Indian Designers Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra Jewellery Combo Rocked by Rihanna at Fenty Hair Launch

Rihanna, people’s all-time favourite pop icon, was seen at her fenty hair launch in Los Angeles wearing a necklace designed by Indian designers Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Manish Malhotra. Fenty Hair is the new launch of her Fenty cosmetic brand.

Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra diamond design

Indian Designers Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra Jewellery Combo Rocked by Rihanna at Fenty Hair Launch

In the history of Indian fashion, it is highly unlikely that any celebrity wore the combo of Manish Malhotra and Sabyasachi Mukherjee together. The industry’s two titans were united by Rihanna’s fashion ensemble at her Fenty Hair Launch. She wore an off-the-shoulder bomber jacket and a strappy bodycon dress, both in the same shade of dark cherry red, while rocking Manish Malhotra’s collection included an 18-carat gold choker necklace with custom-cut rubies covered in diamonds and Sabyasachi High Jewellery’s three-drop necklace with brilliant-cut diamonds, tourmaline, and rubellites.

Rivalry for the spotlight

Fans and users accused Manish of being “pettish” after he cropped the Sabyasachi jewellery in the images he shared on Instagram. It is to be noticed that Manish posted three pictures on Instagram. Although two of the photos were close-up shots, another one featured a full image of Rihanna wearing both necklaces.

Users also noticed that, despite Sabyasachi not cropping the photo, Manish Malhotra was not tagged in any of the posts.

In a post he published, the Bengali designer included four images of the artist wearing his creation: “Rihanna wears a three-drop rubellite, tourmaline, and brilliant-cut diamond necklace from Sabyasachi High Jewellery for her launch of Fenty Hair Beauty Brand in Los Angeles.”

Indian Designers Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra Jewellery Combo Rocked by Rihanna at Fenty Hair Launch

This event, in spite of the setbacks, showcases Rihanna’s trendy and cutting-edge style alongside the possibility of a change in the relationship between these two top Indian fashion business entities.

Fenty Hair, Rihanna’s next mission

Indian Designers Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra Jewellery Combo Rocked by Rihanna at Fenty Hair Launch

In September 2017, Rihanna introduced her cosmetic line, Fenty Beauty. It was created as part of a bigger vision and a promise to create inclusion for all women. At the moment, the brand provides cosmetic and beauty products. The latest addition to the Fenty franchise by Rihanna is Fenty Hair. Fenty Hair keeps up the promise and offers a wide range of hair supplies for all types of hair.

Rihanna shared to the press at her launch party how creating Fenty Hair as a part of Beauty for All was something she was really excited about since hair has always been very personal to her and her hairstyles have been part of her fashion evolution and growth over the years in the industry.

She also mentioned her take on womanhood and artistic journey and how hair complements everything, “Evolving as a woman and even as an artist, hair has been such a huge part of that and a reflection of whatever I’m feeling. So, it changes a lot, and my hair goes through a lot.” “In making this brand, I had to consider all of those things. I want to look fly, but I also want my hair to be healthy. How do I do that? All of my products need to be strengthened and repaired while I’m out just being fabulous.”

Indian Designers Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra Jewellery Combo Rocked by Rihanna at Fenty Hair Launch

The pop star, who spent a lot of time planning and creating fenty hairstyles for all curly hair types, also talked about how difficult it was compared to her expectations and how her new fenty product helps women of all hair types be confident and stylish.

Fenty Hair Combo

One shampoo, one treatment, two conditioners, four stylers, and one tool make up the Fenty hair collection. It is claimed that every product has been carefully designed and tested to suit all hair types, taking into account a wide range of textures.

US Woman Swindled of ₹6 Crore in Fake Jewelry Scam in Rajasthan

A US citizen fell victim to a deceptive scheme, purchasing imitation jewelry valued at ₹300 for an exorbitant ₹6 crore from a store owner in Rajasthan, as stated by the police.

Cherish, identified as a resident of the United States, acquired silver jewelry with gold plating from an establishment located in Johri Bazaar, Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Upon showcasing the jewelry at an exhibition in the US in April of the current year, it was revealed to be counterfeit. Subsequently, Cherish traveled to India to confront Gaurav Soni, the proprietor of the shop.

Despite Cherish’s accusations, the shop owner, Gaurav Soni, refuted the claims. Consequently, the American woman lodged a formal complaint with the Jaipur Police. Additionally, she sought assistance from the US embassy, prompting the Jaipur Police to initiate an investigation into the matter.

The complainant informed the authorities that her acquaintance with Gaurav Soni commenced via Instagram in 2022. Over the course of the last two years, she allegedly disbursed ₹6 crore for fraudulent jewelry, according to officials.

Authorities disclosed that both Gaurav Soni and his father Rajendra Soni are currently evading law enforcement. Efforts are underway to apprehend the fugitives, with special teams being deployed for this purpose, as confirmed by an official.

Aimee Baruah Shines at Cannes in Traditional Assamese Attire, Showcasing Muga Silk and Ancient Designs

Assam’s celebrated actress, Aimee Baruah, made a striking appearance on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival, donning a traditional Assamese ensemble. She wore a muga silk mekhela sador, which was intricately embellished with ancient Assamese designs like Goj Bota and Gam Kharu.

The Goj Bota design is a historical pattern from Assam, featuring elaborate floral and geometric shapes that trace back to the Ahom Dynasty era when muga silk was considered a luxury item, a status it still holds today.

This design represents the rich cultural heritage and natural beauty of Assam.

Conversely, the Gum Kharu motif is a traditional symbol of prosperity and protection, deeply ingrained in Assamese culture.

The design masterfully integrated the timeless Goj Bota and Gum Kharu motifs into this muga silk mekhela sador, employing five different threads and colours to craft intricate patterns. This blend of Eri, cotton, and Guna yarn highlighted the artistry and craftsmanship of Assam’s handloom industry.

This article will now be paraphrased into a length of exactly 1000 words, while retaining its original content and including quotes from the original piece:

Aimee Baruah, a prominent actress from Assam, made a notable entrance at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, wearing an elegant traditional Assamese outfit. This attire was a muga silk mekhela sador, which was exquisitely decorated with ancient Assamese designs, specifically Goj Bota and Gam Kharu motifs.

The Goj Bota pattern is an ancient design from Assam that features detailed floral and geometric shapes. This design has its roots in the Ahom Dynasty period, a time when muga silk was regarded as a luxury item—a status that it continues to enjoy even today.

“The Goj Bota design is an ancient pattern from Assam, featuring intricate floral and geometric shapes that date back to the time of the Ahom Dynasty when muga silk was a luxury and still is considered so.”

This design is a symbol of Assam’s rich cultural and natural beauty.

In contrast, the Gam Kharu motif is a traditional symbol of prosperity and protection, holding deep significance in Assamese culture.

“On the other hand, the Gum Kharu motif is a traditional symbol of prosperity and protection deeply rooted in Assamese culture.”

The design of Baruah’s attire seamlessly incorporated both the Goj Bota and Gam Kharu motifs. This muga silk mekhela sador was crafted using five different threads and colours to create its intricate patterns. The combination of Eri, cotton, and Guna yarn used in this attire showcased the exceptional artistry and craftsmanship that is characteristic of Assam’s handloom industry.

“The design skillfully incorporated the classic Goj Bota and Gum Kharu motif into this muga silk mekhela sador, utilising five different threads and colours to create intricate patterns with the blend of Eri, cotton, and Guna yarn showcasing the artistry and craftsmanship of Assam’s handloom industry.”

Aimee Baruah’s choice of attire not only highlighted her individual elegance but also brought international attention to the rich textile traditions of Assam. Her presence on the red carpet at Cannes, adorned in such culturally significant attire, served as a powerful statement of the beauty and heritage of Assamese craftsmanship.

The muga silk mekhela sador itself is a garment of great cultural importance in Assam. Muga silk, known for its natural golden hue, is exclusive to the region and is celebrated for its durability and sheen. This type of silk is produced by the Antheraea assamensis silkworm, which is endemic to Assam. The process of producing muga silk is labor-intensive and time-consuming, which contributes to its high value and luxurious status.

The Goj Bota motif, as worn by Aimee Baruah, represents not just an artistic design but also a piece of Assam’s historical narrative. The floral and geometric patterns woven into the fabric are reminiscent of the artistic influences from the Ahom Dynasty, which ruled Assam for nearly six centuries. This dynasty was known for its patronage of the arts and culture, and the intricate designs of the Goj Bota are a testament to that legacy.

Similarly, the Gam Kharu motif has its own story to tell. Traditionally, this motif is associated with jewelry worn by Assamese women, particularly bracelets that are believed to bring prosperity and protect the wearer from harm. By incorporating this motif into her attire, Baruah brought a piece of Assamese tradition to the global stage, symbolizing the protective and prosperous elements of her culture.

The creation of Baruah’s mekhela sador involved a meticulous process that required significant skill and craftsmanship. The use of five different threads and colours added a layer of complexity to the design, making each piece unique. Eri silk, often referred to as the “fabric of peace” because its production does not involve killing the silkworm, added a dimension of ethical fashion to the ensemble. Cotton and Guna yarn were also used, providing a balance of texture and durability to the garment.

The presence of these traditional designs at an international event like the Cannes Film Festival is significant for several reasons. It underscores the global appeal and relevance of traditional Assamese textiles, which are often overshadowed by more widely recognized silk varieties like those from China or India’s own Benarasi silk. By choosing to wear an outfit adorned with Goj Bota and Gam Kharu motifs, Aimee Baruah effectively acted as an ambassador for Assamese culture, showcasing the intricate beauty and profound heritage of her home state to an international audience.

Moreover, Baruah’s appearance in such a traditional yet luxurious outfit serves as an inspiration to fashion enthusiasts and designers alike. It highlights the potential of traditional fabrics and designs in contemporary fashion, encouraging a blend of old and new that respects cultural heritage while embracing modern aesthetics. The intricate patterns and the blend of different threads and yarns demonstrate how traditional techniques can be adapted and celebrated in modern high fashion.

Aimee Baruah’s red carpet appearance at the Cannes Film Festival was more than just a fashion statement. It was a celebration of Assamese culture and craftsmanship. The muga silk mekhela sador adorned with Goj Bota and Gam Kharu motifs not only showcased the rich heritage of Assam but also highlighted the intricate artistry of its handloom industry. As Baruah walked the red carpet, she brought a piece of Assam to the world stage, reminding everyone of the timeless beauty and cultural significance of her traditional attire.

Indian Singers Mesmerize with Unforgettable Performances and Impeccable Style

In the realm of music, fashion often speaks as loudly as the melodies themselves. Indian singers, celebrated for their captivating voices, are also garnering attention with their impeccable sense of style.

From the vivid colors of traditional wear to the edgy elegance of modern fashion, each performance becomes a visual feast, mirroring the artist’s unique persona. As they take the stage, their glamorous harmonies, paired with striking attire, create an unforgettable experience, leaving audiences in awe of both their musical talent and sartorial elegance.

Here are some of these captivating personalities who enchant listeners while also serving as visual delights:

Kanika Kapoor – Known affectionately as the ‘baby doll,’ Kanika Kapoor is always at her best when performing live. She strikes a perfect balance between high fashion and comfort, a combination that works wonders for her. Her ability to blend chic style with ease makes her performances even more mesmerizing.

Neha Bhasin– When it comes to merging style, class, and elegance, Neha Bhasin stands out. Her bold confidence in her fashion choices allows her to pull off a wide range of outfits effortlessly. Her pink hair and stylish piercings in her ears and navel add an extra element of oomph and swagger, making her a constant visual delight. “No wonder, she’s a treat to the eyes all the time.”

Darshan Raval – This man is a true style icon and a poser when it comes to live stage outfits. Darshan Raval is often seen enhancing his look with stylish and classy jackets, which only add to his on-stage charisma. “We love every bit of it.”

Shilpa Rao– Known for her love of shimmers and intricate mirror-work outfits, Shilpa Rao’s style adds to the ‘shock value’ of her sultry and stunning attire. Whether on stage or off, she always looks beautiful and alluring. “No wonder, she looks extremely beautiful and alluring in anything that she wears and we love that sight for real.”

Armaan Malik– Finally, we cannot overlook Armaan Malik when discussing unique style and standout live performances. He frequently experiments with blazers and co-ord sets in various hues, and his attention to his footwear game sets him apart from other male artists. “He puts equal emphasis on his footwear game and that certainly makes him unique and different from all other male performing artistes in the country.”

These artists not only captivate us with their music but also with their distinct fashion statements, making each performance a feast for the senses.

Sports Illustrated Celebrates 60th ‘Swimsuit Edition’ with Diverse Lineup and ‘Legends’ Reunion

Three of the many notable models who have appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s renowned — and occasionally controversial — “Swimsuit Edition” are Kate Upton, Chrissy Teigen, and Hunter McGrady. To commemorate the special issue’s 60th anniversary, the magazine has introduced seven new covers featuring 27 women and has reunited former cover models for a “Legends” photo shoot.

This year’s issue includes solo covers featuring Kate Upton, Chrissy Teigen, plus-size model Hunter McGrady, and CBS News host Gayle King. Notably, this is Upton’s fourth cover appearance and Teigen’s second.

The three “Legends” covers highlight past cover models such as Chanel Iman, Maye Musk, Megan Rapinoe, Winnie Harlow, Paralympian snowboarder Brenna Huckaby, the first amputee model to appear in the “Swimsuit Edition,” and Halima Aden, the first hijabi model.

In a news release, Sports Illustrated editor-in-chief MJ Day remarked that the “Swimsuit Edition” has “transcended its origins,” evolving from a “mere diversion in the winter months when the sports calendar was relatively empty” to becoming “a global symbol of empowerment, diversity and positivity.”

“We’ve done our best to honor women of all shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds,” Day stated. “We’ve strived to reshape societal norms and redefine the standards of beauty. This year’s issue does just that.”

The inaugural “Swimsuit Edition” of Sports Illustrated was published in 1963, featuring a young German model named Babette March on the cover, captured playing on a beach in Mexico in a white bikini. Since its inception, the annual special issue has become a staple, although it has sometimes faced criticism for its focus on women’s bodies.

In recent years, the magazine has included a broader array of fashion models, such as trans models Leyna Bloom and Valentina Sampaio, and trans singer Kim Petras. It has also featured older models like Maye Musk and plus-size models like Ashley Graham and Hunter McGrady. The publication’s roster of cover stars has expanded to include musicians, athletes, and celebrities such as Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, Naomi Osaka, and Megan Thee Stallion.

“With each passing year, we have challenged ourselves to push boundaries and redefine what it means to be Sports Illustrated Swimsuit,” Day mentioned in the news release.

“While this year’s issue is a tribute to the recent past, it’s also a reminder of the work we must continue to do. We must remind women to challenge the status quo, to celebrate strength and confidence, and to inspire those around us to embrace their uniqueness and pursue their passions fearlessly.

Turning Invasives into Fashion: How Sustainable Fabrics are Revolutionizing the Industry

Each year, Aarav Chavda, a former McKinsey analyst and mechanical engineer, goes scuba diving in the same Florida reefs. Over time, he has observed the corals turning white and species dwindling, except for the invasive lionfish. Local and federal authorities have tried various methods to eradicate the lionfish, a beautifully striped and spiny species with no natural predators in the Atlantic and Caribbean waters that preys on many other fish.

Chavda had a unique idea: turning the lionfish into a fashion statement. Along with two other diving enthusiasts, he founded Inversa, a start-up that transforms lionfish skin into attractive, supple leather. They expanded their efforts to include two other invasive species – Burmese pythons from the Florida Everglades and carp from the Mississippi River. Their innovative leather has been used by brands like Piper and Skye and Rex Shoes for products such as wallets, footballs, flip-flops, and a stylish python dagger and sheath.

The fashion industry’s environmental impact, including the companies that produce fabrics and clothing, is well-known. It’s responsible for up to 4 percent of global climate emissions and a significant amount of global water pollution, according to a McKinsey report. This presents a daunting challenge as humans need clothing and derive meaning from our fashion choices.

“It’s two sides of the coin,” says Monica Buchan-Ng, a sustainability expert at the London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion. “[Clothes] can be this incredible creative force of self-expression and identity. But also we know that the way the fashion system works at present, it’s just destruction after destruction.”

Despite the industry’s negative impacts, its vast reach offers immense potential for innovation and change. Chavda is optimistic, stating that Inversa has removed 50,000 lionfish, Burmese pythons, and carp so far, and he hopes to increase this to tens of millions in the coming years. “I’m bullish,” Chavda says, “because I think the consumer cares.”

Julia Marsh, CEO of Sway, a company that makes seaweed-based plastic for companies like J.Crew, emphasizes the importance of “reuse and thrifting” in eco-friendly fashion. While cultural shifts towards lower consumption and stricter regulations are crucial, developing new, sustainable fabrics is also vital.

Fabric waste is a growing environmental issue. Clothing purchases nearly doubled from 2000 to 2015, with much of it ending up in landfills. Fast-fashion brands like Shein produce cheap, disposable clothing that exacerbates global waste. Many fabrics are harmful even before disposal. Synthetic fabrics like polyester shed microplastics into water systems when washed, and cotton farming often involves high pesticide use and forced labor. Leather production contributes to deforestation, water pollution, and high carbon emissions, while “vegan” leather often relies on fossil fuels.

Buying new, environmentally friendly clothing is currently difficult and expensive, but awareness is growing, leading to innovative solutions. Governments, especially in the EU, are starting to regulate fabric waste, pollution, and emissions. Efforts to create better recycling systems, repurpose old clothing, and develop non-toxic dye processes are emerging. Material development has also seen exciting advancements.

Uyen Tran, from Danang, Vietnam, grew up aware of the global impact of fashion waste. Her family shopped for brand-name clothing discarded by Westerners. After moving to the U.S. and studying at Parsons School of Design, she became interested in sustainable fabric manufacturing. Tran researched chitin, a natural polymer from shrimp shells, which she transforms into a leather-like material. Her company, TômTex, also uses chitin from mushrooms, which are popular among sustainable fabric innovators for their low environmental impact. TômTex has partnered with luxury brands like Peter Do to showcase its fully biodegradable fabric. “Waste is something that humans created,” Tran says. “For me, if we create something, it should biodegrade and decompose as nutrients back to the soil, so animals can feed on it, a tree can grow on it.”

Tran aims to scale up production to replace traditional materials significantly, needing substantial investment to build a factory. “Even brands that want to put in money … it’s not going to be $20 million,” she says. She is working on building brand relationships and pursuing venture capital.

Other sustainable fabric start-ups also seek capital, ranging from simple innovations like adding sustainably farmed nettle fiber to cotton blends, to complex bioengineering processes. Suzanne Lee, founder of Biofabricate, a consultancy for companies developing new materials, highlights the potential of biomaterials to have lower carbon footprints and less environmental impact. “We are at the frontier of new biomaterials,” Lee says, “which have the potential to have a lower carbon footprint, to use much less water and much less chemicals, and potentially biodegrade naturally at the end of their life, depending on how they’re treated.”

Some companies are succeeding. Japanese company Spiber raised about $64 million to mass-produce its plant-based, spider-silk-inspired fibers. However, others face challenges. Dan Widmaier, CEO of Bolt Threads, had to pause production on a mushroom-based leather alternative called Mylo due to fundraising issues. “The thing you learn about all these advanced materials is they always are super promising in the beginning, in the lab,” Widmaier says. “Can it work reproducibly at scale, meeting quality specs of the customer as they actually need them, meet their timelines and deliverables? Can it be financed to that scale? Those are the things that break all these.”

Earlier this year, Renewcell, a Swedish fabric recycling company, declared bankruptcy, causing concern in the industry. Renewcell had developed a process to turn old clothes into new cotton and had partnerships with major brands like H&M. Despite raising $10.6 million and opening a factory, it faced quality issues and insufficient orders to sustain production.

Lee believes the Renewcell failure might motivate brands to invest more in similar products. “We actually really need to back these things if we want them to happen,” she says.

Sustainable fabric companies are working to increase awareness. Finnish company Spinnova turns cellulose from wood pulp into biodegradable fiber, used by brands like Marimekko and Adidas. CEO Tuomas Oijala says, “I think that’s actually the thing that speaks best for itself: having brands publish actual product and being able to show that, hey, look, this is real. It works, it meets the needs of consumers and by the way, it’s also a good value for money deal.”

Inversa aims to reach a broader audience, confident their story will resonate with consumers. “I think when you tell the consumer, like, ‘Oh, buy this, you’re sustainable,’ you have to force them to acknowledge the guilt or the karma or whatever they were doing before,” Chavda says. “If you just tell them, ‘Hey, this wallet has saved these animals,’ or ‘You’re protecting these coral reefs,’ you just skip that whole piece.”

Inversa is also exploring other invasive species for their fabrics while maintaining partnerships with local fishing collectives, governments, and conservation NGOs to source invasive species responsibly. Chavda is optimistic about the future of sustainable fabrics. “We have different methodologies of doing it, but … whether that’s fiber made from seaweed or polyester spun in a different way that’s biodegradable, we’re all trying to do the same thing – make the planet a better place,” he says.

Glitz, Glamour, and Giving: Inside the Enigmatic World of the Met Gala

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City sparkled with star-studded glamour as it hosted the annual Met Gala on Monday evening, drawing celebrities and fashion icons to what’s often dubbed “fashion’s biggest night.” The gala, renowned for its eclectic array of outfits ranging from the exquisite to the eccentric, poses questions about its essence, purpose, and significance.

At its core, the Met Gala, formally known as the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute benefit, serves as a vital fundraising affair for the museum’s Costume Institute. Held typically on the first Monday of May, the event stands out as the sole occasion where the Costume Institute generates funds, doing so with grandeur and panache.

This invitation-only extravaganza boasts a guest list comprising luminaries from various domains, each year tasked with interpreting a predetermined theme through their attire, echoing the theme of the concurrent Costume Institute exhibition. The gala’s thematic focus injects creativity into the sartorial landscape, driving attendees to push the boundaries of fashion and innovation, thereby igniting both admiration and amusement across the internet.

The Costume Institute itself houses a rich repository of over thirty-three thousand artifacts spanning seven centuries of fashion history, catering to men, women, and children alike. Originating as the Museum of Costume Art in 1937 before merging with The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1946, it has evolved into a distinguished curatorial department, chronicling the evolution of style through the ages.

Financially, the Met Gala thrives on sponsorship from various entities, with prominent names such as TikTok, Loewe, and Condé Nast lending support. Revenue streams primarily stem from ticket sales and table reservations, the latter commanding exorbitant prices, with tables starting at $350,000, attracting major brands and fashion conglomerates.

The Met Gala’s ascent to global prominence wasn’t immediate, tracing its roots back to a modest fundraising dinner in 1948 orchestrated by fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert. It was under the stewardship of fashion doyenne Diana Vreeland, who assumed consultancy in 1972, that the gala transcended its local confines, embracing an ethos of thematic storytelling and inviting a constellation of luminaries to grace its halls.

While the gala’s evolution owes much to luminaries like Vreeland, many attribute its modern-day eminence to Anna Wintour, the influential editor-in-chief of Vogue and Condé Nast’s Global Chief Content Officer. Wintour’s tenure as the event’s chief orchestrator since 1999 has elevated it to a coveted societal milestone, with her discerning curation of the guest list endowing the gala with an aura of exclusivity. Notably, Wintour’s decisive stance in 2017 to eschew inviting former President Donald Trump, a once-regular attendee, underscored her influence in shaping the gala’s guest roster.

This year, notable Indian presence at the gala included actress Alia Bhatt, adding a touch of global diversity to the event’s milieu. With each edition, the gala appoints official hosts, with this year’s cohort featuring luminaries such as Bad Bunny, Jennifer Lopez, Zendaya, and Chris Hemsworth, alongside Wintour.

Beyond the spectacle of the red carpet and the gracious welcome by the hosts lies a shroud of mystery enveloping the guests’ activities. Prohibited from carrying phones, attendees embark on an evening veiled in secrecy, partaking in exclusive exhibitions curated by the Costume Institute before indulging in a sumptuous dinner. High-profile performances punctuate the evening, further enhancing its allure and mystique.

**SAREE GOES GLOBAL: CELEBRATING CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN THE HEART OF TIMES SQUARE, NEW YORK CITY**

*New York, May 4th, 2024* – Saturday, in the bustling heart of Times Square, New York City, cultural diversity took center stage as British Women in Sarees partnered with Uma to host the iconic Saree Goes Global event. This celebration, held at Father Duffy Square, Times Square, showcased the timeless elegance of the saree through music, dance, and a vibrant Saree Walkathon. This event was supported by the Consulate General of India in New York, Mr. Binaya Srikanta Pradhan.

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The Saree Goes Global US host committee with Dr. Jessica Sims from the St. George’s Society of New York at the Press Briefing at the Consul General of India in New York

Building on the success of internationally acclaimed events like the Royal Ascot Ladies’ Day and the historic Saree Walkathon at Trafalgar Square in London, the Saree Goes Global event brought together over 500 participants from at least nine different saree-wearing countries. This spectacle was not just a celebration of cultural diversity but also a platform to support artisans in rural India, preserving traditional craftsmanship.

Speaking at the pre-event press briefing hosted by the Consul General of India in New York, Deputy Commissioner Dilip Chauhan of the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs expressed his gratitude to Dr. Rita Kakati-Shah and Dr. Dipti Jain for their dedication and leadership in organizing this magnificent event. He emphasized the significance of the saree in promoting heritage and cultural exchange, echoing the city’s commitment to inclusivity and economic growth, particularly for Minority and Women-Owned Businesses (MWBEs).

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Deputy Commissioner Dilip Chauhan addressing the audience at the Press Briefing at the Consul General of India in New York

Dr. Dipti Jain, Chairperson of British Women in Sarees, and Dr. Rita Kakati-Shah, President of Uma Global, also provided remarks, highlighting the importance of the saree as a symbol of unity and the empowerment of women worldwide.

Dr. Jain, a Geriatrician by profession, shared her passion for sarees and her commitment to raising awareness of this garment globally. Dr. Kakati-Shah, a medic turned entrepreneur and philanthropist, emphasized Uma’s dedication to empowering underprivileged girls, youth, and women, both in New York City and beyond.

Other dignitaries present at the event included Ms. Shruti Pandey, Consul (Political, Press, Information and Culture) at the Consulate General of India in New York, who shared that the saree transcends borders with its versatility and beauty, not just in India, but across the globe. Dr. Jessica Sims who represented the British charity, St. George’s Society of New York, which was founded in 1770 predating the American Revolution, commented on the importance of the saree to promote cultural diversity, which is aligned to the work St. George’s Society of New York does to support students, families and seniors from Commonwealth backgrounds in New York City.  

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Jessica Sims, Dipti Jain, Deputy Commissioner Dilip Chauhan, Rita Kakati-Shah with participants at the Saree Goes Global Event in Times Square

This event was made possible through the support of the Consul General of India in New York, The Mayor’s Office of New York City, Times Square Alliance, NYC Department of Parks, and numerous local cultural and community groups.

In an exciting addition to the event, Deputy Commissioner Dilip Chauhan of the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs honored Dr. Rita Kakati-Shah and Dr. Dipti Jain on behalf of New York City Mayor Eric Adams, with a Proclamation for their work, further highlighting the significance of their contributions.

As the vibrant pulse of Times Square beat to the rhythm of the Saree Walkathon, participants and spectators alike embraced the spirit of unity and collaboration. In a world often divided, events like Saree Goes Global serve as a powerful reminder of the strength found in our diversity.

**About the Organizations:**

British Women in Sarees is dedicated to raising awareness of the saree while supporting handloom artisans in India through high-profile events.

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Citation presented to Dr. Rita Kakati-Shah by Deputy Commissioner Dilip Chauhan on behalf of New York City Mayor Eric Adams at Times Square

Uma is a leading organization empowering underprivileged girls, youth, and women through educational and cultural resources, with a global presence headquartered in New York City.

**About the Organizers:**

Dr. Dipti Jain, a passionate saree lover, is Chairperson of British Women in Sarees and works as a Geriatrician in the UK.

Dr. Rita Kakati-Shah, President of Uma Global, is an entrepreneur and philanthropist dedicated to empowering women globally.

*For additional information please contact the Media and PR Team at Uma: [email protected]

Exploring the Rich Tapestry of Indian Fashion: Tradition, Innovation, and Cultural Heritage Merge in Sartorial Splendor

India’s rich cultural diversity finds expression in its traditional attire, showcasing an array of styles, colors, and techniques. From the lavish ghagra choli of Rajasthan to the elegant grace of Kerala’s Kasavu sarees, each garment encapsulates centuries of tradition and skill (“India’s cultural diversity is vividly reflected in its traditional attire, showcasing a myriad of styles, colours, and techniques. From the opulent ghagra choli of Rajasthan to the refined grace of Kerala’s Kasavu sarees, each garment encapsulates centuries of tradition and craftsmanship.”)

Traditional and modern wear in India represent distinct approaches to fashion, each with its own ethos (“Though related, Traditional and modern wear represent divergent approaches to Indian fashion”). Traditional wear cherishes the past, preserving ancient techniques and motifs with care, while modern wear embraces innovation and global influences, reinterpreting classic styles for contemporary tastes (“Traditional wear reveres the past, preserving ancient techniques and motifs with meticulous care, while modern wear embraces innovation and global influences, reinterpreting classic styles for contemporary tastes”).

Both traditional and modern wear contribute to India’s vibrant fashion landscape, offering a myriad of choices for self-expression and cultural celebration. Together, they blend heritage with modernity, reflecting India’s enduring cultural allure (“Despite their differences, both categories contribute to India’s vibrant sartorial landscape, offering a tapestry of options for self-expression and cultural celebration. Together, they form a dynamic fusion of heritage and modernity, embodying the enduring allure of India’s rich cultural heritage in the ever-evolving world of fashion”).

Traditional attire in India goes beyond mere clothing; it serves as a tangible expression of the nation’s rich cultural heritage and identity. Spanning across regions and communities, traditional garments unify, transcending geographical boundaries to encapsulate pan-Indian culture (“Traditional wear in India is more than just clothing; it is a tangible expression of the country’s rich cultural heritage and identity. Spanning across regions and communities, traditional attire serves as a unifying force, transcending geographical boundaries to embody the essence of pan-Indian culture”).

Each traditional garment, whether adorned with the intricate embroideries of Banarasi sarees or the reflective brilliance of Rajasthani lehengas, narrates a story of craftsmanship and tradition handed down through generations. These garments are not just fabric; they are living relics of India’s historical legacy, carrying within them centuries-old techniques (“Whether adorned with the intricate embroideries of Banarasi sarees or the reflective brilliance of Rajasthani lehengas, each garment tells a story of craftsmanship and tradition passed down through generations. These garments are not mere fabric; they are living testaments to India’s historical legacy, carrying within them the artistry and skill of centuries-old techniques”).

What distinguishes traditional wear in India is its steadfast commitment to authenticity. These garments safeguard cultural heritage, conserving ancient techniques and motifs from bygone eras. From the intricate handloom textiles of Varanasi to the elaborate weaving traditions of Kanchipuram, traditional wear pays homage to the craftsmanship of yesteryears with unmatched precision (“What distinguishes traditional wear in India is its unwavering commitment to authenticity. These garments act as guardians of cultural heritage, carefully conserving ancient techniques and motifs originating from eras long past. From the intricate handloom textiles of Varanasi to the elaborate weaving traditions of Kanchipuram, traditional wear pays homage to the craftsmanship of yesteryears with unparalleled precision”).

In an era marked by rapid modernization, traditional wear serves as a timeless link to the past, offering continuity in an ever-changing world. It embodies a deep reverence for heritage, not just as attire but as tangible embodiments of cultural identity and legacy (“In an era marked by rapid modernization, traditional wear serves as a timeless link to the past, offering a sense of continuity in an ever-changing world. It embodies a profound reverence for heritage, not merely as clothing but as tangible embodiments of cultural identity and legacy”).

The resurgence of ancient techniques and motifs in modern fashion underscores the enduring significance of traditional wear. Amid the pursuit of innovation, historical treasures remain wellsprings of inspiration and admiration (“The revival of ancient techniques and motifs in modern fashion highlights the lasting significance of traditional wear, demonstrating that amid the pursuit of innovation, the treasures of history continue to serve as invaluable wellsprings of inspiration and admiration”).

Modern wear in India epitomizes innovation and adaptability, forging new paths in fashion. Unlike traditional wear, which draws from the past, modern wear embraces contemporary aesthetics and global influences, fusing styles across cultures (“Modern wear in India epitomizes innovation and adaptability, charting a bold new course in the realm of fashion. Unlike traditional wear, which draws inspiration from the past, modern wear embraces contemporary aesthetics and global influences, transcending cultural boundaries to create a fusion of styles”).

From blending Eastern and Western elements in couture to experimenting with avant-garde designs, modern wear celebrates individuality and experimentation. It reflects an ever-evolving landscape where designers anticipate and respond to shifting trends (“From the fusion of Eastern and Western elements in couture to the avant-garde designs that defy categorization, modern wear embodies a spirit of experimentation and individuality”).

The coexistence of traditional and modern wear in India creates a vibrant tapestry of fashion celebrating both heritage and innovation. While traditional wear preserves cultural authenticity, modern wear provides a platform for self-expression and departure from conventional norms (“A blend of traditional and modern wear in India complements each other, creating a vibrant tapestry of fashion that celebrates both heritage and innovation. While traditional wear preserves cultural authenticity, modern wear provides a platform for self-expression and liberation from conventional norms”).

This harmonious coexistence highlights the dynamic nature of Indian fashion, where the past and present merge to shape an evolving sartorial landscape. Each garment, whether a traditional Kanjeevaram saree or a contemporary Chikankari lehenga, resonates with tales of resilience, creativity, and cultural pride, serving as steadfast reminders of tradition amidst change (“This harmonious coexistence underscores the dynamic nature of Indian fashion, where the past and present converge to shape an evolving sartorial landscape. From the classic allure of a traditional Kanjeevaram saree to the modern sophistication of a designer Chikankari lehenga, each garment resonates with tales of resilience, creativity, and cultural pride, serving as steadfast reminders of tradition amidst rapid change”).

Miss India Sini Shetty Bows Out Of The Miss World Beauty Pageant

India’s hopes of winning the coveted Miss World 2024 title came crashing after Miss India Sini Shetty failed to make it to the Top 4 of the beauty pageant, on Saturday last week. Sini Shetty, India’s representation to the 71st Miss World pageant has been ruled out of the race from Top 4. Sini Shetty had participated in the grand finale of Miss World 2024, being held at Jio World Centre in BKC, Mumbai.

Besting 111 of her fellow titleholders from across the globe, Krystyna Pyszková of the Czech Republic was crowned Miss World 2024 on Saturday in Mumbai, India, where the international pageant was held this year.

Pyszková’s victory came over these three runners-up — Yasmina Zeytoun of Lebanon, Aché Abrahams of Trinidad and Tobago and Lesego Chombo of Botswana. These women, along with Jessica Gagen of England, are considered the pageant’s “continental winners.”

Across a series of events during the pageant’s preliminary competition, including fitness, beauty, talent and public speaking, several contestants won “fast track” places in the top 40, a cohort announced at the start of the show.

Shetty was bested by Miss Lebanon who made it to the top 4. The 22-year-old Bharatnatyam dancer represented India at the beauty pageant. She was born and raised in Mumbai.

A 12-member jury — consisting of Miss World 2017 winner Manushi Chhillar, actors Kriti Sanon, Pooja Hegde, Julia Morley, chairperson and CEO of the Miss World Organization, film producer Sajid Nadiadwala, former cricketer Harbhajan Singh, and news personality Rajat Sharma, presided over the Miss World 2024 pageant.

Sini was asked about the role of social media in the empowerment of women across the globe, and it seems like the judges’ panel wasn’t too impressed with her answer.

She said that social media has the power to change the world, adding that it has led to increasing participation of women in different fields. She also said that social media has the power to place the world on a progressive path.

India eventually lost to Yasmina Zaytoun of Lebanon in the Asia and Oceania category. The top four countries still in contention for the title are Trinidad and Tobago, Botswana, the Czech Republic, and Lebanon.

Producer-director Karan Johar is hosting the event along with the winner of Miss World 2013, Megan Young. The event is being held at the Jio Convention Centre in the BKC area here. The mega event is being hosted by India after a gap of 28 years.

Representatives from 112 countries participated at the event, which was held at the Jio World Convention Centre in BKC in Mumbai. It was hosted by Karan Johar and Megan Young, winner of Miss World 2013 pageant.

Manushi Chhillar was the most recent Indian to win the pageant.  Earlier, Reita Faria Powell, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Diana Hayden, Yukta Mookhey and Priyanka Chopra Jonas won the competition.

The Miss World pageant returned to India after 28 years. The country last hosted the event in 1996 which saw Irene Skliva of Greece win the title.

At the event, Nita Ambani was conferred the Miss World Humanitarian Award.  Nita Ambani was awarded for her work with Reliance Foundation, a non-profit organisation. Julia Morley CBE, the Chairwoman of the Miss World Organization, presented her with the award.

Further Aché Abrahams of Trinidad and Tobago was crowned Miss America and Caribbean at the 71st Miss World pageant.

Meanwhile, Lesego Chombo of Botswana won the Miss World Africa title. Krystyna Pyszková of Czech Republic won the Miss Europe title, and Yasmin Azaytoun of Lebanon won the Miss World Asia and Oceania title.

Miss World is widely viewed as the oldest international beauty pageant, first founded in the United Kingdom in 1951 as a “bikini contest.” Perhaps its two best-known winners are both from India: the actors Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (Miss World 1994) and Priyanka Chopra Jonas (Miss World 2000). Chopra Jonas appeared at the pageant in a video message, paying tribute to both Miss World owner Julia Morley and Nita Ambani, winner of the pageant’s Humanitarian Award.

The finale of the beauty pageant saw Miss World 2023 Karolina Bielawska of Poland crowning her successor.

After Beyonce, Paris Hilton stuns in Indian designer Gaurav Gupta’s sculpted dress

New Delhi– Socialite and entrepreneur Paris Hilton has made heads turn in a “sculpted” outfit by ace Indian designer Gaurav Gupta.

The designer and the socialite took to their respective Instagram accounts to share the look. In the picture, Paris looked every bit like an angel in the all white sculpted dress. She completed the look with elbow high gloves paired with embellished stilettos. She left her golden hair open, chose bold eyes and nude lips.

Paris shared the image in the white dress and captioned it: “Paris In Wonderland.”

The designer also shared another picture of Paris in the same outfit but in black. He shared that the outfit was from his Paris Couture Week collection Spring Summer 23 called Shunya.

He captioned the image: “@parishilton in Gaurav Gupta Couture For @numeromagazine’s Exclusive Interview. Paris wears the white orbit sculpted dress and the black smoke dress from Shunya, Paris Couture Week SS’23.”

Last week, Gupta shared a picture of Grammy-winning singer Beyonce sporting his ensemble for the New York Fashion Week. The statement outfit was from the designer’s recent collection, ‘Aarohanam’.

Gupta detailed the look for the readers: “@beyonce in Gaurav Gupta Couture for #NYFW. She wears the Galaxy crystal jacket with embroidered body suit and boots from our recently launched Paris Couture SS’24 collection, Aarohanam.”

He has previously styled globally popular names such as Priyanka Chopra, Lizzo, Kylie Minogue and Megan Thee Stallion. (IANS)

Miley Cyrus Shines in 14,000 Gold Safety Pins: A Fashion Spectacle at the Grammys

Pop sensation Miley Cyrus made a bold statement at the Grammys as she graced the red carpet adorned in a gown crafted from an astonishing 14,000 golden safety pins.

Sporting a hairstyle reminiscent of Farrah Fawcett’s iconic bouffant, the singer-songwriter, who later clinched her inaugural Grammy awards, donned a bespoke ensemble from Maison Margiela. The fashion house disclosed that the creation demanded an exhaustive “675 hours of meticulous work.” The attire, a metallic mesh-like dress, evoked a fusion of a 1920s flapper and an Egyptian deity, with the pins meticulously arranged to emulate a collar and undergarments.

John Galliano, the creative genius behind Maison Margiela, seemingly drew inspiration from his own past collections, as eagle-eyed social media users noted the striking resemblance between Cyrus’ daring attire and pieces from the designer’s Fall 1997 ready-to-wear line.

Completing her red carpet ensemble, Cyrus opted for a pair of yellow tabis, the distinctive split-toe shoes beloved by aficionados of Margiela’s creations.

In recent weeks, the luxury label has been the subject of fervent discussions. Its couture exhibition in Paris in January, featuring actor Gwendoline Christie, garnered widespread acclaim from critics. Additionally, the attention-grabbing “china doll” makeup showcased during the show went viral, sparking endless speculation about its intricacies.

Legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath, the mastermind behind that captivating look, was also involved in Cyrus’ appearance. However, the ethereal “glass skin” effect seen on the Margiela runway was eschewed. Instead, fellow makeup artist James Kaliardos utilized McGrath’s products to craft a sun-kissed aesthetic, accentuated by winged eyeliner.

Taking to Instagram, Kaliardos expressed his vision for Cyrus to “glow like a golden goddess, sublime, with sheer skin, glowy finish, a touchable beauty.”

Meanwhile, Cyrus’ luscious locks were artfully styled by hair maestro Bob Recine. Sculpting dramatic curls from Cyrus’ highlighted brown hair, which some likened to the signature styles of her godmother, Dolly Parton, Recine imbued each strand with a sense of vitality.

“In the previous year, I showcased Miley’s wet look for hair,” Recine remarked, as per a press release from haircare brand Nexxus. “This year, we decided on something dry and bigger… fuller hair, yet sexy and tousled and touchable.”

The golden safety pin masterpiece marked just one of Cyrus’ five wardrobe changes throughout the eventful evening. Later, she swapped it for a glittery black jumpsuit when accepting her Best Pop Solo Performance award (for “Flowers”) from pop icon Mariah Carey. This was followed by a vintage silver flapper-style dress, reminiscent of Tina Turner’s glamour, for her on-stage performance.

Her fourth look, glimpsed backstage, featured a strapless black lace jumpsuit accompanied by a marabou feather jacket. And finally, for the acceptance of the Record of the Year award, Cyrus opted for a brown sequined one-shoulder Gucci gown, adorned with a side slit, complemented by a miniature bamboo bag from the same design house.

Glamour on the Global Stage: Indian Stars’ Timeless Fashion Statements at the Golden Globe Awards

As the 81st Golden Globe Awards approach, the excitement is palpable to witness the unveiling of winners across diverse categories. Set to take place on January 7, 2024, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, this star-studded event, orchestrated by Dick Clark Productions, Ricky Kirshner, and Glenn Weiss, promises a lavish celebration of excellence in the realms of film and television. Beyond the accolades, the global event sparks anticipation for a dazzling display of fashion on the red carpet, leaving fashion enthusiasts eagerly awaiting the stylish ensembles that their beloved celebrities will showcase.

While we eagerly await the awards ceremony, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and revisit the unforgettable moments when Indian celebrities graced the Golden Globe Awards, leaving an indelible mark on the global stage with their exquisite outfits and glamorous looks.

Deepika Padukone’s Radiant Presence at Golden Globes 2017

Deepika Padukone, a true style icon, showcased her prowess on the red carpet, leaving a lasting impression at the Golden Globes in 2017. Collaborating with fashion designer Ralph Lauren, Deepika donned a yellow satin gown with a one-shoulder wrap and flowing skirt, accentuating her curves with finesse. Complementing her ensemble with subtle pearl encrusted silver earrings, the actress exuded sophistication. With wavy curls and sultry makeup by Hung Vanngo, including smoky eyeshadow, black eyeliner, mascaraed lashes, groomed eyebrows, contoured cheeks, and nude lipstick, Deepika Padukone set the fashion bar high.

In the words of the original article, “The actor dazzled us with her exquisite ensemble while attending the Golden Globes 2017. Playing the role of muse for fashion designer Ralph Lauren, Deepika chose the yellow satin gown with a one-shoulder wrap and flowing skirt as it accentuated her curves and hugged her figure perfectly.”

Priyanka Chopra’s Golden Moments on the Red Carpet

A red carpet chameleon, Priyanka Chopra made her debut at the Golden Globe Awards in 2017, bedecked in a stunning golden gown from luxury designer Ralph Lauren Couture. The floor-length gown featured a plunging neckline, floor-length sleeves, and a figure-hugging sequined dress, radiating glamour. With sculpted face makeup, champagne lipstick, smoky eyebrows, mascara, and glowing blushed skin, Priyanka completed her look with a diamond necklace and loose hair styled in a center part.

In the subsequent years, Priyanka graced the Golden Globes red carpet in 2020 with her husband Nick Jonas. Opting for a pink off-the-shoulder gown with a plunging neckline, figure-hugging design, and ruffled embellishments, Priyanka exuded elegance. The ensemble was accentuated by a long train, a luxurious diamond necklace, glamorous makeup, and soft curls framing her face.

Neena Gupta’s Statement Saree at the 2019 Golden Globe Awards After-Party

Making a distinctive statement at the 2019 Golden Globe Awards after-party in California, Neena Gupta opted for a striking saree that seamlessly blended modern style with Indian customs. Choosing a creation from the late Wendell Rodricks’ clothing line, Neena draped a monochromatic chiffon saree in the traditional manner. The saree featured a full-sleeved blouse with glittering embellishments, a sheer overlay, a fitted silhouette, and a round neckline.

Completing her look with a pastel-colored stole, open hair, silver purse, traditional earrings, and a red bindi, Neena Gupta looked nothing short of an elegant princess from a Disney movie. The original article describes her outfit in these words, “The monochromatic chiffon outfit was elegantly draped in the traditional way with the pallu hanging from the shoulder, along with a full-sleeved blouse with glittering embellishments, a sheer overlay, a fitted silhouette and a round neckline.”

Manasvi Mamgai’s Debut at the 76th Golden Globe Awards

Miss India 2010, Manasvi Mamgai, made her debut at the 76th Golden Globe Awards, leaving an indelible mark on the red carpet with her blush pink embroidered saree. The net drape featured exquisite floral embroidery and sequins on the pallu and borders. Paired with a matching blouse with spaghetti straps, a square neckline, cropped midriff, and a backless design, Manasvi’s ethnic style was a perfect blend of tradition and modernity.

Completing her look with side-parted, open, wavy locks, a matching minaudière, bracelets, delicate earrings, high heels, and soft lilac lips, Manasvi made a stunning fashion statement. The original article captures her appearance with the following words, “The stylish diva made a stunning fashion statement on the red carpet as her breathtaking appearance showcased the perfect blend of tradition and modernity, making her look the ultimate showstopper.”

In anticipation of the 81st Golden Globe Awards, let’s celebrate these iconic moments when Indian celebrities graced the red carpet with their sartorial elegance and added a touch of Bollywood glamour to the global stage.

Rijul Maini, A Med Student From Michigan Crowned Miss India USA 2023

Rijul Maini, a medical student from Michigan, has been crowned Miss India USA 2023 at the annual pageant held in New Jersey on Friday, December 8th, 2023. Sneha Nambiar from Massachusetts was declared as Mrs India USA and Saloni Rammohan from Pennsylvania won the title of Miss Teen India USA. Currently in its 41st edition, the pageant is the longest-running Indian pageant outside of India

Rijul Maini A Med Student From Michigan Wins Miss India USA 2023 (M9 News)An aspiring doctor and model, Rijul, 24-year-old Maini aims to be a surgeon and hopes to serve as a role model to women everywhere. “I am so humbled and grateful to say that I am the new MISS INDIA USA 2023! I am especially grateful for the family of amazing, strong, confident women I gained throughout this process. Your light shines so bright, never dim it for anyone,” she said in an Instagram post.

Greeshma Bhat of Virginia was declared first runner-up and Ishita Pai Raikar of North Carolina was the second runner-up. 57 contestants from over 25 states were judged in three different pageants – Miss India USA, Mrs. India USA , and Miss Teen India USA.

According to the organisers, 57 contestants from over 25 states participated in three different pageants— Miss IndiaRijul Maini A Med Student From Michigan Wins Miss India USA 2023 2 USA, Mrs. India USA and Miss Teen India USA. Winners of all three categories will be getting complimentary air tickets to take part in Miss- Mrs.-Teen India Worldwide organized by the same group.

The pageant was started by New York-based Indian-Americans Dharmatma and Neelam Saran under the banner of Worldwide Pageants. Currently in its 41st edition, the pageant is the longest-running Indian pageant outside of India. It was started by New York-based prominent Indian Americans Dharmatma and Neelam Saran under the banner of Worldwide Pageants. “I am very thankful to the Indian community around the world for their support over the years,” Dharmatma Saran , founder and chairman Worldwide Pageants said.

Nicaragua’s Sheynnis Palacios Crowned Miss Universe 2023 In History-Making Contest

In a histroy making beauty pageant, Miss Nicaragua Sheynnis Palacios won the coveted Miss Universe 2023 title, beating her 83 coconstaentans from as many countries during a dazzling pageant on November 18th, 2023 in San Salvador, El Salvador. Tis is the first time ever in the 72 year-old history of the pageant, a conteststant from Nicaragua, a central American country has won the covetetd ttile.

Palacios, 23, a mental-health activist and audiovisual producer, became the first woman from Nicaragua to win the crown at Saturday night’s pageant. The organization shared on Instagram that the new winner copes with anxiety and launched a TV segment called “Understand Your Mind,” in which she interviews experts in emotional care.

Last year’s winner, Miss Universe and Miss USA R’Bonney Gabriel crowned Palacios with the prestigious crown. The 23-year-old, a TV host and model, beat first runner-up Anntonia Porsild from Thailand and second runner-up Moraya Wilson from Australia. The other contestants who made the top 10 to appear in the final were Colombia’s Camila Avella, El Salvador’s Isabella García-Manzo, Peru’s Camila Escribens, the Philippines’ Michelle Dee, Puerto Rico’s Karla Guilfú Acevedo, Spain’s Athenea Pérez and Venezuela’s Diana Silva.

Palacios appeared to secure the win when she confidently answered the question of which woman’s shoes would she like to spend a year in by saying Mary Wollstonecraft, the 18th-century English writer and philosopher. Wollstonecraft was an advocate of women’s rights and is considered one of the forerunners of feminism. Palacios said she wants to work to close the salary gap between the genders so that women can work in any area.

Miss Universe was last held in El Salvador in 1975. This year’s event was another opportunity for President Nayib Bukele to tout changes made under his administration, especially greatly improving the country’s safety.

“El Salvador has changed for good and we have shown it again,” Bukele said Saturday night. “Miss Universe has given us the opportunity to show the world what we are capable of. Thank you for choosing to be part of El Salvador’s rebirth.”

Shweta Sharda, who had represented India at this year’s Miss Universe pageant did not make it to the top 10. Shweta – a 23-year-old model from Chandigarh – won the prestigious Miss Diva Universe title this year. Shweta made Mumbai her home with her mother at the age of 16 to make a career in modelling. Shweta has made silverscreen appearances on several reality shows. She has appeared in Dance India Dance, Dance Deewane, and Dance Plus. Shweta also used to work as a choreographer in the dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa. Shweta holds a bachelor’s degree from Indira Gandhi National Open University, and she won the Miss Diva 2023 title this year. Shweta did not make it to the top 10 this year.

Hours before the final, Palacious, who had competed in many pageants before, shared a heartfelt message on Instagram about fulfilling a childhood dream to take part in the global competition.

“Tonight, I dedicate it to my inner child and to each of the girls who yearn to fulfill this dream,” she wrote in Spanish, “even the sky itself is the limit, dream so big that people think it is impossible to achieve, because that is where you know that your dreams and goals will exceed obstacles, and remember to accompany them with determination, perseverance and passion.”

She continued, “My beautiful homeland, thank you for allowing me to be an ambassador of your culture, of your landscapes, of our identity and colonial beauty, my Nicaragua…will be an honor to scream one more night your name and prove to the universe that the homeland may be small but we are full of big dreams.”

Nicaragua’s Sheynnis Palacios Crowned Miss Universe 2023 In History Making Contest

Eighty-four contestants — each representing their home countries — were in contention, but most only briefly: at the beginning of the competition, the field then narrowed to 20 semi-finalists, selected based on their performance in the pageant’s preliminary stage and, in one case, a global fan vote.

As the night progressed, the field was further winnowed; by the time the pageant’s evening gown round played out, only 10 contestants were in the running for the Miss Universe title (and tiara, of course). While it was tradition for the eliminated beauty queens to walk the stage, en masse, to show off their looks at this point, it was usually just a brief — and tightly-choreographed — glimpse at all the sequins, corsetry and fishtail trains.

All that fashion finery was not lost entirely in the blink of an eye, however: each contestant had their runway moment during the aforementioned preliminary proceedings. At the end of it all, multiple other contestants made Miss Universe history at the 72nd event, hosted by Olivia Culpo, Maria Menounos and Jeannie Mai.

Nicaragua’s Sheynnis Palacios Crowned Miss Universe 2023 In History Making Contest

Miss Colombia Camila Avella, a married mother, made the top five. After winning the Miss Colombia title, she posted portraits of herself in her crown and sash, hugging her young daughter, Amelia, and tux-clad husband Nassif Kamle. “Without them, and without the teachings that leave me each day to day, none of this would be possible,” she wrote on Instagram at the time.

2023 was the first year, married women and mothers were allowed to compete. Avella competed alongside Miss Guatemala Michelle Cohn, a mother of two. “MOM QUEEN,” Cohn captioned a pageant portrait of herself on Instagram with her two children.

Plus-size contestant Miss Nepal Jane Dipika Garrett was the pageant’s first body-inclusive contestant and finished in the top 20. “I love my curves! My body is my temple and I will take care of it as holy ground,” she wrote on Instagram, sharing a photo of herself from the swimsuit competition.

For the first time, the pageant included a Miss Pakistan, Erica Robin, who wore a pale-pink, floor-length caftan for the swimsuit competition. “When I was young, I always watched Miss Universe and I used to believe that a woman from Pakistan couldn’t join the greatest Olympics of its kind,” she wrote on Instagram after winning the Miss Pakistan title and celebrated “being able to use my platform for good change and transformation.

Nicaragua’s Sheynnis Palacios Crowned Miss Universe 2023 In History Making Contest

This year’s competitors also included two transgender women: Miss Portugal Marina Machete, who placed in the top 20, and Miss Netherlands Rikkie Valerie Kollé. On Instagram, Machete gave thanks for “the opportunity to share my story and represent the diversity and unshakable strength we have as women” and added, “I’ll keep inspiring the change I want to see in the world!”

Miss Universe pageant represents the most beautiful women in the entire universe. A woman can stand tall and be Miss Universe only if she is ‘confidently beautiful’. Governed by the Miss Universe organization from the US, nearly a hundred women compete annually across the globe for this most celebrated and coveted crown. According to the organisers, the contestants were judged based on several metrics – personal statements, in-depth interviews and presentations in evening gowns and swimwear.  Besides beauty, one’s grace, elegance, attitude, and culture are key aspects that decide the winner.

The winner of this highly honored title righty echoed these sentiments: “Nicaragua, I feel you in my heartbeat, the sound of your marimba runs through my veins,” Palacios, the new Miss Universe 2023 wrote on Instagram. “I will show what Nicaraguans are made of: valor, courage and determination.”

Fashion: A Cycle of Social Play

“Fashion fosters the clichés of beauty, but I want to tear them apart.” Muccia Prada

Fashion has always been a hot topic for people. Over the years, the fashion industry has revolutionised alongside social media. And the influence of social media or media as a whole became more evident than the rest of the years. Fashion is not just an element of attraction among the younger generation; it is also relevant to every generation. Social media has just become a convenient platform for sharing and expressing oneself and for some to keep up with the latest updates in the industry. It also made people search, discover, and buy the latest items available to their liking.

According to reports, it was estimated that there will be about 4.89 million social media users worldwide in 2023.

Advertisements, campaigns, and brand promotion influenced mass production and consumerism. Social media promoted the fashion industry to the point where trendsetters became influencers, and influencers are used for marketing. Hashtags, celebrity endorsements, fashion hacks, and diversified fashion ideas are being used as a means for brand popularity. This also paves the way for upcoming designers and brands to gain popularity.

Even with the helpful guide provided by social media, the fashion cycle could have damaging effects. One such concept would be the concept of fast fashion. Fast fashion is the strategical mass production of inexpensive clothing in accordance with the latest trends’. Fast fashion has a negative impact on environmental aspects. The fashion business is considered to be the second-largest global polluter of clean water after agriculture. Younger generations’ psychology is also impacted by these new fashion trends; hence, if they do not adopt them, it negatively impacts their minds and increases their likelihood of developing psychological problems like eating disorders, mental illness, stress, etc.

India To Host Miss World 2023

India is all set to host the Miss World 2023 pageant. Contestants from over 130 countries will gather in India and participate in a series of competitions to win the title.

India is set to host the Miss World 2023 competition, as the coveted international beauty pageant makes its return to the country after a gap of nearly three decades.

The much anticipated 71st edition of Miss World is expected to take place in November this year, the final dates of which are yet to be ascertained.

India had last hosted the international pageant in 1996.

The announcement has come as a surprise as it comes months after confirmation of United Arab Emirates (UAE) as this year’s venue for the much-awaited event.

”I am delighted to announce India as the new home of the 71st Miss World Final… We cannot wait to share your unique and diverse culture, world class attractions and breathtaking locations with the rest of the world.

”The 71st Miss World 2023 will showcase the Achievements of 130 National champions in their one-month journey across ‘Incredible India’ as we present the 71st and most spectacular Miss World final ever,” said Julia Morley, chairperson and CEO of Miss World organization at a press conference on Thursday.

The month-long event, which would witness contestants from over 130 countries, will feature a series of rigorous competitions, including talent showcases, sports challenges, and charitable initiatives — all aimed at highlighting the qualities that make them ambassadors of change.

The reigning Miss World, Karolina Bielawska of Poland, who is currently in India spreading the word about the beauty competition, said she is excited to hand over her crown in this ”beautiful country” which stands for the same values as Miss World.

”India has the greatest hospitality in the entire world. It is my second time here .. and you make me feel like home. You stand for the same values.. diversity, unity… Your core values are family, respect, love, kindness and this is something that we would love to show to the world. There is so much more to see here, and bringing the whole world here for a month and showing everything that India has to offer is the best idea,” said the Miss World 2022.

Equally excited and looking forward to India hosting the event was the current Miss India World Sini Shetty, who’ll represent the country in the high-octane competition.

”I am so excited to meet all my sisters across the globe to welcome them to India to show them what India truly stands for, what India is, what is the diversity in India… I am really excited and looking forward to this journey. I hope you guys have the best time here in India,” she said. India has won the prestigious title six times — Reita Faria (1966), Aishwarya Rai (1994), Diana Hayden (1997), Yukta Mookhey (1999), Priyanka Chopra (2000), and Manushi Chillar (2017).

Indian Cuisine Flavors At Cannes

Indian Chef Prateek Sadhu presented “The Journey of India” at the inaugural dinner of the 76th Cannes Film Festival on May 16, 2023. The dinner which served cuisine blending Indian and French flavors was hosted by India’s Ministry of Information and Technology.

Manushi Chhillar, Academy Award winner Guneet Monga, actress Urvashi Rautela, and Indian director Madhur Bhandarkar attended the dinner hosted by India’s Ministry of Information and Technology.

Sadhu created a menu that emphasized regional nuances of Indian ingredients and flavours. He presented a dialogue of India’s diversity with the menu by incorporating Tungrymbai from the Northeast region to the Millet Thoran, to promote the International Year of Millets. Tungrymbai cuisine hailing from Meghalaya is prepared by smoking and fermenting soybeans. The menu also included Bengali Sandesh, Maharastra’s Chikki, Mysore Pak, Malvani-style Sole Fish, and Potato Koshimbir.

“As a Chef, I believe in the power of food to bring people together and create meaningful connections. This dinner is an opportunity to showcase the best of Indian food and culture to a global audience and to highlight the vibrant culinary traditions of our country,” he said. The event was attended by Miss World 2017 winner Manushi Chhillar, Academy Award winner EducationGuneet Monga, actress Urvashi Rautela, and Indian director Madhur Bhandarkar.

Chef Sadhu, executive and co-owner of Masque restaurant in Mumbai, India, was born in Kashmir in 1986. He enrolled at a hotel management school in India and graduated from The Culinary Institute of America with two gold medals. In 2016, the 37-year-old was awarded “Most Innovative Chef of the Year” by the Western Culinary Association of India. He then bagged the “Chef of the Year” at the Conde Nast Traveller (CNT) Top Restaurant Awards in December 2017.

Koh-I-Noor Diamond Absent From King Charles III’s Coronation

Amidst the glitter and glamour of King Charles III’s coronation, the Koh-i-noor diamond was missing. The diamond, whose name means “mountain of light” in Persian, is a 105-carat jewel, which according to legend, was discovered over 800 years ago on the banks of the Krishna River in Southern India.

Over the years, it has passed through various empires, including the Mughal, Persian, Afghan and Sikh, until it eventually became the property of Queen Victoria in the mid-19th century. However, the diamond has remained steeped in controversy, and many believe that it is cursed. Traditionally, only female members of the British royal family wear the diamond, particularly queen consorts, due to its curse which supposedly affected the male members.

The diamond was last worn by Elizabeth, wife of King George VI, during her coronation in 1937 and subsequently during the coronation of her daughter, Elizabeth II in 1953. However, there is no known record of the current Queen wearing the diamond. According to tradition, King Charles III’s wife, Camilla would have been the next person to wear the diamond at this weekend’s coronation ceremony. However, instead, she wore a different crown adorned with 2,200 smaller diamonds because the Koh-i-noor has become a point of contention due to its controversial history.

Picture : WPLG

The diamond was believed to be cursed, and many male royals who wore it suffered from calamities. Anita Anand, a historian who co-authored the book “Koh-i-noor: The History of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond,” stated that “Every time you bring someone over from India or Pakistan, they just swear at it! Swear at the fact that it’s here.” The diamond is wanted back by India and several neighbouring countries, including Iran and Afghanistan, whose rulers and royals, over the centuries, had possession of it.

Despite the diamond’s controversial past, the British monarchy still claims ownership of the diamond and intends to keep it. As a result of the protests, the Koh-i-noor has become a “symbol of conquest” deeply rooted in British soil, a fact which has outraged the Indians who are visitors to the Tower of London, where the gem is currently kept on display. The Indian government has repeatedly raised the issue of repatriating the diamond with the British government. After Queen Elizabeth’s death last year, Buckingham Palace made an announcement: The Koh-i-noor diamond would not be a part of King Charles III’s coronation ceremony, remaining safe and secure in the Tower of London.

Unearthing a Coconut-Sized Diamond

Centuries ago, diamonds were discovered by surfacing up to the Earth’s topsoil before being mined. The Golconda alluvial mines in southern India were particularly known for this phenomenon, where the largest diamond of the time was discovered approximately 800 years ago. “People used to go to the rivers and take baths, and there were no soaps or cosmetics at the time, so they used the wet clay next to the riverbanks and applied it to their bodies,” explains Mohan Devarapalli, a local tour guide who specialises in Koh-i-noor-themed tours. While collecting clay, someone stumbled upon the diamond, which was rumoured to be the size of a coconut.

Believing that the diamond was a gift from the holy river, the locals presented it to the 12th century Hindu kings of the Kakatiya dynasty to keep it safe. Unfortunately, India was full of warring states at the time, making it challenging to protect the diamond from the prying eyes of others. They placed the diamond inside the eye socket of a large golden statue of the Hindu goddess Durga, located in a temple that is still in use today in Warangal city, near a lake. One eye was diamond, and the other was glass, with both appearing identical except for the kings who knew the diamond was hidden inside.

“One of the [goddess’] eyes was the diamond, which no one knew — except the kings — because it looked like glass. Even the priests, they would not have known it,” explained Devarapalli. As a result, it was one of the most well-kept secrets to hide the diamond. For a few centuries, the ploy of hiding the gemstone in plain sight appeared to work.

Since then, the diamond has had an eventful journey. After the Mughal Empire’s conquest of the region, the diamond became part of their spoils and an essential part of numerous battles. Eventually, the British moved the diamond to the Tower of London as the spoils of war in the mid-19th century, where it is currently a part of the Queen’s crown jewels. Despite the diamond’s journey across history, it remains one of the most famous and important diamonds globally, with its folklore and symbolism continuing to captivate the world.

The Koh-i-noor: A Diamond of Bloodshed and Conquest

The Koh-i-noor diamond has a long and disputed history, originating from the Golconda area of southern India. Its story begins with the Kakatiya dynasty, who guarded the precious gem until it was pillaged by invaders from the north in the 14th century. The diamond eventually ended up embedded in the Peacock Throne of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who also built the Taj Mahal. The Peacock Throne was later captured by Nadir Shah of Iran, who passed the diamond on to Ahmad Shah Abdali, founder of Afghanistan. The Afghans believe strongly that the diamond belongs to them.

As the diamond changed hands from one conqueror to another, legends of curses began to circulate. Indian astrology teaches that only a pure man without sin – a great man – can wear a diamond without risking bad luck. Anyone who is flawed, or any diamond that is flawed, must be treated with caution. The Koh-i-noor diamond, with its disputed history and murky past, has been the subject of many curses.

The arrival of the British added another chapter to the story of the diamond. The East India Company arrived in the 17th century, followed by British colonial rulers. By this time, the diamond was only worn by women. Queen Victoria had a particular interest in the Koh-i-noor and was keen to add it to her collection. In 1849, the British obtained possession of the diamond and presented it to Queen Victoria, who had it re-cut to improve its brilliance.

Today, the Koh-i-noor diamond remains a highly prized treasure, and its history and origins are still a matter of dispute and disagreement. As historian William Dalrymple says, “it’s the nearest thing to the ring of power in Lord of the Rings. Whenever it goes, it stirs up anger, greed, murder and bloodshed!” Its storied past adds to its mystique and allure, and it remains one of the most famous diamonds in the world.

The Koh-i-noor: A Gift to Queen Victoria from a Conquered Nation

The diamond has a long history, having been possessed by various rulers, including the Sikh Maharaja Duleep Singh. In 1849, during the second Anglo-Sikh war, British diplomats befriended the young prince and confiscated the diamond. It was then presented to Queen Victoria, who had it fashioned into a brooch.

Today, the Koh-i-noor remains in the UK’s possession, and its loss is still a source of frustration and hurt for many Indians. This is highlighted in a sound-and-light show for tourists in Hyderabad, where the famous Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan laments the diamond’s location. The show projects a holographic replica of the diamond, which is met with disappointment from the audience who believe it to be the real thing.

Many Indians feel that this is a clear example of the British colonial past, where items were taken from their rightful owners without return. Saudamini Sharma, a tourist visiting the fort, explains: “The British never apologized about anything…civilized people don’t steal — don’t take away stuff and never return it.”

The Koh-i-noor is a symbol of a complex history between India and the UK, and whilst it remains in the UK’s possession, it will continue to be a contentious issue.

India’s Demand for the Return of a Stolen Gem

The question of ownership surrounding the Koh-i-Noor diamond has been a sensitive issue for many years, with calls growing louder for the diamond to be returned to its original home. The diamond has been held in what is now India, Pakistan, Iran, and Bangladesh, and even the Taliban claim it is theirs.

Western governments are starting to address ownership issues surrounding cultural heritage, such as Jewish art looted by the Nazis and colonial artifacts in British museums. The Benin Bronzes were recently returned to Nigeria, and Greece is currently asking the British Museum to return the Elgin Marbles.

Despite these movements, the UK government and the Royals have rarely commented on the Koh-i-Noor. In 2010, then-Prime Minister David Cameron said returning the diamond would set a dangerous precedent for British institutions. He stated, “What tends to happen with these questions is that if you say yes to one, you suddenly find the British Museum would be empty!”

As of now, the British sell tickets to see the diamond, with prices for adults being around $37. The Koh-i-Noor was the star attraction at the World Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in London in 1851. It was for this exhibition that the diamond was cut down, reducing it by at least 85 carats, following technological advancements in “brilliant” cut diamonds which required a reshaping of the diamond to refract more light.

“To Indians, it’s actually a perfect metaphor for what India went through: It was reshaped and re-cut and diminished into something that suited a British palate and British needs,” says journalist and writer Anita Anand. She highlights that it represents the wider issue surrounding the history of the British Empire, which is rarely taught in British schools. “We don’t really learn about the history of empire! It’s painted as if it’s something very long ago, not really interesting—and yet, it shapes the world we live in today.”

Last year, India and Pakistan celebrated 75 years of independence from the British crown, but for many, the story is incomplete while the British crown still holds their diamond. The call for its return has grown louder, highlighting the need for Western governments to consider issues of ownership in regards to cultural heritage.

29-Year-Old Woman From Bengal Designs Dress For Queen Camilla, Brooch For King Charles III

Priyanka Mallick, the 29-year-old fashion designer, hopes that the king and the queen will wear the brooch and the dress respectively during the coronation to be held at Westminster Abbey in London.

A woman fashion designer from a village in West Bengal’s Hooghly district has designed a dress for British Queen Camilla and a brooch for King Charles III and received a letter from the Royal family thanking her and inviting her to attend the coronation ceremony on Saturday.

When 29-year-old fashion designer Priyanka Mallick from West Bengal got to know about the coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla, she thought of designing a brooch and dress for them respectively. She wrote to the representative of the Royal family about her idea and sent her designs to them hoping for the best.

Mallick was delighted to get a letter of appreciation in response as the royals liked her designs. Buckingham Palace also extended her an invitation to attend the coronation in person on May 6 at London’s Westminster Abbey. The Indian designer is hoping that the King and Queen will be wearing her design on coronation day.

“It was an incredible feeling when I came to know that the queen and the king appreciated my designs of the dress and brooch. When I received the letter of appreciation, I was thrilled. One email or letter from Buckingham Palace means a lot more to me,” Mallick told PTI.

Malik said, “It was a very proud moment when I found out that the Queen and the King had appreciated my dress and brooch designs. When I received the letter and email from Buckingham Palace, I am very happy because it really means a lot to me.”

Malick is a resident of Badinan village, some 12 km away from Singur railway station in Hooghly district. Though she has received the invitation to attend the coronation ceremony, she was not there as her health would not permit her to do so. “My doctors have advised me not to step out of home as I am not well,” she said.

She, however, would attend the function that is organised on the occasion by the British Deputy High Commission in Kolkata on Saturday evening.

On the flip side, Mallick said, nobody from the village congratulated her on her achievement as, probably, they are not aware of what it is.

Mallick, after completing her class XII from Singur Golapmohini Girls HS School, graduated in fashion design from Milan University in Italy through the online mode.She also completed her master’s from there. She was an excellent student and has been the winner of the International Fashion Designer Marathon and Fashion Stylist of the Year titles in Milan. She also won the Real Super Women Award in 2022 while in India.

“I won the International Fashion Designer Marathon in Milan, Italy in 2019, Fashion Stylist of the Year in Milan, Italy in 2020, and the Real Super Women Award in India in 2022,” she claimed. Mallik said her designs on the coronation special will be launched on the British government website also.

Indian Artisans Create Sustainable Sisal Carpet for Met Gala 2023

The recent Met Gala 2023 event witnessed many stunning celebrity looks, debuts, and some memorable moments. However, one constant factor throughout the evening was the beautiful carpet laid on the stairs for attendees to walk on. The carpet was created by Indian artisans and made in India with sustainability as its core value. The white carpet with blue and red stripes was designed by Neytt.Extraweave, a Kerala-based brand founded by Sivan Santhosh and Nimisha Srinivas. This year’s carpet measured around 6,960 sq meters and was made using sisal fiber sourced from Madagascar.

“We sourced the best quality sisal fiber, which is durable, specifically from Madagascar. The carpet was weaved using 120 cm of the raw material,” said Sivan. The carpet took between 60 to 70 days to create from scratch and had the input of Japanese architect Tadao Ando, who decorated this year’s Met steps along with event planner Raul Àvila. Interestingly, this is not the first time Neytt. Extraweave’s carpet was laid on the Met steps, as they designed one for last year’s event as well.

The carpet’s sustainable properties come from the fact that it was made using sisal fiber, which is a natural and biodegradable resource. Additionally, the carpet was manufactured using a machine in India, and hand-painted in the United States. Indian artisans have long been known for their craftsmanship, and Neytt.Extraweave is continuing that tradition while also prioritizing the environment.

The carpet’s vibrant design was eye-catching and proved to be a stunning backdrop for some of the night’s most memorable fashion moments. A number of celebrities walked on the carpet, including Alia Bhatt and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, both of whom made their debut at the event. With sustainability becoming an increasingly important issue in the fashion industry, the use of natural and biodegradable materials such as sisal fiber can serve as a model for others to follow.

The carpet’s success is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Indian artisans who created it. Their expertise and craftsmanship, along with the sustainable materials used, brought the design to life, and the result was a stunning work of art that perfectly complemented the Met Gala’s glamorous atmosphere. As the fashion industry continues to evolve, it is important to remember the importance of responsible stewardship of our planet’s resources, and firms such as Neytt.Extraweave are setting an example for others to follow.

Extraweave, the company responsible for manufacturing  process expressed their excitement about showcasing their product to the world. According to an Instagram post by the company, “It was a huge day for us, and for India. We are proud to showcase our beautiful sisal carpet…” The carpet was woven in Alleppey and hand-painted in the US, and the company was honored to share the stage with famous designers and celebrities.

For the Kerala-based manufacturers, it was a proud moment to display their skills and craftsmanship to a global audience. The founder of Extraweave, Sivan, said, “We were a little unsure of how the design would look when we got the first draft, but the way it was laid out — it was looking beautiful.” The carpet’s appearance added to the glamour of the event, and it was recommended to Met Gala organizers by a US-based customer.

Luxury Jewelry Market Size Is Projected To Reach USD 95.8 Billion By 2030

The Global Luxury Jewelry Market is anticipated to grow at a 7.85% CAGR and is estimated to be worth USD 95.78 Billion by the end of 2030.

Luxury Jewelry is well-known for its sophisticated designs and utilization of the most precious and uncommon unrefined substances. The Luxury Jewelry Market is vigorous and quickly developing. It’s also exceptionally divided and determined by buyer conduct and style. In the nearing years, huge market development is normal, from increasing extra cash and amplifying buyer consumption of extravagant merchandise. Assimilating the luxury gems industry with diversion and allure businesses has set new open doors for the market.

One of the main points herding the Luxury Jewelry Market is boosting discretionary cash flow. When the population’s discretionary cash flow develops, so does their purchasing power, bringing about amplified interest and utilization of luxury gems. Also, the traditions embracing extravagant metals are necessary components driving the interest in extravagant adornment pieces.

Amplifying interest in men’s adornments addresses viable freedom for the development of the market over the figure time frame. Generally, ladies are more minded than men toward buying luxury gems. Be that as it may, this pattern is remodelling, inferable from expanding the focal point of men on self-grooming and graceful allure.

The Global Luxury Jewelry Market is segmented into five regions; North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa.

Europe represented the biggest portion of the global industry on the lookout, followed by North America. These areas comprise created nations with high per capita pay, just as significant luxury brands, filling the market development. Also, the high female workforce interest rate in these countries is a significant factor that adds to the development of the market. Besides, the Asia- Pacific area is expected to have a high CAGR during the estimated time frame.

Asia Pacific dominated the market for luxury jewelry and was considered for the largest revenue share of 65.4% in 2021. China and India are the two largest markets for luxury jewelry in the region. The latest styles and the requirement for high-quality jewelry among top customers are two eloquent drivers driving the market for luxury jewelry in this region.

The region is anticipated to see an increase in the popularity of online distribution. The majority of luxury jewelry is bought for special occasions or events like marriages and engagements. Further, due to continuous restrictions on international travel and the augmentation of domestic duty-free zones in China, demand from younger customers as well as those who shop domestically is anticipated to climb.

The global Luxury Jewelry Market’s prominent key players are Buccellati Holding, Italia SPA, Chopard International SA, Mikimoto & Co. Ltd., Bulgari S.P.A., Graff Diamond Corporation, Companies Financiere Richmond S.A., Tiffany & Co., Societe Cartier, Harry Winston Inc., Guccio Gucci S.P.A., Chanel, LVMH Moet Hennessy, Signet Jewellers, Cartier International SNC, Rajesh Exports Ltd.

Nandini Gupta Crowned Femina Miss India 2023

Nandini Gupta, 19 from the state of Rajasthan has been crowned Femina Miss India World 2023. Nineteen-year-old Nandini hails from Kota, one of biggest coaching hubs in the country for engineering and medical aspirants. The beauty with brains holds a degree in Business Management, Nandini is dedicated to taking up challenges and succeeding. Nandini dreamt of competing in the Miss India pageant since she was 10 years old.

The 59th edition of India’s most prestigious pageant pulled off another season’s grand finale in a historic ceremony at the Indoor Stadium, Khuman Lampak, Imphal, Manipur — the beautiful city which played the perfect host to the mesmerizing event.  Along with her, Delhi’s Shreya Poonja became the first runner-up, while Manipur’s Thounaojam Strela Luwang was crowned the 2nd runner-up.

The star-studded extravaganza celebrated the ethos of beauty in diversity and featured memorable performances by India’s heartthrobs, the ever-so-dashing Kartik Aaryan, and the very pretty Ananya Panday. Another performance that became the highlight of the evening was one put together by the former winners, Sini Shetty, Rubal Shekhawat, Shinata Chauhan, Manasa Varanasi, Manika Sheokand, Manya Singh, Suman Rao and Shivani Jadhav, who took the stage in exquisite and finely crafted lehengas from Mohey. The emcees for the evening were none other than the very witty Maniesh Paul and the very vivacious Bhumi Pednaker, who kept the engaged with impromptu antics.

The grand event featured the best in fashion in the form of multiple rounds dedicated to fashion, featuring the beautiful and intelligent winners from 30 states, showcasing stunning collections by fashion greats, Namrata Joshipura for Trends, Rocky Star and Robert Naorem, with whose help the beauties showcased impressive traditional costumes.

The state winners were judged by a panel of judges consisting of Femina Miss India Universe 2002 and Mentor Neha Dhupia, Indian boxing icon Laishram Sarita Devi, ace choreographer Terence Lewis, filmmaker and writer Harshavardhan Kulkarni and ace designers Rocky Star and Namrata Joshipura. The state winners had insightful interactions with the jury panel and answered all their questions with great determination.

Pageant aspirants from various parts of the country battled for the national title to win a platform to put their aspirations across. A nationwide hunt was organized to select representatives from 29 states (including Delhi) and a collective representative for all Union Territories (including J&K), adding up to 30 participants.

Sarees LIVE On The Runway Of India Beach Fashion Week On Divar Island In Goa

Five models showed off how to drape a One Minute Saree® (OMS) LIVE on the runway of India Beach Fashion Week on Goa’s private Divar Island last week. Founder and Fashion Entrepreneur Sasha Revankar’s direct-to-consumer online saree collection (www.oneminutesaree.com) was the ONLY Indian American brand to be selected for Asia’s largest and most prominent showcase for young designers. “We are so proud to have unveiled our one-minute-drape concept to an engaged and energetic audience live on the runway, and this is the first time models have draped sarees while ON the runway,” said Revankar. The collection of 14 sarees included the traditional Nivi saree, Gujarati saree, Kanjivaram saree, sequin saree, cotton saree, and silk saree, just to name a few. Watch video HERE.

Picture : TheUNN

Rooted in tradition but crafted for the modern woman, One Minute Saree® is the fashion revolution the next generation of Indophiles has been awaiting. The desire to embody celeb-like grace in stunning sarees at weddings without the fear of tripping over a long pallu or sporting uneven pleats is an all-too-real fear for any millennial. One Minute Saree® ends the saree enthusiast’s draping woes with custom-stitched, pre-draped sarees that perfectly fit each time and leave wearers feeling as immaculate as they look, all under one minute!

The founders of India Beach Fashion Week had never seen a more practical way to wear a saree, and for this reason, they decided to include the line in their destination-wedding-themed fashion show. “One Minute Saree® is exactly the kind of avant-garde game-changer that will excite fashionistas and claim its rightful space in the millennial market,” said co-founder Neha Asthana Ojha. “The brand brought a bold, new, and fun take on the traditional saree with an eclectic collection of pre-draped sarees for the next generation of saree lovers.”

Revankar also spoke about the future of Indian fashion on the global runway in a speaker series at the two-day event and highlighted her reasons for creating the brand: “The modern woman doesn’t have the time or energy to drape a saree properly, and we wanted to maintain the integrity and beauty of India’s most important garment, both in the West and the East. We hope to inspire many women, Indian and others, to don this beautiful garment the next time they attend a function that celebrates the simplicity and elegance of a woman who wants to show off her silhouette.” For more information about the brand or to order your first One Minute Saree®, please visit www.oneminutesaree.com.

Stella Jean Quits Milan Fashion Week Over Lack Of Inclusion

(AP) — The only Black designer belonging to Italy’s fashion chamber withdrew Wednesday from this month’s Milan Fashion Week, alleging a lack of support for diversity and inclusion after the chamber “abandoned” a project to promote young designers of color working in Italy.

Stella Jean interrupted a press conference by the Italian National Fashion Chamber to announce that neither she nor five members of the We Are Made in Italy collective of designers of color would participate in fashion week.

She also said she had started a hunger strike Wednesday out of concern members of WAMI, an initiative launched in 2020 on the heels of the Black Lives Matter movement, could suffer a professional backlash for her activism.

