 27mm, Omega demonstrates its connection to social responsibilities and has made it possible for watch enthusiasts to make their own contribution to Orbis International and its efforts to ght preventable blindness around the world. The Omega Constellation Star 27mm features a distinctive sun-brushed blue dial with applied 18-carat white gold elements and white Super LumiNova on the hands. Its stainless steel case gleams with a diamond-paved bezel and is attached to a stainless steel bracelet, giving this unique wristwatch a timeless yet bold appearance.


    22 OCTOBER 2013



  • Combine jewellery and good sound with these exclusive 18-carat gold earphones by Stockholm-based Happy Plugs. 25 grams of gold are hand-moulded into shape by a Swedish goldsmith, giving it as much importance as crafting a piece of jewellery. For those who are conscious about the price, Happy Plugs has also introduced similar metallic versions in silver and gold shades, costing ` 2000 (approx) as compared to ` 90,000 (approx) for the solid gold ones. Upgrade your look and make some noise!

    Crafted by hand, the new 18-carat gold earphones by Happy Plugs is an aural masterpiece

    Golden Hearing

    After her successful spring collaboration with makeup giant MAC, singer Rihannas fall line with the cosmetics brand has been a much-awaited one. In addition to bronzer, blushes, mascara, eye shadow palettes and liners, the Fall 2013 Collection RIRI hearts MAC will offer Rihanna's signature lipsticks including RiRi Woo, which was a huge sensation from her previous collection. All products are encased in rose gold metallic packaging, a stark deviation from the usual MAC black. The range releases internationally on October 3.

    Makeup brand MAC ties up with Rihanna to launch an exclusive line of cosmetics titled RIRI hearts MAC

    A touch of RiRis Style!


    24 OCTOBER 2013


  • A new mode of travel has been conceptualised by UK-based designer Mac Byers, which allows guests to reach a wide range of destinations in a short time, while enjoying some of the greatest views imaginable. The airship looks like one inspired by Star Wars and the NASA space shuttle. The interiors are as open as possible encouraging social interaction like a full service hotel in the sky with at least one restaurant and a bar. Take a look at these awe-inspiring pictures.

    Mac Byers concept airship is a blend of Star Wars and a NASA space shuttle, and

    can hit long distances in the shortest time

    A new concept of travel

    26 OCTOBER 2013


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    Canali hits Chennai!

    Adding to the brand blitz that's hitting Chennai this year, famed Italian luxury menswear brand Canali launched its boutique at the Bergamo Mall in the city. The occasion brought the glitterati of the social circuit together while showcased on mannequins was their stunning AW 13 Collection. Paolo Canali, third generation of the Canali family and group commercial director of the brand, was present at the event.

    Deepika & Radhika Shobha & Swati Heeba & Omar SaitPaolo Canali & Karti


    Lanka Lingam

    Ajay & Garima Ag


    Celebs at Rehana's store launch

    Designer Rehana launched her latest collection at her new store on Harrington Road. The event was graced by actresses Urvashi and Lakshmi Rai as well as Lizzy Priyadrashan, who were all spotted checking out the clothes.

    28 OCTOBER 2013


  • Gatsby Re-invented

    The launch of the all-new Gatsby store at Kakani Towers, Khader Nawaz Khan Road, and their fabulous new brand, Aliph, featured a stylish and classy range of ethnic, western, formal and casual wear for men. Soon to make an international debut, Aliph wows with its excellent attention to detail from the most luxurious and well-priced clothes to accessories such as a range of ties, bowties, cummerbunds, pocket squares, cufinks and stoles to custom-made shoes, the store has it all. At the launch, long-time customers who dropped in to wish Raq and Omar Sait were heard complimenting the father-son duo on their great new venture.

    VBJ Re-loaded

    Last month, the well-known and trusted Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers (VBJ) re-launched their exclusive agship showroom, on Anna Salai, in Chennai. The all-new showroom houses what VBJ, over the last century has been best-known for a large and stunning variety of gold, diamonds, platinum and gemstone-studded jewellery. The heirloom bridal jewellery collection will also be launched at the new showroom, soon.

    36 OCTOBER 2013


  • Achievers Galore

    The prestigious Jaguar Land Rover Women Achievers Awards were given away in Chennai recently. Recipients included well-known transgender television presenter Apsara Reddy, actress Lissy Priyadarshan and Sonika Jain, Vice President, Taj Group of Hotels, South India. Sanjeev Subramanian of VST Grandeur presented the Awards. The wine and cheese affair, which was hosted by Pooja Malhotra, also saw a special focus on the sensational new Jaguar F-Type.

    OCTOBER 2013 37




  • The Mentalist engages Chennai

    Celebrated performer and mind reader Lior Surchard, who has been publicly declared as the next Uri Geller, was in Chennai recently and he awed the audience with his unique set of mental skills. Surchard engaged with members of the audience to perform his acts, interacted with them and elated their senses by taking them on an exciting adventure built on drama, tension and astonishment doused with a huge sprinkling of humour, comedy and fun. The event was conducted by MMRT 3 and MMLC 4, both part of the Round Table of India movement.

    38 OCTOBER 2013


  • Asmita Aggarwal takes alspin around the intrepid andinnovative designs that hit the runway at two of the BigFour of international fashion weeks London and New York and nds that simplicity issometimes overrated.

    The recently-concluded annual installment of both the London and New York Fashion Week which are touted to be two among the big four of fashion weeks that include Milan and Paris was denitely an event that the updated fashionista must follow. Especially since the designs showcased here annually dene the trends and styles for the rest of the year! Of course, while it is still the most trend-setting and intrepid among the four, the London Fashion Week has always screamed youth, rock n roll and the irreverent lifestyle, be it in attitudes or fashion. Meanwhile, the New York Fashion Week took on more sombre tones, leaning towards the professional. Heres a roundup of our favourites from the runway.

    Cropped white tops teamed up with striped oor-length skirts, inspired by the Kinetic Art Movement, a takeoff from the Impressionist painters of the 1800s. Simply put, it was a tribute to 3D, and thats why there was an extensive use of organza giving the line a dreamy look. Venezuelan artists Carlos Cruz -Diez and Jesus Rafael Soto being her muses, Carolina Herrera played with optical illusion to give her geometric motifs a stunning angle.

    40 OCTOBER 2013


  • Carolina Herrera

    OCTOBER 2013 41




  • Delicate, owery and t for a lover of all things divine, Marchesa irted with tulle and lace to give 20s and 30s glamour a new twist. What were endearing were the 3-D owers and dip-dyed feathers in the hair that gave models a sylph-like look. Georgina Chapman and Keren Craigs storyline was ultra feminine and super glam, perfect for the glitzy red carpet.

    42 OCTOBER 2013


  • Marchesa Spring 2014

    OCTOBER 2013 43




  • Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez paid a tribute to all things comfortable yet on-trend. Their gold pleated silk skirts and Moroccan weaving, low necklines, superbly crafted coats with clean, architectural lines and wood platforms spelt pure sophistication. The foil print dresses were structured and the silver and bronze plates crafted into cropped tops were worn with natty culottes. Monochrome ber prints and multi-layered suits brought back the softer look.

