Paloma about town: Diwali couture and bejewelled bliss
Diwali in Chennai gave us a deliciously long festive weekend with plenty of parties to attend and last minute shopping of course...
After a god sent ‘Diwali falling on a Monday’ and a resulting extra long festive weekend, it’s back to the grind. People are already talking about their Halloween costumes and I’m like, ‘Hey, hey can we do a Diwali round-up first please!’ This year saw parties of the pre-COVID variety with big bashes and gigantic guests lists. Ladies were rushing all over town getting last minute outfits and making sure their ‘looks’ were Instaworthy. I did a little bit of everything, festive shopping, brunching and some kiddy fun with my little one. Last year, she was basically a blob that we dressed up whereas, this year, she actually picked out her own shoes and enjoyed the festivities.
Perfectly timed were the two big launches recently, starting off with Kanakadhara Silks at Alwarpet. Co-founded by silk aficionados turned businesswomen Archana Abishek and Lavanya Sekar, this is both a labour of love and a true homage to the silk sari. Doing the honours was actor Aishwarya Rajesh, wearing a signature handcrafted piece that drew both admiring looks and lots of photographs. It was hard to pick a favourite amidst all the beautiful drapes, and we especially loved the mixing and matching that some guests had indulged in, with fun blouses.
Next up was the launch of the much talked about Courtyard by WeaveinIndia — a one stop shop for Chennai’s fashionistas. The brainchild of Mandira Bansal, the new space has a great vibe, where I meant to ‘pop by’ for a quick look but ended up staying for hours. I loved the all-day format of the launch, where guests could drop by at any time of the day, chat with the designer and enjoy a guided tour. We saw Chennai’s swish set in attendance and I loved that it wasn’t all ladies, with quite the offering for the gentlemen as well. The highlight for me was ‘Aguise’ a new in-house label with edgy, fresh-off-the runway styles. I already have my eye on a backless number that Mandira has promised to customise for me in my favourite colour. (See bottom party for more).
Our last stop was at Minnie Menon’s studio for ‘Diwali Recollections and More ’ a special showing of her semi precious jewellery. Fans of the brand dropped in through the day, picking up pieces to go with their festive outfits. Among them was Anita Ratnam and her daughter Arya, both of whom arrived in chic western wear. After all our festival of lights is celebrated internationally. England and 10 Downing got their first Prime Minister of Indian origin on Diwali! Anita who certainly knows her jewellery enjoyed trying on some of Minnie’s creations, “Anita made my creations look stunning,” said Minnie. The session ended with a lively chat on Rafa and the current political scenario!