The moves signaled a dramatic denouement of a nearly three-year-collaboration with the chamber to promote designers of color.

“The chamber told us, ‘We didn’t know there were Italian designers who weren’t white.’ We brought them to the runway. They supported us for two years. Then we were abandoned,” Jean told the press conference.

Picture : WWD

Italian Fashion Chamber President Carlo Capasa assured her from the dais that the chamber had no intention of retaliating in any way. He expressed regret that neither she nor the WAMI members would participate in Fashion Week.

“Stella’s contribution has always been appreciated. We Italians need to have our conscience stimulated,” he said. “As for WAMI, we are not people who retaliate. For us it is important to promote new brands.”

He noted that two WAMI designers from previous seasons were presenting collections during Milan Fashion Week, which runs from Feb. 21-27.

In addition, the chamber has included on the fashion week calendar the inaugural edition of the Black Carpet Awards recognizing the achievements of minorities in Italian society, and was hosting another diversity initiative by the owner and editor of U.S.-based Blanc Magazine, Teneshia Carr.

Jean charged that the chamber had significantly cut back support for WAMI after she made an impassioned speech about the personal price she had paid for highlighting racial injustice in Italy during a runway show last September.

She also said it backtracked on a promise to create a Black board within the chamber to promote diversity and inclusion. Capasa told AP that he decided against the board after WAMI made social media posts that cast a negative light on some Italian fashion brands.

“We wrote a nice letter, saying we want to give them the liberty to express themselves,” Capasa said, adding that the chamber could not host any board that appeared to take public swipes at other members.

Italian-Haitian Jean, who made her Milan runway premiere in 2013 on the Armani runway, said she and her family have been subjected to retaliation for her activism for racial justice in Italy. She said that included death threats against her daughter by other minors, and the termination of professional relationships for her.

“When you speak of retaliations, of death threats, people, I work in fashion. I don’t traffic arms, I don’t traffic drugs or make money from trafficking women,” Jean said. “It is absurd, vile, shameful and inhuman that I must speak for people who feel their lives are in danger, who feel they will suffer the same retaliation.”

WAMI was launched by Jean, African-American designer Edward Buchanan and the head of Afro Fashion Week Milano, Michelle Ngonmo, to draw attention to the lack of minority representation in the Italian fashion world. It followed some racial gaffes by major fashion houses that made global headlines.

Ngonmo told the AP that financial support for the project from the chamber had dwindled over the three years it has run so far, and that Afro Fashion Week Milano wasn’t able to come up with 20,000 euros ($21,000) to support the five young designers in making solid looks to present, plus a video.

The Italian fashion chamber fully supported the collections for the two WAMI classes, each with five designers, but hasn’t funded the third generation, Ngonmo and Jean said.

A September show featuring Jean, Buchanan and WAMI was financed through other allies and their own contributions. The latest WAMI collections were to be presented by video on Feb. 22.

“Maybe the message is the whole industry needs to open their eyes and say, ‘What can we do to make that happen?’” Ngonmo told the AP.

Capasa emphasized that the project by Blanc Magazine’s Carr is receiving the same support he offered WAMI: a slot on the calendar and a physical space in the Fashion Hub where journalists and buyers can view the collections.

But Jean insists that Italy’s designers of color deserve special promotion by the chamber, whose role is the promotion of Italian fashion.

Jean said progress in recent seasons — including opening fashion week with WAMI designer Joy Meribe’s runway show, and Jean’s own return to the runway in September — had turned out to be “performative.”

“They used WAMI as a free pass of safe conduct for diversity,” Jean told the AP. She said she was withdrawing out of fatigue with the “continual fight” for recognition for designers of color in Italy. “I am a fighter by nature, but I cannot be this way all the time,” she said.

Deepika Padukone Launches Self-Care Brand 82E

A pioneering advocate of mental, physical, and emotional well-being, actor Deepika Padukone launches her self-care brand, 82E (pronounced Eighty-two East) on Thursday. The brand will offer premium, high-performance products that make the practice of self-care a simple, effective, and enjoyable part of everyday life.

The name is inspired by the meridian that runs longitudinally through India and defines the standard time of the country. Eighty-Two East reflects the global Indian icon’s journey and experience as a modern woman who is rooted in India but global in her outlook.

The brand will launch with skincare as its inaugural category this month. Eighty-Two East’s skincare products are formulated by in-house experts, and each product combines an Indian ingredient with a scientific compound into a powerful formula. The products have been thoughtfully designed to make skincare a delightful ritual.

The brand takes pride in being India’s first celebrity-owned self-care brand that is backed by global institutional venture capitalists. On the occasion of launching her very own self-care brand, Deepika Padukone, Co-founder, of Eighty-Two East, says “Wherever I am in the world, practicing simple acts of self-care consistently, helps me stay grounded and enables me to feel my most centred. With Eighty-Two East, I hope to inspire us all to connect with our truest, most authentic selves through consistent and humble self-care practices. The first step in that direction is our range of skincare products that have been rigorously sourced, carefully crafted, and clinically tested so you can build simple, joyful, and effective everyday rituals to care for the health of your skin.”

The launch marks Padukone’s foray into full-fledged entrepreneurship, expanding her mission to leave behind a distinguished legacy and to inspire people to live authentic lives beyond her professional endeavors as an actor, producer, and mental health advocate. (IANS)

Paris Hilton Goes Desi For Her Perfume Launch Event In Mumbai

American socialite and international jet-setter Paris Hilton was busy promoting her fragrance, Ruby Rush, here on Thursday evening.

For the product launch at the Phoenix Palladium mall in the Lower Parel area of Mumbai, Hilton chose the perfect attire — a red jumpsuit with a plunging neckline and sheer silver gloves, thereby bringing out the best of desi and chic moods.

She rounded off her look with emerald jewellery, red sunglasses, and open tresses.

Prior to the event, she took to her Instagram to share a video of her trying different outfits. What’s interesting is that all the outfits in the video are Indian attires, designed by Indian designer, Shubhika of Papa Don’t Preach fashion label, as Paris wanted to bring out the essence of the Indian culture.

She sought help from her followers to choose the outfit for the Thursday evening launch event.

She wrote in the caption: “Love wearing and supporting local designers when I travel. India In love with these gorgeous looks from Indian designer @PapaDontPreachByShubhika styled by @Marta.Del.Rio. Which one should I wear to my @ParisHiltonFragrances Launch today?”

Paris touched down in Mumbai on Wednesday night for her stay of two days in the city. She was welcomed by scores of paparazzi, who were waiting for her at the arrival gate at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. (IANS)

Festive Fashion The Bollywood Way

Festivals are charming and significant in their own right. We celebrate it fervently and with great joy. Delectable meals are made and homes are decorated. People attend gatherings and parties dressed in their traditional best. Get inspired

A bandhi & shades

Ranveer Singh, is well renowned for his taste in clothing, looks dashing in this ethnic ensemble. The actor wore off-white kurta, a burgundy Bandhi with matching glares.

All white ensemble

If you don’t want to go overboard, this outfit is understated yet still ideal for the festive season. RajKummar Rao looks sharp in complete white.

Prints galore

In this printed and textured kurta, Shahid Kapoor looks dapper. The matching scarf, velvet boots and white pants complete the look.

Jewel tones

Sidharth Malhotra wears a smart jewel toned blue kurta with off-white thread embroidery. The look is young and chic.

Bollywood style

Inspired by celluloid and Manish Malhotra, opt for a bling kurta with a dupatta to make heads turn, Varun Dhawan style!

The Pathan

Choosing a classic pathani kurta and shalwar, King Khan proves he’s the frontrunner when it comes to fashion too! The actor prefers to keep his clothing stylish.

The Punjabi affair

Vicky Kaushal’s striped kurta pyajama set teamed with Kohlpuri sandals and shades is perfect for a day of festivities.

Dapper dude

Bollywood’s “chocolate boy,” Ranbir Kapoor, has the physique to wear Indian clothing flawlessly, and this textured kurta teamed with silver rings shows that men can flaunt jewellery with confidence.

Style Nawabi

The Pataudi never fails to grab headlines for his minimal looks and always manages to look chic. when it comes to fashion he’s always got his right foot forward (IANS)

Jaipur Literary Fest Takes NYC Arts Scene by Storm

Technology, visual art, high fashion, and literature merged on the same stage last week at the closing night event for the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) New York Edition, curated by cultural producer Myna Mukherjee of Engendered, a trans-national arts and human rights organization based in New Delhi. After a hiatus of 10 years, Engendered returned to New York City’s High Nine Gallery in Chelsea with Techné Disruptors, a hand-picked NFT collection featuring some of South Asia’s most cutting-edge artists, including Ram Rahman, Waswo X. Waswo, Veer Munshi, Raghava KK, Puneet Kaushik, Harshit Agrawal, Nur Mahammed, Balbir Krishan, Amritah Sen, among others.

Co-presented by Avid Learning and High Line Nine Gallery and powered by Technology Partner, Polygon, the show has been conceived through the lens of urbanism and a post-colonial gaze. It engages Indian futurisms, indigenous technologies, and future-forward aesthetics while retaining the notion of cultural perpetuity. Techné Disruptors is coming to New York after celebrating unprecedented success in its first outing in New Delhi (April-May 2022). The show not only helped reshape sedentary categories of art but also radically shifted the way art is viewed, understood, experienced, and sold. For the first time, over 80% of a largely digital exhibition was collected by one of India’s most reputed institutional collectors.

The closing reception of JLF, featured the NFT book launch of Seema Kohli’s “Mitr Pyaare Nu,” as well as closing remarks from Managing Director, Teamwork Arts Sanjoy Roy and Indian politician Shaiza Ilmi. The evening concluded with a fashion show presented by South Asian New York Fashion Week (SANYFW), showcasing the designs of Untitled by Nikita, AKS Mathur, Aara by Sana, Aazadi by Naseer Khan and Pakistani headliner Nomi Ansari.

The three-week-long event in Chelsea Arts District with rotating exhibitions (a new chapter each week) features works imagined with the most future-forward technologies of our times including AI (Artificial Intelligence), AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), holographs, and works from brand new minted collections of Global South NFTs curated with a critical need to strengthen south-south collaborations.

The exhibition looks at the bridging of the old and the new, the physical and the digital, and lends voice to largely invisibilized conversations and personal stories in the complex landscape of gender, sexuality & marginalities. It speaks to the cultural consequences of migrations within, from, and to the Indian subcontinent as artistic inquiries into difference and belonging.

The artists include: Seema Kohli | Veer Munshi | Ram Rahman | Puneet Kaushik | Waswo X. Waswo | Amina Ahmed | 64/1: Raghava KK & Karthik Kalyanaraman | Harshit Agrawal | Balbir Krishan | Amritah Sen | Babak Haghi | Ritu Kamath | Nur Mahhamed | ‘Rharha’ Rochelle Nembhard | Minne Atairu | Satadru Sovan | Abhishek Singh | SK Sahni | Mahula Ghosh | Adil B. Khan | Santosh K. Das | Sukanya Ayde | Portia Roy | Mandakini Devi | Aamir Rabbani | Arvin Ombika | Ahsan Masood | Baishali Chetia | Chathuri Nissansala | Dominique V. Castelano | Ipshita Thakur | Isha Yadav | Sawan Taank | Mohd Shaze

Jaipur Literary Fest Takes NYC Arts Scene by Storm

Technology, visual art, high fashion, and literature merged on the same stage last week at the closing night event for the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) New York Edition, curated by cultural producer Myna Mukherjee of Engendered, a trans-national arts and human rights organization based in New Delhi. After a hiatus of 10 years, Engendered returned to New York City’s High Nine Gallery in Chelsea with Techné Disruptors, a hand-picked NFT collection featuring some of South Asia’s most cutting-edge artists, including Ram Rahman, Waswo X. Waswo, Veer Munshi, Raghava KK, Puneet Kaushik, Harshit Agrawal, Nur Mahammed, Balbir Krishan, Amritah Sen, among others.
 
Co-presented by Avid Learning and High Line Nine Gallery and powered by Technology Partner, Polygon, the show has been conceived through the lens of urbanism and a post-colonial gaze. It engages Indian futurisms, indigenous technologies, and future-forward aesthetics while retaining the notion of cultural perpetuity. Techné Disruptors is coming to New York after celebrating unprecedented success in its first outing in New Delhi (April-May 2022). The show not only helped reshape sedentary categories of art but also radically shifted the way art is viewed, understood, experienced, and sold. For the first time, over 80% of a largely digital exhibition was collected by one of India’s most reputed institutional collectors.
 
The closing reception of JLF, featured the NFT book launch of Seema Kohli’s “Mitr Pyaare Nu,” as well as closing remarks from Managing Director, Teamwork Arts Sanjoy Roy and Indian politician Shaiza Ilmi. The evening concluded with a fashion show presented by South Asian New York Fashion Week (SANYFW), showcasing the designs of Untitled by Nikita, AKS Mathur, Aara by Sana, Aazadi by Naseer Khan and Pakistani headliner Nomi Ansari.

The three-week-long event in Chelsea Arts District with rotating exhibitions (a new chapter each week) features works imagined with the most future-forward technologies of our times including AI (Artificial Intelligence), AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), holographs, and works from brand new minted collections of Global South NFTs curated with a critical need to strengthen south-south collaborations.
 
The exhibition looks at the bridging of the old and the new, the physical and the digital, and lends voice to largely invisibilized conversations and personal stories in the complex landscape of gender, sexuality & marginalities. It speaks to the cultural consequences of migrations within, from, and to the Indian subcontinent as artistic inquiries into difference and belonging.
 

The artists include: Seema Kohli | Veer Munshi | Ram Rahman | Puneet Kaushik | Waswo X. Waswo | Amina Ahmed | 64/1: Raghava KK & Karthik Kalyanaraman | Harshit Agrawal | Balbir Krishan | Amritah Sen | Babak Haghi | Ritu Kamath | Nur Mahhamed | ‘Rharha’ Rochelle Nembhard | Minne Atairu | Satadru Sovan | Abhishek Singh | SK Sahni | Mahula Ghosh | Adil B. Khan | Santosh K. Das | Sukanya Ayde | Portia Roy | Mandakini Devi | Aamir Rabbani | Arvin Ombika | Ahsan Masood | Baishali Chetia | Chathuri Nissansala | Dominique V. Castelano | Ipshita Thakur | Isha Yadav | Sawan Taank | Mohd Shazeb

Indian Content Creators Make Runway Debuts At New York Fashion Week

Heralding a massive coup for the homegrown content creator community, celebrated Indian couturier Archana Kochhar has roped in leading social media influencers of Indian origin as showstoppers for her fashion outings at New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week. Her New York Fashion Week showcase was hosted in association with The Society at Hall Of Mirrors on September 11.

Delhi-based husband-wife duo, Gaurav Taneja and Ritu Rathee Taneja, of Flying Beast fame, were joined by Mumbai-based lifestyle influencer Aashna Hedge to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week, while Mumbai-based entertainment influencer Nagma Mirajkar will walk the runway at London Fashion Week, setting the stage for increased representation of Indian influencer presenters at global platforms.

This creative confluence marked the debut of these Indian social media stars at international fashion weeks, also marking the very first time that they are being integrated on the main runway in the history of New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week.

Other American social media influencers show-stopping at New York Fashion Week include Tik-Tok’s favourite ‘it’ girl Mckenzi Brooke and actor-musician teen sensation Gavin Magnus, who will be walking for one of the world’s youngest self-made multi-millionaires and child reality TV star, Isabella Barrett.

Kochhar’s London Fashion Week will be conducted in association with the British Fashion Council and Vivz World Fashion Week on Sep. 17 in London.

Kochhar, who had roped in film actress Sunny Leone and acid attack survivor Reshma Qureshi for her first-ever New York Fashion Week showing, is the only fashion designer to be handpicked from India to support the Make In India campaign (which was launched by Shri Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, in 2014) at both of these reputed fashion weeks this year.

Gaurav Taneja and Ritu Rathee Taneja of Flying Beast stated, “We are extremely excited to make our international inaugural fashion innings at New York Fashion Week as the first content creator couple from India. It is an honor to be handpicked from the Indian content creator community to represent India on the world stage. It is so heartwarming to see such great reception, and this association truly showcases the advent of the content creator community in recent times. We hope our participation in his runway will open up many more avenues for the influencer community of India.”

Aashna Hegde states, “New York Fashion Week is the most iconic event of the fashion world and this feels like a ‘dream come true’ moment for me! I have been an ardent fashion enthusiast and have always wanted to bring to the fore my experimental fashion persona on the global stage. It’s such an honor to represent the Indian fashion community on such a global stage and help leverage the cause of sustainability.”

Kochhar added, “I’m very excited as this is my fourth showing at New York Fashion Week and my first-ever showing at London Fashion Week. In today’s technology-driven era, social media influencers pose as powerful thought leaders in the world of entertainment and fashion. Their equation with the community at large is highly nuanced and hence, just like actors, musicians and sports stars, they too enjoy a massive fan following as role-models. Each of these content creators will promote and propel the cause of ‘vocal for local’ on a world stage for the very first time.”

Her New York Fashion Week collection, Jharokha, highlights the importance of sustainability in fashion. A marriage between traditional handloom fabrics and inimitable Western silhouettes, the showcase boasted of a burst of colors and abstract designs. The collection primarily focused on handmade locally-grown textiles with a low carbon footprint, curated by women weavers from the interiors of the state of Madhya Pradesh.

Colors Of India: 15 Indian American Women Artists Showcase Their Work At Alpharetta Arts Center

Art, Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore said, is the response of man’s creative soul to the call of the Real. Responding to their calling and illuminating various spheres of culture, life and nature, Colors of India came alive as 15 artists of Indian origin, all women, presented their work at a gallery reception on August 6, 2022 at the Alpharetta Arts center. Colors of India is a collaboration between India American Cultural Association (IACA) and the Alpharetta Arts Center. The efforts towards the event were envisioned, initiated, and coordinated by IACA member and Atlanta artist, Malika Ghosh Garrett.

The idea for an exhibition of this kind had been on Garrett’s mind since the 90s. “I had approached the High Museum and in 2005 I was the first Indian artist to have a solo exhibit there. Since then, I have worked diligently to connect with other Indian artists and kept connecting with different organizations and galleries to give us a chance to showcase Indian art and Indian artists,” Garrett said. With few shows in between, Garrett also presented an exhibit in the 2021 Festival of India. “But that was not enough, and I wanted a proper gallery exhibit so I approached the Alpharetta Arts Center and pitched them the idea in 2021- luckily Nancy was excited about the idea but said I would have to wait until 2022 and that’s when she gave me a slot for this show,” she added.

“IACA has been organizing art exhibitions during its annual flagship event, Festival of India since 1997. In 2021 it was named Shades of India. Thanks to the support of Alpharetta Arts Center, we were able to organize the event at the center and for a longer period, instead of Gas South Center, where the annual festival is held for a day, every year,” Chand Akkineni, President IACA said.

The Gallery reception on August 6, 2022 brought together well over 250 art aficionados who showed up to support their favorite artists. The event also featured performance by Atlanta-based singer/songwriter/pianist Anita Aysola who brings jazz, blues and Indian classical influences into her original songs along with some Indian delicacies.

The miscellany of art and the myriad of mediums artists use to express themselves creatively, offered an immersive experience transporting the viewer to India and beyond.

ishnoi Women, Malika Garrett’s work of brightly clad women from the desert region of Rajasthan formed the cover art of the exhibition. “The images on my paintings come mostly from my personal experiences and I try and reveal what I have seen. Joy expresses itself in the form of bold colors. With my art, I celebrate life and experience quiet power, tranquility, and purpose.”

Reflective of her own exploration of differences between cultures and her experiences co existing with them, Neha Patel’s America depicts immigrant journey with an artistic twist alluding towards assimilation and so much more. Her goal, as she puts it, is to “symbolize the intersection of our Indian roots with modern design and technology; to weave the old with the new; to re-invent our belonging as a community.

Sarika Jaswani’s crochet art offered a distinctive perspective of art expression. Jaswani, a doctor by profession, extends her creativity in multiple directions, diverging into poetry and children’s stories with handmade illustrations. A certified crochet instructor from American Craft Council, Jaswani donates books to various underprivileged schools around the world.

Characterized by bold color and texture, Jaya Saxena’s grasp on color harmonies draws immediate attention. Saxena identifies most with abstract expressionism but also dabbles in loose figures, abstract florals, and landscapes. As an artist, she says her goal “is to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts.” She believes that is what art is about – using the tools at our hands to create something that is more than the technique or the mediums we use to create it.

Chaitali Nadkarni’s fascination and inspiration by traditional Indian art, art from the Renaissance and Baroque period are echoed in her use of light, colors, atmosphere, and depth. “I have developed my own style of painting which has evolved over the years. My personal favorite mediums to work with are Watercolors and Soft pastels. I also enjoy working with oils and acrylics. I believe art is a beautiful medium of expression,” her statement reads.

The apple did not fall far from the tree where Aalia Garrett is concerned. Her piece such as the Pieta, mirrors her growing up in a multi-ethnic household. Synthesizing eastern and western identities, her Pieta depicts Virgin Mary mourning the body of Jesus Christ, who is replaced by Lord Ganesh in the picture, an effort towards drawing similarities between sacrificial histories of Ganesh, brought back to life with his elephant head and Jesus’ resurrection. They both she concludes, are divine sons, conceived immaculately to represent divinity of a holy trinity.

Dr. Nisha Gupta, an associate professor of psychology at University of West Georgia, teaches the psychology of creativity, art therapy, and arts-based research as vehicles for personal and collective healing. A self-taught acrylic painter and experimental filmmaker, her delightful pieces of a woman and a man with vibrant backgrounds, absorbed in their own thoughts form perfect intersection of arts and psychology.

Ruma Das mostly works with colored pencils and other mediums like watercolor, pastels and oil. Her Strength of a Woman in colored pencil and watercolors brings alive a very realistic woman radiating her inner intensity.

The In Conversation pieceof Rajita Tippavajhala impeccably captures a woman facing a mirror, reflecting internally and externally as she gets ready to leave for an occasion. Primarily painting in oils, she concentrated on figurative painting and portraits. Since becoming a mother, she sates that she now paints with intention and is interested in telling a story with each painting, stories of strength, courage and vulnerability.

Monika Gupta’s approach to art involves tradition of classical realism. Her portraits of women showcase the strength and beauty of her subjects.

Aditi Chakrabarty sets on a journey to interpret ideas about herself and the world around her. Dabbling with multiple mediums, styles and concepts her artwork offer a unique perspective.

Having grown amidst creativity, Paromita Ghosh, with training from a renowned artist in India, strokes her canvas with enriched strides resonating her in depth knowledge of the matter.

Defining her style as modern Impressionism Sharmila Ghose Roy’s pieces include an assortment of subjects like waterscapes, figures, landscapes, animals and cityscapes, as she strives to capture the movement of light in all her works.

Meenal Patel’s splendid charcoal pieces embrace her subject matter with exquisite finesse, as do her oil paintings. The elephant piece embellished with intricate designs, Patel said took her only a week to complete!

An abstract-impressionist, Rina Data Chakravorty, though mainly a landscape artist, her deep-rooted connection to India has often been the subject of her art. She paints in watercolor, oil, and mixed media.

From ancient Indian artworks to thriving modern art India’s vivid visual tradition is the culmination of a diverse range of cultural influences. Replete with rich heritage, traditions and culture, art has the power to elicit universal emotions transcending boundaries. Exhibits such as these are also a step towards initiating conversations that bind us as people. And it certainly helps that the vivacious artwork in all its vivid glory is a vision to behold. As John Keats famously said, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” Experience it for yourself. The exhibit is open till September 23, 2022 at Alpharetta Arts Center, 238 Canton Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009. (Courtesy: NRI Pulse)

First-Ever South Asian Fashion Week New York Announces Exciting Lineup

A finely-curated mix of 15 headlining, established, and emerging designers will make their runway debuts at the first-ever South Asian New York Fashion Week (SANYFW), taking place at multiple locations around Manhattan from September 8 to 14, during New York Fashion Week.

Conceptualized by fashion entrepreneurs and co-founders Shipra Sharma and Hetal Patel, the six-day fashion extravaganza will include couture, bridal, and pret runway shows, presentations with various brand partners, a marketplace showcasing eclectic jewelry, apparel, and accessories, and a wellness hub to round out the week, according to a press release from Jingo Media.

Headliners include Nomi Ansari and Mayyur Girotra; Established Designers will be Rivesse, JinaShili, Aara by Sana, and Margi; and Emerging Designers listed are What is Moire, Recover Season, Bedi NYC, RKJ Designs, Pali, Kala Mandir, AKS Mathur, Aariah by Sabbineni featuring Avigna Fine Jewels, and Tai by Studio 9696.

First Ever South Asian New York Fashion Week To Spotlight On South Asian Designers

For the first time in New York Fashion Week history, an innovative initiative is being launched to highlight, recognize, and appreciate South Asian fashion designers through a stand-alone platform. From September 8 to 14, 2022, at venues all over Manhattan, South Asian New York Fashion Week (SANYFW) will take over the city’s fashion scene by storm with some of the most noteworthy names in international couture, including Nomi Ansari and Mayyur Girotra.

The event will feature established and upcoming designers, jewelry designers and retailers showcasing their collections. There will also be an interactive partnership with the app Aina(Nisha Saboo), which enables customers to virtually try on clothing.

In a move to spotlight, acknowledge, and appreciate South Asian fashion designers a South Asian New York Fashion Week (SANYFW), is being organised for the first time in New York Fashion Week history.

The event taking place from Sept. 8 to 14, 2022, will give renowned designers like Nomi Ansari, Falguni Shane Peacock, and Mayyur Girotra, a stand-alone platform to display their designs all around Manhat

Established designers include Rivesse (Ishan Sanghvi), Margi Official (Margi Sutaria), and jewelry by ReeMat Designs (Reena Mathur) and Avigna (Deepti Mandhava).

The emerging designers who will be showcasing their collections during SANYFW are What is Moire? (Sezan Khan), Bedi NYC (Alice Narang), RKJ Designs (Renee), Aariah by Sabbineni (Harika & Anusha Sabbineni), Ayla Noor New York, Tai by Studio 9696 (Tupili Andrapathy Sandeep), Recover Season Co. (Reshma Zaman), and Pali (Vinod Muralidhar).

Almost a decade in the making, SANYFW is the brainchild of fashion entrepreneur Shipra Sharma, who after partnering with Hetal Patel, made it her life’s mission to showcase and uplift South Asian fashion inspired by traditional and modern South Asian attire and culture. To watch a video of upcoming highlights, please click HERE.

“Lehenghas turned into co-ord sets. Sarees turned into gowns with drapes. Palazzo pants became wide legged pants. We want to reclaim that narrative and introduce the world to the origins of these silhouettes and designs. At SANYFW, we intend to highlight and share the history of our fashion and culture, while celebrating the fashion pioneers who have been trailblazers for our community universally,” said Founder and CEO Sharma during the SANYFW Summer Kick-Off event.

SANYFW’s official tech partner, Nate – www.nate.tech, is becoming the first solution to bring the hottest looks from the runway directly to the consumer, in real time. Championing initiatives in diversity and inclusion, nate felt it was natural to get involved, using its universal technology to make every show completely shoppable, via nate Lists. Any consumer or creator will be able to scan a QR code directly from the runway and shop any item with a tap, as well as share it seamlessly to social media. With the wide world of social media and viral content creators in the mix, designers’ latest collections are garnering a limitless number of impressions.

Increased visibility and innovative technology to facilitate those sales opens a whole new network of buyers — the luxury, at-home shopper. Further proving their influence, creators are giving a voice to what sells, but also paving the way forward for emerging designers to take claim of their rightful share of wallet.

During the week-long experience, hosted at quintessential NYC venues such as Chelsea Factory, 620 Loft & Garden, Ave India Design Collective, 48 Wall Street, and High Line Nine, influencers, celebrities, icons, and enthusiasts of South Asian design, fashion, and culture will have access to jaw-dropping runway shows categorized by streetwear, sustainability, menswear, traditional, bridal, and Indo-Western styles. The show runner is Ayesha Hakki of Events by Ayesha

SANYFW’s official kick-off party is in partnership with Indo Warehouse, the experiential series under Kahani’s premier label and collective Nonresident, which serves as a space for listeners to feel sound and lose themselves in a world of blended cultures.

“Never before has New York City seen South Asian culture come alive DURING New York Fashion Week the way we plan to showcase it,” said co-founder and COO Patel. “With an expectedly high projected audience and increased participation from leading pioneers of the South Asian fashion industry, SANYFW promises to be the MUST-ATTEND week for fashionistas this fall.”

Events will be ticketed, and the entire schedule of fashion shows, pop-up events, and parties will be on the official website, www.sanyfw.com

Discovering The Next Generation Of Indian Beauty Brands

A first of its kind nonequity grant program,, Beauty&You India, created by The Estee Lauder Companies (ELC) and NYKAA, looks to discover, spotlight, and propel the next generation of Indian beauty brands.

A rare, one-of-a-kind opportunity for founders to create, build and scale in one of the most exciting beauty markets in the world. The programme aims to support India-focused companies and entrepreneurs through a competitive application process. Awards to both pre-launch and in-market premium beauty concepts will be given.

Award recipients will benefit from access to The Estee Lauder Companies and Nykaa relationships and expertise across the beauty ecosystem in order to nurture emerging ideas that amplify Indian voices and address unmet needs in the categories of skincare, makeup, hair care, and fragrance.

Winners will be announced in November 2022 based on applications submitted via no later than September 30, 2022 on https://www.beautyandyouawards.com/ (IANS)

Nomad Fashion Show Mixes Ancient With Modern

On the shore of one of the world’s deepest lakes, high up in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, models strutted and sashayed in outfits mixing the ancient and modern at the World Nomads Fashion festival.

The event, now in its third year, drew designers and fashion-industry figures from about 20 countries to shimmering Lake Issyk-Kul to admire outfits drawing on Kyrgyzstan’s millennia-old nomadic culture.

The stiletto heels worn by some models wouldn’t be suitable for a proper nomad, but some of their elaborate headdresses that seemed to mimic the horns of cattle were takes on traditional nomad costume. Swirling, voluminous skirts featured in many of the outfits, either elaborately patterned or in blocks of vivid color.

“The World Nomad Fashion Festival is the first and only project in Central Asia and some European countries that glorifies the civilization of nomads,” the event’s founder, Nazira Begim, said.

Along with the couture, the show offered visitors the chance to see an array of yurts — the wood-framed tents of skin or felt characteristic of nomads — and brightly colored carpets.

“It was created in 2019. This idea belongs to me. The project is one of my old dreams. When I organized it for the first time, without knowing anyone personally, I invited designers from 17 countries and held it also on the shores of Issyk-Kul lake,” Begim added. Ms Begim is keen to spotlight Kyrgyzstan’s fashion industry. (Associated Press)

Khushi Patel From UK Is Crowned Miss India Worldwide 2022

Khushi Patel, a biomedical student from England was crowned Miss India Worldwide 2022 during a glittering ceremony of the longest-running Indian beauty pageant outside of India, on Sunday, June 25th, 2002 at the Royal Alberts Palace in New Jersey, organized by the India Festival Committee (IFC), which has been running the competition for the past 29 years.

Vaidehi Dongre of Michigan was declared the first runner-up, while the second runner-up title went to Shrutika Mane of Australia. The top 12 competitors at the pageant were the champions of other international competitions.

Patel, a biomedical sciences major with a psychology minor, expressed her happiness at having won the Miss India Worldwide 2022 competition. The model, who also has a clothing company, intends to participate in numerous charity events and support developing nations throughout the course of the upcoming year.

The Miss Teen India Worldwide 2022 title went to Roshani Razack from Guyana, while Navya Paingol, a University of Michigan, Ann Arbor student was the first runner-up. The second runner-up award went to Chiquita Malaha of Suriname. School teacher Swathy Vimalkumar of Connecticut won the Mrs. India Worldwide title.

Patel, who is majoring in biomedical sciences and minoring in psychology, expressed her happiness at winning the Miss India Worldwide 2022 competition. The model also has a clothing company, and “intends to participate in numerous charity events and assist third-world countries over the next twelve months,” as reported by the Press Trust of India. Over the next one year, the model, who also owns a clothing store, plans to do a lot of charity events and help third-world countries.

This year’s pageant was hosted three years after the last one, which was held in September 2019 at the Leela Hotel in Mumbai. “Pandemic has changed the way we think and live,” said IFC chairman Dharmatma Saran.

Dharmatma Saran, chairman and founder of the New York based India Cultural Festival (IFC) that organizes the trail blazing Miss India Worldwide, is a pioneer in entertainment, holding Indian pageants and fashion shows in the USA and worldwide.

In 1990, DharmatmaSaran, decided to take the pageant one step further to an international level and started The First Miss India Worldwide Pageant to identify and honor beauties of Indian origin the world over and the show graduated to become the top most international Indian pageant on the earth. “For the first time ever, Asian-Indian communities from all over the world came together in New York for this event,” says Saran with a sense of pride. “To the best of our knowledge, no other ethnic organi¬zation has ever conducted a pageant of this magnitude on an international level.”

The pageant was an instant success and was acclaimed as “the most glamorous Indian function in the world.”

The annual pageants started in a basement in New York in 1980 with the first ever Miss India New York and Miss India USA, has evolved and expanded, nowincorporating and having membershipfrom over 40 countries, that promote Indian heritage and providing a platform for people of Indian origin to unite and showcase their talents, skills and beauty.

The pageants aim to honor achievement, to celebrate our culture in many ways, among them, the ability to meet people, make friends, to respect and be respected, to continually strive to improve standards, and to live a life as close to the laws of nature.

The IFC selects distinguished local organizations in various parts of the world and authorizes them to conduct national pageants in their respective countries. The India Festival Committee, started in 1974 in a most humble way, has come a long way. While seeking to collaborate with internationally reputed groups, Saran joined hands with the Times of India group’s Femina that runs the beauty pageants in India until 1997.

Most of these women have set their sights on professions like medicine, public relations and the law. The contest gives them a chance to take a detour and explore their Indian identities through colorful Indian attire and dance. Many of them have set their eyes on Bollywood and Hollywood, and participating in the pageants is a stepping stone for many to climb up the ladder in the world of fashion, silver screen, politics and charity.

Saran has become an internationally well-known leader in promoting pageantry around the world. Support came from most unexpected quarters. Noted actress, social worker, feminist and leader, Shabana Azmi, who is known to blast all beauty pageants, endorsed Saran’s show as noble as it helped funds for the deserving children.

The IFC motivates andguides its winners and contestants to take up charitable causes. Many of our past winners have raised substantial amount of money for various charities, especially for handicapped children,” says Saran.

Saran and the pageant are “very proud of the fact that we have been able to provide a common platform for the international Indian community through pageantry. We are equally proud of the fact that we have been able to imbibe Indian values, traditions and culture among the youth of Indian origin around the world. We have also been successful in promoting Indian performing arts in the world.”

Deepika Padukone In A Fusion Saree At Cannes 2022

The red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival is one of the most glamorous in the world of showbiz and Deepika Padukone, who was a jury member this year, had multiple occasions to showcase her sartorial picks. And so for the final leg of her this year’s Cannes festivities at the closing ceremony on Saturday, May 29th the actress made it count and how.

For the closing ceremony, the actress showed up in a ruffled white saree by Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla. She accessorized with an equally stunning pearl necklace. Her kohl rimmed eyes, contoured cheeks finished off the look.

Deepika Padukone, who is serving on the jury of the 75th Cannes Film Festival, said in an exclusive interview to ‘Variety’ that it “gives me goosebumps every single time I walk into the Palais and we leave — it gives me goosebumps because every single person on that seat is there to celebrate cinema”.

Deepika was familiar with the work of some of her fellow jurors, including Asghar Farhadi and Rebecca Hall, but not all. “I wasn’t entirely familiar with all of them, as is the case with all of the jurors,” Deepika told IANS. “I think what all of us did was to actually read up on our fellow jury members and watch some of their work. So, even when you deliberate, you understand where they’re coming from, or what kind of cinema speaks to them.”

The actor sees being on the Cannes jury as a natural progression of her journey, but at the same time being invited came as a surprise to her. “They (the festival management) seem so convinced about why they made that decision. And it makes me sit back and think sometimes maybe I’ve not given myself enough credit,” she said, adding: “If I’ve landed here today, without even realising it, I must be doing something right.”

The actor has just wrapped Siddharth Anand’s “Pathaan”, alongside Shah Rukh Khan and John Abraham, and is working on “Project K” by Nag Ashwin. Next up is the Indian remake of “The Intern”, alongside Amitabh Bachchan, which she is also producing via her KA Productions along with Warner Bros. and Sunir Kheterpal for Athena.

Cannes, meanwhile, is going to become a regular mid-year holiday destination for Deepika and her husband, Bollywood star Ranveer Singh, reports ‘Variety’. Her jury service allows them access to the jury box in future years.

“We just come here for two weeks, nobody needs to know,” Deepika said. “Watch movies, sneak in, sneak out. We’ll be like kids in a candy store.”

Actress Deepika Padukone has worked towards normalizing mental health to enlighten everyone that mental illness is not always critical, but can be the reason our daily lives includes so much stress.

The actress now features in a Yoga Campaign, Yoga Make Space, leveraging an initiative which revolves around mental health and fitness. adidas and Deepika together celebrating what brings different people to the mat, no matter their background, ability, or reason to practice.

The Yoga Make Space collection has been consciously crafted, inspired by the elements of nature and aims to support through every move and practice, with apparel for women and men.

When did you start practicing yoga?

Deepika: I started practising yoga with consistency about two years ago after what felt like a deep inner calling. At around the same time, I was also offered a movie where I was given the role of a yoga instructor. In short, it was an inner calling mixed with the professional requirement that eventually pushed me to look for the right instructor and get going on my yoga journey.

What is the connection between nature and practising yoga?

Deepika: The beauty of yoga, apart from its numerous benefits, is that you can practice it in absolutely any space, in any part of the world. We often talk about being self-reliant. Yoga is one such practice. All you need is your mind and your body.

What are your thoughts on the benefit of practising yoga?

Deepika: I have, over the years, been exposed to many different types of workouts, exercises and practices. However, practising yoga, makes me feel the most centred, balanced and grounded. Feeling alive and connected from within, like I am in control, is something I have never experienced in any other practice, except for in yoga.

What does ‘make space’ means to her?

Deepika: adidas’ Yoga Make Space has not only given me a chance to talk about fitness but it is also giving me a space to discuss mental health which society still feels afraid of. When I hear the term ‘make space’ it reminds me of postures that I hold for a minute. Sometimes more. And when you truly tune in, you feel your body opening up and oxygen running into your bloodstream. That, for me, is making space within my body.

Aishwarya Rai’s Cannes Designer Says, ‘Petal’ Dress Represents Hope, Birth, And Beauty

For her second walk on the red carpet on the second day of the 75th Cannes Film Festival in Paris, Bollywood icon Aishwarya Rai Bachchan chose a shell pink and silver Gaurav Gupta couture gown.

Inspired by the birth of Venus, the goddess of beauty and love, the gown celebrates pure artistic couture and creates an unforgettable fashion moment on the red carpet. Keeping the hair and make up minimal, the Bollywood actress choose to wear her tresses to one side and kept her look natural.

Gaurav Gupta, who designed Aishwarya’s dress, which featured a mermaid-style silhouette and a shell-shaped structure on its back, has now revealed the thought process and the hard work that went into designing the unique dress.

He said that he wanted to create something special for Aishwarya, as Cannes 2022 marked her 20th year at the festival. The designer said that with Aishwarya’s gown, he wanted to share a message of hope, birth, and beauty after the tough times the world has faced in recent years.

Gaurav told PTI, “We wanted something which denotes hope, birth and beauty.

After all the world has gone through in the past few years, we wanted to celebrate life and art.” The designer also noted that the gown was his interpretation of Italian also Sandro Botticelli’s famous painting Birth of Venus, with the shell like structure behind the shoulder symbolising Venus’s rise from the scalloped shell.

He said, “Aishwarya is a complete woman and a beautiful person. As I got to know her through the process, I discovered a wonderful, spiritual person who is really connected to her soul and is elegant. That purity in the absolute sense of beauty inspired me to think of the concept of the Birth of Venus.”

The designer reported that it took 20 days and over 100 craftspeople to create the outfit as they made sure not to disappoint ‘one of the most beautiful women in the world.’ He added that Aishwarya herself was involved in the creative process right from the beginning.

Talking about Aishwarya’s stardom at the festival, Gaurav said, “The frenzy, the love, that Aishwarya receives here, it’s almost madness. People couldn’t stop screaming her name out loud and the fanfare was insane. So just to see that frenzy, it fills you with joy… She is a phenomenon in Cannes. It’s like a real-life film in itself.”