    44 OCTOBER 2013


  • Proenza Schouler Spring 2014

    OCTOBER 2013 45




  • Rose Pink and lemony shades made a Burberry girls summer quieter with Christopher Bailey playing with Scottish cashmere and Merino wool. Interspersing lace and transparency, he created a romantic mood with a subtle and gentle line which also had plastic jackets and laser-cut leather.

    46 OCTOBER 2013


  • Burberry Prorsum

    OCTOBER 2013 47




  • It was Emma Hills swan song, her last line, as she bids farewell. Her knee length coats in divine white, wide legged pants and orals made it a spring to remember. Cara Delevingne, with her bushy eyebrows, carried the silk jacquards to perfection, but who can forget the delicious bags the company is known for!

    48 OCTOBER 2013


  • Mulberry

    OCTOBER 2013 49




  • Glittery, shimmering and ideal for a woman who likes, wella lot of bling, Tom Ford, fashions poster boy, sent down models in body hugging catsuits, zebra prints and cobweb-like designs. The man who reinvented Gucci in the 90s taking it to new heights, this time dresses the sexy woman in safari suits, monochromatic tuxedos and of course, bondage shoes.

    52 OCTOBER 2013


  • Tom Ford

    OCTOBER 2013 53




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  • Floral jacquard shorts by Red Valentino


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    Starburst embellishment on jacquard top by Marks & Spencer

    Metallic brocade and stretch wool peplum jacket by Prabal Gurung

    Sequin embellished crepe dress by Victoria, Victoria Beckham

    Cream pearl embellished pencil skirt by River Island

    Embellished cotton jersey sweatshirt by Lanvin

    Forest fern strappy top by French Connection

    Embellished metallic jacquard mini dress by Balmain

    With the festive season upon us, this fall trend is sure to make you go back in time, look and feel like a real queen at every social do. Eye-catching embroidery, oversized gemstones, rich fabrics and statement jewelery characterize this more-is-more look, while maintaining a modern edge. Step up your style quotient next time youre stepping out, but dont forget the bold attitude and loads of condence!

    Vira Shah tells you how to get it right with the royal bling

    All hail the Royal Bling!

    Gold sequinned bodice dress with mesh skirt by Forever New

    OCTOBER 2013 55





  • Baroque pearl clutch by Accessorize

    Mesh clutch with pearls and crystals by Rachana Reddy

    Tone on tone pink clutch by Balmain

    Pearl and gold studding by Marchesa

    Vine evening bag with oral beadwork by Hidesign


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    Statement bracelet by House of Chic

    Gold rose sunglasses by Dolce & Gabbana

    Embellished heeadband by Deepa Gurnani

    Chandelier earrings by Notandas & Sons jewellers

    Pearl and gold bracelet by Alexander McQueen available at Kitsch

    56 OCTOBER 2013


  • Metalwork with stones on pumps by Bruno Magli

    Thread and stone embroidered platforms by Metro

    Mosaic heel mary jane pumps by Dolce & Gabbana

    Vintage oral inlay pumps by Roberto Cavalli

    Beaded and sequinned slippers by Roger VIvier

    Jewel like nail sparkling powders by Dior


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  • DNA, says Jayesh.

    Quirk Box offers dresses from ` 2,000 onwards, and they have interesting concepts like Dream Factory, Solider, Dolls and Toy factory designs. We also have stationery, home dcor items, cushion covers, coasters, wall art, furniture and mugs. For our Lakme Fashion Week collection, we have knew that we were addressing a prt audience, but have played with loud prints, and added colour blocking to make them sparkle, says Jayesh.

    Most fabrics are georgette and silks, as the focus remains colour lots of it. Indians love colour, and even though we dont believe in trends, prints will remain our mainstay, irrespective of whether they are internationally in or not, concludes Jayesh.

    After working for an advertising agency in Singapore, Jayesh quit to return to India and immerse himself in art. He has also painted canvases for the screening of Ketan Mehtas lm at the Cannes Film Festival. Art must not be restrictive, thats why I like Andy Warhols work. It was fun and everyone could get it, he says.

    The design sensibility of Quirk Box is well quirky and what distinguishes it from other labels is that all the artwork is original, done by Jayesh. Their forte is prints so you will see offbeat, unconventional ones in the most eye-popping hues. Nothing is subtle, everything is a bit over-the-top, ranging from the fuchsias and neons to tangerines. We wanted to give women something that was original. I am quite inspired by the Japanese Manga comics too, so you will see some bits that come into the labels

    Jayesh Sachdev loved art and honed his brush strokes in Singapore, but little did he know that he would win the British Council Award in 2008, and meet another awardee Rixi Bhatia, and that it would be a life-changing event.

    Being an artist you can only paint 10-15 canvases in a year, restricting my audience to a few people who understand and appreciate art. I thought this was a bit elitist, as art must be accessible to everyone, and thats how the idea of Quirk Box, our lifestyle and fashion label came about in 2011, says Pune-based Jayesh, who graduated in Visual Communication from the Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore. He has founded his own art and design studio under the name of Emblem Studios, and admits he is inspired by greats like Andy Warhol and Peter Philips.

    Two designers from Pune give Asmita Aggarwal the lowdown on some original artwork on natty dresses

    Making Quirky Cool

    58 OCTOBER 2013


  • Elephants have been an integral part of the rich culture of Asia. They occupy a very special place in India, as they are worshipped in our country. Yet, as is common knowledge, Asian elephants are widely subjected to various forms of cruelty and abuse and their numbers are fast dwindling. For centuries, they have been part of circuses and are routinely subjected to extremely hard labour. In our country, they have even been made to beg on the streets. Of late, there are several movements being spearheaded to liberate the elephants and help them regain their lost freedom. Besides the conservation programs and other such, many people have sought to raise awareness about and love for elephants through art.

    In 2006, father and son duo Marc and Mike Spits initiated the rst open air art exhibition called the Elephant Parade with a strong motive to conserve Asian elephants and ensure their welfare. The parade includes creative life-size models of elephants from various parts of the globe that are created by reputed fashion designers. And for the very rst time the parade witnessed a jewellery designer extend her support to the cause. Mirari, a premier name in luxurious jewellery in India, designed one of the marvelous elephants for the parade. Mira Gulati of Mirari is the rst jewellery designer in the world to have participated in this globally renowned Parade.

    Mira says, Elephant Parade is a brand in itself, and over the years, has shown immense growth all the while helping in the best possible way to conserve elephants. My support is minimal in the context of the entire Parade but this being my rst exposure I gave it my best shot. Elephants are an essential part of the diverse Indian wildlife and saving this endangered species is a must. The elephant designed by us stands in majestic testimony to the rich culture of India and my love for it. Each year, the elephant models designed as part of this exhibition are auctioned, and the proceeds are donated to the Asian Elephant Foundation.

    Mirari is possibly the rst jewellery designer in the world to

    have designed for the globally-renowned Elephant Parade


    OCTOBER 2013 59





  • AM:PM designers Priyanka and Ankur Modi dont like a dressed up home gleaming with silver or expensive art, as

    their contemporary home is simple, fuss-free, plush and airy! Asmita Aggarwal takes a detailed tour...

    60 OCTOBER 2013


  • Beaming with sunlight, and peace, despite being in Friends Colony, a posh, bustling area in the national capital, the quiet, organic feel of Priyanka and Ankur Modis home is refreshing. And as the AM:PM designers say in unison, We wanted it to be welcoming and inspiring. Not opulent and bursting at the seams with Lladro and Royal Doulton. In fact, we dont understand the concept of showpieces, a house must be functional and we have made it effective in our own innovative way.