After attending the Cannes Film Festival, Aishwarya returned to Mumbai with her husband Abhishek Bachchan and daughter Aaradhya Bachchan on Saturday night. She will next be seen in Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan.

Recently, musical sensation Cardi B. also choose to wear the Indian designer’s creation in her latest music video and single release.

Falguni Shah, Ricky Kej Win Grammy Awards 2022

Two musicians of Indian origin and one of Pakistani descent were among the winners at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards, given out to musicians during a glittering annual Emmy Awards nite on Sundsay April 3rd , held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the 2022 Grammys.

The internationally acclaimed and watched the world over on live media streams saw a number of first-time winners from the Indian subcontinent. Falguni ‘Falu’ Shah bagged her maiden trophy for the category of ‘Best Children’s Music Album.’ Composer Ricky Kej repeated his 2015 win with the ‘Best New Album’ award. while Pakistani-American artist Arooj Aftab became the first ever female Pakistani to be on the winning list. The Brooklyn-based artist won in the ‘Best Global Music Performance’ category.

The New York-based artist Falguni ‘Falu’ Shah bagged the award for the ‘Best Children’s Music Album’ category for her album, ‘A Colourful World’. Shah has previously worked with A.R. Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire and has received training under the legendary sarangi player and master Ustad Sultan Khan. 

This marks her first victory at the Grammy Awards. The artist’s acceptance speech revealed the inspiration behind the album. In her acceptance speech at the awards, she said, “Who would have thought that having my mother sing an old children’s lullaby from India would get a response from parents in America?”

The performer also posted a picture of herself with her award on Instagram celebrating her win. In the caption alongside, she wrote, “I have no words to describe today’s magic. What an honor to perform for the opening number of the GRAMMY Premier Ceremony, and then take home a statue on behalf of all the incredible people who worked on A Colorful World. We are humbled and thank the Recording Academy for this tremendous recognition. THANK YOU!”

Kej, in collaboration with Stewart Copeland, took home the award for ‘Best New Age Album’ for ‘Divine Tides’. This is Kej’s second win after 2015 while Copeland has a total of six Grammys. “Won the Grammy Award today for our album Divine Tides Filled with gratitude and love this living-legend standing with me – @copelandmusic . My 2nd Grammy and Stewart’s 6th. Thank you to everyone who ever collaborated, hired, or listened to my music. I exist because of you,” he tweeted after winning the award.

Arooj brought home the first Grammy for her song ‘Mohabbat’. The Brooklyn-based singer won in the category of ‘Best Global Music Performance’. Arooj’s work is a confluence of Sufi traditions mixed with folk, jazz and minimalism. She has been receiving global recognition for her work in recent years.

The 2022 Grammys, which kicked off on Sunday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, was hosted by Trevor Noah. At the event, singer Olivia Rodrigo made an impressive Grammy debut, Silk Sonic claimed two major awards and Jon Batiste had the most stunning victory of the night winning the top prize at Grammy Awards.

A R. Rahman was also spotted at the award function. However, much like the Oscars, the ‘In Memoriam’ section missed paying tribute to Indian maestro Lata Mangeshkar. While her name was included in the official website, it did not make it to the mentions at the live event on Sunday night.

Jessica Chastain, Will Smith, Jane Campion Win At 94th Oscars 2022

Jessica Chastain, Will Smith, and Jane Campion are among those who won at the 94th annual Academy Awards 2022 held at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, March 27th. The ceremony, which used to usually be held in February-end or March-beginning, was delayed due to the Covid pandemic.

For the past three years, the Oscars did not have any host. However, this year’s Oscars was hosted by comedians Wanda Sykes and Amy Schumer and actress Regina Hall. Introduced by Venus and Serena Williams, Beyoncé opened the ceremony performing her nominated song “Be Alive” in a lavish production in Compton where the Williams sisters grew up.

The Apple TV+ drama, ‘CODA’ about a deaf family has won the Academy Award for best picture, the first time a streaming service has won Hollywood’s top prize, marking the first time that Hollywood’s top award has gone to a streaming service. Sian Heder’s deaf family drama found a backer in Apple TV+, which scored its first best picture Oscar less than three years after the streaming service was launched.

“Thank you to the Academy for letting our ‘CODA’ make history tonight,” producer Philippe Rousselet said when accepting the best picture honor. Fellow producer Patrick Wachsberger also thanked Oscar voters for “recognizing a movie of love and family.”

Jessica Chastain won the Academy Award for best actress for her role in “The Eyes Of Tammy Faye.” The award was presented by Anthony Hopkins, who was notably absent at last year’s ceremony to collect his best actor Oscar. Jane Campion, won the Oscar for best director for The Power of the Dog.

Chastain’s third nomination is the charm, winning best actress for playing televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” “We’re faced with discriminatory legislation, there is violence and hate crime perpetrated on civilians,” says Chastain, but adds we can find inspiration in Bakker’s mindset and her “radical acts of love.”

Will Smith won his first Academy Award for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father who raised tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, in “King Richard.” He had been nominated twice before, first for “Ali” in 2001 and then for the 2006 movie “The Pursuit of Happyness.” Smith’s win came shortly after a shocking onstage incident, as he slapped presenter Chris Rock over a joke referencing the hairstyle of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

“Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father,” a tearful Smith said in his acceptance speech after the incident with Rock. “Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family. In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling me to do and be in this world. Making the film, I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. I know to do what we do, you’ve got to be able to take abuse, you’ve got to be able to take people talking crazy about you, people disrespecting you, and you got to smile and pretend that’s OK.” He also apologized to “the Academy and all my fellow nominees” for the Rock moment. “This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me. It’s about shining a light. … Love will make you do crazy things.”

Following the Will Smith-Chris Rock punch drama, The Academy Awards issued a statement condemning the act. The statement read, “The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world (sic).”

Dune, starring Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya, led this year’s Oscar tally, picking up six of the 10 awards it was nominated for. Dune walked away with several awards at Oscars 2022 and one of them was for Best Visual Effects (VFX). Dune’s VFX is a London-based visual effects and animations company, DNEG (Double Negative), the CEO of the company is Namit Malhotra, a man of Indian origin. Dune also won the awards for best cinematography, sound, film editing and production design. Hans Zimmer won his second career Oscar for original score for Denis Villeneuve’s film.

Troy Kotsur made history as the first deaf male actor to win an Oscar. He won the best supporting honors for his role in best picture winner “CODA,” a title which stands for “child of deaf adult.” Accepting the award, Kotsur signed: “I just wanted to say this is dedicated to the deaf community, the CODA community and the disabled community. This is our moment.”

Ariana DeBose also made history with her award for best actress in a supporting role, becoming the first Afro-Latina and openly LGBTQ actor to win in the category. In her acceptance speech, she said, “To anybody who has ever questioned your identity, I promise you there is a place for us” — echoing one of the songs from her film, the musical “West Side Story.”

Disney’s “Encanto” picked up the Oscar for the best animated feature film. Hailed for its magical realism and music, the film won over a range of diverse works — including Afghan refugee documentary “Flee,” Pixar’s coming-of-age tale “Luca” set in Italy, the family comedy “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” and Disney’s own “Raya and the Last Dragon.”

Japan’s emotional epic “Drive My Car” won the Oscar for the best international feature film. Directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, the film became the fifth from Japan to win the Oscar, the last being “Departures” in 2008. Other nominees included Italy’s “The Hand of God,” Denmark’s “Flee,” Bhutan’s “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” and Norway’s “The Worst Person in the World.”

The ceremony held a minute of silence for Ukraine. Among those showing gestures of support for Ukraine were Oscar-winning actress Youn Yuh-jung, nominated songwriter Diane Warren, composer Nicholas Britell and the actress Jamie Lee Curtis. They wore blue ribbons that read #WithRefugees to show support for those who have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded a month ago.

Led by Ukrainian-born actress Mila Kunis, the Oscars stood in solidarity with those under Russian attack in Ukraine. “We’d like to have a moment of silence to show our support for the people of Ukraine currently facing invasion, conflict and prejudice within their own borders,” read a card presented onscreen.

Shree Saini Crowned First Runner-Up At Miss World Pageant

Shree Saini, a former Miss India USA and Miss India Worldwide, has been crowned as the first runner-up at 70th edition of the Miss World 2021 pageant held in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the Coca-Cola Music Hall, on Wednesday, March 16th, 2022. The 26-year-old Ludhiana-born Indian American represented the United States at the beauty pageant.

Karolina Bielawska of Poland was crowned Miss World 2021, which was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Karolina is currently pursuing her Master’s in Management and hopes to get a PhD too, according to the Miss World organization.

Introducing the winners, Miss World organization tweeted: “Our newly crowned Miss World Karolina Bielawska from Poland with 1st Runner Up Shree Saini from US 2nd Runner up Olivia Yace from Côte d’Ivoire.”

Toni-Ann Singh, Miss World 2020, also graced the event by performing a special number ‘The Prayer’ to show her support for Ukraine in the midst of its conflict with Russia. “Our current Miss World Toni-Ann Singh performs ‘The Prayer’ as we light candles around the world to stand with Ukraine. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house #mwcandlesforukraine.” tweeted from Miss World’s handle.

Beautiful, compassionate, talented, ambitious, gentle, humble, determined and dedicated to achieving the lofty goals in life, she has set before herself at a very young age, Shree Saini is a woman with a golden heart.

Shree Saini is from Punjab’s Ludhiana, but moved to Washington, DC with her family when she was five. Shree grew up in Moses Lake in Washington state, has been living with a pacemaker since the age of 12. With a heartbeat rate of 20 per minute, doctors ruled her out for her first love — ballet. But, literally dancing against all odds, Saini became a trained ballerina and has been accepted as a trainee by the prestigious Joffrey Ballet, based out of Chicago.

The story of Shree is one of resilience over adversities that would daunt even the sturdiest individuals. In October 2019, Saini collapsed right before the final night of the Miss World America competition, where she eventually got to wear the crown, which she accepted from Miss World 1997 Diana Hayden.

Taking to Instagram that evening, Saini’s mother, Ekta Saini, said that doctors had kept her daughter on “cardiac arrest watch” because just 1 per cent of individuals around the world get a pacemaker implant. Undeterred by the episode, Saini went on to be crowned Miss World America 2020.

Before she left for Miss World earlier this month, Saini shared a “global message of hope and resilience” in which spoke about how she survived a “major rollover car accident that left my face with bleeding wounds” while she was still in university.

Recalling that horrific episode, Saini wrote: “I no longer had my face. I couldn’t even recognise myself. I couldn’t even cry because my tears would burn as they would pass down my wounds. It was the most excruciating pain I had ever endured.”

The Instagram post, which went viral after Saini became the first runner-up at Miss World 2021, concluded with her urging her social media followers “to keep being solution-oriented … to never lose sight of hope … to have a possibility mindset … and to apply solutions to everyday difficulties”.

Shree was crowned Miss World America 2021 in Los Angeles, CA on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021. Diana Hayden crowned Shree Saini, who is also the first Indian-origin contestant to represent America on a global stage. “I am happy and quite nervous. I can’t express my feelings (in words). All the credit goes to my parents, especially my mother because of whose support I am here. Thank you Miss World America for this honor,” Shree Saini said in her statement, after the crowning moment. Saini wrote on her Instagram, “I am the first American of Indian origin and first Asian to be crowned Miss World America.”

An advocate for heart health, Saini has had a permanent pacemaker since she was 12 and overcame a major car accident which left her with burns all over her face. But she rarely if ever lets any of that hold her back or define her.

Shree Saini, who has been recognized by several organizations and states and world renowned persons for her work and is aspiring to be an actor, told this writer during a recent interview “I am now “Miss World America Washington,” which is preliminary to Miss World America and Miss World! Miss World Titles have been won by Aishwarya Rai and Priyanka Chopra. It’s the largest and the most philanthropic pageant, having raised 1.3 billion dollars for charities around the world. And I want to promote the many charitable initiatives this noble organization does all around the world.”

The official Instagram handle of Miss World America shared the news with a caption that read as, “Shree, who is currently Miss World America Washington, also holds the prestigious position of “MWA National Beauty with a Purpose Ambassador,” a position she earned by working tirelessly to help those less fortunate and in need. Among her many accomplishments, her work has been recognized by UNICEF, Doctors without Borders, Susan G Komen, and many others. We are certain Shree will continue to immaculately embody Beauty With A Purpose, and no doubt will be successful in raising awareness and attention to the Miss World America mission. Stay tuned and follow the Miss World America 2021 journey!”

Shree Saini has also been crowned Miss India Worldwide 2018 at a pageant held in the Fords City of New Jersey. “My dance journey began when I was only 3 years old, but a substantial part of my dance journey was filled with both physical and emotional hardships. When I was 12, I was diagnosed with a complete heart block. I had to get a pacemaker surgery. The average age of a pacemaker recipient is age 80. Cardiologists told me I could never dance again,” Shree had noted on her social media.

Instead of giving up, Shree Saini went back to dance class with her left arm tied up in a cast and practiced up to 6 hours a day in order to regain her strength. Saini noted on media that even though “dance is a very competitive, cut-throat, high stakes sport”, she wants to “encourage teachers, students, parents to always be uplifting, emphatic, especially when it’s difficult. Real Love takes courage.”

Saini, who has studied at Harvard, has been trained in acting at the Yale actors conservatory. The Punjab native, who moved to Washington State when she was seven, experienced hardships while in high school, where she was bullied. For years, she said, she felt like an outcast at school for being a person of color. Shree has created an app on emotional heath at Stanford University. She has given hundreds of presentations in over 80 cities and six countries and written about 400 articles in newspapers on emotional fitness, via her non-profit shareesaini.org.

Shree says, “The best award is knowing that YOU made a POSITIVE difference in someone else’s life. A girl recently approached me after a talk and started crying. She mentioned that she had followed my journey for a while and felt encouraged to pursue her dreams, despite obstacles. I gave her a big HUG and started to tear up as well. WOW. Your positive words and actions do make a positive difference. Keep being EXTRA LOVING AND ENCOURAGING.

Being uprooted from one’s culture and dear ones was undoubtedly a major challenge. She had to experience hardships while in high school, where she was bullied. Young Shree fought bravely a heart ailment which required her to use a pacemaker. Shree, who had a pacemaker implanted at the age of 12 and was told that she would never be able to dance, is an inspiration for all. “I practice dance almost every day for several hours,” Shree says, pointing to the pacemaker she carries with her all the time.

After doctors diagnosed her with a congenital heart defect at the age of 12, Saini recalls how she struggled to adapt to the life-changing situation of needing a pacemaker while still in middle school, especially when other students did not treat her kindly as a result. “I truly believe your legacy is defined by how you make others feel and the positive difference you make in your lifetime,” said Shree, who started her non-profit organization, when she was 15. Shree said it was her dream to compete for a world title, which was started when she was in the elementary school.

“I have been the target of brutal emotional bullying. I was ridiculed in the most subtle ways, which is why I so often talk about ‘nonverbal’ bullying. For example, there were many instances where I was left out of events or edited out of pictures, and daily ‘whispered about’ by others. As a result of this treatment, there were many times when I would cry in my school’s restrooms or come home in tears after dance class… yet I persevered.

“My family helped me endure,” she explains. “My mom said, ‘the way people treat you has nothing to do with you, but has everything to do with them.’ She empowered me to step up and be even more compassionate towards those who hurt me, and to never give up on my true belief in always being kind.”

In order to reprogram her brain towards more positive thoughts and reach an understanding of how she could find inner peace in spite of all the negativity, she read extensively. “I read books and essays on achieving a more powerful mindset, responding to acts of hate with compassion, and the true value of emotional fitness and what can be done to address the lack of education around it. From what I have learned, I have formed my personal mantra: ‘Giving powerful responses to life’s struggles while being a positive contributor to every situation.’”

After dealing with her own personal experiences, Saini penciled her thoughts in a journal, which she said helped change her from a victim to an empowered young woman. The journals in her diary turned to newspaper clippings in local papers in Washington. “In a society mainly obsessed with physical fitness, emotional problems are dismissed,” noted the young activist. “Emotional well-being is necessary to have a healthy body and mind,” she says.

These experiences did not deter young Shree from pursuing her life’s mission.  “My journey went from a silent sufferer to a bitter person and finally an enabled victor,” she says. “If anything, the physical challenges and social pressures fueled her – all the way to the Joffrey Ballet and beyond, including winning the title of Miss India USA.”

Shree gives credit to her parents, Sanjay and Ekta Saini, who have not only supported her dreams, but have gone beyond to help her succeed at every step of the way. Pointing to her mother, Ekta, Shree says, “My mother is my role model, who has been with me, supported me and have encouraged me to work hard and realize my dreams.”

Regarding her future goals and ambitions, Shree is candid about her choices. If good offers come her way, Shree is open to acting in movies, whether it be in Bollywood or Hollywood. Another effective way to showcase her talents and still more importantly, another way to champion and spread her message for a better, just and peaceful world. “Meanwhile, I want to continue working on my nonprofit and become an ambassador of emotional health by continuing to visit as many places as possible, spreading my positive message of hope,” Saini says.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im7eb8b68Ek

International Indian Icon (3iii), A Global Platform For Indian Talent Across The Globe

The Grand Finale of 3iii (Three Eye) 2021 International Indian Icon (3iii) Season-V resulted in successful completion of 1st Phase of 5 seasons. The awards ceremony of the Grand Finale was hosted by Sharan Walia, CEO of Gee Vision Inc.

All judges and participants, including legendary music director and Grandmaster Jatin Pandit (DDLJ, KKG, KKHH, Fanah etc.), lyricist and music director Arko Mukherjee, Slumdog Millionaire Jai Ho Choreographer Longinus Fernandes and Ms. India 2013, International celebrity anchor and 3iii Fashion Ambassador Simran Ahuja were present here, along with 148 participants along with their families from all over the world approximately 24 countries.

Winners were picked after 3 days of rigorous semi-final and finale competitions (28th to 30th December 2021) 1st and 2nd runner-ups, along with judges’ choices in different categories for Juniors and Seniors were also declared here. The winners are as follows:

         Abnash Kaur from San Francisco, California USA was declared 5th INTERNATIONAL INDIAN ICON of 3iii 2021 Season-V in singing Senior category.

         Uttara Vaidya from Miami, Florida USA got the title for Dancing senior and tied with Ankur Sharma for Fashion Senior

         Hasini Namala grabbed the Fashion Junior title

         Mrunal Behere-Langote from India got the title in IGT (Whistling) Senior Shrusti Gubbi became the International               Indian Icon in Junior category for singing

         For dancing, there was a tie between groups The Dynamites and Season-II winner Mirava Vekaria

         Ryana Rajesh won the title in IGT category for Instruments.

3iii Multiple episodes are planned to be aired globally on some National/International TV Channel, OTT Platform and/or Streaming Platform (TBD) globally in 2nd quarter of 2022.

Other participants who were recognized as 1st & 2nd Runner-ups, along with judges’ choices in different talent categories under Junior and Senior age categories are:

         Singing: Sunidhi Chiplunkar, Sanika Pandey, Tulip Ghosh, Mahimn Dave, Aupsara Banik, Akshitha jagadeesan, Sohana Mansur, Chirag Chaya, Pranav Shil, Sushmit Das Rahul, Prabodh Chiplunkar

         Dance: Arnav Amit, Mannat Bhagel (India), Rahul Kathak (India), Nayan Nampally, Aruna Ramamurthy, Sanika Lingayat & Ghazal Seth,

         Fashion: Vama Shah, Arnav Amit Mehta, Nayan Nampally, Kashish Joshi (India), Pranjali Sharma & Yatin Kumar (London, UK) , Elena Y Elsoukov, Lori Neena

        Instruments, Acing & IGT: Skipper Crew (IGT, India), Hasini Namala (Instruments, USA), Karthikk Voruganti (Instruments, India), Kaira Gard (Acting, India), Surjit Singh (Instruments, India), Mamta Garg (Poetry, USA), Deepak Krishan Kant (Acting, India)

During 3iii 2021 Season-V, 6951 participants from 24 courtiers of 7 continents registered for on-line audition (Video up-load), online live audition (Zoom) and on-site audition in all 7 talent categories under two age groups of junior and senior.

In India, Gee Vision Inc., with the help of India Partners Ajit Bains & Arun Thakran (Cosmic Energy), Deepak Walia (AGE Group) planned multiple auditions in multiple cities. In Delhi, 3iii audition was held on 12th Nov, Semi-final on 13th Nov and 3iii Indian Icon 2021 finale (Semi-final of 3iii 2021 Season-V) and Awards ceremony on 14th Nov 2021 in Godavari Auditorium (Andhara Association) , 24-25 Lodhi Institutional Area, Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 10003.

Gee Vision Inc’s Vision and Mission of building 3iii is to give opportunities to Indian talent of all age groups across the globe to perform and showcase their talent at International level in all types of talent categories, including Singing, Dancing, Instruments, Acting, Fashion, Comedy & I Got Talent (Any Talent) in all three participation categories of Solo, Duet & Group without any restrictions. The aim is to keep the talent close to Indian Art & Culture and make them proud of Indian Art & Culture

3iii is a unique 5 level on-line, on-line LIVE & on-site platform with no restrictions where any talent of any age group of any culture, any gender, any region, any religion and any color can showcase his/her talent and can compete at City, State, Country level to win title of State Indian Icon (California Indian Icon, Delhi Indian Icon) and Country Indian Icon (Indian American Icon, Indian Icon) in their respective category and age group and proceeds to win prestigious title of International Indian Icon (3iii) in their respective category.

Any Indian talent can sing in any language, can perform in any dance format, can play any instrument, can showcase any Indian or non-Indian talent. Only restrictions for Non- Indian participants are to sing on one of Indian languages, perform in one of Indian Dance format, play any Indian instrument, wear Indian dresses and jewelry for Fashion or show any Indian art and culture.

After huge success of 1st four seasons of 3iii International Indian Icon with 1000s of participants from 24+ countries of 7 continents and with multiple Bollywood legendary celebrity judges like Bappi Lahiri, Jatin Pandit, Meenakshi Seshadri, and others, Gee Vision India Pvt. Ltd.  launched 3iii 2021 Season-V in 7th continent Asia and hosted semi-final 3iii Indian Icon 2021 (Semi-final of 3iii 2021 Season-V) in Delhi NCR, India on Nov. 12th to 14th 2021 and Grand-finale International Indian Icon – 3iii 2021 Season-V in Chicago, USA. To give Indian talent international exposure and experience, starting from 3iii 2022 Season-VI, Gee is planning 3iii Episode Production & Grand-finale in different countries.

Sharan Walia, CEO. Gee Vision Inc. / Gee Vision Pvt. Ltd., with the help of partners, is in the process of requesting Indian Govt. to recognize 3iii International Indian Icon as Indian Art & Cultural Program and seeking support from Indian business community and Global Indian community to help 3iii in reaching each and every Indian on this earth to give opportunity to deserving Indian talent.

World-wide 3iii Season-6 audition registration on-line (Video Upload), on-line Live (through Zoom) and on-site will open on Apr 1st, 2022 on 3iii websites and 3iii Apps (iOS & Android). State level competition (Level-3, State Indian Icon) will be completed by end of July 2022 while Country level competitions (Level-4, Country Indian Icon) are planned to finish by end of Sep 2022 so that participants can get sufficient time to get visa to come to USA for 3iii S-6-episode production & Grand-finale in USA.

India’s Harnaaz Sandhu Is Crowned Miss Universe 2021

Harnaaz Sandhu of India was crowned the 70th Miss Universe 2021 on Sunday, December 12th topping a field of some 80 contestants in a pageant that was touched by politics and the pandemic. The previously reigning Miss Universe, Andrea Meza of Mexico, crowned her successor, a Bollywood actress, in the Israeli Red Sea resort town of Eilat.

Harnaaz Sandhu, the Punjabi film actress and an alumna of Chandigarh’s Post Graduate Government College, Sector 11, won the coveted crown 21 years after Lara Dutta won the title in 2000. The 21-year old is described on the Miss Universe website as “a strong advocate for women’s empowerment, particularly their constitutional rights to education, careers, and their freedom of choice.”

In a glittery show held in Eilat overnight for a live prime time broadcast in the US, Miss India took a jaunt around the stage as directed by host Steve Harvey after he announced she had won the Miss Universe 2021 competition.

Sandhu was surrounded by 79 other pageant participants who stood in the background as gold confetti rained down and the crowd cheered while last year’s winner put a crown on her head.

Hailing from Punjab, India, Sandhu beat out Nadia Ferreira also known as Miss Paraguay who placed as runner up, and third choice winner Lalela Mswane, also known as Miss South Africa. Miss India is a model, recently having acted in two Punjabi films, studied information technology and is now working on a master’s degree.

Judges on the panel included some heavy hitters like Lori Harvey, Steve Harvey’s model-actress daughter who owns her own skincare line; Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere of France; actresses Rena Sofer, Urvashi Rautela, Marian Rivera, Adamari López; and supermodel Adriana Lima.

Contestants participated in a series of competitions including swimsuit, evening-wear and rounds of questions. The queens held their composure on stage following three weeks of 3 a.m. wake-ups, late nights and touring the country.

The final question – “What advice would you give to young women watching on how to deal with the pressures they face today?” – was asked to each of the last three women standing. While one contestant was answering, the other two wore soundproof earphones so as not to be affected by their competitors’ answers.

Sandhu replied by saying women need to believe in themselves and speak out in order to rise above the pressures of today’s world.

Israel’s international pop sensation Noa Kirel opened the night with a full dance routine equipped with a backup crew wearing sparkly dresses. The American pop star JoJo performed various numbers throughout the night as women paraded around the stage in evening gowns behind her.

Miss India told the media after the pageant ended that her favorite part of touring Israel was getting into the water and swimming with dolphins at Dolphin Reef in Eilat.

“There are a lot [of memories] and that was one of my favorites. Israel is a beautiful country and the people are so warm, and that’s what I love about Israel,” Sandhu said.

Days before she was crowned Miss Universe, Harnaaz Sandhu, 21, wrote on Instagram the words, “India, this one’s for you.” The days of waiting anxiously, working hard to perfect the deliveries to be made, the walk, the talk, learning to expect the unexpected, all part of this 70th pageant, are over.

On her Instagram site, Sandhu wrote, “It’s been 74 days since the day I was chosen to represent India at Miss Universe 2021. It’s been a ride full of love, fun and immense hard work,” Sandhu. “As I set to walk out on that stage today as ‘India’, I carry with me your prayers & love. Thank you to my family for standing by me, today & always. Thank you to all my panelists & designers who have put together so beautifully this woman who now stands in front of you. Thank you everyone. It would not have been possible without you,” she added, ending with the unforgettable words, “India, this one’s for you.”

Professionally, Sandhu is an actor with two Punjabi LMS (Local Movie Showtimes) slated for release in 2022 and hopes to essay characters in LMS that break stereotypes that the world has of women, the bio says.

Growing up under the wings of a mother who is a physician, specializing in gynecology, Sandhu, appears to have been inspired by her mother’s example, as a woman “who broke generations of patriarchy to become a successful gynecologist and led her family.”

Sandhu grew up working with her mother at health camps addressing women’s health and menstrual hygiene, “at the same time deeply conscious of the privilege her mother’s struggles have gifted her.”

She also draws inspiration from Bollywood-Hollywood actor Priyanka Chopra, who is her favorite actor. In her spare time, Sandhu enjoys the company of friends, loves yoga, dancing, cooking, horse riding, and playing chess. She loves swimming. She believes in the saying – “Great things happen to those who don’t stop believing, trying, learning, and being grateful.”

She also stated that she was looking forward to strengthening relations between Israel and India and was super excited about the challenge. She said, “I have to bring back the crown home.” The Bollywood aspirant has kept her word and made India proud. Sandhu said, “One must keep growing through life as we all learn something every day. To believe in yourself is the key to success. I represented myself as the best version of myself.”

Sandhu believes that pageants are a platform where women come forward to celebrate sisterhood and womanhood and people across the world celebrate their beauty queens and their successes with great pride. “According to me, it’s all about being true to the self and people around you will definitely look at that spark in you,” she stated.

The 21-year-old’s winning response to a question on climate change — “This is the time to take action and talk less. … Prevent and protect is better than repair and repent” — helped her clinch the coveted title.

Sandhu’s final statement at the pageant was about the pressures that young people face across societies today. She said: “The biggest pressure the youth of today is facing is to believe in themselves, to know that you are unique and that’s what makes you beautiful. Stop comparing yourselves with others and let’s talk about more important things that’s happening worldwide.
“This is what you need to understand. Come out, speak for yourselves because you are the leader of your life, you are the voice of your own. I believed in myself and that’s why I am standing here today.”

Raghavendra Rathore, First Designer To Use NFTS For A Cause

Few people are aware that Raghavendra Rathore studied robotics and created electrical circuits with sensors that mirrored human behaviour. A decade later, he and his colleagues created one of India’s first apps, iCarbon, a smart carbon footprint calculator with links to lessen an individual’s carbon footprint by recommending tree planting. He’s always been at the crossroads of art and technology, including an art (electronic) installation in the early 1990s with recognised names like CK, Cristo, and other eminent art and creative giants to raise money for AMFAR.

Rathore turns his own art into NFTs using exclusive blockchain technology, resulting in art that is genuinely priceless and everlasting. He has also made meticulously designed paintings NFT inspired by the Raghavendra Rathore, Jodhpur, which will be available for purchase. In collaboration with FDCI x Lakme Fashion Week, this series is being released as part of a limited edition NFT on the WazirX NFT marketplace.

“Designers, globally and in India, have started to realise how NFTs can be used to engage with the greater community,” said Vishakha Singh, Co-Founder & VP, WazirX NFT marketplace. The fact that the money will be donated to a worthy cause makes this drop even more precious. Our goal with each release is to add as many use cases as feasible. For producers and collectors, India is a promising NFT market, and this relationship will benefit both parties. We’re excited to have these NFTs available on our platform.”

These NFTs are being generated for the first time ever to promote awareness for the Raghavendra Rathore Foundation (RRF), a certified non-governmental organisation. RRF will get a share of the sale earnings to assist strengthen communities through mentorship programmes, cultural experiences and scholarship possibilities. This is the first time an Indian designer has reinvented the fundraising experience by moving to a digital-first strategy.

The Gurukul School of Design students are honoured and motivated by the NFT. A series where one can acquire unique digital artworks and digital treasures such as apparel, original forms of art, unique experiences, and unique moments in time; now captured, exchanged, and treasured, to build more permanent links. “The relevance of blockchain is something we all need to be aware of, as it will become an integral part of our lives in the not-too-distant future.”

“We must create products and services that are built on this ground-breaking technology.” Raghavendra Rathore is a Bollywood actor. All collectors will receive verification of ownership and authenticity of their purchase.

Leena Nair Named CEO Of French Luxury Group Chanel

Leena Nair (52), who was named the new global CEO of French fashion house Chanel on Tuesday, said that she is humbled and honored to be appointed the global Chief Executive Officer of Chanel, which is an iconic and admired company.

In a rare move for the tightly-controlled fashion house, picking the consumer goods veteran to run one of the world’s biggest luxury groups sends a positive and inclusive message, setting the pace in an industry reeling under pressure to show a more inclusive and accepting approach.

“I am so inspired by what Chanel stands for. It is a company that believes in the freedom of creation, in cultivating human potential and in acting to have a positive impact in the world,” Nair tweeted.

The Indian born British national has been given the charge of ensuring Chanel’s “long term success as a private company”, it said in a statement, recognising Nair as a “visionary leader whose ability to champion a long-term, purpose-driven agenda is matched with a consistently strong record of business outcomes”.

Renowned for its women’s pantsuits, tweeds and famous handbags, Chanel was founded in 1910 by the legendary Gabrielle Chanel, fondly called “Coco” Chanel. What started out as a hat boutique in Paris became synonymous with French chic and Parisienne style.

From 2016 to date, Alain Wertheimer, who owns Chanel with his brother Gerard Wertheimer, temporarily took on the CEO’s job till a suitable candidate was found. The 73-year-old French billionaire will take on the role of global Executive Chairman.

Nair’s 30-year-long career at Unilever comes to an end with her as the chief of human resources and a member of the company’s executive committee. Unilever’s CEO, Alan Jope, thanked her for her “outstanding contribution”, adding that she “has been a pioneer through her career… a driving force on our (Uniliver’s) equity, diversity and inclusion agenda… she has played a critical role in building our purpose-led, future-fit organisation.” Nair will now be based out of London and will join the luxury house at the end of January. (IANS)

Tamil Superstar Kamal Haasan Launches A New Fashion Line, His Favorite Khadi

Mohandas Gandhi, the original proponent of the fabric, once said, Khadi is not fashion it is a value. Tamil movie superstar Kamal Haasan, who is also someone with an unbridled passion for all things Gandhi, would seem to disagree in nuance because he believes precisely Khadi is a value it also ought to be fashion.

As the 66-year-old actor, now in his 62nd year as an artist, prepares to launch his own Khadi-based fashion line called House of Khaddar, he thinks it is more than time for this versatile all-weather fabric to be projected around the world through his fashion line and with it carry the story of Gandhi’s values.

The artist whose name means a smiling lotus, as in Kamal for lotus and Haasan for smile, plans to launch ‘House of Khaddar’ out of Chicago soon. He is also launching a fragrance along with it.

“I was born under Khadi, literally on Khadi in the sense that my father held me in his lap for the first time and he never wore anything but Khadi till he died. He was a great Gandhi admirer,” Haasan said in an interview as part of the upcoming launch.

Saying that “the idea of khadi was always with me” Haasan said his commitment to Gandhi and his values came from his father.

Asked whether he was trying to bring about an awareness among the younger generation how intrinsic Khadi was to India’s freedom movement before 1947, Haasan said, “My intention is to say that we made history, now we will do business. That is what Britain was doing with calico, with our cotton or Egyptian cotton. Cotton has a great history of so many unjust and just things that happened. There were slaves created because of cotton. I was born to a history where freedom was created because of cotton. The civil disobedience movement also had the Khadi thread running through the weave. Gandhi is the biggest weaver I have known in my life.”

It was a measure of Haasan’s devotion to Gandhi that he even said, “All my metaphors I learned from Mr. Gandhi and my father. Our tagline is ‘Fashion is being civil yet disobedient’.” Asked who wrote that tagline, he said “I did. I am an understudy of Mr. Gandhi.” He added that he wished he had Gandhi to write all his copy because he regarded him as the greatest Indian writer.

On why global fashion labels never chose Khadi as a fabric despite its obvious versatility, Haasan said he was thankful that they did not since it left the field open for him to explore.

Gandhi first introduced the idea of Khadi in 1918 as a way to help the impoverished Indians by giving them a means to earn a livelihood. Writing about Gandhi and Khadi for mkgandhi.org, Divya Joshi says in her introduction, “But one finds a change in his emphasis from 1934, more especially from 1935, when he began on insisting on khadi for the villager’s own use, rather than merely for sale to others. His imprisonment in 1942 and 1943 gave him time to ponder further over his khadi movement, and when he came out of jail he came with a determination to give a new turn to khadi work in order to make khadi serve the needs of villagers themselves first and foremost. He poured out his soul to his fellow-workers in 1944, and urged them to effect the change.”

It is a measure of Gandhi’s steadfast commitment to the handwoven fabric that he wrote in the Navjivan newspaper on April 5, 1922, “Like swaraj, khadi is our birth-right, and it is our life-long duty to use that only. Anyone who does not fulfil that duty is totally ignorant of what swaraj is.”

In the same newspaper, he wrote on December 12, 1922, “We cannot claim to have understood the meaning of swaraj till khadi becomes as universal as currency.”

In an interview published in Navjivan on March 19, 1922, Gandhi said something even more remarkable about Khadi: “I have only one message to give and that concerns khadi. Place khadi in my hands and I shall place swaraj in yours. The uplift of the Antyajas is also covered by khadi and even Hindu- Muslim unity will live through it. It is also a great instrument of peace. This does not mean that I do not favour boycott of Councils and law-courts, but in order that people may not have a grievance against those who go to them, I desire that the people should carry on work concerning khadi even with the help of lawyers and members of legislatures. Keep the Moderates highly pleased, cultivate love and friendship for them. Once they become fearless, that very moment they will become one with us. The same holds good also for Englishmen.”

Gandhi’s emphasis on Khadi was also a part of his broader political doctrine. “Ever since the commencement of our present struggle, we have been feeling the necessity of boycotting foreign cloth. I venture to suggest that, when khaddar comes universally in use, the boycott of foreign cloth will automatically follow. Speaking for myself, charkha and khaddar have a special religious significance to me because they are a symbol of kinship between the members of both the communities and the hunger- and disease- stricken poor. It is by virtue of the fact that our movement can today be described as moral and economic as well as political,” he said in a letter he wrote from the Sabarmati jail on December 12, 1922 to a certain Abdul Bari.

Kamal Haasan’s launch of ‘House of Khaddar’ almost a century after those pronouncements may be fortuitous but given his superstardom, there are expectations that Khadi just might cross from being a coarse and lowly fabric to the level couture.

Rajinikanth, Dhanush, Kangana Ranaut, Manoj Bajpayee Honored At 67th National Film Awards

Superstar Rajinikanth received a standing ovation by the audience while he was conferred with Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest film honor, by Vice President of India, Shri Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi on October 25, 2021. The veteran star was felicitated with a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) medallion, a shawl, and a cash prize.

Actors Manoj Bajpayee and Dhanush were conferred with the Best Actor Award for their films ‘Bhonsle’ and ‘Asuran’ respectively at the 67th National Film Awards, which took place on Monday. Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut received her fourth National Film Award, as she was awarded the Best Actress Award for her performances in ‘Manikarnika: Queen of Jhansi’ and ‘Panga’.

While accepting the award, Rajinikanth took a stroll down memory lane to thank one of his old friends, who saw acting talent in him and encouraged him to try his luck in films. “I am extremely happy to receive this prestigious award. My heartfelt thanks to the central government for honouring me with the Dadasaheb Phalke award. I would like to dedicate this award to my guru K Balachander. Today, I remember him with great gratitude. I also want to thank my friend who saw this talent in me and suggested me to do acting while I was working as a bus conductor,” he recalled.

Rajinikanth also dedicated his win to all the producers, directors, members of the film industry and fans. “Thanks to everyone for their support… press, media, directors, distributors, producers and fans… my heartfelt thanks to everyone. Also, a special thanks to Tamil people… without them I am nobody,” he expressed his gratitude.

Rajinikanth attended the presentation ceremony along with his wife Latha, daughter Aishwarya, and son-in-law Dhanush. Born as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad on December 12, 1950, to Ramoji Rao and Jijabai, Rajinikanth worked as a bus conductor before embarking on his film journey about 45 years ago.

He recalled his days of struggle. “When I was the bus conductor, he identified the acting talent in me and encouraged me to join the cinema. All my producers, directors, co-artistes, technicians, distributors, exhibitors and the media, press and all my fans. Tamil people – without them I am no body. Jai Hind!”

For the special occasion, Kangana chose to wear a traditional silk saree. “All set to receive the highest honor for an artist in the country today …. National Award,” she captioned the post. Earlier, she had won Best Supporting Actress for her role in ‘Fashion’ and Best Actress Awards for ‘Queen’ and ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’. After receiving the prestigious award, Kangana took to the photo-sharing application to thank her parents for being her support system.

“We all grow up with a deep desire to be worthy of our parents love, care and sacrifices…After all the troubles I give my mummy papa such days seem to make up for all those mischiefs ..Thank you for being my mummy papa I wouldn’t want it any other way,” she wrote.

Manoj, who has previously won the National Film Award twice, Best Supporting Actor in ‘Satya’, and Special Jury Award for his feature film ‘Pinjar’, was felicitated at the in-person ceremony for his performance in the Devashish Makhija directorial ‘Bhonsle’. The movie saw the ‘Family Man’ star portraying the titular character who is a retired policeman and is living a non-interfering life in a colony dominated by locals, diagnosed with stage 4 brain tumour.

Manoj, who was dressed in a black shirt and trousers for the award ceremony, spoke about receiving the award and said, “The National Award for ‘Bhonsle’ means a lot because this was a film which we wanted to make but we were not getting money from anyone to make it, it took us four years to make this film, so definitely it means the world to all of us. It’s kind of a poetic justice that has happened to ‘Bhonsle’ and I share this award with the director and the entire team.”

Dhanush received the Best Actor Award for his role in ‘Asuran’, which also won the Best Tamil Film award. It’s a period action drama film written and directed by Vetrimaaran, based on Poomani’s novel ‘Vekkai’. The film’s plot was influenced by the real-life Kilvenmani massacre that occurred in 1968. At the ceremony, Dhanush was joined by Aishwarya R Dhanush, his wife and superstar Rajinikanth’s daughter.

One of the country’s most eminent awards in entertainment, the 67th version of the National Film Awards, which were handed out to the awardees by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, was initially going to be held in May last year but had to be delayed due to the COVID pandemic.

“Chhicchore” director Nitesh Tiwari and producer Sajid Nadiadwala dedicated the Best Film Award to late Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput, who passed away in 2020. Vijay Sethupathy was awarded the Best Supporting Actor for his performance in “Super Deluxe.”

The Malayalam film, “Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham” (Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea), received the National Film Award for Best Feature Film. The film has been written and directed by Priyadarshan, and stars Mohanlal. The actor was also present at the awards show. “The Tashkent Files” won two awards – Best Supporting Actress, which went to Pallavi Joshi and for Best Dialogue Writer.

Shree Saini Is Crowned Miss World America 2021

Indian-American Shree Saini from Washington State was crowned Miss World America 2021 at a glittering pageant held at Miss World America headquarters in Los Angeles, CA on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021. Diana Hayden crowned Shree Saini, who is also the first Indian-origin contestant to represent America on a global stage.

“I am happy and quite nervous. I can’t express my feelings (in words). All the credit goes to my parents, especially my mother because of whose support I am here. Thank you Miss World America for this honor,” Shree Saini said in her statement, after the crowning moment. Saini wrote on her Instagram, “I am the first American of Indian origin and first Asian to be crowned Miss World America.”  An advocate for heart health, Saini has had a permanent pacemaker since she was 12 and overcame a major car accident which left her with burns all over her face. But she rarely if ever lets any of that hold her back or define her.

Saini, who has been recognized by several organizations and states and world renowned persons for her work and is aspiring to be an actor, told this writer during a recent interview “I am now “Miss World America Washington,” which is preliminary to Miss World America and Miss World! Miss World Titles have been won by Aishwarya Rai and Priyanka Chopra. It’s the largest and the most philanthropic pageant, having raised 1.3 billion dollars for charities around the world. And I want to promote the many charitable initiatives this noble organization does all around the world.”

The official Instagram handle of Miss World America shared the news with a caption that read as, “Shree, who is currently Miss World America Washington, also holds the prestigious position of “MWA National Beauty with a Purpose Ambassador,” a position she earned by working tirelessly to help those less fortunate and in need. Among her many accomplishments, her work has been recognized by UNICEF, Doctors without Borders, Susan G Komen, and many others. We are certain Shree will continue to immaculately embody Beauty With A Purpose, and no doubt will be successful in raising awareness and attention to the Miss World America mission. Stay tuned and follow the Miss World America 2021 journey!”

Shree Saini has also been crowned Miss India Worldwide 2018 at a pageant held in the Fords City of New Jersey. “My dance journey began when I was only 3 years old, but a substantial part of my dance journey was filled with both physical and emotional hardships. When I was 12, I was diagnosed with a complete heart block. I had to get a pacemaker surgery. The average age of a pacemaker recipient is age 80. Cardiologists told me I could never dance again,” Shree had noted on her social media.

Instead of giving up, Shree Saini went back to dance class with her left arm tied up in a cast and practiced up to 6 hours a day in order to regain her strength. Saini noted on media that even though “dance is a very competitive, cut-throat, high stakes sport”, she wants to “encourage teachers, students, parents to always be uplifting, emphatic, especially when it’s difficult. Real Love takes courage.”

Saini, who has studied at Harvard, has been trained in acting at the Yale actors conservatory. The Punjab native, who moved to Washington State when she was seven, experienced hardships while in high school, where she was bullied. For years, she said, she felt like an outcast at school for being a person of color. Shree has created an app on emotional heath at Stanford University. She has given hundreds of presentations in over 80 cities and six countries and written about 400 articles in newspapers on emotional fitness, via her non-profit shareesaini.org.

Shree says, “The best award is knowing that YOU made a POSITIVE difference in someone else’s life. A girl recently approached me after a talk and started crying. She mentioned that she had followed my journey for a while and felt encouraged to pursue her dreams, despite obstacles. I gave her a big HUG and started to tear up as well. WOW. Your positive words and actions do make a positive difference. Keep being EXTRA LOVING AND ENCOURAGING.

Beautiful, compassionate, talented, ambitious, gentle, humble, determined and dedicated to achieving the lofty goals, she has set before herself at a very young age, Shree Saini is a woman with a golden heart. Shree from the state of Washington was born in India. She immigrated to the United States as a toddler.

Being uprooted from one’s culture and dear ones was undoubtedly a major challenge. She had to experience hardships while in high school, where she was bullied. Young Shree fought bravely a heart ailment which required her to use a pacemaker. Shree, who had a pacemaker implanted at the age of 12 and was told that she would never be able to dance, is an inspiration for all. “I practice dance almost every day for several hours,” Shree says, pointing to the pacemaker she carries with her all the time.

After doctors diagnosed her with a congenital heart defect at the age of 12, Saini recalls how she struggled to adapt to the life-changing situation of needing a pacemaker while still in middle school, especially when other students did not treat her kindly as a result. “I truly believe your legacy is defined by how you make others feel and the positive difference you make in your lifetime,” said Shree, who started her non-profit organization, when she was 15. Shree said it was her dream to compete for a world title, which was started when she was in the elementary school.

“I have been the target of brutal emotional bullying. I was ridiculed in the most subtle ways, which is why I so often talk about ‘nonverbal’ bullying. For example, there were many instances where I was left out of events or edited out of pictures, and daily ‘whispered about’ by others. As a result of this treatment, there were many times when I would cry in my school’s restrooms or come home in tears after dance class… yet I persevered.

“My family helped me endure,” she explains. “My mom said, ‘the way people treat you has nothing to do with you, but has everything to do with them.’ She empowered me to step up and be even more compassionate towards those who hurt me, and to never give up on my true belief in always being kind.”

In order to reprogram her brain towards more positive thoughts and reach an understanding of how she could find inner peace in spite of all the negativity, she read extensively. “I read books and essays on achieving a more powerful mindset, responding to acts of hate with compassion, and the true value of emotional fitness and what can be done to address the lack of education around it. From what I have learned, I have formed my personal mantra: ‘Giving powerful responses to life’s struggles while being a positive contributor to every situation.’”

After dealing with her own personal experiences, Saini penciled her thoughts in a journal, which she said helped change her from a victim to an empowered young woman. The journals in her diary turned to newspaper clippings in local papers in Washington. “In a society mainly obsessed with physical fitness, emotional problems are dismissed,” noted the young activist. “Emotional well-being is necessary to have a healthy body and mind,” she says.

These experiences did not deter young Shree from pursuing her life’s mission.  “My journey went from a silent sufferer to a bitter person and finally an enabled victor,” she says. “If anything, the physical challenges and social pressures fueled her – all the way to the Joffrey Ballet and beyond, including winning the title of Miss India USA.”

Shree gives credit to her parents, Sanjay and Ekta Saini, who have not only supported her dreams, but have gone beyond to help her succeed at every step of the way. Pointing to her mother, Ekta, Shree says, “My mother is my role model, who has been with me, supported me and have encouraged me to work hard and realize my dreams.”

Regarding her future goals and ambitions, Shree is candid about her choices. If good offers come her way, Shree is open to acting in movies, whether it be in Bollywood or Hollywood. Another effective way to showcase her talents and still more importantly, another way to champion and spread her message for a better, just and peaceful world. “Meanwhile, I want to continue working on my nonprofit and become an ambassador of emotional health by continuing to visit as many places as possible, spreading my positive message of hope,” Saini says.

Mindy Kaling, Sudha Reddy Stun at Met Gala 2021

Fashion’s biggest extravaganza, The Met Gala 2021, made a comeback with a vengeance after a skip in 2020 due to the pandemic. The theme for this year’s gala was ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion’, and as usual in attendance were a long list of celebrities including actors, musicians and sportspersons. Many fashion houses and celebrities chose to dazzle with the dark side of fashion as capes, leather, face masks and all kinds of drama unfolded at the event, with black ruling the red carpet with its darker vibe. Met Gala regulars like Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Sharon Stone, Emily Blunt, Irina Shayk, Gigi Hadid and the Kardashian-Jenner siblings were spotted alongside debutantes like 18-year-old British tennis star Emma Raducanu who recently won the U.S. Open, Rose Leslie from “The Game of Thrones,” gymnast Nia Dennis and Justin and Hailey Beiber who walked the Met carpet together for the first time.

Indian American producer, actress, director Mindy Kaling also walked the Met carpet, wearing a Tory Burch-designed elegant silk dress with a high-low hemline, deep V-neck and cinching leather waist belt, according to vogue.in  The event, hosted by Vogue’s Dame Anna Wintour, is held annually at The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York City. At this year’s event, also known as the “Costume Institute Benefit,” there was Indian representation once again. Joining the megawatt celebrities was philanthropist and business tycoon Sudha Reddy. Wife of billionaire Megha Krishna Reddy of Hyderabad, this was Sudha Reddy’s maiden outing at the glamorous soiree. As a supporter of the fine arts and widely known for her charitable disposition, her presence at the 2021 Met Gala came as no surprise.

An avid connoisseur of art and fashion, Sudha Reddy is considered amongst the well-heeled jetsetters of South India. In the past Indian celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Isha Ambani and Natasha Poonawala have graced the event. Sudha Reddy has moved from ‘check philanthropy’ to ‘hands-on philanthropy’, as the Sudha Reddy Foundation has socially and economically empowered hundreds of people in Telangana. When she’s not spearheading the Megha Group of Industries and TruJet Airlines, she’s working towards affordable healthcare and accessible education. Widely celebrated for her charitable disposition, she was the only Indian to be invited to the Global Gift Gala and nominated for The Global Gift Empowerment of Women Award. With a commitment and vision to continually pledge out of her personal wealth, she handed over grants to two charities: ‘Action Against Hunger and Fight Hunger Foundation’ and ‘Breast Cancer Research Foundation’ in Paris with Elizabeth Hurley in attendance.

Normally held on the first Monday in May, for the first time since its inception, the Met Gala included two exhibitions. The first exhibition was held Sept. 13 at the Met, timed to coincide with the close of New York Fashion Week. Held annually to support the Met’s Costume Institute in New York City, the second half of the event will take place in May 2022. Each year, the Met Gala has a specific dress code that ties into the museum’s latest fashion exhibition theme. “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” was the first exhibit’s theme and will open in the Anna Wintour Costume Center on Sept. 18; the second exhibit, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” in May 2022, will illustrate through style 300 years of historic narratives, both personal and political.

Keeping up with the year’s theme, Reddy donned her haute couture look by Indian designer duo Falguni Shane Peacock, who have dressed the likes of Beyonce, Madonna, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Kim Kardashian, and Lady Gaga. Inspired by the American Revolution, the metallic gold body-hugging gown with its ‘au courant’ cuts entail a shimmering 4-meter flared trail that imbibes a medley of hues borrowed from the American flag and varnished with refined 3D adornments of Swarovski crystals, sequins and bugle beads. Falguni Shane Peacock, who has dressed Sudha Reddy on multiple milestone celebrations in the past, said, “It took us numerous sessions and more than 250 hours of labor to put together this spectacular statement work of art for our dear friend Sudha. We have focused on a lot of detailing and we employed the services of our skilled atelier artisans in order to ensure the outfit does full justice to Sudha’s eclectic persona. We have created a novel edgy military-inspired look that blends well with the overall theme of the Met Gala.”

Jewelry designer and gem maestro Farah Khan designed a custom-designed statement ear piece called ‘Dreamy Decadence’ to complete Reddy’s red-carpet look.Elaborating further about her eclectic creation, Farah Ali Khan added, “Drawing inspiration from the stars in the American flags that symbolize the 50 glorious independent states of America, I designed a sensual ear cuff with diamond-encrusted stars. I wanted to highlight Sudha’s expressive eyes and the contours of her face so I created this bejeweled piece that starts from her cheek and extends to her hair, culminating as a string of scintillating bezel set diamonds. It is crafted in 18-kt gold with 35 carats of VVS diamonds.”

Zoya Afroz Crowned As The Miss India International 2021

Twenty-six-year-old Zoya Afroz from Mumbai was crowned as the Miss India International 2021 during a glittering pageant, organized by Glamanand Supermodel India on August 21 at Kingdom of Dreams, Gurugram, Haryana, India. Zoya also bagged three sub-titles, namely ‘Best in Evening Gown’ and ‘Miss Glamorous Eyes’ and ‘Top Model’. Zoya Afroz, who promotes Girl child education and financial independence, and wants women to acquire basic knowledge and the right to opportunity, will now represent India at Miss International in November 2021 in Yokohama City, Japan.  Zoya Afroz’s journey in showbiz started early. She started working as a child artiste in the television series Kora Kagaz in 1998 and went onto do hit films such as Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999), Mann (1999) and Kuch Naa Kaho (2003).

The 24 stunning national finalists from different parts of India who had competed at the prestigious pageant included Zoya Afroz, Archana Ravi, Aishwarya Dikshit, Naina Vijay Sharma, Tanya Sinha, Sejal Renake, Himani Gaikwad, Megha Shetty, Megha Julka, Deeksha Narang, Shivani Tak, Saachi Gurav, Asmita Chakraborty, Tanu Shree, Shweta Shinde, Hannah Tamalapakula, Susang Sherpa, Disha Shamwani, Isha Vaidya, Annu Bhati, Arushi Singh, Divija Gambhir, Shalini Rana, Anisha Sharmathe. Divija Gambhir was crowned Miss India Multinational 2021 and Tanya Sinha was crowned Miss India Globe 2021. Asmita Chakraborty and Anisha Sharma were crowned as the first and second runner-ups, at the end of the event, respectively. Divija Gambhir is a 21-year-old who started her own community which helps the stray dogs find shelter and food. She aims to become the voice of the voiceless, is a trained dancer and enjoys modelling. Tanya Sinha will represent India at Miss Globe International. She’s 23-year-old from Jharkhand and holds the advocacy of addressing the issue of untouchability especially in rural areas.

Glamanand Supermodel India is one of the three major pageants of India having one of the Big four franchise under the national pageant. Glamanand is a national preliminary to the biggest International pageants in the world, including Miss International, Miss Multinational, Miss Earth, Miss Grand International, Miss Intercontinental, Miss Globe International, Miss and other international pageants. The competition was judged by Editor-in-Chief of TMM Magazine Kartikya Arora, Businessman Yash Raj Tongia, Amit Karkhanis, Miss India International 2019 Simrithi Bathija, Miss India Multinational 2019 Tanvi Malhara, Rekha Vohra and Varun Katyal.

Zoya Afroz was born in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India to her parents, Shadaab Afroz and Saleha Afroz. She studied at R N Shah High School in Mumbai and earned her bachelor’s degree in commerce from Mithibai College in Vile Parle, Mumbai, India. Zoya started her career from Indian commercials, films and television series. In 1999, she starred in the films “Hum Saath Saath Hain” and “Mann.” In 2000, she starred in the TV series “Jai Mata Ki.” Along with that in 2001, she played Mukta in the Hindi film “Sant Gyaneshwar. Continually in 2003, she played Aarya in the Hindi film “Kuch Naa Kaho.” In 2004, she played Dimples in the TV series “Son Pari.”In 2005, she played the title role in the English film “From Tia With Love.” In 2012, she played Channo in the Punjabi film “Sadi Gali Aaya Karo.”

She was Femina Miss Indore in 2013 and at Femina Miss India 2013, s he was second runner-up. She was named Beauty Queen of the Year at the 2013 Bharat Ratna Dr Ambedkar Awards. Joining the Miss International pageant has always been dream of Zoya. In fact, she has been waiting for this opportunity since 2013. Zoya took to her social media to share her crowning news as she wrote, “Proud to announce – I will be representing INDIA at the 60th Miss International. So grateful for this opportunity to live my dream. Thank you Glamanand Supermodel India.”

Miss/Mrs/Teen India Pageant In New Jersey Celebrates Indian Culture

Vaidehi Dongre, 25, a graduate of University of Michigan with International Business as Major, currently employed as Business Development Manager with New Zealand Trade Commission, won the coveted Miss India USA 2021 Pageant on Friday, July 16th at Royal Alberts Palace, Edison, NJ. Organized by the New York based India Festival Committee (IFC) and chaired by Neelam & Dharmatma Saran, this is the longest running Indian pageant outside of India.” I am overwhelmed with the great response this year, said Dharmatma Saran, “with a record number of 61 contestants representing 30 states from across the United States.”

Dharmatma Saran, Chairman & Founder, said,  “We are very proud of the fact that we have been able to imbibe Indian values, tradition, culture and performing arts among Indian origin youth across the world” with our motto “bringing India closer.” As though fulfilling his vision, the packed auditorium was filled with men, women and children of Indian origin, adorned in glittering and colorful Indian attire, while Bollywood and classical music filled the air through the entire evening that went into the early hours of the following day.

Swathy Vimalkumar, 32, a mother of 3 and a teacher with a Masters in Elementary Education, from the state of Connecticut was crowned Mrs. India USA 2001, beating over two dozen participants. Her hobbies include playing tennis, Hiking, Reading and Yoga. Swathy wants to be an inspiring teacher to her students and an avid learner everyday. Navya Paingol, 17, representing the state of Michigan, who has just graduated from High School, was crowned Miss Teen India 2021. Navya enjoys dancing (Bharatnatyam), singing (classical Carnatic), playing tennis and is a member of her school varsity team. She volunteers as a tutor and in multiple non-profit organizations. Navya wants to become a Pediatric Cardiologist and help underprivileged children.

Pursuing Master’s Degree in Kathak at Bharti Vidyapeeth, Vaidehi, trained in classical music, is the Co-Director at Taal Academy School of Kathak Dance. She is a lead team member of AWE Foundation (Achieving Women’s Equality). She wants to visit 30 countries before she turns 30!  She also won the Best Talent Award for her performance during the dazzling night attended by dozens of participants, their families and friends from around the nation.

Arshi Lalani, 20 from the state of Georgia was declared the Runner UP, while Mira Kasari, 21 from North Carolina was the 2nd Runner Up. Riya Sapkal, 18, from New York and Khushi Patel, 18 from Florida, and Roma Patel, 30, from Pennsylvania were the top Six Finalists for the prestigious Miss India USA Title. For the Miss Teen USA Title, Aashna Shah, 15 from Florida was the Runner Up and Asees Kaur, 16, from Virginia was declared the 2nd RunnerUJp. Reeya Mathur 17, from Michigan and Riya Pawar, 15, New Jersey were among the five finalists.

Sonal Dua, 36 from North Carolina was the Runner Up at the Mrs USA 2021 and Sunitha Shambulingappa, 41, from Virginia was the Second Runner Up. Aparna Chakravarty, 55 and Sneha Viswalingam, 29 were among the top 5 chosen for the final Q&A Segment of the pageant. Swathy, Navya, and Vaidehi will represent USA in the Miss & Mrs. India Worldwide 2021 to be held in Mumbai on October 4th, 2021. The three won the crowns out of 61 finalists from all over USA. The annual pageant which also celebrated thirty ninth anniversary of Miss India USA had a record number of participants and was attended by hundreds of people from across the USA.

Sonal Dua, 36, from North Carolina won the Mrs Talented Title; Mrs Congeniality was Mohana Namle, 35, from  Connecticut. Harshada Patil Fegade, 32 walked away with the Mrs Catwalk Title. Mrs Photogenic was Aparna Chakravarty, 55 from Florida; Mrs Popularity was Swathy Vimalkumar, 32 of Connecticut, and Mrs Chairman Professional was Sheetal Rana, 36 from New York. Amelia Mallareddy from North Carolina was declared Miss Beautiful Face, while Miss Catwalk was Mira Kasari from North Carolina.  Rishika Pal of Massachusetts took the

Miss Bollywood Diva title. Miss Congeniality was Jaskiran Uppal of Washington State, while Miss Photogenic was Jasleen Gill from Ohio. Athulya Narayanan of Connecticut was declared Miss Beautiful Eyes and the one with Miss Beautiful Hair was  Rishika Pal of Massachusetts. Miss Beautiful Skin title went to Mira Kasari of Michigan. Chairman Professional title was given to Sindhura Mutyala from Texas. Miss Beautiful Smile award went to Chaiya Shah from Michigan and Miss Popularity was Khushi Patel from Florida.

Teen Talented title went to Aashna Shah from Florida; Teen Congeniality award was given to Poorva Mishra and Teen photogenic was Sarina Saran from Virginia. The pageant started with a stunning performance by all the contestants led by the outgoing queens Aaishwarya Gulani, Shruthi Bekal and Sidhya Ganesh, and choreographed by Shilpa Jhurani. All contestants presented their best in the Indian and the Evening Gown segments after which the top five were selected. The top five contestants mesmerized the audience with their talents which included Bollywood dances, Indian classical and folk dances, art, singing and speech.

Diana Hayden, a popular Indian actress from Bollywood and Miss World 1997 was the Chief Guest. Shruthi Bekal, Mrs India USA 2019 and Tarna Kaur, Mrs India Worldwide 2019 elegantly emceed the pageant. Kim Kunari, former Miss India USA 2019 and Easha Kode, the first ever Miss Teen India USA were emcees for the pre-pageant event on July 15th. Nishi Bahl was the choreographer assisted by Shilpa Jhurani. This year’s pageant was presented by Yash Pandya and supported by TV Asia and Royal Albert’s Palace. Yash Pandya, Albert Jassani and H R Shah sashed the winners at the pageant.

The spectacular Miss India Pageants organized by India Festival Committee (IFC), started in a basement in New York in 1980 with the first ever Miss India New York and Miss India USA, has evolved and expanded, now incorporating and having membership from over 40 countries, that promote Indian heritage and providing a platform for people of Indian origin to unite and showcase their talents, skills and beauty. The pageants aim to honor achievement, to celebrate our culture in many ways, among them, the ability to meet people, make friends, to respect and be respected, to continually strive to improve standards, and to live a life as close to the laws of nature.

The IFC selects distinguished local organizations in various parts of the world and authorizes them to conduct national pageants in their respective countries. The India Festival Committee, started in 1974 in a most humble way, has come a long way. Saran and the pageant are “very proud of the fact that we have been able to provide a common platform for the international Indian community through pageantry. We are equally proud of the fact that we have been able to imbibe Indian values, traditions and culture among the youth of Indian origin around the world. We have also been successful in promoting Indian performing arts in the world.”

Vikrant Massey Lays Ethnic Fashion Goals For Men In ₹14k Bandi,Cream Kurta Set

Men take fashion cues as Haseen Dilruba star Vikrant Massey flaunts his effortlessly dapper style at Jio Mami Film Festival Panel in an elegant off-white kurta and trousers teamed with blue floral prints bandi from Anita Dongre and Christian Louboutin footwear

Men looking for a break from the regular daily outfits and in a quest of out of the box and yet sophisticated style need to search no further as Haseen Dilruba star Vikrant Massey is here to sort your fashion woes. While a regular men’s kurta with a traditional print is in vogue this season, Vikrant laid fashion goals as he flaunted his effortlessly dapper style at Jio Mami Film Festival Panel in an elegant off-white kurta and a pair of cream trousers teamed with a floral print bandi.

The pictures surfacing from the event are enough to raise the bar of ethnic style goals for men this summer. Putting the fashion police on immediate alert while fans took cues to slay at the next traditional outing, the pictures feature Vikrant donning a plain cream-coloured silk kurta which he wore with sleeves rolled up and paired with similar coloured trousers.

To frame the style around traditions with a contemporary accent, Vikrant layered the simple look with an elegant bandi that sported blue floral prints and booti detailing all over. The bandi came with a breast pocket and two at the bottom while sealing a sophisticated aesthetic. Accessorising his look with a pair of reading glasses, Vikrant completed his attire with a pair of blue footwear from Christian Louboutin. Striking a chic pose in the backdrop of an exotic seaside location lined with palm trees, Vikrant showed how to look classy and stylish while embracing the cultural side.

Fashion Superstar Masaba Talks About Her Show On Netflix In “Chai With Manju”

Masaba, probably the biggest and the youngest fashion icon in India today, in conversation with Dr. Manju Sheth, speaks about her Netflix series, Masaba Masaba and her plans for the year 2021 and beyond.
In “Chai With Manju,” Masaba Gupta, currently the most well-known name in Indian fashion industry,  talks about her love for acting and the super success of Netflix series named after her called Masaba Masaba and how much she loved acting. She describes acting as Meditation for her and how much she is looking forward to shooting for Netflix again. A true entrepreneur who describes “fashion as the bridge between art and commerce,” Masaba has seen amazing success with online sales of her fashion products as well.
Her advice to those looking for a career in Fashion industry is very timely. She also talks about her fashion icons and styles that she loves including that of our VP Kamala Harris and how much she would love to dress Madonna. Masaba’s bold and beautiful designs which combine traditions with needs of modern women have made her the game changer of the industry. She is the daughter of National award  winning actress Neena Gupta and West Indian cricketer, Legendary Vivian Richards.“It was great to have a candid conversation with her. She is so down to earth and fun .She shared her journey of self love and appreciation after a very tough childhood as a biracial child in stereotypical India, adds Dr. Manju.
At age 19, Masaba presented her first collection at Lakme, called “Katran.” At 20, she started her own brand, House of Masaba Fashions, one of India’s biggest fashion brands. More recently, her Netflix series, Masaba Masaba, has made her a superstar. Dr. Sheth says, “Interviewing Masaba was a true delight . She is young , very focused and a true entrepreneur. I loved the fact that her journey is also focused on self love and being the best version of herself. One of the most enjoyable interviews with a true woman of substance. I am also excited that she is looking forward to working in USA, hopefully soon.”
A physician by profession, having a passion for media and commitment to serve the larger humanity, with special focus on women’s empowerment, Dr. Manju Sheth is a Board Certified Internist, currently serving patients at Beth Israel Lahey Hospital.in the Boston Region in Massachusetts. Dr. Sheth is the co-founder and CEO of INE MultiMedia, a non-profit organization devoted to promoting and supporting charitable organizations, art, culture, education and empowerment through workshops, seminars and multimedia. Dr. Sheth is known to be a natural storyteller her popular “Chai with Manju” celebrity series is one of the most read news features in the New England region, where she featured celebrities and spiritual leaders such as Sadhguru, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Kennedys and the like.
Masaba believes that grit and perseverance are the key to success. She places a lot of focus on personal relationships and nurturing those who are close to her.

Priyanka Chopra Signs Deal With Victoria’s Secret In Its Major Rebranding Bid

American lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret has signed a new roster of female brand representatives that includes Indian actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas, to replace its supermodels (or Angels as they were called), and focus on women empowerment, giving a platform to female athletes, activists and entrepreneurs. Victoria’s Secret announced on June 18th of the creation of two new partnerships, designed to positively impact the lives of women. The brand’s previous campaigns had come under scrutiny for their embodiment of male fantasy over an accurate representation of what women seek in undergarments.

The new partnerships are ‘The VS Collective’ and ‘The Victoria’s Secret Global Fund for Women’s Cancers.’ Chopra, being one of the founding members of both the partnerships, will be leading this drive to positive change. She and six other new brand ambassadors called the ‘VS Collective’ will model for Victoria’s Secret products, advise the brand and promote it on social media. Announcing her collaboration with the brand, Chopra posted on her Instagram handle, “Representation matters. It’s crucial for us to show EVERYONE all over the world that they matter and are seen! As a founding partner of #TheVSCollective and advisor to the business, this is exactly what I intend to do.”

She added, “It’s been so incredible to see your reactions to yesterday’s announcement. It’s fueled me further and I am excited to bring about meaningful change at one of the world’s most iconic brands. I’m so proud to be in the company of the Collective of incredible women that will helm this change.” “Ps: thank you to my dream team for always thinking big with me. For going on the wild rides I want to embark upon. And for fighting the big fights! Love u and am especially proud of u on this one!” Chopra concluded the post.

Besides Chopra, the roster comprises American soccer star Megan Rapinoe; Brazilian transgender model Valentina Sampaio; 17-year-old Chinese American freestyle skier; soon-to-be Olympian Eileen Gu, 29-year-old biracial model; inclusivity advocate Paloma Elsesser; photographer and Los Angeles-based media personality Amanda de Cadenet; South Sudanese-Australian model AdutAkech. “At Victoria’s Secret, we are on an incredible journey to become the world’s biggest and best advocate for women. This is a dramatic shift for our brand, and it’s a shift that we embrace from our core. These new initiatives are just the beginning. We are energized and humbled by the work ahead of us,” said Martin Waters, chief executive officer of Victoria’s Secret.

Among the first initiatives, the founding members of ‘The VS Collective’ will share their stories in a 10-episode recurring podcast hosted by award-winning broadcaster, Amanda de Cadenet. Each episode will showcase the remarkable experiences and perspectives of a member of the Collective, as well as reveal further details of their partnership with the brand. Furthering on their mission, ‘The VS Global Fund for Women’s Cancers’ with longstanding partner, Pelotonia, will fund innovative research projects aimed at progressing treatments and cures for women’s cancers and investing in the next generation of women scientists who represent the diverse population they serve.

Through the partnership, Victoria’s Secret will grant and award at least five million dollars annually to examine and address racial and gender inequities and unlock new innovations that improve cancer outcomes for all women. Annual grants will be awarded to individual scientists or research “dream teams” who are collaborating across institutions. Victoria’s Secret, which introduced raunchy lingerie to the masses in the ‘70s, has been overshadowed in recent years by brands that have openly embraced both ethnic and bodily diversity. After ages, the brand has now decided to drop Angels in a step towards women empowerment.

Women Rule Grammys As Beyoncé, Swift Make History

Female performers including Beyoncé and Taylor Swift had a record-making night at the 2021 Grammy Awards, a jam-packed but socially distanced show highlighted by live music sorely absent during the pandemic era.

 

Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish made history at the Grammy Awards on March 14th. Female performers including Beyoncé and Taylor Swift had a record-making night at the 2021 Grammy Awards, a jam-packed but socially distanced show highlighted by live music sorely absent during the pandemic era.

Four women won the top four prizes Sunday, including Swift, who became the first female performer to win album of the year three times. Beyoncé — with her 28th win — became the most decorated woman in Grammy history.

H.E.R. won song of the year and Billie Eilish picked up her second consecutive record of the year honor, telling the audience that best new artist winner Megan Thee Stallion deserved the award. Though women have won all top four awards in the past – including Eilish’s sweep last year – it marked the first time four separate and solo women won the top four honors.

“I feel like there’s been a lot of female empowerment and lots of women winning awards tonight. And so it’s been absolutely amazing to just be alongside all that, to feel that energy,” Dua Lipa, who won best pop vocal album, said backstage.

Swift won the top prize with “folklore,” the folky, alternative album she released as a surprise last year. She previously won album of the year with “Fearless” and “1989.”

Beyoncé walked into the show with 24 wins and picked up four honors, including best R&B performance for “Black Parade,” best music video for “Brown Skin Girl” as well as best rap performance and best rap song for “Savage,” with Megan Thee Stallion.

“As an artist I believe it’s my job, and all of our jobs, to reflect time and it’s been such a difficult time,” Beyoncé said onstage as she won best R&B performance for “Black Parade,” which was released on Juneteenth.

She went on to say she created the song to honor the “beautiful Black kings and queens” in the world. She added: “I have been working my whole life … This is such a magical night.”

Beyoncé now ties producer and multi-instrumentalist Quincy Jones for second place among all Grammy winners. She is only behind the late conductor Georg Solti, who is the most decorated Grammy winner with 31 wins.

But Beyoncé didn’t only make history, her whole family did. The royal family of music all won honors Sunday: Jay-Z picked up his 23rd Grammy, sharing the best rap song win with his wife since he co-wrote “Savage.” And 9-year-old Blue Ivy Carter — who won best music video alongside her mother — became the second youngest act to win a Grammy in the show’s 63-year history. Leah Peasall was 8 when The Peasall Sisters won album of the year at the 2002 show for their appearance on the T Bone Burnett-produced “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack.

Megan Thee Stallion, who won three honors, also made history and became the first female rapper to win best rap song. She’s also the fifth rap-based act to win best new artist. Beyoncé was the night’s top contender with nine nominations. She didn’t perform but Swift did.

She sang “cardigan” and “august” from “folklore,” as well as “willow” from “evermore,” and was joined by the collaborators who helped her make the albums, Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner, who both won album of the year with Swift.

The Grammys featured pre-taped performances that helped the nearly four-hour show run seamlessly — a not-so-easy feat during a global pandemic. Host Trevor Noah told jokes about the pandemic and the year that was 2020, appearing live from downtown Los Angeles with attendees wearing masks and sitting, socially distanced, at small round tables.

Silk Sonic, aka Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak, also performed, bringing a throwback R&B vibe to the show with their smooth new single, “Leave the Door Open.” Lipa proved her pop star status with a performance of her hits “Don’t Start Now” and “Levitating,” where she was joined by DaBaby, who was an all-star during his own performance of his guitar-tinged rap hit “Rockstar,” flipping the song for an exceptional live rendition featuring R&B singer Anthony Hamilton, a skilled violinist and background singers.


Country singer Mickey Guyton – the first Black woman nominated for best country solo performance – gave a top notch performance of her song “Black Like Me,” which she released last year as police brutality continued to devastate Black families and the coronavirus ravished Black America disproportionately. Lil Baby, joined by Killer Mike and activist Tamika Mallory, gave a political performance that impressed.

“Black Parade” joined a list of songs honoring the Black experience that won Sunday, including H.E.R.’s protest anthem “I Can’t Breathe” and Anderson Paak’s “Lockdown,” which was released on Juneteenth like “Black Parade.”

Other performers Sunday included Eilish, Cardi B, Bad Bunny, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris and Harry Styles, who won best pop solo performance for the hit “Watermelon Sugar.”

“To everyone who made this record with me, thank you so much,” said Styles, the first member of One Direction to win a Grammy.

Double winners included H.E.R., Fiona Apple, Kaytranada and late performers John Prine and Chick Corea. Beyoncé’s four awards Sunday brought her up to 28 Grammys in her career, more than any other female artist. Her celebration of Black history, “Black Parade,” released last Juneteenth, won best R&B performance and she shared two awards for collaborating with Megan Thee Stallion on “Savage.”

She ties Quincy Jones for second most Grammys ever and has the leader — the late conductor George Solti, who won 31 — in her sights.

Further crowding the family trophy case is husband Jay-Z, whose songwriting on “Savage” earned him his 23rd Grammy on Sunday, and even their 9-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, who won best music video together with mom. “This is such a magical night,” Beyoncé said.

Swift, who also found time during the pandemic to make another album and re-record one of her old ones, became the first woman to win the album of the year Grammy for the third time. Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra have also done it. She won in 2009 for “Fearless” and 2015 for “1989.”

After her sweep last year, Eilish became only the third artist to win back-to-back record of the year Grammys. Roberta Flack won in 1973 for “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and in 1974 for “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” while U2 won in 2001 and 2002 for “Beautiful Day” and “Walk On.”

Then, when Eilish and her collaborator-brother Finneas accepted the award, she almost gave it away. She brought Megan Thee Stallion to tears by saying the rapper deserved the Grammy for “Savage.”

 

Madhuri Dixit On Secret To Memorable Dances In Bollywood Career

It may have been a while since Bollywood’s timeless beauty Madhuri Dixit Nene graced the silver screen and flashed her ‘butterflies in stomach’ inducing smile. However the Dedh Ishqiya is always sharing stunning pictures of herself, dressed to perfection and oozing grace and blessing our social media feeds with her stunning looks.

Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit Nene says performances like Choli ke piche kya hai, Chane ke khet mein, Ke sera sera, Ek do teen and Tamma tamma put her to test. “There are a lot of songs which were difficult for me. But the ones which really put me to test were performances like Choli ke piche kya hai, Chane ke khet mein, Ke sera sera, Ek do teen and Tamma tamma,” Madhuri, who is currently seen as judge in “Dance Deewane 3”, said.

“While these were some of the most difficult songs that I danced on, they are also the most memorable ones,” she added. Madhuri feels choreography in films has become more challenging. “Choreography in movies is definitely more challenging today. These days, dance involves a lot of leaps and there are several new techniques for lifts as well. The choreography these days has a lot of physical movements compared to before,” she said.

The actress pointed out that there were no stunts in dance before, but now if one wants to become an all-round dancer, one should be skilled in stunts, too. “It is definitely more challenging. The young kids who are six and seven also dance well at such a small age. I wonder what magic they will do later!” she said. (IANS)

Last week, the ever green star treated fans to stunning all smiles pictures. The Devdas actor hopped on to Instagram and shared some beautiful pictures posing in traditional attire. The pictures featured in the post see Madhuri sporting a royal blue georgette saree with accentuated scalloped gold floral designs towards the border as well as a very heavily embroidered half-sleeved blouse. With her luscious locks open, the actor looked stunning with a subtle bronze, smokey eye and deep red lips. She accessorized her glamorous avatar with heavy diamond and stone studded earrings, as well as kadas and rings. The Hum Aapke Hain Koun star’s million-dollar smile seemed enough to make the fan’s heart skip a beat.

The Dil Toh Pagal Hai star captioned the post, “Blue hue,” and added a blue heart. Celebrity followers including Lara Dutta Bhupathi and more than 4.7 million fans liked the post with scores of them leaving adorable comments. Nora Fatehi left heart eyes and smiley face emoticon while others left heart and fire emoticons over the post. Madhuri’s stunning blue saree with the embroidered blouse is the Royal Blue tiered ruffle sari set with beige gold linear embroidery by ace couturier Arpita Mehta priced at ₹98,000 on the designer’s website, while her stunning jewellery is from Falguni Mehta’s Jadau Jewellery

Miss Transqueen India 2020 Crowned

India has a new Miss Transqueen — and she’s headed for the world stage, determined to speak out for the country’s marginalized transgender community, reports here stated. Fashion designer Shaine Soni was crowned Miss Transqueen India, the country’s beauty pageant for transgender women, last week. She will represent India at next year’s Miss International Queen, the world’s biggest pageant for transgender women.
Miss Transqueen India was first established in 2017, and involves all the trappings of a traditional beauty pageant — photoshoots, talent rounds, elaborate costumes, judges and hundreds of audience members.
This year, organizers were unable to hold the competition due to the pandemic, which prompted a national lockdown from late March to May. But Reena Rai, chairwoman and founder of Miss Transqueen India, wasn’t ready to give up; she was determined to send a contestant to represent India in the 2021 international pageant.
“My pageant isn’t just about beauty, it is about empowerment and inclusion,” Rai told CNN in a phone interview. “If I am going to send someone without holding a competition, then I have to make sure that they are a very strong candidate, the best of the best, someone who knows the value of (becoming Miss) Transqueen India.”
Soni seemed like the obvious choice; as a fashion designer and stylist whose work is known on the pageant circuit, she has previously helped coach contestants and pick their outfits. For years, she stayed relatively quiet about her own transgender identity while struggling for acceptance from her family and friends — but Rai encouraged her to step forward for the title.
“She has always been a very strong backbone for Transqueen India,” said Rai. “I told her that because you’ve been with us and how important it is, and because you have been struggling with publicly coming out, this might be the best platform to do so because it is something that a lot of people will draw strength and inspiration from.”
While Soni was born biologically male, she identified as a girl from a young age — and was confused and dismayed when people around her began insisting she was a boy, and told her to act and behave like one.
As she grew up, she faced increasing pressure from relatives and friends who would discourage her from growing her hair long, wearing “girly” clothes, or having “effeminate” mannerisms, she said over the phone. “With so much pressure and bullying around me, I desperately felt I was different and that there was a problem in me.”
She found some relief when, as a teenager, she began researching and stumbled upon information about gender identity and gender confirmation surgery. She ended up leaving home at 17, pursuing an education in fashion, and transitioning with hormonal therapy a few years later — a process that she described as “difficult.”
“A lot of my friends gave up on me, they could not understand,” she said. “But I was very determined, so I went ahead and did everything on my own.” Shaine Soni will represent India next year at Miss International Queen. Credit: Courtesy Shaine Soni

Indian- American Nitya Kodali Crowned Miss Teen Telugu Universe

American-born teenager, Nitya Kodali has been crowned the world’s first Miss Teen Telugu Universe representing the USA.   Out of 700 semi-finalists, 22 finalists were selected to compete in the grand finals of the Telugu Universe pageant. Contestants from over 40 countries including India, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand competed for the coveted title.

“To win one of the most prestigious titles in my first ever pageant is a huge honor and I am still in disbelief. The pageant has changed my life forever, and for that, I am always grateful. This victory is not just mine, but the amazing people in my life that have taught me everything I know today. This crown is dedicated to you all.” Kodali wrote on her Instagram page.

Nitya is a high school sophomore and valedictorian of her class. She is working towards a career in medicine and is the founder of the global nonprofit, Letters & Love. Nitya is also a trained Bharatanatyam dancer and on Houston’s Bollywood dance team.

The Telugu Universe pageant consisted of multiple rounds including introduction, ramp walk, talent, and question-and-answer. The global event had over 18,000 participants where Nitya was crowned by Miss Earth India, Tejaswini Manogna.

In the same category 1st runner up award was captured by Sathvika Movva and 2nd runner up award bagged by Sushmita Kolloju. 