    Living with her mom-in-law, the veteran designer Anju Modi, has been rewarding for Priyanka, who belongs to the Birla family, and moved to the city six years ago from Kanpur after she tied the knot with Ankur and today their two boys, Aryaman, 3, and Adhiraj, 7, are the light of their lives.

    Taking The Tour

    On the top-most oor of the building, the third, the house has a drawing and a dining room, a lovely terrace and the kids

    rooms. The beauty of this contemporary home lies in its simplicity and elegance. You wont nd any expensive silver or brocades, but what you will is muted, warm colours, and demarcations all executed in glass to give it a seamless, free-owing, light feel. The sliding doors which divide the dining area from the gallery offer an illusion of space too. We got a wall broken down to make it into a glass window so that we could allow the greenery to come inside, says Priyanka.

    The drawing room has a big sofa, a low lying and unconventional table, oor cushions and to spice things up a bit, they have a stone wall to add a rustic charm.

    The dining room has a cosy, marble top table and the adjoining room is a puja room, but what makes it sparkle are the dull green walls combined with pure white. My mom-in-laws bedroom is her sanctuary, it has a massive laser-cut stone door with a oating bed inside. The textured wall is where the TV is placed and the long book rack that hits the ceiling is really the best part. Ma

    likes to work in her room, so we have a small desk and chair. But she also has a walk-in closet that is quite expansive. After all she is an established designer who has been in the fashion business for more than twenty years, she smiles.

    On the other hand, Priyankas bedroom has almost meditative walls, and she has the privilege of enjoying the balcony. I sit and sip my morning cuppa here and it is as if everyday I send out an invitation for the leafy trees to join me! I like natural light, so the glass allows us to enjoy this simple luxury. We dont put things where they t, rather we try to keep everything in harmony with what is existing, she says.

    With most of the furniture in light grey and white, Priyanka has kept her abode free from any ornamentation or heavy, rich-looking fabrics. Instead, she has played with soft lighting to maintain equanimity. Featuring straight lines, a clean at plan and shaded lamps carefully placed to brighten up nooks and corners, this modern home is tasteful and graceful. I think

    OCTOBER 2013 61



    R R



  • thoughtful design is all about less is more and keeping it clutter-free and airy. So our home is luminous with lots of open spaces, unhindered ventilation, smart lighting and touches of white which add purity and a certain rhythm and tranquil uidity. Maybe thats why we leave our windows undressed, she explains.

    That Special Vibe

    What makes the home special is her two boys, who add unconditional love and happiness in her hectic life. Adhirajs room is more practical, it has wooden ooring, thereby eliminating the need for exotic carpets. Hardwood oors are versatile and to tell you the truth we couldnt decide between walnut, hickory and wild

    oak, but liked the wider planks to give the feeling of more space, so we opted for them. The wooden oors add a colonial, old world charm to the room and make it fuss-free for kids, who leave their toys on the oor. It is also easy to clean, she explains.

    The blue room also has a huge sofa so that Priyanka after a hard days work can hang out with her son, read a story or simply play with him. Adhiraj loves music and responds to it like a true musician; he gets so immersed in the beats that it is a treat to watch him. We have kept a music system in his room, and he listens to whatever catches his fancy from Bollywood to classics, she confesses.

    Aryamans room has a low bed, white wooden ooring and three walls painted with farm animals that he loves to identify, giggling every time he gets it right. He has bright, green shelves and a small wooden cabinet with colourful handles which perks up his space, instantly. We crafted a play area within the room so that there are many things that will spark his imagination, like art projects, Lego or word games, which are engaging and meaningful, rather than just mindless TV watching, she says.

    In a world that has an over-stimulated, commoditized culture the Modis prefer an unadorned home that simplies life down to the essentials. As Priyanka concludes, It may be cheesy, and an adage often misused, but home is where the heart is.

    62 OCTOBER 2013


  • Jullaaha, the eco boutique run by Jayadevi Cholayil is home to exquisite handicrafts, garments, soaps, spa products and so much more, as Richa Tilokani nds out.

    64 OCTOBER 2013


  • Jullaahas four exotic ayurvedic soaps are orange and cinnamon; melon and aloe vera; saffron and sandal; and goat milk and jojoba and honey bathing bars. The orange and cinnamon bar is an effective anti-wrinkle soap, which imparts a radiant glow. It is made of jojoba oil, coconut butter, kokum butter, avocado butter and glycerine. The melon and aloe vera bar helps to gently purify and remove dead cells. It is made from vegetable glycerine, olive oil, grape seed oil, loofah and aloe vera extract.

    The fragrant saffron and sandal bar is effective in whitening and depigmentation and is made of natural ingredients like sandal, saffron, sweet almond oil, wheatgerm oil, and vitamin E. The goat milk, jojoba and honey soap helps to whiten and soothe the skin and is made from cocoa butter, jojoba butter, grapeseed oil, shea butter, papaya extract and honey.

    Wide Range of Ayurvedic products

    Jullaaha also offers a number of other new Ayurvedic products like, Aloe vera gel, natural hair colour, anti-dandruff hair oil, virgin coconut oil, golden glow oil (for enhancing fairness) and a herbal body wash, which are already in demand. At Jullaaha, we believe in leading a sustainable lifestyle with minimum damage to the environment. All our products are made using natural processes and organic materials, so you get a sense of wellness associated with our brand, shares Jaya.

    Jayadevis keen sense of observation inspires her to learn from both the ordinary and the exotic around her. Her travels around the world also give her a unique perspective and a keen insight into consumer mindset and the overall market.

    Giving back

    It's not surprising that the Cholayil Group (which also manufactures the famous Medimix soap), has pioneered the contemporary use of Ayurveda in our country, earning the trust of millions of Indians and was recently included in the top 100 brands in an Economic Times country-wide survey. The Cholayil Group also plays an important role in society, bridging the gap between the ethical consumer and the poor craftsmen of the country. Jayadevis initiatives at Jullaaha have improved the overall well-being of the local communities and made them self-sufcient. Under her trained and watchful eye, the inherent and untapped manual skills of the talented artisans have been skilfully mobilised in designing for Jullaaha. They transform traditional kalamkari and batik prints into eclectic creations, which are then worn all over the world.

    We are very proud of our traditional craft and it is important that we support them so they can retain their rich legacy. Our country has a rich resource of excellent weavers and craftsmen and their talent needs to be shared with the world, says Jayadevi happily.

    Looking ahead

    Jayadevi is also excited about the future of Jullaahas new Ayurvedic products. They provide a healthy alternative to the mass produced and non-natural options available in the market today. The packaging lends a contemporary glamour to the products, blending seamlessly with the Indian design, giving them a unique look.

    I want the users of the exotic soaps and spa products to feel luxurious, even royal as they pamper themselves with the goodness of our ancient heritage, ends Jayadevi as she gets busy with the new products at Jullaaha.

    Be the change you want to be said Mahatma Gandhi. And Jayadevi Cholayil is one to take his advice seriously. Tired of the empty words of support to the handicrafts industry from the fashion world, Jayadevi decided to take matters into her own hand. Combining her twin passions of fashion and philanthropy, she started Jullaaha with the aim of helping poor local women. Today, Jullaaha stocks a wide variety of products made by these women and various NGOs who support impoverished communities.

    Jullaaha reects Jayadevis love for colour, travel, excellence and all things beautiful and exotic. No wonder, it is renowned for its high quality handcrafted garments, exotic Ayurvedic soaps and spa products. With a background in Ayurveda and soap making, its not surprising that its exotic Ayurvedic segment is doing well both nationally and internationally. Jullaaha is also known for its beautiful and warm ambience, which has been decorated with knick-knacks collected by Jayadevi during her travels around the world.

    Exotic Ayurvedic soaps

    Says Jayadevi, I recently travelled to Singapore, Dubai and Bologna for a series of exhibitions and showcased our exotic Ayurvedic products there. The response was overwhelming and showed that the market for our Ayurvedic products is very large and widespread.

    The Jullaaha soaps are the latest offerings from the green boutique and are based on our ancient 5000-year-old Ayurvedic system. Made from fruits, spa oils and all things organic, these hand-made soaps are a great way to bring wellness into our lifestyle, sans chemicals and harmful products.

    OCTOBER 2013 65






  • choices, sending you on a delightful gastronomic adventure. The USP of the Lobby Caf is that it offers live cooking options for a variety of cuisines like Indian, European, and Chinese. You can sample some of the best herb spiced Indian delicacies, aromatic Chinese and live traditional Italian oven-baked pizzas and pastas right here in the city. Lobby Caf also serves buffet breakfast everyday and brunch buffet on all Sundays, says Sanjoy.

    The live kitchen attached to the restaurant provides a lot of add-ons which are freshly made according to the different choices of the guests. It also offers food connoisseurs a delicious spread of healthy soups, salad bars, dessert bars and even live music to keep them company. The a-la-carte menu features pre-plated options, with cuisines from around the world to suit every palate.

    Best of Southern hospitality

    An offering from the Radha Hotels, the Radha Regent is a premium hotel with

    great infrastructure, amazing service and a reputation that precedes it. Located just a few metres from the biggest bus terminus in Asia and close to the Chennai airport, it is easily accessible to everyone. It is especially convenient for corporates who do not have many options in that area. The restaurant seats 100 people and includes an exclusive personalised dining hall.

    The Radha Regent has been a trend-setter among city hotels, after ushering in the pub culture with their Geoffreys Pub a decade ago. Now with Lobby Caf, the hotel delights diners with remarkable interiors, great service and competitive pricing, making it one of the most popular restaurants in the city. The elegant ambience adds to the charm of the place and creates a wonderful atmosphere to relax and unwind.

    The Lobby Caf is located at Hotel Radha Regent on 171, Jawahar Lal Nehru Salai, Inner Ring Road, Arumbakkam, Chennai. For reservations contact +91 44 66778899.

    The relaunched Lobby Caf at the Radha Regent Hotel, Chennai, is the best place to enjoy an extra large buffet and a good conversation, as Richa Tilokani nds out.

    Cuisines & Conversations

    Chennaiites have a great new place to hang out the all-new relaunched Lobby Caf at the Radha Regent Hotel at Arumbakkam. The Lobby Caf is a round-the-clock multi-cuisine restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets. A 17-year-old establishment, the Lobby Caf has now been renovated and completely refurbished to offer the best of Southern hospitality in a contemporary manner. It is open 24 hours and situated at the lobby level, hence the name.

    Shares Sanjoy Kumar Das, General Manager, Radha Regent Hotel, Earlier the restaurant was known as the Caf in the Park, but now it has been relaunched in a modern avatar. The new Lobby Caf brings an extraordinary contemporary ambience with an extra large buffet spread, which will appeal to all our patrons.

    A gastronomic adventure

    The Lobby Caf offers one of the most lavish spreads in the city and exotic cuisine

    66 OCTOBER 2013


  • All of 32, she has recently been listed by the World Gold Council as one of the top 10 most inventive and ingenious jewellery designers in the world. She has won several Awards including the prestigious Audi RITZ Icon Award 2012 and has been named by Vogue Italia as one of the 5 designers to watch out for in India. Even the iconic Jimmy Choo has praised her designs and her jewellery is regularly worn by A-list lm stars and well-known personalities across the country. Presenting the super talented Suhani Pittie, in conversation with Vinita Nayar.

    Guts n' Glitter

    Powered by Bols

    68 OCTOBER 2013


  • Wardrobe and Accessories by Suhani Pittie

    Hair and Make up by Sandy

    Photography by Sucharitha Rao

    Location: The Park, Hyderabad

    OCTOBER 2013 69






  • 70 OCTOBER 2013


  • Suhani Pittie never planned on becoming a jewellery designer; she was a gemmologist who turned to jewellery design by chance. But what a chance that has been! Today, this talented young Hyderabad-based designer has gained national and international recognition and awards that have catapulted her into a league of her own. She has also launched her online store www.suhanipittie.com/shop, another successful venture from this gifted lady. The younger sister of Indias most sought-after fashion designer Anamika Khanna, Suhani opens up to RITZ about her business, the challenges she faced, her passion for design and her own style quotient...

    What inspired you to become a jewellery designer? Tell us how you took your interest forward.

    My career as a jewellery designer was absolutely unplanned. I was teaching gemmology in Kolkata before moving to Hyderabad in 2004. One ne day, I was toying with some old silver. I heated it, and made something for my mum-in-law and got orders on it from most people who saw it on her. Thereafter, I participated in Bridal Asia. My work got picked up by some leading stores, and suddenly I found myself a career!

    My rst love was gemmology. I was never inclined towards design or jewellery. I have always enjoyed getting into the thick of the technicalities. Whether its gadgets or cars or even the refractive indices of gemstones, I am a sucker for detail and love researching and reading up on topics. As a child, I would always be toying with the rocks and pebbles in the garden. When I was seven, I saw an amber in a book and got drawn to the world of gems. Of course, I didnt know then that there was a whole subject related to it that I could actually study. But somewhere I always felt I wanted to do something with stones and after class 12, I went to study at the Gemological Institute of America. When I got back, I started teaching at a gemmological school and went on to start my own school of gemology very soon. This was all at age 20. At 23, I got married and moved to Hyderabad... And like

    I said earlier, everything including my rst design and executing my rst order, was unplanned. In 2004, by Gods grace, within a month of my starting, things started spiralling forward very quickly; my husband Stouvant joined me and we oated our company Zorya Fashions. Again, it wasnt a planned move. He was looking at something new to do and felt this business looked lucrative. Personally, I always knew I would start my own business. My entire childhood was inspired by dad who is the most hardworking person I know. At 14, he started taking me to his ofce. So a life without doing anything worthwhile was never an option. As for entrepreneurship, its hard but there is tremendous satisfaction.

    You must have faced several challenges when you started out

    Oh boy...many! Eight years back there was very little of the concept of alternative jewellery in the mainstream market. When I was trying to establish my team of workers, every now and then one of them would rebel saying this was not the kind of jewellery that the market would buy and that I was wasting my time. It took many years for them to have faith in what they were making and nothing comes out right till you believe in it. Now I dont even have to sketch, they can just read my mind! Its amazing.

    India has all along been a patron of precious jewellery. Suddenly to break into this market of Let the jewellery be a sound investment and create a market that says Lets have jewellery for pure delight needed thorough planning. Fortunately for me, two months after I started work, the rst store to pick up my work was Ensemble and with their acceptance came terric self-condence.