Evelyn Sharma is India’s face of a new fashion system

The first week of October witnessed the world’s most concerned fashion (CFS) industry experts gather at the Paris Fashion Week’s Circular Fashion Summit. Organised by lablaco in association with Microsoft’s AltspaceVR, Unity Technologies, Oculus, and Unilever to pioneer the redesign of events for the first ever virtual reality summit in fashion, Station F in Paris and attended by companies such as Hermes, Chanel and Balenciaga.

Evelyn Sharma, actor and ambassador to ‘reusable, up-cycled’ fashion’ represented India at this one of a kind Circular Fashion Summit that reconstructed the Grand Palais in Paris, famous for hosting spectacular fashion shows, in virtual reality. Fashion week leaders from Shanghai, Paris, London, Milan and New York united for the first time in virtual reality at the Circular Fashion Summit.

It featured names such as Burak Cakmak, Dean of Fashion at Parsons School of Design, Shaway Yeh, founder of yehyehyeh and former Editor-in-Chief of Condé Nast, Pascal Morand, Executive President of Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, Caroline Rush, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council and  Carlo Capasa, President and CEO of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana

Speaking post the event, Evelyn Sharma shared  “ it was  an exciting opportunity to learn more about collective action on issues of innovation, digitization, greater sustainability and social diversity in the fashion industry.”

“As the fashion industry readjusts its rules to a new world order to survive, Circular Fashion Summit comes at a timely moment to give the platform to key stakeholders for their insights into what is next. What better way to do this than have the conversation in a parallel universe in virtual reality where social distancing rules don’t apply,” added Burak Cakmak, Dean of Fashion at Parsons School of Design.

The goal of the CFS was to  initiate measurable action to sustain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030, to reduce social inequality, advance innovation in the fashion industry, and promote responsible consumption.

“Now more than ever have we felt the readiness of the market and the opportunity to truly accelerate the digitization and transition of the fashion industry towards a global circular economy powered by collective action and technology.” — Lorenzo and Yun, Co-Founders of lablaco and CFS.

Evelyn Sharma is an actor who runs Seams for Dreams in India. Seams For Dreams is founded on the philosophy that every piece of fabric can and should be reused instead of being discarded into landfills. Seams for Dreams  aims to give clothes a second life and new purpose through reusing, recycling, and upcycling. 

https://www.seamsfordreams.com/

7 Indian-Americans To Compete For Miss World America 2020 Title

A record seven Indian Americans are set to compete for the Miss America World 2020 Contest, according to a report released by The Miss World America pageant, announcing the 30 contestants for its 2020 national competition. Shree Saini of Washington, Serene Singh of Colorado, Amulya Chava of Kansas, Radhika Shah of Nevada, Manju Bangalore of Oregon, Manya Saaraswat of Pennsylvania; and Mangala Chava of West Virginia are the Indian American contestants who will be competing for the Miss World America 2020 crown. Afroza Nishi of Rhode Island is the Bangladeshi-American contestant. Shree Saini from Washington state, who has a heart condition, is a global motivational speaker and has addressed audiences in more than 8 countries and 30 states in the United States. Shree Saini has been a visiting student at Harvard, Stanford and Yale Universities, her bio states.  She has earned the “Best Pageant Titleholder” award and recognitions from the Secretary of State, Senate, Governor and the American Heart Association CEO. Singh from Colorado is the founder of a nonprofit, ‘The Serenity Project Brave Enough to Fly’ that aims to give confidence tools to at-risk women, according to the Miss World America website, which provides brief bios of the contestants, A graduate of University of Washington, Singh has also worked for former First Lady Michele Obama and the Girls Opportunity Alliance to improve girls’ education in South Asia. She plans to one day serve on the United States Supreme Court, the bio says. Amulya Chava from Kansas wants to be a civil rights attorney and is currently majoring in political science. She is the founding president of her local Wounded Warrior Project chapter. She recently released her first book entitled ‘Soar’. 

Shah from Nevada founded Real Autism Difference (RAD), a nonprofit to provide respite services for those with autism in the Southern Nevada community and beyond. In just two years, she raised more than $100,000 for RAD’s programs. In December of 2018, she was appointed by then Governor Brian Sandoval to serve as the youngest Youth Commissioner for the state of Nevada. Shah will be attending Stanford University this fall as a Public Policy major before pursuing a medical degree, the bio says. Bangalore is a physicist, actor, and the founder of Operation Period, a youth-led nonprofit addressing menstrual inequity through art, advocacy, education, community engagement, and aid.
Bangalore has worked at two NASA centers, Marshall Space Flight Center and Johnson Space Center, as well as in the White House on science policy in the Obama administration. Bangalore is now pursuing her M.S. in aerospace engineering with a concentration on propulsion systems. Saaraswat from Pennsylvania is pursuing a Master of Science in Health Policy and Economics at Weill Cornell Medicine before she enters medical school and wants to focus on global pediatric health.
Saaraswat has done a stem cell internship at Harvard university, has 4 publications in medical journals, and experienced what she says was a ‘life-changing’ trip to volunteer and intern at a local hospital in India.Mangala Chava is from West Virginia and wants to become a physician. She is a recent graduate of Biology from University of California, San Diego and has been involved with Alzheimer’s San Diego during her time in college and currently volunteers for Alzheimer’s Orange County. 
The contestants will participate in real-time preliminary competitions, receive camera time in front of a live audience and judges; they will also interact with viewers, and rehearse and collaborate with each other, according to the contest website. Each contestant will be able to plug in to Miss World America events through her smart phone or laptop. Viewers will have access to series of online virtual events, during the month of October.Preliminary competitions will include Beauty with a Purpose; Influencer Challenge; Talent Showcase; Head To Head Challenge; Entrepreneur Challenge; Top Model Challenge; and People’s Choice. The new Miss World America and Miss Teen World America queens will be invited to an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles for an official crowning ceremony, photo shoot, appearances, media interviews and other activities, all of which will be included in the Miss World America 2020 Final webcast, according to a news release. The 2020 national competition will be held in the form of a series of virtual web casts. Tickets to the event can be accessed at https://missworldamerica.com/ for $15 for the All-Access pass and $45 VIP Access pass.

Luminous Paintings And Drawings Inspired By The Night Sky

During the lockdown, Ando immersed herself in an investigation of indigo, which she has used to create a series of moon drawings based on her observations of the night sky. She produced one every day of the closure as a way to chronicle the experience. The drawings inspired a new body of work that explores the moon in different phases and atmospheric conditions, which Ando says she articulates using the vocabulary of minute changes in nature as an examination into an alternate recording of time. Although indigo is a material Ando is deeply familiar with, this is her first body of work highlighting it.

The exhibition also features several of Ando’s kumo (cloud) paintings, one of which was recently acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Additionally, there will be work from her new Oborozuki series on view, which investigates the concept of liminal space.  

 

Miya Ando has a Bachelor of Arts degree in East Asian studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and attended Yale University to study Buddhist iconography and imagery. She apprenticed with the master metalsmith Hattori Studio in Japan, followed by a residency at Northern California’s Public Art Academy.
 
Ando’s work has been shown worldwide, including at the Asia Society Texas Center, Houston; Socrates Sculpture Park, New York; Katzen Arts Center, American University Museum, Washington D.C.; Noguchi Museum, New York; Detroit Institute of Arts; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Arkansas; Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York; Queens Museum, New York; Rubin Museum of Art, New York; Spartanburg Art Museum, North Carolina; Grand Rapids Public Museum, Michigan; Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, California; Hammond Museum, North Salem, New York; Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art, Georgia; Pensacola Museum of Art, Florida; and the de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University, California, in a show curated by Nat Trotman of the Guggenheim Museum.

Anita Dongre Hosts First-Ever Virtual Trunk Show over Independence Day Weekend

Pivoting during the pandemic, House of Anita Dongre, best known for its supreme craftsmanship of Indian textiles through designs created by female village artisans with sustainable practices, is presenting its first-ever U.S. virtual trunk show to be held during July 4th weekend. She brings her latest collection of bridal couture, menswear, women’s ready-to-wear and silver jewelry through a unique selling platform that combines online sales with virtual stylist appointments for customers all over America.

“We are in a unique position during this pandemic, as we are the only Indian couture designer with a permanent presence in the U.S. market through our storefront,” says Yash Dongre, Business Head of House of Anita Dongre Limited. “Given that designers from India are unable to travel currently and shipments of merchandise are also delayed, we encourage brides and grooms who are proceeding with their weddings (whether virtually or more intimately) to make appointments with our bridal experts in New York via Skype or Zoom to find the perfect wedding outfits for their important day.”

Dongre is the first and only Indian designer to have a brand flagship in the United States. The Anita Dongre store in New York City occupies three floors of a 1900s brownstone building at the prime address of 473 West Broadway in Soho.

The prominent Indian designer has dressed every major fashion icon from Beyonce to Kate Middleton to Hillary Clinton to Priyanka Chopra. Dongre is often referred to in fashion circles as the “queen of prêt” and largely draws inspiration from the embellishment styles and needlework made famous by the northern Indian state of Rajasthan.

From an early age, she knew she wanted to helm her own fashion house. Having spent her summer holidays growing up in Jaipur and later armed with a degree in Fashion Design, Anita’s style showed an affinity for indigenous craft tradition, coupled with a modern aesthetic that soon made her one of the India’s leading fashion houses. The Anita Dongre Foundation has given countless rural women an equal voice by providing them with livelihood opportunities and skills training. An ethical vegan, environmentalist and revivalist of local craft, Anita advocates compassionate living, which is why her designs doe not use any fur or leather. Dongre believes fashion plays a defining role in enhancing a person’s confidence and sense of self. She seeks to create luxurious designs that leave unforgettable impressions on the world and are yet versatile enough to transcend people, places and occasions.

HUL’s decision to axe ‘fair’ from ‘Fair and Lovely’ lauded

In the wake of all the anti-racist movements taking place across the globe, especially after US-based George Floyds tragic death, Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) recently announced the rebranding of its flagship brand Fair & Lovely.

The decision has found support across segments and groups in the country. While netizens welcomed the move by the company to rebrand the cream, celebrities too took to social media to laud the move.
Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut took to Twitter to express her support for the decision. On her behalf, her team wrote, “It has been a long and sometimes a very lonely battle but results only happen when the whole nation participates in the movement”.
Shah Rukh Khans daughter Suhana hailed this decision. Shah Rukh Khan’s Daughter Suhana Supports HUL’s Decision To Axe ‘Fair’ From Fair & Lovely

The star kid took to her Instagram story and wrote, “Hindustan Unilever announced that it would rebrand its skin-lightening cream ‘Fair and Lovely’ and drop the word ‘Fair’ from the product’. It has also committed that it will remove all suggestions that success is linked to skin tone or colour in its communication.” She further added: “It has also committed that it will remove all suggestions that success is linked to skin tone or colour in its communication.”

In a statement, HUL said over the last decade, Fair & Lovely’s advertising has evolved to communicate a message of women’s empowerment. The brand’s vision is to adopt a holistic approach to beauty that cares for people, that must be inclusive and diverse – for everyone, everywhere.

In early 2019, the brand’s communication moved away from the benefits of fairness, whitening and skin lightening, towards glow, even tone, skin clarity and radiance, which are holistic measures of healthy skin.

HUL also removed from Fair & Lovely’s packaging, words such as ‘fair/fairness’, ‘white/whitening’, and ‘light/lightening’ that could indicate a fairness-led transformation. The cameo with two faces showing shade transformation, as well as the shade guides were removed from the packs. The Company will continue to evolve its advertising, to feature women of different skin tones, representative of the variety of beauty across India.

The new name is awaiting regulatory approvals and HUL expects to change the name in the next few months.

Global Fashion Designer Anita Dongre Hosts First-Ever Virtual Trunk Show on Independence Day Weekend

(New York, NY – June 29, 2020) Pivoting during the pandemic, House of Anita Dongre, best known for its supreme craftsmanship of Indian textiles through designs created by female village artisans with sustainable practices, is presenting its first-ever U.S. virtual trunk show to be held during July 4th weekend. She brings her latest collection of bridal couture, menswear, women’s ready-to-wear and silver jewelry through a unique selling platform that combines online sales with virtual stylist appointments for customers all over America.

“We are in a unique position during this pandemic, as we are the only Indian couture designer with a permanent presence in the U.S. market through our storefront,” says Yash Dongre, Business Head of House of Anita Dongre Limited. “Given that designers from India are unable to travel currently and shipments of merchandise are also delayed, we encourage brides and grooms who are proceeding with their weddings (whether virtually or more intimately) to make appointments with our bridal experts in New York via Skype or Zoom to find the perfect wedding outfits for their important day.”

Dongre is the FIRST and ONLY Indian designer to have a brand flagship in the United States. The Anita Dongre store in New York City occupies three floors of a 1900s brownstone building at the prime address of 473 West Broadway in Soho.

The prominent Indian designer has dressed every major fashion icon from Beyonce to Kate Middleton to Hillary Clinton to Priyanka Chopra. Dongre is often referred to in fashion circles as the “queen of prêt” and largely draws inspiration from the embellishment styles and needlework made famous by the northern Indian state of Rajasthan.

FAVORITE AIRPORT OUTFITS TO INSPIRE YOUR TRAVEL

Well who doesn’t like travelling and exploring new, beautiful places? And if you are a travel enthusiast as well as someone who travels a lot, you know the struggle of deciding what clothes to pack to take along with you. However, let’s not forget how important it is to take out the time to decide an airport outfit. Well, you can now search for your favorite travel outfit with the help of an image search tool. Using an image finder tool is now so helpful for the young travelers to keep their outfit up to date. By performing reverse image search of fashion image or photo, they can easily find out the exact features of their favorite travelling outfit.

The era of wearing really fancy and heavy clothes to the airport has long been bid farewell to. People now do consider what they should wear while travelling which will keep the in the trend game while making comfort as a top priority.  The right clothing can have a very positive influence on you overall. The confidence that is felt in a cool outfit is beyond the imagination. Obviously, when you are travelling, you have to make sure that you reach your destination with a clear mind and your clothing can really have an influence on your thinking pattern.

So it is essential that you take out the time to decide an airport outfit that will inspire your 2020 travel and we have surely come up with some of the best and the most trending ideas of the year, for you.

Lili Reinhart look absolutely gorgeous and all ready to travel
Lili Reinhart look absolutely gorgeous and all ready to travel

No better way to make these super versatile jeans pop up other than by pairing them up this super cool black shirt because you can never go wrong with black and as everyone says, ‘’when you feel confused, wear black.’’
But these aren’t the only things making Lili look spot on. The real show stopper is the tweed coat which adds up all the spice to this really simple outfit. And well, mules were definitely the best option to go with because not only would they provide you with comfort while you travel, but they also add that classiness to your look.

So, wouldn’t it have been unfair if Lili’s this look wasn’t on top of the list? Well, exactly. This is the perfect go-to look which doesn’t make her look to plain and at the same time not too off the board.

Isn’t this the boss-girl kind of look to fly to your destination?

Well, if you want to get that ‘’model-off-duty’’ kind of appearence, then be sure to pair a high-rise trousers with a tucked in shirt. And to make one look more composed and if you are someone who thinks long coats are just a little too much or uncomfortable and want a replacement, then you should definitely go with the cropped jacket because let’s just admit it, this does look graceful from every aspect.
This is the most put together look for 2020 which is ideeal to be classified as one of the favorite airport outfits of the year.

Gigi’s travel outfit

And guess who it is? The queen herself. This was Gigi’s travel outfit to Milan for the year 2020. As we all know that this year is all about oversized clothing and big capacious bags, it is appropriate to say that this year screams the ‘’go big or go home’’ motto. And Gigi’s look really goes hand in hand with the trend.
The olive green oversized coat is everything you need to make your outfit look chic. Not to forget the beige tote in her hand which looks a perfect fit with the overall look. She paired these up with monochrome trainers and them amazing shades.

GigiWe ain’t calling Gigi a queen without any reasons. She is a real show stopper. And just like the look she did to the airport for Milan, Gigi made sure that she didn’t violate the fashion trends of 2020 while being at Tokyo’s airport as well.
Again, an oversized blazer but this time, she went for a black T-shirt and obviously, you can not get the right look without the right sunglasses and so Gigi went with the micro sunglasses for the look making sure, that her look would make the heads turn and stay in the best airport lookbook of the year.

Victoria Beckham with the oversized bottoms
Victoria Beckham with the oversized bottoms

Victoria Beckham with the oversized bottoms look absolutely iconic at the airport. Although she wore this look for 2017, but we think that the oversized bottoms and the top that she’s wearing, wouldn’t limit the appreciation to a specific year only.
Sometimes, you just have to go with a very easy look but you have to make sure that you stay classy, and this is surely what Victoria did. Her ‘’Fashion stole my smile’’ shirt was the perfect top-off to the look and made everyone go crazy for it.

 

 

 

 

Rihanna adds style to whatever she does
Rihanna adds style to whatever she does

Well Rihanna for sure knows how to do it. Starting off with how gorgeous her fluffy coat looks, let’s just appreciate and agree on the fact that Rihanna adds style to whatever she does.
Rihanna’s JFK look at the airport holding not one but TWO bags makes everybody’s jaws drops because she has proved it that the amount of bags do not matter until or unless you carry yourself with all the grace and class. And she, for sure is doing so.

“Pageantry is a way to express my true feelings, redefining beauty as a way to giving back to the community,” Says Sidhya Ganesh, Miss Teen India 2020

“Pageantry is a way to express my true feelings and make a widespread impact on this world, redefining beauty as a way to giving back to the community,” says Sidhya Ganesh, a 14-year-old resident of the state of Washington, who won the coveted Miss Teen India USA Title during a glittering ceremony last month in Houston, TX, beating dozens of contestants from across the country.

After winning the titles Miss Teen India Washington and Miss Teen India USA, Sidhya has made appearances at several cultural events and received many youth inspiration awards. She has also organized many toy and blanket drives and has had interviews with news channels. Recently she also had a meeting with her mayor about working towards breaking mental health stigma in her community.

From dance, acting, academics, sports, singing to Beauty Pageant, Sidhya believes in exploring all aspects of her 360 degree growth and personal development. For her, pageant participation is a way to give back to the community and understand that beauty is skin deep.

“Pageantry is a way to express my true feelings, redefining beauty as a way to giving back to the community,” Says Sidhya Ganesh, Miss Teen India 2020Sidhya had earlier won the Washington State pageant and represented her state at the USA National pageant. Sidhya is a three–time international champion for “Future Problem Solving”, and is the president for this program at her school.  A multilingual she can speak English, Tamil, Hindi and Spanish.

Sidhya Ganesh is a passionate dancer, singer and actress. Her love for both her cultural roots and the modern Bollywood culture has led her to learning Bharatanatyam, Bollywood and Contemporary Art along with Carnatic and Western singing. She has won the Zee TV solo Dance reality show ‘Dance USA Dance’ Season One judged by Master Saroj Khan along with being the state champion for Naved Jaffrey’s show ‘Naach Meri Jaan’.

The budding leader describes herself as a proud Indian American, working hard to support both her countries, the US, and India. Sidhya works to empower underprivileged children back home in India through performing arts-based fundraisers here in America. Additionally, she has led a team to fundraise, coordinate and build a school in Cambodia.

“Being an Indian American, it makes me very happy to see the connections between both my countries growing, and it was a huge matter of pride for me to see President Trump meet PM Modi in India, to strengthen bonds between the two countries, through upcoming trade deals to foster development,” young Ganesh said in an interview.

“Pageantry is a way to express my true feelings, redefining beauty as a way to giving back to the community,” Says Sidhya Ganesh, Miss Teen India 2020The budding leader says, her “favorite young Indian female politician is Priyanka Chaturvedi, and I would love to meet her. Party politics aside, I like her because I find similarities between both of us, whether it is confidence, brevity, or poise and public speaking skills. I also feel that she is brave and stands up for what she believes in and has achieved a lot in the fields of politics and community service, despite being fairly young. I would love to support the NGOs she is running in Mumbai, through my community service.”

Describing self as “a proud Indian American, working hard to support both my countries. I leverage my rich Indian values of family, and giving back to support children in need in America” Ganesh wants to “work to empower underprivileged children back home in India through performing arts-based fundraisers here in America. I am an ambassador for both my countries and am proud of both of their achievements and hope to help them both thrive.”

Holding America’s National title, she will be representing USA at the Miss Teen India Worldwide pageant to be held in Lalit, Mumbai in October 2020. Organized by the World Wide Pageants, pioneers in organizing Indian pageants and fashion shows in the USA and other parts of the world, Dharmatma Saran, the founder and Chairman of the Pageant says, “Miss India Worldwide has been acclaimed as the most glamorous Indian function in the world. And, of course, the Miss India Worldwide is the only international Indian pageant.”

Sidhya Ganesh Crowned as Miss Teen India 2020

Sidhya Ganesh, a 14-year-old resident of the state of Washington, has won the coveted Miss Teen India USA Title during a glittering ceremony last month in Houston, TX, beating dozens of contestants from across the country.

Organized by the World Wide Pageants, pioneers in organizing Indian pageants and fashion shows in the USA and other parts of the world, Dharmatma Saran, the founder and Chairman of the Pageant says, “Miss India Worldwide has been acclaimed as the most glamorous Indian function in the world. And, of course, the Miss India Worldwide is the only international Indian pageant.”

Sidhya Ganesh Crowned as Miss Teen India 2020Sidhya Ganesh, the youngest ever to win Miss Teen India USA, sees pageantry as a way to express her true feelings and make a widespread impact on this world, redefining beauty as a way to giving back to the community.

After winning the titles Miss Teen India Washington and Miss Teen India USA, Sidhya has made appearances at several cultural events and received many youth inspiration awards. She has also organized many toy and blanket drives and has had interviews with news channels. Recently she also had a meeting with her mayor about working towards breaking mental health stigma in her community.

From dance, acting, academics, sports, singing to Beauty Pageant, Sidhya believes in exploring all aspects of her 360 degree growth and personal development. For her, pageant participation is a way to give back to the community and understand that beauty is skin deep.

She had earlier won the Washington State pageant and represented her state at the USA National pageant, where she became the ‘youngest ever’ to clinch the Miss Teen India USA title. Sidhya is a three–time international champion for “Future Problem Solving”, and is the president for this program at her school. A multilingual she can speak English, Tamil, Hindi and Spanish.

Sidhya Ganesh Crowned as Miss Teen India 2020Sidhya Ganesh is a passionate dancer, singer and actress. Her love for both her cultural roots and the modern Bollywood culture has led her to learning Bharatanatyam, Bollywood and Contemporary along with Carnatic and Western singing. She has won the Zee TV solo Dance reality show ‘Dance USA Dance’ Season 1 judged by Master Saroj Khan along with being the state champion for Naved Jaffrey’s show ‘Naach Meri Jaan’.

Sidhya is a three–time international champion for “Future Problem Solving”, a global competition and is the President for this program at her school. Additionally, she has led a team to fundraise, coordinate and build a school in Cambodia.

A multilingual, whose parents are Tamilians from Mumbai, Sidhya speaks English, Tamil, Hindi and Spanish. She loves watching Bollywood movies and her favorite actors are Vicky Kaushal and Deepika Padukone.

The budding leader describes herself as a proud Indian American, working hard to support both her countries. Sidhya works to empower underprivileged children back home in India through performing arts-based fundraisers here in America.

“Being an Indian American, it makes me very happy to see the connections between both my countries growing, and it was a huge matter of pride for me to see President Trump meet PM Modi in India, to strengthen bonds between the two countries, through upcoming trade deals to foster development,” young Ganesh said in an interview.

Sidhya Ganesh Crowned as Miss Teen India 2020The budding leader says, her “favorite young Indian female politician is Priyanka Chaturvedi, and I would love to meet her. Party politics aside, I like her because I find similarities between both of us, whether it is confidence, brevity, or poise and public speaking skills. I also feel that she is brave and stands up for what she believes in and has achieved a lot in the fields of politics and community service, despite being fairly young. I would love to support the NGOs she is running in Mumbai, through my community service.

Describing self as “a proud Indian American, working hard to support both my countries. I leverage my rich Indian values of family, and giving back to support children in need in America” Ganesh wants to “work to empower underprivileged children back home in India through performing arts-based fundraisers here in America. I am an ambassador for both my countries and am proud of both of their achievements and hope to help them both thrive.”

Holding America’s National title, she will be representing USA at the Miss Teen India Worldwide pageant to be held in Lalit, Mumbai in October 2020.

Miss World America WA Shree Saini nominated for “The Best Dance Talent” in the Oscar awards of pageant world

At the 2020 “Global Beauty Awards”, thousands would be considered for the best in pageant world awards. A few hundred will be selected for preliminary nominations and then after a rigorous screening, a few will be given the honor of becoming a final nominee.
 
Shree Saini won “Best Pageant Titleholder” last year. Miss Universe was in that same nomination. This time, Shree shared on her social media that she has been nominated for BEST TALENT, which was given to her for her dance performance. Her recent dance routine earned her the award of “Miss World America Best Talent 1st RU award”.
 
“My dance journey began when I was only 3 years old, but a substantial part of my dance journey was filled with both physical and emotional hardships. When I was 12, I was diagnosed with a complete heart block. I had to get a pacemaker surgery. The average age of a pacemaker recipient is age 80. Cardiologists told me I could never dance again,” Shree noted on her social media.
 
Instead of giving up, Shree Saini went back to dance class with her left arm tied up in a cast and practiced up to 6 hours a day in order to regain her strength. Saini noted on media that even though “dance is a very competitive, cut-throat, high stakes sport”, she wants to “encourage teachers, students, parents to always be uplifting, emphatic, especially when it’s difficult. Real Love takes courage.”
 
The Global Beauty Awards – The GBAs (“Awards”) are under the jurisdiction of NW Productions, LLC, an entertainment and media production company founded by David and Maureen Francisco. The Awards represent members from EVERY pageant system and the beauty, fashion, entertainment, sports, educational and business industries. Just like the Emmys, Grammys, etc., the Awards celebrates individuals including delegates, titleholders, producers, directors, stylists and others that strive and achieve excellence in their respective fields. This annual production is the pinnacle of pageantry recognition.
 
“The Global Beauty Awards is the most exciting, cherished and memorable night for the entire pageant world. My favorite part of the show is being reunited with my pageant family and being inspired to DO MORE, SERVE MORE. I salute you both!” Saini said.

Adline Castelino to represent India at Miss Universe pageant

Adline Castelino was announced as the winner of Liva Miss Diva Universe 2020 title at an event held on Mumbai on Saturday February 22. She will now represent India at Miss Universe pageant. Adline was crowned Miss Diva Universe 2020 by Miss Universe India 2019 Vartika Singh and Miss Supranational India 2019 Anntonia Porsild, who congratulated her on the win. There were 20 contestants competing for the coveted title.
Aavriti Choudhary was crowned as LIVA Miss Diva Supranational 2020 and will represent India at Miss Supranational 2020, while Neha Jaiswal was the LIVA Miss Diva 2020 – Runner – Up.
The event was judged by Bollywood actors Anil Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur, Miss Universe 2000 Lara Dutta, designers Shivan and Narresh, Miss Supranational 2014 Asha Bhat, Miss Universe Sri Lanka 2006 Jacqueline Fernandes, designer Nikhil Mehra and designer Gavin Miguel. Malaika Arora hosted the grand finale.
With the victory, Adline will be representing India at Miss Universe platform to be held later this year. Adline Castelino was born in Kuwait city to Alphonsus Castelino and Meera Castelino of Udyavar, Udupi. As a 15-year-old teen, Castelino moved to Mumbai. She did her schooling from St Xavier and graduated from Wilson College of Business Administration.
She is a professional model, and also works with VSP, an organization that functions to provide a sustainable livelihood for framers to curb farmer suicides and inequality. Castelino states that the cause is close to her heart as her grandparents were farmers. Adline was driven to work for the cause as her grandmother died at the age of 22 due to lack of medical facilities. She believes that it is a miracle that she is getting an opportunity to represent the country on an international stage and calls it a dream come true.

Shree Saini, Miss World America Washington Receives ‘World Peace Award’

Shree Saini, the 23-year-old Indian American and anti-bullying activist, who was crowned Miss World America Washington, has been awarded the “World Peace Messenger” and “Most Admired Global Indian” awards by World Peace Diplomacy Organization recently during a glittering ceremony held in Los Angeles.
“Thank you for recognizing my humble work. Due to a prior commitment, I was unable to attend the event.  The Passion Vista Award is one such rare award that’s given to a chosen few, for the contribution they make for the betterment of our society,” Shree said in a statement.  “I feel very happy and honored to receive one of the prestigious awards as World Peace Messenger in LA. It’s God’s blessings and my mom behind my every moment of ups and downs and success. My parents support, love and blessings have brought me international recognition and achievements,” Saini added.
Saini, who has studied at Harvard, has been trained in acting at the Yale actors conservatory. The Punjab native, who moved to Washington when she was seven, experienced hardships while in high school, where she was bullied. For years, she said, she felt like an outcast at school for being a person of color. As a response, she created the website www.shreesaini.org to educate people about her experiences.
“Shree has created an app on emotional heath at Stanford University. She has given hundreds of presentations in over 80 cities and six countries and written about 400 articles in newspapers on emotional fitness, via her non-profit shareesaini.org,” said the magazine.
Shree says, “The best award is knowing that YOU made a POSITIVE difference in someone else’s life. A girl recently approached me after a talk and started crying. She mentioned that she had followed my journey for a while and felt encouraged to pursue her dreams, despite obstacles. I gave her a big HUG and started to tear up as well. WOW. Your positive words and actions do make a positive difference. Keep being EXTRA LOVING AND ENCOURAGING.
“I want to dedicate this award and this incident to God’s blessings and YOUR SUPPORT,” Shree said. “Passion Vista noticed my contributions and honored me with this international reorganization “World Peace Messenger Award”, in Los Angeles. Thanks to Bharat Godaria ji for nominating me for this great honor.  Bharat ji is a great friend of our family and shipped me this award and the medallion.”
Passion Vista’s content is Global, Provocative and Inclusive. An Exemplary marriage of luxury, lifestyle & business. Each year, Passion Vista honors people from different walks of life for the contributions they make for the betterment of the society. The award is given in recognition for all the hard work and dedication put by honorees into their respective fields of work.
Saini, who has been recognized by several organizations and states and world renowned persons for her work and is aspiring to be an actor, told this writer: “I am now “Miss World America Washington”, which is preliminary to Miss World America and Miss World! Miss World Titles have been won by Aishwarya Rai and Prinkay Chopra. It’s the largest and the most philanthropic pageant, having raised 1.3 billion dollars for charities around the world. And I want to promote the many charitable initiatives this noble organization does all around the world.”

Tanishq Sharma: Miss India Worldwide – Eyes Set On Bollywood

Tanishq Sharma, a tall, stunning photogenic beauty-queen-model and aspiring Bollywood actress, the reigning Miss India Worldwide winner, who won the prestigious title at the beauty pageant in September this year, in Mumbai, is gearing up to try her luck in the Bollywood world. 
Overcoming tough competition from charming Indian-origin beauty-queens from over 30 foreign countries, the stunning model-trained actress-danseuse Tanishq Sharma won the coveted title-sash and was crowned ‘Miss India Worldwide-2019’ beauty-queen, representing Oman. 
Tanishq Sharma: Miss India Worldwide - Eyes Set On Bollywood The spectacular Miss India Pageants organized by India Festival Committee (IFC), which has evolved and expanded, now incorporating and having membership from over 40 countries, that promote Indian heritage and providing a platform for people of Indian origin to unite and showcase their talents, skills and beauty. 
Neelam and Dharmatma Saran, chairman and founders of the New York based India Festival (IFC) that organizes the trail blazing Miss India Worldwide, are pioneers in entertainment, holding Indian pageants and fashion shows in the USA and worldwide. 
An elegant, ambitious and talented aspiring Bollywood actor, Tanishq says, she wanted to join Bollywood, while growing up as an young girl, watching her mom teaching Indian classical dance. “I always participated in each and every cultural activities in India, Oman and Australia. Besides all this, I played Amrapali of our ancient times Amrapali. I won Miss India Worldwide 2019 because of my talent round only.” 
Her real break came when she was crowned Miss India Worldwide held in Mumbai in September. Since than she has been in the limelight attracting much media coverage. She just returned from Durban, South Africa, where she was invited as Special Guest to Miss India South Africa.  
In Durban, she had a memorable meeting with the winner of Miss India South Africa Aaliyah Chaboo, Dharmatma Saran – Chairman of Miss India Worldwide and  Kamisha and Preetha Nanhoo – Chief Organizers of Miss India South Africa.  
Tanishq Sharma: Miss India Worldwide - Eyes Set On Bollywood Talking about her journey, “I feel I am still working and there is so much more to go. I still have many more platforms to seek for and many more people to meet. I wish to work with Salman Khan, Emraan Hashmi, Akshay Kumar, Tiger Shroff and Hrithik Roshan in Bollywood,”  
“I feel entry to Bollywood is just about luck and hard work. There is no easy pathway for pageant winners like me. I accept the fact that culture activities, vocabulary qualities and expressing views are important qualities to have in one to excel,” she says with maturity. 
  
Tanishq was raised in Oman, and she shares a close bond with her maternal grand-father who guided and supported her to fulfill her dreams. Tanishq Sharma came to India in 2016 to become an actress and thereafter, she started her career by participating in Yamaha Fascino Miss Diva 2016, and she was one of the Finalists. In year 2017, she was seen as a wild card contestant in India’s Next Top Model Season 3 premiered on MTV. 

Tanishq, who was born in a multi-ethnic family in India, immigrated to Oman, where she pursued her second hobby, which is baking pastries. Her father Purnanand Sharma belongs to Uttarakhand, where she did her schooling. 
  
A winner of a series of six beauty-queen titles including Miss India Diva, NDA-Queen, Miss Tiara, and Miss Universe India 2016 Finalist. Tanishq is fluent in Hindi, Urdu, and English. 
Tanishq has been trained and groomed into the craft of acting-dancing by noted ‘acting-guru’ Madhumati (retro films—famous former actress-danseuse) who has also trained star-actors like Akshay Kumar and Chunky Pandey. 
  
Her modesty was seen when she declared on stage that “I consider myself perfectly imperfect, I don’t pretend to be what I am not.” Tanishq, who is now based in Mumbai, says, her wish-list includes her wish to work with top directors like Sunny Deol, Madhur Bhandarkar , Shoojit Sircar, Mahesh Bhatt Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Imtiaz Ali, Amar Kaushik and Anand L. Rai. Her dream-co-actor has always been Emraan Hashmi. 
  
Tanishq Sharma: Miss India Worldwide - Eyes Set On Bollywood She has done ad-commercials photoshoot and promoted brands like Kodak Lens, Nazraana Jewellery, Eric De Vert Frangrance, Dazzler Eye mascare, Glamour organic, beauty products and many more. 
 
Tanishq Sharma has shot ad-commercials for brands like Kodak Lens, Nazraana Jewellery, Eric De Vert Frangrance, Dazzler Eye mascare, Glamour organic etc, and now she is looking out for an opportunity to enter into Bollywood. 
Besides becoming a successful Bollywood actress, Tanishq would like to work on women empowerment and start a NGO to help women in distress and affected by domestic violence. 
Her passionate interest in cooking, has made her an owner of multi-cuisine restaurant named ‘Khalifa’ in Muscat, Oman; and she has a flair for making confectionery and pastries. 
 
She is looking forward to her visit to New York and Houston in January to attend Miss India USA. She plans to visit many other countries during her reign. Miss India Worldwide provides all expenses paid trip to at least five countries besides a cash prize of US$8,000.00. 
Tanishq Sharma gives credit to her parents and grandparents, along with Dharmatma Saran and his wife Neelam, who “really helped me to be what I am today. You all can see me in Bollywood soon, as I have already signed” projects with leading actors in the Bollywood world.  Her message to the youth of Indian origin is to “stick to their culture traditions and moral.”  

Archita Mundrathi Crowned Miss India Connecticut

Archita Mundrathi was crowned Miss India Connecticut and Mamatha Puttaswamy won the title of Mrs. India Connecticut as 24 contestants participated in the Miss India Connecticut 2019 pagean, organized and hosted by CT state director Sumathi Narayanan on Nov. 2.

The pageant, directed by Sumathi Narayanan, featured the following categories: Jr. Pre-Teen, Pre-Teen, Teen, and Mrs. A total of 24 contestants participated in the pageant and confidently portrayed Indian culture, unique talents, and American pride with grace and elegance. The pageant was not just about outer beauty, but also valued inner beauty, intelligence, and ambition of the young women of Connecticut. Here is the list winners in various categories:

“We are so proud of the beautiful, talented, and successful women of Connecticut, and we’re excited to see how they further achieve their causes and missions in this upcoming year by using the platform given to them,” said state director Narayanan. “We also encourage all women to continue to pursue their dreams and seize these opportunities! The Miss India Connecticut team thanks to all its sponsors and supporting organizations for making this event a grand success.”

Miss India Connecticut is associated and part of IFC, a pioneer in organizing Indian pageants and fashion shows in USA, and aptly called the ‘Mother of all Indian Pageants in USA.’

The event started with an opening dance choreographed by P&P Dance Crew of CT, in which all the contestants performed energetic and graceful introductory dances alongside the reigning Miss India CT 2018 – Alka, Mrs. India CT 2018 – Rekha, Miss Teen India CT 2018 – Nikitha, Mrs India USA 2018/Mrs India Worldwide RU 2019 – Vidhi . The opening dance was then followed by the ethnic wear round, where each contestant proudly displayed their Indian culture. Next was the talent round, in which contestants displayed their talent through dance and musical performances, acting, martial arts, crafts, and even magic shows! The contestants then gave their introduction in the evening gown round. Lastly, the finalists amazed everyone with their wits in the question and answer round.

Winners:

Miss Junior Pre-Teen India Connecticut – Jahnvi Modi

Miss Pre-Teen India Connecticut – Aavni Parekh

Miss Teen India Connecticut – Archita Mundrathi

Mrs. India Connecticut – Mamatha Puttaswamy

1st Runner Up:

Miss Junior Pre-Teen India Connecticut – Ankitha Basker

Miss Pre-Teen India Connecticut – Nayana Pradeep

Miss Teen India Connecticut 1st Runner Up – Athulya Narayanan

Mrs. India Connecticut 1st Runner Up – Sweta Patel

2nd Runner Ups:

Miss Junior Pre-Teen India Connecticut – Kaashvi Singhal

Miss Pre-Teen India Connecticut – Kamya Keerthivasan

Miss Teen India Connecticut – Muskan Ghetiya

Mrs. India Connecticut – Rajalekshmy Chembakomony

Sub-Title Winners:

Junior Pre-Teen: Aarna Pavan Mannurkar – Beautiful Hair & Viewer’s Choice; Ankita Basker – Beautiful Walk; Jahnvi Modi – Beautiful Eyes & Beautiful Smile; Kaashvi Singhal – Photogenic. Pre-Teen: Aavni Parekh – Beautiful Walk & Viewer’s Choice; Hasnie Giritharan – Beautiful Hair; Kamya Keerthivasan – Beautiful Smile; Nayana Pradeep – Photogenic; Pooravi Srivastava – Beautiful Eyes.

Teen: Athulya Narayanan – Talented; Neesha – Business Leader, Photogenic & Viewer’s Choice.

Mrs: Jaya Daptardar – Director’s Choice; Lipika Das – Beautiful Eyes; Madhumita Nagashetty – Photogenic; Mamatha Puttaswamy – Viewer’s Choice; Rajvinder Randhawa – Beautiful Hair; Rumana Kumar – Congeniality; Saranya Vaithilingam – Catwalk; Seema Singh – Business Leader; Sonya Upadhyay – Beautiful Smile; Sweta Patel – Talented.

The winners of Teen, Miss and Mrs. Category will also be going forward to compete at the national level pageant hosted by Mr. Dharmatma Saran, Chairman of IFC in Houston – TX on Dec 7th 2019, for the title of Miss/Teen/Mrs. India USA!

Presenting Manushi Chhillar as Prithviraj’s Sanyogita!

Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar can be best described as an ethereal beauty. This gorgeous 22-year-old girl has been one of the most coveted new faces sought after by top Bollywood film-makers. It has been long rumoured that she is set to be making her big debut in Bollywood and now we can officially reveal she is getting the biggest launch for any newcomer in the recent times!

It is a dream debut in Bollywood for her as India’s biggest production house, Yash Raj Films, has signed Manushi as the heroine of their biggest historical film Prithviraj based on the life and heroism of the fearless and mighty King Prithviraj. It stars superstar Akshay Kumar in and as Prithviraj and Manushi will play the role of the gorgeous Sanyogita, Prithiviraj’s love of life.