    I must admit that it (Hyderabad) was a new city for me. I had to deal with a new language and culture, and undertake a new search for raw materials and for people. In fact, it was a new business model altogether. But its all been good and I would change nothing about it. My

    experiences over the years have taught me a lot and moulded me immensely. For instance, I dont panic even in stressful situations. I just switch on some Bollywood music and work out on paper, a owchart to solve the issue.

    Tell us about your online business.

    Our online venture is a massive step toward business expansion and by Gods grace, it has taken off very well. Our aim is to reach out to every city and town in the country. We get so many requests and orders from towns that are not the metros, and naturally, we want to reach out. With very good prices and a cash-on-delivery option, Im sure we would be able to attract a very large clientele. I am thrilled that we have had a good beginning. We are getting orders from all over the country, including places like Varkala, Wayanad etc. Its exciting to see how even the B-towns are appreciative of our work.

    What do you love the most about designing?

    My designs reect my love for many things metal, my mood, my surroundings, the old city, the Charminar, a 200-year-old haveli, dancers on the streets, women with their ringing anklets, the bangle maker, the local kumhaar (potter), the by-lanes, old photographs, tall buildings, brass, steel, history, books and many more. So I guess what I love about design is that its an expression of emotion. I think it is a fantastic opportunity to be able to express so vividly what you are feeling at that moment and the freedom and liberation that comes with it.

    So what moves and inspires you enough to express?

    Each of my collections brings with it a mood, a feeling and an emotion. It begins with the rst impression, which is initially vivid, then intense and then gets slowly ingrained into the subconscious. I like to collect these feelings, memories, connections and observations. This time, for example, was about the free spirit, the naivety of the heart, about pure love. Earlier it was a stronger mood, about cultures and

    I met Jimmy Choo at a very private dinner. He touched my necklace and said those kind words OCTOBER 2013 71 PE





  • Style CheckTell us about your personal sense of style. How fashion conscious are you?

    I always take the classic route. I dont follow trends at all and more often than not you will nd me in something thats really vintage-inspired. Im a sucker for all things old. Give me an old winding watch over a new one any day or an old skirt from the by-lanes of Rajasthan and I would get all glassy-eyed!

    Name four people who have inuenced the way you style, dress and carry yourself.

    Anamika Khanna, Blogger Nadia Sarwar, Roisin Murphy and Vivienne Westwood.

    The one thing you wouldn't be caught dead wearing?

    Animal print anything!

    Your favourite accessory brand?

    Alexis Bittar. I admire the way the brand has become so mainstream.

    A piece of jewellery that is not your design but blew your mind?

    The Hermes Centaure necklace. What a brilliant way to express the brands perennial equestrian subject!

    Three celebrities you would like to see wearing your designs?

    I would love for Tilda Swinton to wear our erce ear cuffs or Keira Knightley to wear the very strong collars. Theres a whole lot of people who are on my wish list.

    What/who would you call your design muse?

    Anyone who has a mind of her own and is not a victim of changing trends. Someone who has the courage to foray into the future on her own terms but takes along with her all her cultural values. Anyone who is unapologetically individualistic.

    72 OCTOBER 2013


  • I remember her (Anamika Khanna) doing all my art and biology homework because she was so good at drawing I'm so proud of her and so in awe of her. She is really amazing at what she does. Anamika is probably the only person I know who eats, sleeps and dreams design and works extremely hard at making it all happen. We all know

    what a terric artist she is, but its inspiring to see her always strive to do better and never say 'this is it'. That, to me is the sign of a true achiever!

    You seem to only wear your sister Ananmika Khannas designs. Tell us about that.

    I do wear others as well. In fact, I wear a lot of old vintage clothes too. But yes, my wardrobe has a very large section of Anamika Khanna. What to do. she is my favourite! Would you believe that my sister doesnt really give me fashion inputs? Thats an interesting thing about Anamika Khanna. She lets you be.

    What are you working on now?

    We have just nished samples for the Diwali collection. Im working on designs for New Year now both jewellery and giftware.

    What is a typical day like for you?

    6.30 AM to 8 AM is workout time, whether its just running or running and then some weight training. At 9.25, we leave for ofce and get back at 8.45 PM. Then it is coffee, anagram, Uno, video games or just tons and tons of reading.

    How do you unwind after a long day?

    Photography. Dancing and when my body tires out, reading. I am a history buff. So I read books on world leaders, on independence, on economics and political history of countries. I am also a self-proclaimed movie critic and the biggest Harry Potter fan there has ever been! And of course, theres the Xbox in our life! And anagram! Or organising my sticker collection.

    You live in Hyderabad. Would you say that being based out of a South Indian city has inhibited your growth in anyway, since most people in the fashion industry prefer to work out of Mumbai or Delhi?

    Not at all. On the contrary, it's so nice being in this historic city away from all of the fashion noise. I do my own thing. I have a life after 9 PM. I'm not stuck in traffic or on the road trying to make it home. I believe that Hyderabad, with its cultural background and history, has really given me an eye to appreciate beauty.

    Any pointers to our readers on using jewellery to enhance a look?

    Treat jewellery like the main feature of your dressing and see how the entire wardrobe becomes new

    about strength; it had within it depictions of Shiva or Islam, as also tribes and temples. An earlier collection was inspired by a jatra dancer I saw in Begum Bazaar. Yet another time it was the history of the Nizams. This time it was a story of the tribal lifestyle. I do not follow trends. I follow my heart and my thoughts. Maybe thats why the collections are so varied. My work is an unexpected combination of contradictory elements. It is ercely individual and ercely honest.

    How did it feel to be featured in Fortune magazine? And to gain recognition from the World Gold Council? Even Jimmy Choo has praised you.

    I dont think I have achieved much yet. But yes, its all very encouraging. The biggest industry body coming forth and patting you on the back and putting you in the top ten in the world surely feels like you are doing something right. Its a high; but it keeps you on your toes and pushes you to get better. Fortune magazine analysed and talked about our business. So Im really happy to know that it is not just the brand but also the business model that is getting the right kind of appreciation. I met Jimmy Choo at a very private dinner. He touched my necklace and said those kind words. We chatted for very long about it. I think I did not breathe through the entire conversation. I think I died and came back!

    A very exciting event was when we were chosen to showcase for the British Royalty by the Birtish Council. It brought with it a trust factor that a very important body had trusted us to do a very, very important show for some very, very important people. That trust has kept us on our toes. Its like you cant let anyone down. You HAVE to be darn good everyday! That experience, that solid belief gives me a very rm ground to work on.

    Your sister is Indias most sought after fashion designer, Anamika Khanna. How exciting was growing up with her?

    Ana is 10 years older to me. So she is almost like my mom. I was very young when she got married. But I remember her doing all my art and biology homework because she was so darn good at drawing. I remember her rst show. I wasnt allowed inside because I was underage. I still remember it was called the Shoowa collection. The next day her picture came in the paper. I remember cutting it and sticking it on my cupboard next to a picture of Jonty Rhodes. Thats how young I was when I started admiring her. From big sis she was slowly becoming this big designer, all through hard work and talent. I've seen her go through the grind and I respect her for all her courage.