Prithviraj is being directed by Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi who directed the biggest television epic Chanakya – based on the life and times of the most influential political strategist of India and the multiple award-winning Pinjar. Dwivedi says, “We auditioned a lot of young, fresh faces for the role because we were looking for a stunningly gorgeous Indian heroine. While Sanyogita was an incredibly beautiful person, she was also a strong, confident girl. We were looking to find someone who could match the magnetic persona of Sanyogita and we found that in Manushi. She auditioned for the role a couple of times because we wanted to be dead sure with this casting and she nailed it each time. She has been rehearsing six days a week since then and she is being thoroughly groomed for the last 9 months by YRF.”

YRF has always discovered supremely talented outsiders like Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma, etc who have become stars in their own right. So, all eyes on Manushi as a heroine to watch out for. YRF has also signed her on as their talent and will manage Manushi completely.

“It is a huge honour to have been chosen by a production house like Yash Raj Films as their heroine! I’m thoroughly happy and thrilled about the learnings that I will have through this journey. My life, so far, has really been a fairy tale. From becoming Miss India and then Miss World to now getting such a big project as my debut film, it’s like a new, exciting chapter of my life. It is a huge responsibility to play princess Sanyogita. She was a powerful personality and she stood up for what is right and took the most important decisions of her life by herself. Her life is an extremely important chapter in Indian history and I will try my best to play her as accurately as possible,” Manushi adds.

Manushi is also a good example of beauty with brains as Manushi has a strong voice and is an opinion leader who takes a stand on societal issues. Immediately after winning Miss World, she conceived and founded a non-profit organization, Project Shakti, aimed at improving the menstrual hygiene of women in India. Manushi constantly works with women in over 20 villages of India to spread the message of sanitation. Today, this organization provides free sanitary pads among women and has also empowered the women of the community by making them earn a living and become self-reliant.

Manushi is a huge fan of former Miss Worlds and super achievers Priyanka Chopra and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and considers them her role models. She is a trained Kuchipudi dancer, and has trained under legendary dancers Raja and Radha Reddy and Kaushalya Reddy. Prithviraj will release worldwide on Diwali 2020.

Indian-American contestant who collapsed before Miss World America Pageant, wins 5 awards

Indian American contestant, Shree Saini collapsed right before Miss World America final night of the competition in Las Vegas on October 12th, 2019. “Please pray for my daughter Shree Saini. This is Ekta Saini, Shree’s mom. Shree collapsed right before Miss World America final night of competition, which started with evening gown,” read a post shared on Instagram on Sunday.

Sharing details of what happened, Ekta sani, Shree’s mom, wrote: “They called me backstage after the ambulance had arrive, ready to take Shree to the hospital. Shree was so happy and joyful all day and did a great job yesterday at the Miss World America preliminary round. I heard that Shree won 5 out of 6 awards during today’s final night of competition.”

“We have been in hospital since 9 p.m. They are doing cat scan, EKG, etc. Doctors just told me that less than 1% people at age 12 have a Pacemaker. So Shree will stay in hospital for a ‘cardiac arrest watch’. Prayers requested.”

While Shree was still under observation, the Miss World America organization reached the hospital to give Shree five awards—“Beauty With A Purpose Award; Top Influencers Award;  Entrepreneur Challenge Award; 1st Runner Up Talent Award; and 1st Runner Up Top Model Award’—that she won as a run-up to the final round.

Miss India Worldwide Shree Saini was among five Indian-American contestants selected for the Miss World America pageant, held on Oct. 12 at the Hotel New Orleans in Las Vegas, Nevada. Joining Saini, 23, of Seattle, Washington, were Manju Bangalore, 22, of Los Angeles, California; Lekha Ravi, 26, of Miami, Florida; Jasmeet Ghoman, 20, of Des Moines, Iowa; and Amulya Chava, 17, Topeka, Kansas.

Contestants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia will compete for the crown. The winner, who will be crowned by Miss World America, Marisa Butler, of Maine, and will represent the U.S at Miss World 2019 in London.

“It is my honor and privilege to be among these incredible women, who are brilliant, insanely talented and great community servants in their states,” Saini, who was the Miss India USA in 2017, went on to say of her entry into the final leg of the Miss World America competition.

Shree has survived severe facial burns, constant bullying, and a heart surgery for a pacemaker at age 12. Shree’s childhood dream to serve as Miss World, led her to change her adversities to advocacy, have a victor mindset, rather than victim mindset, according to the official site of Miss World America. Shree, who has studied at Yale University and Harvard University, has created an app on emotional health at Stanford University.

As Miss World Washington, Saini is also part of the Beauty With A Purpose project (#BeautywithaPurpose) which she says is the “very best part” of competing for Miss World America. “As your servant leader and a heart patient, I have been working with heart health through American Heart Association and I have also been speaking about the value of Emotional Wellbeing all around the world,” Saini noted on Facebook. She was also recently chosen as the “National Ambassador” for “Victoria’s Voice” a non-profit founded by parents of Victoria Siegel, who died of a drug overdose in 2015.

According to Saini’s profile on the pageant website, she has given 100s of presentations in over 80 cities and 6 countries, written 400 some articles in newspapers on emotional fitness, and has helped fundraise over $800,000 via her nonprofit shreesaini.org.

A business manager, speaker, mentor, and a dancer, Saini has survived severe facial burns, constant bullying, and a heart surgery for a pacemaker at age 12. Her childhood dream to serve as Miss World, led her to change her adversities to advocacy, have a victor mindset, rather than victim mindset.

To help others gain tools on how to lead a purposeful and fulfilling life, despite life’s challenges, Saini has given several presentations in over 80 cities and 6 countries and written articles on emotional fitness, and has helped fundraise over $800,000 via her nonprofit shreesaini.org.

After winning the Miss India Worldwide crown last year, Saini, in an interview stated that that she always wanted to compete in pageants since 1st grade. “Your life’s legacy is defined by how you make people feel, with each vibe/interaction/conversation and the positive difference you make in other’s lives in your lifetime,” she had India Abroad about her journey to the crown. “Let us all have a solution mindset, we should always try to defuse the negativity in any situation and focus on the light within all of us.”

Bella Hadid is the world’s most beautiful woman, says science

Supermodel Bella Hadid is the most beautiful woman in the world. At least, that’s what Greek mathematics says. Scientists determining the most beautiful woman on the planet according to the “Golden Ratio of Beauty Phi Standards” have picked the Victoria’s Secret model’s face as the one that comes closest to perfection, reports goss.ie.

The “Golden Ratio of Beauty Phi” defines beauty in accordance to classic Greek calculations. Measurements of facial proportions are done going by standards that Greek scholars applied while trying to define beauty with scientific formula.

According to the “Golden Ratio” measurements, the 23-year-old Bella has a face that is 94.35 per cent perfect. Also, going by the parameters of the “Golden Ratio of Beauty Phi”, pop diva Beyoncé finished at the second spot. She has a face that is 92.44 per cent perfect.

Actress Amber Heard is at number three with a ratio of 91.85 per cent while pop star Ariana Grande is placed fourth with 91.81 per cent.

The measurements were conducted by Dr Julian De Silva, an emminent facial cosmetic surgeon at London’s famous Harley Street. “Bella Hadid was the clear winner when all elements of the face were measured for physical perfection. She had the highest overall reading for her chin which, with a score of 99.7 per cent, is only 0.3 per cent away from being the perfect shape, “Dr Julian told The Daily Mail.

Earlier this week, Bella fueled rumors of reuniting with her ex, singer The Weeknd, when he was spotted at her side on her birthday. The two had called it quits a couple of months ago, and they quashed all reunion rumors saying they continue to be just “friends” and nothing more.

World’s oldest pearl to go on display in Abu Dhabi

The world’s oldest known pearl is set to be exhibited at the Louvre Abu Dhabi this month, the first time it will be displayed to the public since its discovery.

The 8,000-year-old pearl was uncovered at an archaeological site on Marawah Island, off the coast of Abu Dhabi, according to the emirate’s Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT).

Archaeologists made the discovery in the room of a structure they were excavating, the DCT said via a video posted to its official Twitter account Sunday. They then used radiocarbon dating to determine that it formed between 5800 B.C and 5600 B.C., making it the oldest pearl ever to be discovered.

The pearl, which was discovered in 2017, is less than a third of a centimeter in diameter and in photos, appears to be pale pink in color. It’s set to feature in an upcoming exhibition at the Louvre Abu Dhabi titled “10,000 Years of Luxury,” which opens on Oct. 30.

“The presence of pearls at archaeological sites is evidence that the pearl trade existed from at least as far back as the Neolithic period,” said director of the DCT’s Archaeological Survey Unit, Abdulla Khalfan Al-Kaabi, in the video.

Other historical sources and texts suggest that Abu Dhabi was widely known for its pearls, and was a major trading hub for them by the 16th century. According to a DCT press release, the Venetian jewel merchant Gasparo Balbi traveled through the region in the 16th century, and mentioned the islands off the Abu Dhabi coast as a source of pearls.

Archaeologists at the site also discovered artifacts made using the bones of sea creatures like fish and turtles. The ocean was likely an integral part of life in the region’s ancient communities, according to Al-Kaabi, who said that pearls may have been used to barter with other civilizations.

“The Abu Dhabi Pearl is a stunning find, testimony to the ancient origins of our engagement with the sea,” said DCT Chairman Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak in the press release. “The discovery of the oldest pearl in the world in Abu Dhabi makes it clear that so much of our recent economic and cultural history has deep roots that stretch back to the dawn of prehistory.”

Pearls would have been used as jewelry and were seen as luxury items, according to the press release.

Pearls were once the backbone of the region’s economy. According to the DCT, pearling crews would spend the summer months sailing to oyster beds in the warm, shallow Persian Gulf. They would dive for oysters and then break open their shells to obtain the naturally formed pearls inside.

The region’s pearling industry was in decline by the early 1900s, as Japanese oyster farmers developed new techniques to cultivate perfectly round, immaculate pearls. Today, pearl diving has all but disappeared as a vocation in Abu Dhabi, though theme parks and tour companies continue to offer it as an activity for visitors.

Bhasha Mukherjee Crowned Miss England 2019, to Compete in Miss World

Bhasha Mukherjee, a British Indian medic, who starts her new job as a junior doctor on Friday, has been crowned Miss England 2019. Mukherjee, who moved to the UK from India with her parents aged 9, will compete in the 69th Miss World contest to be held in December in London.
The 23-year-old beauty from Derby in East Midlands region of England starts her new medical job at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Lincolnshire, just hours after winning the contest in Newcastle Upon Tyne in North East England on Thursday night.
 
Mukherjee speaks five languages and has a Bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery from the University of Nottingham. “Bhasha is an incredibly hard-working young woman, an ideal candidate to represent the multicultural country of England,” said Angie Beasley, director of the Miss England contest.
 
“Bhasha was sponsored by celebrity make-up artist Joggy Kang and wore a rose gold-beaded gown by designer Puneet Brandao,” she added.
 
The pageant winners bagged over GBP 30,000 worth of prizes, which include a luxury holiday to Mauritius. Mukherjee, who speaks English, Bengali, Hindi, German and French, describes herself as studious with an IQ of 146.
 
She admits it was “quite difficult” to balance the Miss England contest with completing her medical finals this year. “I’m very proud to be representing the south Asian community, minority populations and Derby,” she said.
 
“It’s been really nerve-wracking, I couldn’t tell if I was more nervous about the competition or about starting my job as a junior doctor,” she said.
 
Mukherjee, who performed an Indian dance sequence for her talent round, has been running her own charity called the Generation Bridge Project since 2013, which supports Derby’s elderly community with events like fun days and talent shows.
 
After modelling for seven years, she became one of just 55 contestants to reach the finals of the Miss England pageant from more than 22,000 entries. Last month, the Miss England 2019 pageant hit the headlines as one of the first to launch a new make-up free round, with the winner of the ‘bare face top model’ contest being fast-tracked to the final round of 20 women vying for the overall title.
 
As part of their entries, the women had to wear no make-up and also had to post the photo on social media with the message to celebrate natural beauty.

Matryoshka Dolls And Its Types

The matryoshka is a wooden, brightly painted hollow inside doll in the form of a semi-oval figure, into which other similar smaller dolls are inserted. Matryoshka cut from linden, birch, alder and aspen. More hard and durable conifers do not use. The best material for making nesting dolls is linden. The tree is harvested in the spring, usually in April, when the wood in the juice. The tree is cleared of bark, be sure to leave bark rings on the trunk, otherwise it will crack when dried. Logs are stacked in a pile, leaving an air gap between them. The wood is kept outdoors for two years or more. Only an experienced cutter can determine the readiness of the material. Turner makes with a lime chock up to 15 operations before it becomes a finished doll. It is one of the https://nestingdolls.com interesting dolls</a> in dolls.
The very first grind a small one-piece figure. For the opening matryoshka, first they grind out the lower part – the bottom. After turning, the wooden doll is carefully cleaned, ground with paste, achieving a perfectly smooth surface. After priming the matryoshka is ready for painting. Russian nesting dolls are very diverse in shape and painting, depending on their place of origin (region of Russia).
Matryoshka from Sergiyev Posad is distinguished by a squat shape, the top, smoothly turning into the expanding lower part of the figure. The preferred ratio of dolls – 1: 2 – is the ratio of the width of the doll to its height.
The <a href=”https://www.elledecor.com/paint/“>painting</a> is done without a preliminary drawing with gouache and only occasionally with watercolor and tempera, and the intensity of the color is achieved with the help of varnishing.
Semenovskaya nesting doll more slender and elongated. The basis of the composition in the painting of Semyonov matryoshka is an apron, which depicts a magnificent bouquet of flowers.
Modern masters create paintings in three colors – red, blue and yellow. They change the color combination of an apron, a sundress and a scarf. The bouquet on the apron is traditionally written not in the center, but somewhat shifted to the right.
Semenovskiy turners have come up with a special form of dolls. Its upper part, relatively thin, sharply turns into a thickened lower one. Semyonov’s matryoshka differs from other nesting dolls in that it is ambivalent: it consists of 15-18 multi-colored figures. It was in Semyonov that the largest 72-seater nested doll was cut out. Its diameter is half a meter, and its height is 1 meter.
Semenov is considered the largest center for the creation of matryoshkas in Russia. Vyatka Matryoshka Vyatskaya Matryoshka is the most northern of all Russian matryoshkas. She portrays a blue-eyed northerner with a soft, shy smile. The face of this nested doll is cute and affable. Matryoshka painted with aniline dyes and covered with oil varnish.
Matryoshka from Polkhovsky Maidan: Polkhovsky nested doll differs from Sergievsky and Semenovka nested dolls in its shape: pointedly elongated figures with a small, rigidly outlined head. Also, there are primitive single figures, columns, similar to mushrooms.
The painting of polkhovsky nesting dolls is based on a combination of raspberry – red, green and black colors along the outline previously drawn with ink. “Flowers with a tip” – the most typical and favorite painting in Polkhovsky Maidan, is characterized by a motley decor – decoration with the help of individual strokes, “poking” and dots.
The masters of the Polkhovsky Maidan, like the Merin and Semenov neighbors, paint the matryoshka with aniline paints on a previously primed surface. Dyes are diluted with an alcohol solution.
Today, the Matryoshka brand is actively used throughout the world. Designers from different countries offer various stylistic solutions, as well as the most unexpected options for the Russian nesting doll.

AAHOA Announces 2018 Award Winners

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney addressed America’s hoteliers on Saturday, April 27, during the closing night of the 2019 AAHOA Convention and Trade Show. In his remarks, Mulvaney touted his longtime relationship with the association and its members, the effectiveness of AAHOA’s advocacy efforts, and the strength of the American economy. Mulvaney’s relationship with AAHOA dates to his time in the South Carolina state legislature and as a restaurant franchisee. Mulvaney is a 2017 recipient of AAHOA’s “Friend of the Hotelier Award,” the association’s top advocacy honor.

“America’s hoteliers were honored to welcome our good friend Mr. Mulvaney to highlight the celebration of AAHOA’s thirtieth anniversary at our 2019 Convention,” said AAHOA Interim President and CEO Rachel Humphrey.

The celebration of achievement and excellence was a common theme as AAHOA reflected on its thirtieth anniversary during the 2019 AAHOA Convention and Trade Show in San Diego, Calif. On Friday, April 26, the association honored hoteliers for their contributions to the hospitality industry, and representatives from RLH Corporation announced the 2019 winner of the Bright Innovations Award. Winners received their awards on the main stage during the general session. The winners are:

AAHOA Award of Excellence: Jan Gautam
Outstanding Woman Hotelier of the Year: Deepa Patel
Outstanding Young Professional Hotelier of the Year: Ankit Panchal
IAHA Independent Hotel of the Year: Lexen Hotel North Hollywood
Outreach Award for Philanthropy: Bhupen Amin
Political Forum Award for Advocacy: Arti Patel
RLH Corporation 2019 Bright Innovations Award: Roshan Patel

“Every year, we honor hoteliers who go above and beyond in their contributions to the hospitality industry,” said Immediate Past Chairman Hitesh (HP) Patel. “It is incumbent upon us to recognize the excellence in our midst, and I cannot think of a better stage on which to do so than in front of thousands of AAHOA members at Convention.”

Earlier in the session, Outreach Award for Philanthropy winner Bhupen Amin addressed the general session about giving back to one’s community and the multitude of ways, big and small, that a hotelier can make a difference through charitable efforts.

“We have an amazing membership that is constantly raising the bar for what success and distinction as a hotelier means. I congratulate all our award winners and look forward to seeing how they influence our industry and shape expectations for innovation and achievement,” said Interim President and CEO Rachel Humphrey.

“As a franchisee and tireless advocate of small businesses, Mr. Mulvaney understands firsthand the challenges and opportunities facing America’s hoteliers. We are fortunate to have such a strong champion for regulatory relief and tax reform in the White House,” said AAHOA Chairwoman Jagruti Panwala.

 AAHOA is the largest hotel owners’ association in the world. The nearly 18,500 AAHOA members own almost one in every two hotels in the United States. With billions of dollars in property assets and hundreds of thousands of employees, AAHOA members are core economic contributors in virtually every community. AAHOA is a proud defender of free enterprise and the foremost current-day example of realizing the American dream.

Zila Khan’s Rumi Yatra

Zila Khan’s Rumi Yatra takes audiences on a journey through India’s treasured musical landscape, through the prism of Rumi’s philosophy.

Zila Khan’s powerful vocals act as a harmonic looking-glass through which Rumiexperiences the music of Indian literary icons like Amir KhusroMirza GhalibBaba FaridBulleh ShahKabir, and Ustad Vilayat Khan, among others. These songs will also be interwoven with Rumi’s poetry that has inspired writers for countless generations.

A highly revered Indian singer, Zila Khan is also a music entrepreneur, actor, and a cultural ambassador for the Government of India. A prolific performer, she is the daughter of Sitar Maestro Ustad Vilayat Khan, and is known for her diverse repertoire and her effortless command over various musical styles from Indian Classical, World Music and Indo-Jazz Fusion to Traditional Ghazal and Sufi. She is widely regarded as one of the finest and most accomplished Sufi singers of her generation.

Her ensemble consists of some exceptional maestros including jazz virtuoso Ossam Ezzeldin; bass wiz Kai Eckhardt; and master bansuri player Steve Gorn, who seamlessly combines Indian harmonic ideas with jazz music literature.

Presented by Asia Society, the Consulate General of India in New York and the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).

Designers from India show festive wear in New Jersey at “Spring Soirée 2019”

An array of Indian and US-Indian designers showcased their latest collections at the fashion and lifestyle exhibition Spring Soirée 2019 April 14, at the Royal Albert’s Palace in Fords, New Jersey.

The exhibition was a one-stop shop for the spring wedding season.

The show ‘Spring Soiree, 2019’ showcased the versatility of Indian designers whose wide-ranging styles were not restricted to any culture or ethnicity, but also included the ethnic and traditional, according to a press release from organizers House of Chic by Heena Surani, a New York-based pop-up retail company, in collaboration with Vandana Malhotra Puri.

Currently their fashions have been seen in Dubai, New York, Dallas and Los Angeles, and at Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai, and according to organizers, the Mumbai event “is already creating a buzz in Indian style and fashion magazines.”

The ‘Spring Soiree, 2019’  has been held in New York City, and Westchester before being taken to New Jersey. Many well-known designers (with their collection) such as Jayanthi Reddy, Adhya, Myoho, Lotus Sutr, Priya Chahabria, Inaarabypriya, Harshi, Dolly Saraf Jain, Dhashi, Roma Bhalla, Aneehka, ReeMat, BG Jewels, Tinted Teal, Allure Jewels and many more participated in the event.

In the New Jersey show, exquisite Indian embroideries with Western cuts made it on the ramp, the collections holding an international appeal, organizers said. It included festive couture, handcrafted luxury pret, which derives inspiration from the fusion of modern trends, fall styles to summer spring looks – including kurtas, salwaar suits, tunics, semiformal Indian wear and many more silhouettes were highlighted.

On April 14, House of Chic and Vandana Malhotra Puri hosted the New Jersey edition of Spring Soirée 2019 at the Royal Albert Palace in Fords. The fashion and lifestyle exhibition featured clothing, jewellery, and accessories with traditional and bridal wear as a focus.

Participating clothing designers included Jayanti Reddy, Priya Chhabria, Aneeka Harshi, Myoho, Roma Bhalla, Lotus Sutra, Heena Kochhar, Dhashi, Aadhya, and Kama Fashion by Dolly Jain. Jewellery brands Reemat Designs and Bijoux by Priya Chandra also participated. Fusion wear, kurtas, lehengas, and dupattas provided both formal and casual options for shoppers and the New Jersey Indian community came together to celebrate Indian fashion.

The event was designed to create a “buzz” around Indian fashion, according to the event’s press release. The New Jersey event followed Dallas, New York City, and Westchester and Heena Surani’s fashion events business House of Chic has also run similar events in Los Angeles and Dubai.

“A holistic cocktail of the antique artistry mixed with modern wizardry of silhouettes, cuts and jaw dropping designs,” organizers said in the press release. “The response was outstanding and crowds are now waiting for the next Exhibition with the next stunning Collection,” they added.

Dharmatma Saran & Shree Saini Win At The Global Beauty Awards

Dharmatma Saran, Chairman and Founder of Miss/Mrs. India Worldwide and Shree Saini, the reigning Miss India Worldwide, won awards as the Director/Producer and Best Title Holder respectively at the Second Global Beauty Awards held on April 7 at Snoqualmie Casino in Seattle, Washington State. The Global Beauty Awards has been acclaimed as the Academy Award (Oscar) of beauty pageant industry. The event was attended by beauty pageant leaders from around the world. Sarah Rose Summers, the reigning Miss USA, was Emcee for the gala event.
Dharmatma Saran who is the pioneer in starting Indian beauty pageants in the USA and the world was honored for creating Miss India USA thirty eight years ago and also the only international Indian pageant – Miss India Worldwide with affiliates in over 40 countries. “He provides exceptional opportunities to his winners,” said the citation, “many of whom have gone to become Bollywood celebrities and the Who’s Who of the Indian community worldwide.”
Dharmatma Saran in his acceptance speech thanked Maureen Francisco and David Van Maren, Producers of the awards, for this honor. He also thanked Ekta Saini for nominating him  and his wife Neelam Saran who has been a source of strength in his thirty eight years of pageant journey. Saran got this award out of 15 other influential nominees from around the world.
Shree Saini, the reigning Miss India Worldwide, was awarded as The Best Pageant Titleholder, out of 15 nominees from all over the world. The citation for Shree said ” As Miss India Worldwide, Shree saini has spoken at hundreds of events in over 70 cities, 11 states and 5 countries, al while being a full-time college student. She has collaborated with Governor, the Secretary of State, College Presidents, Mayors, and dozens of nonprofits, and her work has been published in over 500 newspapers.” Shree in her acceptance speech thanked her parents and Dharmatma Saran, Chairman of Miss India Worldwide, for their continued support.
Beautiful, compassionate, talented, ambitious, gentle, humble, determined and dedicated to achieving the lofty goals she has set before herself at a very young age, Shree Saini is a woman with a golden heart. Shree from the state of Washington was born in India. She immigrated to the United States as a toddler.
A woman with a noble mission, what the 22-year-old University of Washington student, is aspiring to achieve in her life, is to create awareness on a number of pressing social issues through her organization, and through her web-portal.  “I began my nonprofit at age 15. I work on raising awareness and raising funds for several nonprofits including anti-human trafficking and anti-bullying,” the young visionary says. “I am very passionate about my non-profit and want to lead a life of service,” she says. “I want to help end human trafficking and work to promote the importance of emotional well-being in our society.”
Dharmatma Saran, chairman and founder of the New York based India Cultural Festival (IFC) that organizes the trail blazing Miss India Worldwide, is a pioneer in entertainment, holding Indian pageants and fashion shows in the USA and worldwide.
In 1990, Dharmatma Saran, decided to take the pageant one step further to an international level and started The First Miss India Worldwide Pageant to identify and honor beauties of Indian origin the world over and the show graduated to become the top most international Indian pageant on the earth. “For the first time ever, Asian-Indian communities from all over the world came together in New York for this event,” says Saran with a sense of pride. “To the best of our knowledge, no other ethnic organi­zation has ever conducted a pageant of this magnitude on an international level.”
The pageant was an instant success and was acclaimed as the most glamorous Indian function in the world. “When Miss India New York started in 1980, I had perhaps not even in my wildest dreams imagined that in less than twenty years, we would fledge out to be a mass movement with affiliates in over 40 countries, let alone that we would one day have a live internet webcast and broadcast our most prestigious function, the Miss India Worldwide, to an audience of over 300 million people!”
The pageants aim to honor achievement, to celebrate our culture in many ways, among them, the ability to meet people, make friends, to respect and be respected, to continually strive to improve standards, and to live a life as close to the laws of nature.
In line with other prestigious international pageants, IFC started staging Miss India Worldwide in various parts of the world. In 1997, the pageant was organized in Bombay to salute India on its 50th anniversary of Independence. In the year 1998, the pageant was organized, in associa­tion with UTV International, in the exotic and beautiful city of Singapore, South Afrcia, Malyasia, UAE, Surinam and several other states in the US.
In addition, she uses the many social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, among others, to enhance her life’s mission. Through Shree Saini YouTube page, she wants to spread her message by creating short videos of discussions on social issues, college life, raising awareness of important organizations and human rights, as well as anything to help the community.
Shree won the Miss India USA after many years of focus and practice, participating and winning in several pageants. Shree has competed in a number of pageants within the Miss America organization. She was the first runner-up at Miss Moses Lake 2014, Miss Seattle 2016 and Miss Seattle 2017. She also won the Miss Seattle People’s Choice Award in 2016 and 2017, and Miss Congeniality, Highest Fundraiser, Director’s Award. All her pageant exposure has served as a platform for what she truly loves, in spreading awareness against bullying and other social issues. As Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, says, “Shree has used her platform to spread her story of perseverance, tolerance and heart health.”
Miss India USA was started by the New York-based community leaders Dharmatma Saran and Neelam Saran, under the banner of the India Festival Committee around 36 years ago, Miss India USA is the longest running Indian pageant outside India. “It has evolved over the years. Earlier, the participants of pageants presented their talent around Bollywood dance and songs and classical dances. But now pageant participants come out with their own innovations,” Dharmatma Saran said.
Saran contributions to Indian culture has been appreciated and recognized by various organizations around the world and he has been acclaimed as “India’s cultural ambassador to the world.” He has traveled with his wife Neelam to various countries to start Indian pageant. Recently he was awarded Bharat Gaurav Award held at the headquarters of United Nations in New York.

HT India’s Most Stylish 2019 Awards Held

Bollywood stars such as Shah Rukh Khan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma, Akshay Kumar and Ranveer Singh won big at the Hindustan Times India’s Most Stylish Awards 2019 held at the St Regis in Mumbai on Friday, March 28th.

Attended by Bollywood stars such as Shah Rukh Khan, Anil Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Katrina Kaif, Ayushmann Khurrana, Diljit Dosanjh, Sonakshi Sinha, Vicky Kaushal and Kartik Aaryan, the second edition of the India’s Most Stylish awards, which saw Shah Rukh Khan, Kartik Aaryan and Vicky Kaushal pick up major wins.

Vicky and Radhika Apte, who were a part of the ensemble cast of the anthology film Lust Stories – although in different segments – were among the first to arrive on the ‘black carpet’. They hosted the event.

India’s most stylish (male) reader’s choice award goes to Ranveer Singh, who mimes Kapil Dev’s bowling action on stage. Ranveer will play the former India cricket captain in an upcoming film. “Abhi to party shuru hui hai, Mic mere haath mei aaya hai. I feel amazing accepting award from the legend, Kapil Dev. How am I going to look this handsome, he is the next character I am playing. I am hoping to make him proud,” Ranveer said.

India’s Most Stylish Reader’s choice award (female) goes to Anushka Sharma. She said, “style is a personal and subjective thing and this award is very gratifying.” HT Hottest Trendsetter (male) goes to Akshay Kumar

Sunny Leone and Dimple Kapadia give away the award for HT Hottest Trendsetter (male) to Akshay Kumar. Akshay then took part in a rapid fire round. Here are some of his answers. The film he doesn’t want his kids to watch: Garam Masala.

India’s most stylish (female) jury’s choice is Kareena Kapoor. “Who better than Manish to give me the stylish award,” Kareena said. “I am accepting this award on my son Taimur’s behalf, the most stylish man alive. And he is definitely more stylish than you Ranveer.” Kareena Kapoor is the showstopper at Manish Malhotra’s show

Designer Manish Malhotra showcased his work in a stunning fashion show.

Kartik Aaryan wins the HT Most Stylish Youth Icon, his parents accepted the award on his behalf. Waheeda Rahman wins the HT Style Hall of Fame award, gets a standing ovation. “I knew the parents of a jury member before he was born, Karan Johar. Thank you Karan, thank you jury,” she said.

Twinkle Khanna won the HT Most Stylish author award. She said, “Steve jobs wore black turtleneck everyday of his life and he was a genius, Karan has never repeated the same dress so I don’t know what it says about him.” Twinkle dubbed Karan and herself Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

Jeep Badge of Honour goes to Vicky Kaushal, HT Most Stylish director (male) is Rohit Shetty. Rohit said, “Last year I gave the biggest hit, this is my first award.” HT Style Game changer award goes to Sonakshi Sinha, who says, “My game has had to be changed very drastically, and trust me it takes an army of people. I have inherited some of that shotgun swag and I carry it well.”

Ekta Kapoor wins the HT Most Stylish Filmmaker award, while the HT Most Stylish Music Star award goes to Tanishk Bagchi. “I don’t think I have ever got a style award, I have featured so many times on worst dressed lists due to bloopers,” said Ekta.

Actor Ranveer Singh made a splashy entrance at the HT India’s Most Stylish awards. Wearing a neon suit and a new moustache, the Gully Boy actor was in his element. Telugu actor Vijay Deverakonda wins. He says in his acceptance speech, “Mumbai if you are wondering who the f**k this is, I am a Telugu actor.”

HT India’s Most Stylish 2019 Awards HeldShah Rukh Khan and his wife Gauri have won the HT Most Stylish Couple award. “Everything I know about style is actually Gauri,” Shah Rukh said. Gauri added, “Every time we are stepping out, I am ready in 20 minutes but he takes 2-3 hours. Tonight I put in a lot of effort and took three hours and he took six.”

Shah Rukh continued, “I am basic and boring and she brings in the beauty.” Reacting to the couple’s old photos, Shah Rukh said, “I was very poor and Gauri was middle class when we shot this picture. I had promised to take her to Paris but I took her to Darjeeling and thought she will take it as Paris. This is our honeymoon in Darjeeling.” Shah Rukh Khan arrived at the event with wife Gauri Khan. He also danced with host Radhika Apte on stage.

HT Most Stylish Sports Personality award goes to Heena Sidhu. The award was presented by Aparshakti Khurana. Meanwhile, Taapsee Pannu was presented with the HT Style Trailblazer award by Chunky Pandey and Renu Tandon. “At least some award show has considered me worthy,” said Taapsee in her acceptance speech.

Journalist Shireen Bhan wins the second award of the evening. She said in her acceptance speech that style for her is having a point of view and having courage to express that point of view. The HT Most Stylish Artist award goes to Mithu Sen. The award was presented by Amyra Dastur. The HT Most Stylish Business Personality goes to Natasha Poonawala.

The first award of the evening goes to Anamika Khanna. She said the award “empowers me to take more steps that are just mine.” The award was presented by Sheetal Mafatlal and Gauahar Khan. “This is our first time as hosts, and we’re really looking forward to it, so, yeah, fingers crossed,” Vicky said at the event.

Kapil Sharma is in the house!

Miss Universe Sushmita Sen honors Shree Saini

Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen honored Miss India Worldwide Shree Saini, an Indian-American, with the “Woman Hero” award at the South Asian Women Empowerment Gala held in New York on March 19. Sen, a Bollywood star, was the chief guest at the program. When she called Saini to the stage to present the award, the audience rose to its feet in applause, according to a press release.

Saini announced at the gathering that she was off to Johannesburg for the Miss India Gauteng Pageant. “Pageantry improves the lives and confidence of women throughout the world,” she is quoted saying.

Both Sen and Saini were honored with citation by the 18th District Nassau County Legislator Joshua A. Lafazan. According to the press release, the citation presented to Shree Saini read, “In recognition of your service to the community, neighbours and families; And in recognition of your leadership and dedication to enriching the lives of others, I, Joshua A. Lafazan, Nassau County Legislator recognise (sic), honour and congratulate Shree Saini.”

In 1994, Sen became the youngest woman to be selected Femina Miss India Universe at that time. A few days later she was crowned the 43rd Miss Universe at the age of 18, the first Indian to win that title. Other distinguished women who were honored at the March 19 event included Urmil “Tracy” Marshal, Sangeeta Mudnal and Dr. Uzma Syed, according to the press release.

Indian-American Shree Saini was crowned Miss India Worldwide 2018 at a glittering pageant held at the Royal Alberts Palace, in Fords, New Jersey on Friday, December 14, 2018. Shree, 22, who was told by the doctors that she can never dance after being installed with a pacemaker at the age of 12, said one should never give up. “I truly believe your legacy is defined by how you make others feel and the positive difference you make in your lifetime,” said Shree, who started her non-profit organisation, when she was 15. Shree said it was her dream to compete for a world title, which was started when she was in the elementary school.

Beautiful, compassionate, talented, ambitious, gentle, humble, determined and dedicated to achieving the lofty goals she has set before herself at a very young age, Shree Saini is a woman with a golden heart. Shree from the state of Washington was born in India. She immigrated to the United States as a toddler.

Shree Saini has been in a public profile for years. She literally can make her choice on how she wants to mould her image and pave the way for her future. Shree Saini, an undergraduate student at the University of Washington pursuing a double degree in public administration and business, wants to “lead a life of service.” When asked between the many engagements around the nation, where she finds the time to study, Shree says, “I study on the plane, while waiting for flights, as almost every weekend, there is an event I need to attend.”

Regarding her future goals and ambitions, Shree is candid about her choices. If good offers come her way, Shree is open to acting in movies, whether it be in Bollywood or Hollywood. Another effective way to showcase her talents and still more importantly, another way to champion and spread her message for a better, just and peaceful world. “Meanwhile, I want to continue working on my nonprofit and become an ambassador of emotional health by continuing to visit as many places as possible, spreading my positive message of hope,” Saini says.

Kim Kumari is Miss India USA 2019; Esha Kode is Miss Teen India USA; Vidhi Dave is Mrs. India USA

Kim Kumari, 18, from New Jersey, who is planning to be Optometrist and help Third World Nation Children learn about the importance of eye care, was decalred the winner of the prestigious Miss India USA 2019 on February 17th here at Royal Alberts Palace, Edison, NJ. Kim also won the Best Talent Award for her performance of Lavni (Maharashtra folk dance) with a fusion of Bhangra.

Mrs. India USA, Vidhi Dave, 31, from Connecticut has a Data Scientist degree from Harvard University is a Project Manager with an IT company. Her hobbies include all kind of dancing including Bharatnatyam, Folk and Bollywood. She wants to be a social activist and become a voice for women’s empowerment.

Esha Kode, 16, from New Jersey was crowned Miss Teen India USA who also got the Miss Talented Award. Esha aspires to be a top fashion model and movie star and academically pursue to be a pediatric surgeon. Kim and Vidhi will represent USA in the Miss & Mrs. India Worldwide 2019 to be held in Mumbai in September of this year. The three won the crowns out of 75 finalists from all over USA. The annual pageant which also celebrated thirty seventh anniversary of Miss India USA had a record number of participants and was attended by hundreds of people from across the USA.

Renuka Joseph from New York and Aanchal Shah from Florida were declared Fist and Second Runners Up respectively in the Miss India USA section. Amrita Chehil from Ohio and Sowmya Saxena also from Ohio were declared First and second runner ups respectively in the Mrs.India USA section. In the Teen section Aishwarya Vallem of Georgia and Tanvi Gujral also from Georgia were respectively declared first and second runner ups.

Organized by the New York based India Festival Committee (IFC) and chaired by Neelam & Dharmatma Saran is the longest running Indian pageant outside of India.” I am overwhelmed with the great response this year, said Dharmatma Saran, “with a record number of 75 contestants representing 26 states from the United States.”

The pageant started with a stunning performance by all the contestants led by the outgoing queens Shree Saini and Kavita Malhotra Pattani and choreographed by Shilpa Jhurani. All contestants presented their best in the Indian and the Evening Gown segment after which the top ten were selected. The top ten contestants from Miss Section then amazed the audience with their talent which included Bollywood dances, Indian classical and folk dances, singing and speech.

Dharmatma Saran, Chairman & Founder, presented Lifetime Achievement Award to Bollywood legend Meenakshi Seshadri for her contributions to Indian Motion Picture and performing arts.Meenakshi Seshadri also served as Chief Judge along with Bollywood Choreographer Sandip Soparrkar, Indian Latin Actor Prabhakar Sharan, Miss India Worldwide 2017 and a rising singing star Madhu Valli and Dr. Binod Sinha from New Jersey.

IFC partnered with Ketto, a NGO based in Mumbai, and started by Bollywood actor Kunal Kapoor and Varun Sheth, to raise funds for PURNATA who works with stopping human trafficking. With the help of all Mrs. Contestants over $8000.00 was raised with Mrs. Nikita Shah from Florida raising the maximum amount and was awarded as Miss Philanthropist.

“We are very proud of the fact that we have been able to imbibe Indian values, tradition, culture and performing arts among Indian origin youth across the world” with our motto “bringing India closer,”said Dharmatma Saran, Chairman and Founder of the pageants.

Nikkitasha Marwaha – Miss India Worldwid 2009 and Bollywood actor and Anuradha Maharaj – former Miss India Trinidad were emcees for the function and Nishi Bahl was the choreographer assisted by Shilpa Jhurani. This year pageant was presented by 27th Investments and supported by TV Asia and Royal Albert’s Palace.

Vibrant India @New York Fashion Week

For the 3rd consecutive season, India-based Inter National Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD) and London School of Trends (LST) took Indian fashion abroad by celebrating the craftsmanship of emerging Indian student designers at Vibrant India during New York Fashion Week on February 9, at the famed NYFW location 172 Norfolk St. Manhattan.

 The fashion show is “In tandem with the 5 “F” formula given by Honorable Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi from Farm to Fiber, Fiber to, Fabric to Fashion, Fashion to Foreign,” organizers said in a press release.

Deputy Consul General of India at New York Shatrughan Sinha, and other dignitaries, was present to support the young Indian designers.

INIFD have been showcasing their work at Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai for last 22 consecutive seasons. Alongside that, aspiring designers from INIFD are showcasing their talent in London & New York Fashion Week to take the 5F formula forward, organizers said.

The show amalgamated rich Indian textiles and techniques with internationally accepted cuts and designs, according to the press release. The show was based on the themes Art & Craft, Bad Girls, Evening Wear & Tailoring.

“Models sashaying on the ramp displaying rich Indian cultural heritage blended with western aesthetics. Capturing the spirit of India with students coming from diverse backgrounds, they focused on fall winter trends while embracing a certain and exciting season,” the press release said, and indicated that the ‘Fashion glitterati’ of New York were in attendance.

35th Annual Dance Pe Chance’ 2019 – 70th Republic Day Celebrations

The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) of the tri-state, one of the oldest and the largest nonprofit Umbrella Organization of the Indian Diaspora celebrated India’s 70th Republic Day in grandeur with its annual show “Dance Pe Chance” promoting the 2nd generation of the Indian Diaspora while promoting the culture and heritage at the Union County Arts Center, in Rahway, New Jersey.

The packed show was a cultural extravaganza as the students from various dance schools of four different states participated in festive spirit to prove their mettle at the “Dance Pe Chance” dance competition. Nine dance schools performed in front of a sold-out auditorium in four categories: Minor, Junior, Senior and Adult. Aum Dance Creations, Arya Dance Academy, Aatma Performing Arts, B2Z Dance School, Dancing Shiva, Natraj Dance Studio, Nirmiti School Of Dance, Simply Dance, Pranavam School Of Dance are among the schools that participated.