    OCTOBER 2013 73






  • 74 OCTOBER 2013


  • Monicka Vadera explains, Today, there are many types of pearls available at affordable prices. Vendors label these as cultured pearls, and they are are simply dened as man-made pearls created under controlled environments to produce the desired colour, type and size of pearl.

    Under natural conditions, a pearl is formed when an irritant nds its way to an oyster. In response to this, the oyster starts secreting nacre which is a smooth crystalline substance. In time, this becomes a perfectly silky and lustrous pearl.

    To make a cultured pearl, a tiny piece of mantle tissue from a donor shell is transplanted into a recipient shell. Monicka says, Live pearl oysters are opened and parts of a live oyster bead and mantle is inserted. This bead is the centre around which the oyster secretes a substance that forms the pearl. The nucleated oysters are quickly returned to an enclosed part of the sea or simulated tanks. The oysters feed and grow in sheltered bays and over a period of time are cultivated and processed as well as sorted into the pearls we see in the market. They are marginally cheaper than natural or deep sea pearls as these are mass produced and easily simulated whereas natural pearls require sturdy conditions and trained divers to locate or hunt them and the resources are slowly depleting.

    There are a number of options for producing cultured pearls: use freshwater or seawater shells, transplant the graft into the mantle or into the gonad, add a

    spherical bead or do it non-beaded. The majority of saltwater cultured pearls are grown with beads. The majority of beaded cultured pearls are mantle-grown in freshwater shells, explains designer Alpana Gujral.

    Natural pearls

    Natural pearls are found in the Persian Gulf, the South Pacic, the Gulf of Mannar, the Gulf of California and the Gulf of Mexico. They can also be found in the Pacic coast of Mexico, Europe, Japan as well as Australia.

    Freshwater pearls are found in freshwater mussels, which live in lakes, rivers, ponds and other fresh water bodies. However, most of the cultured pearls sold today come from China. Saltwater pearls grow within pearl oysters, which live in oceans. Saltwater pearl oysters are usually cultivated in protected lagoons or volcanic atolls.

    Akoya pearls which take their name from the Akoya oyster are bred in hatcheries to ensure their safety. They take about ten to eighteen months to be ready for harvesting. Then they are processed with light bleaching and drilling to ensure all are of uniform shape and size.

    South Sea pearls are found in the waters off the Philippines. Tahitian pearls are found across the central and south Pacic but mainly in the atolls of French Polynesia.

    Cultured pearls are readily available across countries and continents. The primary hub

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    Pearls have been around in human consciousness for the longest time, since the days of ancient Greek lore. A lot has been written about the beauty of the natural pearls, which occur in the wild, while pearls that are commonly available today are cultured or farm pearls and are taken from oysters.

    For the uninitiated, a pearl is a hard object produced within the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusc. It is made up of calcium carbonate in crystalline form. What makes them different from other gems is that they do not need any polishing or treatment before being sold. They are created perfect by living beings, in the deep seas.

    But that is just the basics. What makes these shiny round beads so valuable and so revered? Well, a pearl enthusiast or collector may take on the hobby or interest out of pure fascination for the quality pearl while for many others, it has grown into a massive social status symbol and proof of your afuence.

    Harvesting Beauty

    For many hundreds of years, pearl oysters were hunted in the most brutal fashion. Tons of them were gathered, opened, and thus killed, to nd a single wild pearl. Divers would pull oysters from ocean oors and rivers to check them individually. Out of the many tons hauled, only three or four oysters would have perfect pearls making it an extremely laborious and tedious affair. For the longest time, this was the only way to obtain pearls, making them very expensive indeed until cultured pearls came into existence. Jewellery designer

    OCTOBER 2013 75





  • a natural pearl is determined in the same way as it would be for other precious gems. The valuation factors include size, shape, colour, quality of surface, orientation and lustre. Lustre is the most important quality of the pearl the way it reects light is graded high, medium and low. The highest grade pearls are the brightest and the smoothest of them all. Their surface is unmarked by any bumps, pits, scratches or any other such defect. A wild pearl often has imperfections. One way to tell a natural pearl from an articial pearl is to rub it against your teeth. A natural pearl will feel gritty, and an articial pearl will feel smooth. Adds Monicka, To compare for example, a string of certied genuine South Sea pearls will cost you upwards of

    20,000 rupees and the cultured ones are available from 2,500 rupees onwards.

    Queen of Accessories

    Pearls have always had a special place in the hearts of fashionistas. Who can forget Audrey Hepburn with her chain of pearls and a little black dress, setting the gold standard in fashion for women around the world? You too can jazz up your outts with classic pearl earrings or necklace. Just wear a string of pearls with your little black dress for an uber classy look. Or team them up with ethnic clothes for the festive season -- you can even try out pearl bangles or bracelets. Truly, with their luminous beauty, pearls are a joy forever.

    for cultured pearls in India, for example, is Hyderabad.

    Spotting The Difference

    So, how do you distinguish between the two? Monicka explains, Cultured and natural pearls generally tend to look alike unless seen by the trained eye. So, many women go for the more economical option. To truly distinguish between a cultured and a real pearl you can get a test done at any Gem Laboratory or run it under a microscope, shares Monicka.

    Value of a Pearl

    Alpana explains that quality natural pearls are very rare jewels. The actual value of

    76 OCTOBER 2013


  • Of Destination Divorces...

    Credits: Shutterstock

    Photograph used for illustrative purposes only.

    78 OCTOBER 2013


  • Imagine this. Clear blue skies, the sweet sound of the ocean and nothing but a crisp breeze running through your hair. As she stands there with the man she loved or sort of loved...or maybe sometimes hated even? (yes, we're getting to the context) a deluge of emotions engulf her. He looks into her eyes and says the four magic words that would end everything forever. "Will you divorce me? Well, this is the setting for the perfect sine qua non to the end of a marriage the destination divorce.

    Divorces of today, for some at least, arent necessarily a heartbreaking affair. Well, of course, while breaking off any relationship is a bad thing, some of these couples don't seem to think so! A different time, a different set of people and a different set of rules, indeed. But here's the interesting fact while we all know that marriages in our subcontinent often tend to be expensive affairs, most people think that divorces entail only a separation of both parties involved, paying your lawyers and be on your way. But then, if we're celebrating the union of two people in such pomp and splendour, why should we not celebrate their separation too? That's what some folks are thinking now. Fair enough, some divorces are indeed meant to be celebrated and what better way to do that than plan a holiday divorce, where you step out of the comforts of your own space and take a trip with your other 'half' and come back a 'full' person!

    While many couples may feel excitement at the thought of a destination wedding, they may look at their lawyers a bit perplexed when they hear of the idea of a destination divorce. However, this new concept is starting to take root as a new

    means to an amicable and court-free divorce proceeding.

    Now, why do folks prefer to get divorced outside their own vicinity? The answer is quite simple to be free from snoopy neighbours, curious relatives and annoying friends who can rub salt on the wound called divorce and give you an even worse time trying to get over it.

    While this practice is only quite recent and fairly restricted to the very rich and famous who want to avoid thrashing things out in court and wish to break free from prying eyes, studies show that Britain fares among the top overseas destination for divorces, followed by the Czech Republic and Spain. Well, why not, because if they can afford to get married anywhere in the world, they can afford to get divorced anywhere too, right?

    So, what exactly is the deal with destination divorces? Couples take a trip, usually with a marriage counselor or a 'concerned' relative, to some expensive, exotic European or Mediterranean destination (if you can't afford expensive Europe, there is always Tantalising Thailand on the 'middle-class' bracket.s Of course, no place better than Thailand to celebrate a divorce, we say!). They try and sort out their differences and if that doesn't work, amicably decide to go their own ways.

    While going abroad is the popular option, some tour operators are also making do with some in-house options like Shimla, Goa or exotic backwater resorts in Kerala. The idea is to remove oneself from the everyday stresses and pressures of daily life so that the couple can focus solely on the divorce. Wow, that's actually a service these days!

    We all have that dream wedding, but now as it turns out, some people can have a dream divorce too! Separation doesn't always have to be tedious and stressful for a few ... they take a trip, relax and end the marriage. Yes, that's a service being offered these days, nds Rohit Panikker.

    OCTOBER 2013 79





  • It's the festive season of the year again and though not religious in nature, these festivals do command an annual pilgrimage from fans. In fact, this is the time when music fans across the country wait in anticipation for event promoters to make their announcements as to which acts they will be featuring in the year. Considering that widely popular international acts like Metallica, Swedish House Maa, Testament and Enrique Iglesias were among the major international acts to headline various festivals in the last two years, this year too promises an interesting line-up with different promoters having announced headliners ranging from Mutemath to Meshuggah, Avicii and Steve Aoki. So, for those who are planning their annual dose of the festival air, we do a round-up of the biggest music festivals from outdoor camping festivals to high-energy EDM gigs, it's pumping adrenalin from now on all they way until December!

    Mark your calendars! Siddharth Kumar shows you the hottest music festivals and live events that you shouldn't be missing this year...


    80 OCTOBER 2013


  • Whats happening: The Great Indian October Fest

    Where: Bengaluru

    When: October 12-14

    Launched in 2005, the Kingsher Great Indian October Fest is into its eighth edition and its no surprise that this years lineup features some of the best bands in the Indian music scene. With killer acts like Moksha, Thermal and a Quarter, Parouisa, The Ministry of Blues, Pentagram, Brahma, Them Clones, Motherjane, Avial, Inner Sanctum and Indian Ocean on the roster, TGIOF is the perfect excuse to take that long weekend off to unwind with some chilled beer and some awesome live music.

    Whats happening: goMAD Festival

    Where: Fernhills Palace, Ooty

    When: October 25-27

    Following up after a hugely successful debut last year, goMAD is back with some of the best music, art and dance acts from across the world. The picturesque Fernhills Palace in Ooty plays host to the event this year, and the organisers have gone all out to ensure attendees come away with a truly artistic experience. Whether its camping out in the wilderness that you prefer or living it up in style at the palace while you take in the performances some of the best artists in and around the country, goMAD is a three-day celebration of art in all its glory.

    Whats happening: Oktoberfest

    Where: Goa

    When: October 25-27

    Into its third edition now, Oktoberfest has become one of the mainstay events of the electronic scene in India. The three-day festival to be held at Baga Grounds at the end of October will witness a host of performances by electronic artistes, both international and Indian. Besides the amazing music acts, Oktoberfest stays true to its German roots the event will have on offer over 15 varieties of beer coupled with some amazing food at the many grill and barbeque stations that dot the venue.

    Whats happening: Sunburn

    Where: Mumbai, Bengaluru & Goa

    When: November 15-17 (Mumbai), November 16-17 (Bengaluru) & December 27-29 (Goa)

    Having featured some of the worlds top electronica artists including Armin Van Buuren, Tiesto and Swedish House Maa in their past editions, Sunburn has come to be one of the most sought after and widely attended electronic dance music festivals in the country. With their early bird tickets selling like hotcakes already, this is one electronica extravaganza you do not want to miss, especially with Avicii being one of the biggest acts announced.

    Whats happening: NH7 Weekender

    Where: Pune, Bengaluru, Delhi & Kolkata

    When: October 18-20 (Pune) November 23-24 (Bengaluru), November 30-December 1 (Delhi) & December 14-15 (Kolkata)

    With the title of Indias best music festival rmly tucked under their belt, NH7 Weekender features some of the biggest names in the independent music scene, including the likes of Dualist Inquiry, Karsh Kale Collective, Big City Harmonics, Pentagram, Shankar Tucker and The Raghu Dixit Project. With multiple stage areas playing host to the best indie acts around, you can take your pick from the wide variety of genres ranging from rock and soul to EDM and dub. This year features headliners Meshuggah and Mutemath, performing in the Delhi/NCR region.

    Whats happening: Sound Awake Festival

    Where: Bengaluru

    When: December 1

    The second edition of the Sound Awake electronic dance music festival has electronica buffs going ga-ga over the fact that American DJ/producer Steve Aoki will be headlining the main event at the Supernova Arena in Yelahanka, Bengaluru. With four live stages being set up at the venue, electronica fans sure are in for a treat whats more, early bird tickets are beyond nominally priced. So what are you waiting for?

    OCTOBER 2013 81


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  • Sharan Apparao tells you how you can preserve and protect your art collection for posterity.

    Art for Posterity82 OCTOBER 2013


  • Thomas Danielle give us a glimpse of what India was like under the rule of the British and it is clear that even they appreciated the marvels of what they saw in India. In Ladakh, there is a monastery in the little village of Alchi, which has perhaps, the best example of immaculately preserved centuries-old paintings and sculptures. Here, the vibrancy of the jewel-like colours of the murals and frescoes remain intact till today. The breathtaking vision of the dim interior and extraordinary skill of the Alchi murals and closer home, the Vimana of Gangaikonda Cholapuram in Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu, are visual feasts that linger in ones memory for decades. The intensity of the beauty and drama is timeless and is as piercing as it must have been when it was rst created. These ne examples of art have survived only because of how they have been cared for over the years.

    Yes, there are professional consultants whose advice will certainly add a timeless quality to your art collection but in order to begin to preserve and protect works of art, one needs to look at the following simple steps to maintain the freshness, the life and the value of the artwork.


    One of the most underestimated culprits of decay is harsh light. Sunlight is perhaps the worst poison for canvas or paper artworks. Paintings especially water colours or pencil drawings should be shown only under very mild, soft and low lights and never ever near harsh sunlight. Oil and acrylic paintings on canvas or wood need controlled light even though they are not as sensitive as works on paper.

    When we start living amidst beautiful objects and works of art, often the aesthetics and the placing of the objects becomes an act of the owners budding relationship with the work and how they view the objects that give them pleasure. In this act of desire, one sometimes forgets to care for the life and safety of the artwork. With time, the value of art increases (quite like other assets) and it thus becomes even more important to preserve and protect the work of art.

    Art is a chronicle of the mind and a documentation of time. We have learnt so much of our collective psyche and past from the architecture, sculpture and paintings that surround us. It can be said that art thrived under the patronage of the kings and the rulers of the day. The inscriptions and sculptures on temple walls and the calligraphic documents of the Mughals bear testimony to this. The steel engravings and lithographs of William and

    OCTOBER 2013 83


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  • Moisture and air circulation

    Paper, canvas and other natural materials need to breathe. They need to be kept open or in situations where there is a circulation of air. In damp, moist environments these works can develop mould and fungus. It is a good idea to keep paintings on the wall by creating a cavity/gap/space by placing little stoppers on the corners at the back of the artwork.


    Today, many options are available to enhance and preserve an artwork in a frame. However, while this is done primarily to keep out insects and moisture and prevent any damage through handling it can also be viewed as an additional accent to the work. While choosing a frame and mount, keep in mind that acidity affects works of art. The glue, tape and mounts/mats need to be acid free. The selection of wood for a frame is important, when commercial frames are not an option. The frames should be made of seasoned wood so as to avoid warping and bending of the wood with the passage of time. This movement happens when the wood used is young and full of natural moisture.


    In India one has to be very wary of pests. Squirrels love the taste, smell and texture of canvas, so be wary of these cute creatures if you nd them running around the inside of your spaces. Storage rooms need to be airy and without humidity. It is best to store works wrapped in muslin and stand them up vertically. An even better way to store them is to hang them on a wall! In the case of a lack of wall space, a rack that is off the oor with works standing up will work well too. Make sure you have something (cardboard/ply) to separate one work from the other. Or, allow the frames to rest on each other. Never allow anything to rest on a canvas. Glass should also always be stored vertically as the weight of many glass sheets lying on top of one another will crack the glass.

    Humidity and the sea air

    This is the one factor that can create fungus, dampness and discolouration of the artwork. Sea air has a lot of salt content and this combined with humidity can create a lm or layer over a painted surface that can lead to corrosion. In

    such a situation the artwork would need professional cleaning.

    Dehumidiers can help in these circumstances as can constant air-conditioning. Keep in mind, however, that extreme temperature changes can be very harmful to artworks. Putting on an air- conditioner for long periods and not using it for equally long periods can sometimes lead to condensation and this could be harmful as the work is being put through the stress of two temperature extremes.

    Transporting and packing

    Artworks need to be cared for just as one would care for a one-day-old baby. While packing the focus should always be on over-packing and an anticipation of manhandling of works. Most handlers don't understand art, so, packing works to protect it from bad handling is indeed a great way to pack. Never attempt moving large glass works without adequate protection and the right handlers. Wooden crates protect work in most cases. Sculptures need to be packed in a cavity. Cushions, quilts, polystyrene and sponge make for great packing material.

    84 OCTOBER 2013


  • We live in an age when technology is being integrated into our daily lives on a constant basis, nowhere more so than with social networking. Myspace, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram....the list goes on. Now I am all for social networking, I have an account on most of these sites. However, there seems to be an increasing number of random attempts of contact from unknown people. Surely social networking is for people to stay connected to people they know. I think the pre-requisite for making contact on a social networking site should be that you have met or spoken to the other person at least once. Whats with the random requests that are being sent out to people you may have never met and dont share common friends with?

    I have increased the privacy settings on my social networking prole to ensure that people who do not know me cannot nd me, people who do not know me cannot see my updates and every other possible setting which the sites offer...Yet I nd myself inundated with inbox messages from people claiming to have Come across my prole or have mutual friends or just wanted to be friends because I have pretty eyes. Come on! What a croc! Not only are these strange requests and mails irritating, they also show the lack of decorum or social etiquette on the part of these offenders. You wouldnt just walk up to someone on the street and say Hey, lets be friends! What makes it acceptable in the cyber world?

    And God forbid if you make the fatal error of responding politely with, I think you are mistaken / I dont know you / I have never seen you before / I was not at the place you claim to have met me The conversation does not end there. The standard response would be, Im sorry, but we can be friends anyway? Really? How generous that they are offering up their friendship as a consolation prize for my not actually knowing them. When I politely decline, they take offence and offer up a plethora of replies, You think youre so beautiful... You think youre better than the others.... Im being so polite as saying lets be friendsAnd the one that takes the biscuit for me What makes you so wonderful anyway? Or Why are you acting so pricey? I hate to break it you, Oh Random One, apparently I am that wonderful based on your decision to make the effort to contact me! And if you think for a moment that a random friend request from a person I dont know from Adam is going to make me giddy at the knees, you are quite mistaken.

    My lesson learnt from these wonderful interactions, is to simply ignore and avoid. I am sure many of you agree that sometimes ignorance is bliss.

    If you have a topic youd like to see discussed, please mail it to [email protected]

    Sujaya Chandran feels that in this age of easy communication and social networking, basic etiquette is on its way out.

    Social notworking

    OCTOBER 2013 85


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  • Rohit Panikker takes a closer look at the vision and childhood fascination behind the epic monster battles in Pacic Rim with director Guillermo del Toro

    Cancelling The


    86 OCTOBER 2013


  • The depths of the ocean have always held a fascination for people, but we have always assumed that its wonders and its dangers are of our own world. We were wrong. A breach in the oor of the Pacic Ocean unleashes a cataclysmic threat to the human race. That intriguing premise gave rise to Pacic Rim, a power-packed sci- action ick from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures.

    Director Guillermo del Toro, who rst gained worldwide recognition for the 1993 Mexican-American co-production Cronos, a supernatural horror lm, and later, the Oscar-nominated fantasy drama Pans Labyrinth as well as the action adventure sci- thriller Hellboy, also co-wrote and served as a producer on the lm. With Pacic Rim, the director has mashed together every kind of giant monster and mecha battle fantasies we may have had as young, impressionable children, yet creating a story, concept and premise that is refreshingly original and high on the adrenalin inducers (not to mention a mindblowing score by Ramin Djawadi). The lm has already garnered polarized opinions and while box ofce revenues do not deem it as a box ofce trendsetter, it does hold the distinction of being the fastest to garner a loyal army of fanboys and followers in the recent past and shows all possibilities of pulling a Firey and turning into a cult classic, a franchise even.

    On the premise of the lm, Del Toro explains, Through that portal come creatures that are larger and more ferocious and brutal than anything we have ever seen the Kaiju. In order to grapple with them, mankind pulls together all its resources and invents the largest, most dynamic and most versatile weapon ever devised. They create the Jaeger Program towering 25-story-high robots, each operated by two pilots whose minds are neurally linked together. Paired together, these pilots are humanitys last hope of survival.

    He continues, It was a project that encompassed every single thing on my wish list, visually, atmospherically and emotionally an unstoppable, thrilling adventure about human pilots and giant robots up against monsters, the likes of which weve never seen. The lm features an international cast, led by Charllie Hunnam and also starring Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Rob Kazinsky, Max Martini, Clifton Collins, Jr., Burn Gorman, and Ron Perlman. Del Toros enthusiasm

    was not only contagious to everyone involved in the lm, but is also largely the reason he has become an unequivocal favourite among genre fans. In fact, he would be the rst to count himself among those collectively known as fanboys.

    We want people to be taken by the spectacle and the sound and fury, Del Toro says, but it is all meant to illuminate the courage of the central characters. Physically, the human beings are the smallest thing in the movie, but their spirit is the largest thing in the movie. They show you the makings of real heroes.

    Behind The Scenes

    Pacic Rim was shot using the RED EPIC camera, marking the rst time Del Toro has used a digital camera for one of his lms. One of the main tasks for cinematographer Guillermo Navarro and his department was protecting the cameras from the sometimes torrential articial rain being generated by the special effects group, as well as the resulting steam from the water under the hot lights. The VFX team also produced digital re-creations of San Francisco, California, where the Kaiju begin their reign of terror. We wanted to show that this was a global occurrence, Del Toro states. The adventure takes you to completely different arenas from densely popul

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