 The event commenced with the National Anthem of US and India, during his welcome address FIA President Alok Kumar triumphantly welcomed the spectators and applauded the children parents and choreographers. He also dedicated the  35th year of this cultural performance competition to children who with this year total surpassing an accumulated total of over 18000 children that have participated in this cultural dance competition that spans 3 decades.

The community event also honored the dignitaries in attendance, judges, guests and the traditional ceremony of oath for the FIA’s incoming executive committee of 2019 – Alok Kumar President; Himanshu Bhatia, Executive Vice President; Saurin Parikh, Vice President; Amit Yadav, General Secretary; Amit Ringasia, Treasurer; Srujal Parikh, immediate Past President and Mardavi Patel, Joint Secretary. The oath was administered by Deputy Consulate General New York Shatrughan Sinha who was on hand, acknowledged and welcomed the incoming FIA Executive team. He expressed his appreciation for the role FIA has played in the community for 49 years and how working CGI-NY and FIA working in sync is pivotal and progressive beneficial for the Indian diaspora here in the Northeast.

DCG- Sinha also administered the oath to two new members added by FIA to the Board of Trustees, Jayesh Patel Past President & Ankur Vaidya, two-term Past President both long-time FIA veterans.  Vaidya addressed the gathering on behalf of Chairman Ramesh Patel and recognized the support of the FIA Board that currently holds a line of distinguished community leaders including Ramesh Patel, Padma Shri H R Shah, Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Albert Jasani, Ram Gadhavi, Dipak Patel, Chandrakant Trivedi, Pravin Pandhi and Yash Paul Soi.

FIA also honored and had as a Guest of Honor Emmy Award-winning travel show host and PBS Travel celebrity Darley Newman who graced the event with her presence.  Ms. Newman applauded the performances and efforts including costumes and props displayed by the participants.

Participants were judged by an array of talented personalities including Palvesha Latiwala, decorated dancer and the CEO of Bombino Express, Smt. Gomathi Manoj, decorated  Bharatanatyam artiste, teacher and Artistic Director of Soundarya Natya Kalalaya and Nirali Vakharia, Director and founder of Natraj Nrityala School of Dance. The event was sponsored by Pyar.com, BCB Indus American Bank, Movers.com, RWJ Barnabas Health, The South Asian Times, Air India, Cox & Kings, SBI New York, New York Life, Bombino Express, Akbar Restaurant, Universal Relocations, TV Asia, Parikh Worldwide Media, Hotstar, The Indian Panorama, EBC Radio and Printzazu.

FIA added variety and diversity by including a ‘grownups or adults’ category that showed the 3 glitz-filled performances by majority the participating moms.  There was also a spectacular martial arts form – Tae Kwan Do performance by Kim’s Tae Kwan Do which was compiled by Tae Kwan Do Master J D Kim. Concluding the event, FIA honored all the dancers, choreographers and judges with Prize-Winning amounts, mementos, and certificates. In addition to other offerings extended to participants by the FIA.

 The List of Winners:

Minor Category

Best Costume:- Arya Dance Academy

Song : Singham, Mamta se bhare

Choreographer: Arya Instructors

Best Choreography:- Arya Dance Academy

Song: Singham, Mamta se bhare

Choreographer: Arya Instructors

Technique:- Dancing Shiva

Song : Song from Lagaan

Choreographer: Jeanie Beri & Neal Doshi

3rd prize:- Aum Dance Creations

Song : Sridevi Medley

Choreographer: Rina Shah, Anu Mysore

2nd prize:- Dancing Shiva

Song : Song from Lagaan

Choreographer: Jeanie Beri & Neal Doshi

1st prize:- Arya Dance Academy

Song : Singham, Mamta se bhare

Choreographer: Arya Instructors

Junior Category

Best Costume :- Arya Dance Academy

Song : Shah ka Rutba, Gajanan, Vande mataram

Choreographer: Arya Instructors

Best Choreography :- Arya Dance Academy

Song : Shah ka Rutba, Gajanan, Vande mataram

Choreographer: Arya Instructors

Technique :- Arya Dance Academy

Song : Shah ka Rutba, Gajanan, Vande mataram

Choreographer: Arya Instructors

3rd prize:- Aatma Performing Arts

Song : Kanna Nidurinchara, Soja Zara, Gulaab Gang

Choreographer: Amit Shah, Serena Ortiz, Sapna Advani

2nd prize:- Aum Dance Creations

Song : Garba/Raas  – Kamariya, Chogada, Dholi Taro, Raangtaali, Dholida, Nagada Sang Dhol

Choreographer: Rina Shah, Anu Mysore

1st prize:- Arya Dance Academy

Song : Shah ka Rutba, Gajanan, Vande mataram

Choreographer: Arya Instructors

Senior Category

Best Costume :- Aatma Performing Arts / Arya Dance Academy

Song : Pyar kiya toh darna kya , Dil cheez kya hai / Albela Sajan, Jai Jai kara, Jai Hanuman

Choreographer: Amit Shah, Sapna Advani, Swarali/ Arya Instructors

Best Choreography :- Arya Dance Academy

Song : Albela Sajan, Jai Jai kara, Jai Hanuman

Choreographer:  Arya Instructors

Technique :- Arya Dance Academy

Song : Albela Sajan, Jai Jai kara, Jai Hanuman

Choreographer:  Arya Instructors

3rd prize:- Aum Dance Creations

Song : Balleilaka, Suno Gaur Se,Satyamev, Maa Tuje Salaam

Choreographer: Rina Shah, Anu Mysore

2nd prize:- Arya Dance Academy

Song : Albela Sajan, Jai Jai kara, Jai Hanuman

Choreographer:  Arya Instructors

1st prize:- Aatma Performing Arts

Song : Pyar kiya toh darna kya , Dil cheez kya hai

Choreographer: Amit Shah, Sapna Advani, Swarali

The top performance in all aspects in all categories ‘Best of the Best’ Judges Choice:- AUM Dance Creations (Junior Category)

How ‘Glass’ May Cement M. Night Shyamalan’s Comeback

Glass is a $20 million-budgeted, self-financed, distribution-only flick that just nabbed a $40.5 million Fri-Sun/$48.06m Fri-Mon debut weekend. Yes, it’s a sequel, it but it’s a sequel to what began as a wholly original genre flick and a sequel to a genuine cult favorite. So, to the extent that this opening feels anything like a disappointment, it’s mostly a matter of potentially unrealistic expectations, concern for long-term grosses and what its critical reception means for the guy above the title. There’s a lot of context to discuss, but for the record, this is a $20m superhero flick that just nabbed a $90m global opening weekend, which is a record global bow for M. Night Shyamalan. Even if it is as frontloaded as Watchmen or Green Lantern, it will make money for all parties.

Universal/Comcast, which distributed Glass in North America, swore that it wouldn’t open any higher than $50 million for the four-day weekend, and they were correct. A $48m launch is close to the projection, and I’d argue that reviews (36% rotten and 5.1/10 on Rotten Tomatoes) and word-of-mouth (a B from Cinemascore) were to blame. There is nothing wrong with how the movie was presented or how it was marketed, other than, like WB’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald trailers, it tricked me into thinking the movie would be good. That Glass opened to the same as Split (a $40m Fri-Sun launch in 2017) and Unbreakable ($32m Fri-Sun/$46m Wed-Sun in 2000) shows that perhaps the fan base for both IPs was almost entirely overlapping.

Glass is a combo sequel, existing as 2 Split 2 Unbreakable. The film plays off the twist epilogue from Split which revealed that the James McAvoy/Anya Taylor-Joy thriller took place within the same world as the 2000 Bruce Willis/Samuel L. Jackson cult classic Unbreakable. That film was somewhat divisive 18 years ago, turning off many with its unspoiled “Hey, this is a real-world superhero drama!” reveal just before (2.5 years after Blade and four months after X-Men) the superhero movie sub-genre entered its secondary mainstream phase. Ironically, it suffered a fate not unlike Mystery Men, a pinpoint superhero satire (one very much aimed at the notion of superhero stories as white male power fantasies) that got clobbered by the opening weekend of… The Sixth Sense.

18 years later, superhero movies are all the rage, and Glass (hopefully) represents the culmination of Shyamalan’s recent artistic and commercial comeback which began with The Visit and continued with Split (which snagged a $40 million opening weekend and legged it to $137m domestic and $275m worldwide). It also represents the first wholly original cinematic universe (in at least a few decades) give-or-take Fast and Furious (which became a cinematic universe by accident by being unable to snag both Vin Diesel and Paul Walker for the first two sequels). Come January 18, 2019, Glass will be a big deal to fans of Unbreakable, fans of Glass and folks who just think it looks like an exciting and offbeat fantasy thriller. It’ll benefit from being the first “big” movie since the triple whammy of AquamanBumblebee and Mary Poppins Returns a month prior.

Moreover, and this could be the kicker, it may benefit from a generation of adult moviegoers who grew up with Sixth SenseUnbreakable and Signs and now have kids who are old enough to tag along. As someone who never gave up on him even during the grim years (2006-2014), I’m beyond thrilled to see my faith (eventually) rewarded as the filmmaker has embraced his destiny (ala Bruce Almighty) as a maker of high-end pulp. It has been even more wonderful to see a generation of young genre filmmakers who grew up on Shyamalan’s early triumphs making their own genre classics (SearchingA Quiet Place, etc.) that retain the empathetic spirit which made everyone cry at the end of The Sixth Sense. Even if this comeback doesn’t stick, that’s a hell of a legacy.

Miss India New England 2019 brings out personality and tradition

The 7th annual ‘Miss India New England’ 2019 held on January 19, was a unique blend of talent and a celebration heritage providing a platform to bring out both traditional and modern elements of Indian society.

Participants included women and girls of Indian origin from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. Each had to complete four rounds – Evening Gown, Ethnic Dress, Talent, and On-stage Question. There were three categories of  contestants -Miss India, Miss Teen or Mrs India, a press release from organizers said.

Those crowned for the top spots included – Sivani Jonnalagadda, Miss India New England 2019; Mihika Abraham – Miss India Teen New England 2019; and Mrs India New England 2019 Deepa Jayavelu. The pageant was directed and produced by Ruchika Arora who is also state director of Miss India USA.

Organizers with Miss India New England 2019 winner and past winner at Jan. 19 pageant held in Foxborough, MA. (Photo: Miss India New England) of the Miss India New England pageant held

 The Miss India New England pageant is designed to identify and support talented young Indian American people and promote culture, traditions of India in United States for modern generations, the press release said.

The Miss India New England 2019 pageant on Jan. 19, attracted participants from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire, who had to compete in four rounds – Evening Gown, Ethnic Dress, Talend, and On-stage Question. (Photo: courtesy Miss India New England)

“The inspirational women introducing themselves on the stage represent strength of Indian American girls/women and community when they talk about their educational background, professional achievements and aspirations” organizers said, thanking all the sponsors, supporters and friends including Neelam and Dr Dharmatma Saran of Worldwide Pageants. Crown sponsors were Tewarie Enterprises.

Deepa Jayavelu, Mrs India New England at the Jan. 19, pageant held in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo: Miss India New England)

List of 2019 Winners:

Miss India New England -Sivani Jonnalagadda

Mrs India New England – Deepa Jayavelu

Miss India Teen New England-Mihika Abraham

Viewer’s Choice NE -Aradhana Surapaneni

Miss India Massachusetts- Ann Varghese

Mrs India Massachusetts- Madhurima Agrawal

Miss India Teen Massachusetts- Trinjan Kaur

Miss India Rhode Island- Sai Kurapati

Mrs India Rhode Island- Medha Rastogi

Miss India New Hampshire- Zaina Ahmed

Mrs India New Hampshire- Preeti Potdar

Mrs India Photogenic- Suruchi Sinha (NH)

Miss India Teen New England 2019 Mihika Abraham. (Photo: Miss India New England)

Teen Awards:

Miss India Teen Catwalk- Aishwarya Narayanan

Miss India Teen Talented- Shruthi Puranik

Miss India Teen Photogenic- Nandini Mandaloju

Catriona Elisa Gray from Philippines crowned Miss Universe 2018

Catriona Elisa Gray from Philippines was croened Miss Universe when she beat 93 contestants from around the world to emerge the winner — as chosen by an all-women jury.

India’s Nehal Chudasama failed to make it to the Top 20 of the Miss Universe 2018 pageant. India had pinned high hopes on Nehal, 22, to end a long drought for the country at the pageant as Lara Dutta had last brought back the crown in 2000.

But South Africa’s Tamaryn Green, a medical student, and Venezuela’s Sthefany Guterrez, studying to be a lawyer, secured the first runner-up and second runner-up spots at the gala ceremony, where Spain’s Angela Ponce made history as the first transgender woman to contend for the title of Miss Universe.

Hosted by Emmy Award-winning Steve Harvey, the show here on Sunday saw Gray taking an ecstatic first walk as Miss Universe in a dazzling red gown with a thigh-high slit. She was crowned by Miss Universe 2017 Demi Leigh Nel-Peters, who comes from South Africa.

Gray holds a Master Certificate in Music Theory. An adventure junkie, she is an HIV/AIDS advocate and volunteers as a Teacher’s Assistant to the students at an NGO according to the official Miss Universe website.

In the final question round, Gray was asked about the most important lesson she has learnt in life and how would she apply it in her time as Miss Universe.

She said: “I work a lot in the slums of Manila and life there is very poor and sad. I have always taught myself to look for the beauty in it, to look for the beauty in the faces of the children, and I would bring this aspect as a Miss Universe to see situations with a silver lining and to asses where I could give something and provide something.

“And if I could also teach people to be grateful, we could have an amazing world where negativity would not brew and foster, and children would have a smile on their face.”

Earlier in the competition, Gray was asked about her views on legalisation of marijuana. She said: “I am all for it being used in medical use but not so much for recreational use, because I think if people were to argue what about cigarettes and alcohol… Well, everything is good, but in moderation.”

The competition began with the Top 20, with five semi-finalists being chosen from each region — The Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific, as well as a Wild Card category.

In a newly formed segment, the contestants were made to make an ‘Opening Statement’, giving out a message for the world.

Then, the contestants were narrowed down to the Top 10, leading to the swimsuit and evening gown rounds. They were further streamlined to the Top 5 and were asked interesting questions ranging from issues like MeToo to immigration.

Singer Ne-Yo lent a musical touch and Ponce took a proud walk down the ramp, winning a standing ovation for representing diversity and inclusion in its true sense.

The House of Abu Jani – Sandeep Khosla Invites Fashionistas to two NYC Trunk Shows

The past year has seen its fair share of Indian celebrity weddings – from Anushka to Sonam to Deepika to Priyanka to Isha – and the House of Abu Jani – Sandeep Khosla has been there every step of the way to dress some of the most glamorous brides on their most memorable occasions.

Mirai, a brand-new fashion house bringing curated South Asian designer experiences exclusively to New York City, is proud to host this dynamic duo for TWO trunks shows at the Taj Pierre Hotel (2 E 61st St. & 5th Avenue) on January 18th and 19th from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., showcasing the following Couture, luxury and pret collections for women AND men:

ABU JANI SANDEEP KHOSLA – best known for their ability to infuse Indian craftsmanship and textile heritage with a European tailored silhouette. Their signature is to combine traditional aesthetics with modern design. This is their Couture and Bespoke line.

KHOSLA JANI – luxury womenswear line that specializes in Couture, Ready To Wear and Bridal, where stunning designs meet flawless execution as a myriad of processes combine to fuse Couture fashion with timeless and elegant style. This is the duo’s Western line.

ASAL BY ABU SANDEEP – the label carries forth the design philosophy of its parent, Couture, but is reworked in meticulous machine embroideries, accented with handmade craftsmanship to create a range of style for women and men who want fine clothing which is both current and timeless.

GULABO BY ABU SANDEEP – a luscious expression of natural fabrics, fluid silhouettes and deliciously easy style. The collection includes dresses, tunics, kaftans, kurtas and dhotis that break the style meter without breaking the bank and put the “luxe” into ready-to-wear.

The events are FREE and open to the public, but participants MUST RSVP to [email protected] to save their spots. The designers will be available for private appointments with brides and serious buyers ONLY. To book a private appointment with Abu Jani or Sandeep Khosla, please email Sindhu Rao at [email protected].

The media is invited to a special meet-and-greet with the designers on Friday, January 18th from 10 a.m. to noon at the Taj Pierre Hotel. Please RSVP to [email protected]. One-on-one interviews will be made available by request.

Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla met in August 1986. They formed an instant rapport and decided to combine their creative energies. Their original joint company, Abu Jani – Sandeep Khosla was formed in 1992. Best known for their ability to infuse Indian craftsmanship and textile heritage with a European tailored silhouette. Their signature is to combine traditional aesthetics with modern design.

The Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla label is internationally feted for its cutting edge quality and classically elegant style. Each ensemble is a delicate mélange. The richness of India’s heritage suffused with divine design makes every AJSK garment a modern masterpiece. The last three decades have seen them establish an enviable reputation as pioneers in resurrecting the best of the past and fashioning it for the future.

The label stands for excellence. The finest fabrics combine with the most exquisite embroideries and intricate embellishments to create unparalleled quality and aesthetic appeal. The emphasis is on timeless style rather than transient trends. It is this concentration on uncompromising quality and eternal elegance that result in clients wearing outfits purchased a decade ago to important events today. An AJSK ensemble is considered a wise investment, due to its repeat value.

In the words of a devoted client: “Yes, they are expensive! But like art or jewels, they are an investment. An Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla outfit will be as stylish and look as brand new ten years from now as it does today.”

Shree Saini is Miss India Worldwide 2018

Indian-American Shree Saini was crowned Miss India Worldwide 2018 at a glittering pageant held at the Royal Alberts Palace, in Fords, New Jersey on Friday, December 14, 2018.

Shree, 22, who was told by the doctors that she can never dance after being installed with a pacemaker at the age of 12, said one should never give up. “I truly believe your legacy is defined by how you make others feel and the positive difference you make in your lifetime,” said Shree, who started her non-profit organisation, when she was 15. Shree said it was her dream to compete for a world title, which was started when she was in the elementary school.

Indian-origin girls from as many as 17 countries participated in the annual beauty pageant on the final day, while nearly 40 women from as many countries from around the world had competed fro the coveted title. Organised by the New York-based India Festival Committee (IFC), the pageant is said to be the oldest and largest event for the Indian Diaspora community.

Shree Saini is Miss India Worldwide 2018Sakshi Sinha from Australia and Anusha Sareen from United Kingdom were respectively declared first and second runner ups in the 27th annual global pageant for people of Indian origin.

India’s Mandeep Kaur Sandhu, who hails from Haryana, was crowned Mrs India Worldwide 2018. A mother to a boy, she lost her husband in a road accident in the first year of her marriage. “I decided to stay single to show to all those who told me that I cannot raise a child alone being a widow. I am here to represent all the widow women. If I can do it, you can do it,” Mandeep said. Jeya Priya Pandian from Malaysia and Kavita Malhotra Pattani from USA were declared the first and second runner ups of the Mrs India Worldwide 2018 respectively.

The next edition of the Miss India Worldwide will be held in Mumbai in 2019, said Dharmatma Saran, chairman and founder of the India Festival Committee that organises the pageant.

“We are proud of the fact that we have been able to imbibe Indian values, tradition and culture among Indian origin youths across the world,” he said. “We have also been successful in promoting Indian performing arts in the world,” Saran said.

Beautiful, compassionate, talented, ambitious, gentle, humble, determined and dedicated to achieving the lofty goals she has set before herself at a very young age, Shree Saini is a woman with a golden heart. Shree from the state of Washington was born in India. She immigrated to the United States as a toddler.

Shree Saini is Miss India Worldwide 2018Being uprooted from one’s culture and dear ones was undoubtedly a major challenge. She had to experience hardships while in high school, where she was bullied. Young Shree fought bravely a heart ailment which required her to use a pacemaker. Shree, who had a pacemaker implanted at the age of 12 and was told that she would never be able to dance, is an inspiration for all. “I practice dance almost every day for several hours,” Shree says, pointing to the pacemaker she carries with her all the time.

After doctors diagnosed her with a congenital heart defect at the age of 12, Saini recalls how she struggled to adapt to the life-changing situation of needing a pacemaker while still in middle school, especially when other students did not treat her kindly as a result.

“I have been the target of brutal emotional bullying. I was ridiculed in the most subtle ways, which is why I so often talk about ‘nonverbal’ bullying. For example, there were many instances where I was left out of events or edited out of pictures, and daily ‘whispered about’ by others. As a result of this treatment, there were many times when I would cry in my school’s restrooms or come home in tears after dance class… yet I persevered.

“My family helped me endure,” she explains. “My mom said, ‘the way people treat you has nothing to do with you, but has everything to do with them.’ She empowered me to step up and be even more compassionate towards those who hurt me, and to never give up on my true belief in always being kind.”

In order to reprogram her brain towards more positive thoughts and reach an understanding of how she could find inner peace in spite of all the negativity, she read extensively. “I read books and essays on achieving a more powerful mindset, responding to acts of hate with compassion, and the true value of emotional fitness and what can be done to address the lack of education around it. From what I have learned, I have formed my personal mantra: ‘Giving powerful responses to life’s struggles while being a positive contributor to every situation.’”

Shree Saini is Miss India Worldwide 2018These experiences did not deter young Shree from pursuing her life’s mission.  “My journey went from a silent sufferer to a bitter person and finally an enabled victor,” she says. “If anything, the physical challenges and social pressures fueled her – all the way to the Joffrey Ballet and beyond, including winning the title of Miss India USA.”

Shree created the website www.ShreeSaini.com to educate people about her experiences. “It was created based on my personal struggles during my high school,” Saini says. Her hope is that it would inspire others to emulate and face the world with confidence and love. Her former tormentors are now her fans. Via social media, she’s received their congratulations – and apologies.

A woman with a noble mission, what the 22-year-old University of Washington student, is aspiring to achieve in her life, is to create awareness on a number of pressing social issues through her organization, and through her web-portal.  “I began my nonprofit at age 15. I work on raising awareness and raising funds for several nonprofits including anti-human trafficking and anti-bullying,” the young visionary says. “I am very passionate about my non-profit and want to lead a life of service,” she says. “I want to help end human trafficking and work to promote the importance of emotional well-being in our society.”

Shree Saini is Miss India Worldwide 2018In addition, she uses the many social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, among others, to enhance her life’s mission. Through Shree Saini YouTube page, she wants to spread her message by creating short videos of discussions on social issues, college life, raising awareness of important organizations and human rights, as well as anything to help the community.

Shree won the Miss India USA after many years of focus and practice, participating and winning in several pageants. Shree has competed in a number of pageants within the Miss America organization. She was the first runner-up at Miss Moses Lake 2014, Miss Seattle 2016 and Miss Seattle 2017. She also won the Miss Seattle People’s Choice Award in 2016 and 2017, and Miss Congeniality, Highest Fundraiser, Director’s Award. All her pageant exposure has served as a platform for what she truly loves, in spreading awareness against bullying and other social issues. As Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, says, “Shree has used her platform to spread her story of perseverance, tolerance and heart health.”

Miss India USA was started by the New York-based community leaders Dharmatma Saran and Neelam Saran, under the banner of the India Festival Committee around 36 years ago, Miss India USA is the longest running Indian pageant outside India. “It has evolved over the years. Earlier, the participants of pageants presented their talent around Bollywood dance and songs and classical dances. But now pageant participants come out with their own innovations,” Dharmatma Saran said.

“I am so incredibly honored, overjoyed, humbled and excited to be chosen as your “MISS INDIA WORLDWIDE 2018”! God’s amazing grace has surpassed all the words I may have to express this fete. I am astonished by the blessings showered over me,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

Shree Saini is Miss India Worldwide 2018Shree Saini has been in a public profile for years. She literally can make her choice on how she wants to mould her image and pave the way for her future. Shree Saini, an undergraduate student at the University of Washington pursuing a double degree in public administration and business, wants to “lead a life of service.” When asked between the many engagements around the nation, where she finds the time to study, Shree says, “I study on the plane, while waiting for flights, as almost every weekend, there is an event I need to attend.”

Her passion for education started when she was very young. Even in high school, her drive led Shree to graduate with the highest number of high school credits (46, although only 26 were required). “I know education is vital to solving any of the world’s problems, and have therefore always stayed curious and dedicated myself to obtaining life skills, like public speaking, as well as gaining more knowledge by studying political science at Harvard University, and establishing my own emotional wellbeing startup at Stanford University.”

Pointing to the hard work she had to put in, Shree says, the Acting Program she attended at Yale was a very intensive conservatory program for actors comprised of 12+ hours of classes daily, which were then followed by rehearsals. With my heart condition, I had to work extra hard (just as I need to do in dance or as a UW student) in order to match the performance level of other physically-able actors. And, she succeeded through determination and hard work.

Shree’s ambition to learn and conquer what she is set to achieve in life has taken Shree to some of the most prestigious schools across the United States. Saini, who studied journalism at UW and has attended as a visiting student at Harvard, Yale and Stanford, aspires to push legislation through local governments.

After dealing with her own personal experiences, Saini penciled her thoughts in a journal, which she said helped change her from a victim to an empowered young woman. The journals in her diary turned to newspaper clippings in local papers in Washington. “In a society mainly obsessed with physical fitness, emotional problems are dismissed,” noted the young activist. “Emotional well-being is necessary to have a healthy body and mind,” she says.

Shree Saini is Miss India Worldwide 2018Shree is working on pushing through a Bill nationwide that will help implement emotional well-being classes for K through 12. “The classes will help start at a young age to build self-esteem.” Saini hopes to follow up her undergraduate degree with graduate courses at an Ivy League school, where she intends to study public administration or policy making and nonprofit management.

​A brilliant student and learner, Shree believes that children learn what they live in their own households. “Parents need to radiate kindness, and be generous enough to overlook minor offenses, while still raising responsible kids who will heal our societies.”

Shree gives credit to her parents, Sanjay and Ekta Saini, who have not only supported her dreams, but have gone beyond to help her succeed at every step of the way. Pointing to her mother, Ekta, Shree says, “My mother is my role model, who has been with me, supported me and have encouraged me to work hard and realize my dreams.”

As the reigning Miss India Worldwide, “I believe I will be able to make even more of an impact. During my reign, I am responsible for reaching out to individuals, nonprofits, businesses, and schools to make at least 100 appearances during the next 12 months. At every event, I strive to raise public awareness about the value of emotional fitness. I find I am able to engage audiences by asking them my most powerful question: ‘What is more important to you than your own emotional wellbeing?’ I also share my personal story of receiving a pacemaker at age 12, being brutally bullied, and then having to build myself back up emotionally.” She is committed to live a life of service where she intends to teach people about love, harmony and tolerance.

Shree Saini is Miss India Worldwide 2018Regarding her future goals and ambitions, Shree is candid about her choices. If good offers come her way, Shree is open to acting in movies, whether it be in Bollywood or Hollywood. Another effective way to showcase her talents and still more importantly, another way to champion and spread her message for a better, just and peaceful world. “Meanwhile, I want to continue working on my nonprofit and become an ambassador of emotional health by continuing to visit as many places as possible, spreading my positive message of hope,” Saini says.

Exquisite Jewelry Exhibition opens at the Met Museum

What is jewelry? Why do we wear it? What meanings does it convey? At the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, an exhibition, “Jewelry: The Body Transformed,” traversing time and space to explore how jewelry acts upon and activates the body it adorns, opened On November 12th.
The exhibition emphasizes the universality of jewelry, including from India—precious objects made for the body, a singular and glorious setting for the display of art. Great jewelry from around the world are presented in a radiant display that groups these ornaments according to the part of the body they adorn: head and hair; nose, lips, and ears; neck and chest; arms and hands; and waist, ankles, and feet.
This global conversation about one of the most personal and universal of art forms brings together some 230 objects drawn almost exclusively from The Met collection. A dazzling array of headdresses and ear ornaments, brooches and belts, necklaces and rings created between 2600 B.C.E. and the present day are shown along with sculptures, paintings, prints, and photographs that will enrich and amplify the many stories of transformation that jewelry tells.
“Jewelry is one of the oldest modes of creative expression—predating even cave painting by tens of thousands of years—and the urge to adorn ourselves is now nearly universal,” commented Max Hollein, Director of The Met. “This exhibition will examine the practice of creating and wearing jewelry through The Met’s global collection, revealing the many layers of significance imbued in this deeply meaningful form of art.”
If the body is a stage, jewelry is one of its most dazzling performers.  Throughout history and across cultures, jewelry has served as an extension and amplification of the body, accentuating it, enhancing it, distorting it, and ultimately transforming it. Jewelry is an essential feature in the acts that make us human, be they rituals of marriage or death, celebrations or battles. At every turn, it expresses some of our highest aspirations.
“To fully understand the power of jewelry, it is not enough to look at it as miniature sculpture,” stated Melanie Holcomb, Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters. “While jewelry is ubiquitous, the cultures of the world differ widely regarding where on the body it should be worn. By focusing on jewelry’s interaction with—and agency upon—the human body, this exhibition brings in a key element that has been missing in previous studies of the subject.”
The exhibition is being shown along with sculptures, paintings, prints, and photographs that will enrich and amplify the many stories of transformation that jewelry tells; how it served as an extension and amplification of the body, accentuating it, enhancing it, distorting it, and ultimately transforming it.
There is also a riveting Jasmine Bud Necklace (Malligai Arumbu Malai), a marriage necklace made of gold, from the late 19th century, with its origin in Tamil Nadu. Elaborate necklaces of this type were presented by the groom’s family during wedding celebrations of the Chetiar community, a Shaivite mercantile caste, and formed part of the bride’s wealth (stridhan) thereafter.
The necklace was initially part of a dowry given to the bride by the groom at a climactic moment in the ceremony, the three knots ritual. This form of necklace is known as a Kali-Tiru; the elaborate Thali type generally includes a central Shiva and Parvati on a medallion. The four fingers of the central pendant are understood as denoting the four Vedas. There is another Jasmine Bud Necklace, from Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The ornament is inset with ruby and with tapering extensions. A pair of gold royal earrings from India, from the 1st century B.C. are in exhibit.
While splendid jewelry adorns the regal and divine figures represented on early stone sculptures and terracotta plaques, few actual ornaments still exist. It is thought that jewelry was not kept and reused but instead was melted down possibly to avoid transmitting the karma of the former owner.
In addition to clusters and rows of beads, each earring is decorated with a winged lion, and elephant and two vases filled with vegetation. Put on by slipping through a distended earlobe from the back, they are worn with the lion facing the wearer’s cheek and the elephant on the outside.
The place of these earrings in the history of Indian art is assured, not only for their intrinsic beauty, but also because of the light they shed on the superb quality of early gold-smithing in this region.
Early Indian statues of both male and female figures were usually portrayed with elaborate jewelry that sometimes seemed fanciful, since very little comparable jewelry from that period survived. The discovery of this pair of earrings provided the first tangible evidence that the jewelry depicted by the sculptors was in fact based on real exemplars, for a very similar pair is shown on a first century B.C. relief portrait of a Universal Ruler, the Chakravartin, from Jaggayapeta.
These earrings, judging from their material worth, the excellence of craftsmanship, and the use of royal emblems (a winged lion and an elephant) as part of their design, were most probably made as royal commissions. Each earring is composed of two rectangular, budlike forms, growing outward from a central, double-stemmed tendril. The elephant and the lion of repoussé gold are consummately detailed, using granules, snipets of wire and sheet, and individually forged and hammered pieces of gold.
The two pieces are not exactly identical: On the underside they are both decorated with a classical early Indian design of a vase containing three palmettes, but the patterning of the fronds differentiates the two earrings. They are so large and heavy that they must have distended the earlobes and rested on the shoulders of the wearer, like the pair worn by the Chakravartin.
An exquisite collection of jewelry over the ages from cultures globally, including some from India, is the focus of the exhibition ‘Jewelry: The Body Transformed’, which will be on exhibition through February 24, 2019.

Kamala Harris is ‘Glamour Woman of the Year 2018’

When Kamala Harris took the stage at Glamour‘s 2018 Women of the Year Awards on Monday, November 12th in New York City, she stressed the importance of one thing: truth. In what’s proven to be a categorically challenging year for women in the U.S.

Senator Harris (D-Calif.) directed her acceptance speech at the women in the room, explaining the importance of speaking up in a nation that’s becoming increasingly divided in the face of political polarization. In her address, Harris pleaded with those watching to take their frustration to the polls, inspiring the room to take action and ultimately leaving the ball in the voters’ court.

“The truth and speaking it is a powerful thing. And speaking truth can often make people quite uncomfortable. But if we are going to be a country that engages in honest conversations with the point of getting beyond where we are and seeing what we can be unburdened by what we have been, we must speak truth—and speak the truth uncomfortable and difficult though it may be to hear,” Glamour quoted her as saying.

“You speak the truth, the honorees tonight, about the need for women—particularly women of color—to be seen and heard and for their stories to be told, from the Senate floor to movie sets to concert stages…You speak the truth about gun violence… (about what) tears our communities apart and takes away our children, from Parkland to Chicago to South Los Angeles…You speak the truth about America’s history—in all of its greatness and in all of its complexity.”

Harris said that this is an “inflection” moment in the history of America. “This is a moment where there are powerful forces trying to sew hate and division among us. And if we’re going to deal with where we are in this inflection moment, we must speak all these truths,” she said. “…And years from now, people are going to look in our eyes, each one of us, and they will ask us, ‘Where were you at that inflection moment?’ And what we’re all going to be able to say is we were here together and we were fighting for the best of who we are.”

According to Glamour magazine, these women, which include actress Viola Davis, 97-year-old National Park Service Ranger Betty Reid Soskin, model-author Chrissy Teigen, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, young female activists of March for Our Lives, the women who took down Larry Nassar, Saudi Arabian women’s rights activist Manal al-Sharif, and singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe, “aren’t waiting for the world to change; they’re getting the job done themselves.”

Kim Kumari crowned Miss India New Jersey 2018

Kim Kumari was crowned as Miss India New Jersey 2018, while Esha Kode was crowned as Miss Teen India New Jersey 2018 and Ruchita Modi Shah was crowned as Mrs. India New Jersey 2018, at the 2018 Miss India New Jersey beauty pageant held on Sunday, September 30 at Royal Albert’s Palace, in Fords, NJ.

The 37th Miss India NJ 2018 was officially powered by Albert Jasani from Royal Albert Palace, with State Director Shobhana Patel. Janki Shah was crowned as the runner-up for Miss India New Jersey 2018 while Aashna Gheewala came in as the second runner-up.

Aarohi Unadkat was crowned as the runner-up for Miss Teen India New Jersey 2018 while Jhanvi Patel came in as the second runner-up. Rohi Singh was crowned as the runner up for Mrs. India New Jersey 2018 while Priyanka Shinde came in as the second runner-up.

The evening consisted of 45 contestants with 12 in the Miss Category, 11 in the Miss Teen Category and 22 in the Mrs. Category, all of whom dazzled in their ethnic wear in the first round and kept it simple yet elegant in their evening gowns in the following round.

The third round featured the talent of the top seven contestants in the Miss & Miss Teen category, and top five contestants in the Mrs. Category. The contestants then went on to Question-Answer round, where each was given a different kind of question to answer.

Along with pageant organizers Albert Jasani and Shobhana Patel, those who spoke were Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, founder and chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media and Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac.

The celebrated beauty pageant is the premier platform to promote women empowerment and Indian culture, in New Jersey. Showcasing compassion and connection, the event celebrated Indian American women and their identity through talent rounds, ramp walks, question/answer segments, and more.

Kumari is a trained Bhangra dancer who has had the opportunity to dance with Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan. She is the co-president of the International Human Rights Club at JFK Memorial High School, where she is a senior and actively works to serve the local community.

Kode loves be onstage and has been trained in classical as well as Bollywood dancing. She has also performed at various Bollywood events and desires to pursue a career in the medical field.

Shah is an IT Professional who is currently working for the New York State Department. She is trained in Indian Classical music and loves cooking, Do-It-Yourself crafting, photography, digital arts and travelling.

Talking about the essence of the pageant, Shobhana Patel stated that, “Miss India NJ provides a place to these young girls and women in which they can truly empower each other and see beyond beauty.”

Community pioneer Albert Jasani has supported this event whole heartedly every year saying that, “We want to bring more women to the forefront and have them succeed in whichever manner they look at success.”

The judges’ panel consisted of entrepreneur and State Director of Miss India Connecticut Sumathi Narayanan, physician & cosmetologist and wellness advisor Kavita Payyar, founder of the South Asian Spelling Bee and CEO of Touchdown Media Rahul Walia, actor Javed Pathan, Bollywood fashion designer Deepali Shah, entrepreneur and Mrs. India Worldwide 2017 Sarita Patnaik, classical dancer Bina Menon and promoter of Bollywood shows in the U.S. Kanu Chauhan.

At the beginning of the third round Bollywood star Dia Mirza walked the Miss India New Jersey ramp for the first time, to join the judges for the remainder of the show. Mirza also crowned the winners of the Miss India New Jersey 2018 pageant

MISS/Mrs./Teen INDIA CONNECTICUT 2018 held : “Crowns aren’t made of rhinestones. They are made of discipline, determination, and a hard to find alloy called courage.”

These are the qualities that the women of Connecticut displayed on Saturday, Sept 15th in Cromwell, CT at the Miss India Connecticut 2018 Pageant. The pageant, directed by Sumathi Narayanan, featured three categories: Miss, Teen, and Mrs. A total of 23 contestants participated in the pageant and confidently portrayed Indian culture, unique talents, and American pride with grace and elegance. The pageant was not just about outer beauty, but also valued inner beauty, intelligence, and ambition of the young women of Connecticut.

Miss India Connecticut is associated and part of IFC, a pioneer in organizing Indian pageants and fashion shows in USA, and aptly called the ‘Mother of all Indian Pageants in USA.’ The event started with an opening dance choreographed by P&P Dance Crew of CT, in which all the contestants performed energetic and graceful introductory dances alongside the reigning Miss India CT 2017 and 1stRunner Up of Miss India USA 2017, Prachi Shah.

MISS/Mrs./Teen INDIA CONNECTICUT 2018 held : “Crowns aren’t made of rhinestones. They are made of discipline, determination, and a hard to find alloy called courage.”The opening dance was then followed by the ethnic wear round, where each contestant proudly displayed their Indian culture. Next was the talent round, in which contestants displayed their talent through dance and musical performances, acting, martial arts, crafts, and even magic shows! The contestants then gave their introduction in the evening gown round. Lastly, the finalists amazed everyone with their wits in the question and answer round.

The judges of the pageant were accomplished patrons of the arts. The judges’ panel included: Tirthankar Das, a filmmaker and music composer from New Jersey; Sankar Gangaikondan, a singer and musician; Shaila Verma, Artistic Director of Shaila School of Dance in Massachusetts; Dr. Kavita Pattani, Mrs India USA 2017; and Namita Dodwadkar, Mrs India USA 2014 and Mrs India Worldwide 2016.

Finally, the crowning moment arrived! Various subtitles were given in each category, including Miss/Teen/Mrs. Social Media – Radhika Rathore, Athulya Narayanan, Debashree Rupalin. Miss/Teen/Mrs. Congeniality – Radhika Rathore, Nikitha Kikanamada, Mamatha Puttaswamy. Miss/Teen. Talent – Alka Marala, Athulya Narayanan. Miss/Teen/Mrs. Photogenic – Alka Marala, Dhruvi Patel, Nidhi Sinha and Miss/Teen/Mrs. Viewer’s Choice – Alka Marala, Archita Mundrathi, Mamatha Puttaswamy.

The winners will also be going forward to compete at the national level pageant hosted by Mr. Dharmatma Saran, Chairman of IFC, for the title of Miss/Teen/Mrs. India USA!

INIFD shows 2nd edition of “Vibrant India” at New York Film Festival

NEW YORK – ‘Vibrant India’ celebrated a second season at the New York Fashion Week, on Friday, September 7. The designers, all students from the Inter National Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD) in India, showcased their creations, which included mostly western outfits. A traditional Indian bride and groom outfit kicked off the show. The show was powered by Art Hearts and took place at Pier 59 Studios.

The students from the INIFD’s various locations showcased mainly western wear collections but there were also traditional pieces thrown in. The show began with a traditional Indian men’s and women’s wedding ensemble and other looks included a floral printed gown and rainbow striped dress that celebrated India’s recent decision to legalize homosexuality in the country. There were 14 outfits in total.

Prominent guests included the Consul General of India in New York, Sandeep Chakravorty and his wife Tanuja Chakravorty. Consul General Chakravorty, speaking at the meet, praised the designers and was happy to see their designs showcased during the New York Fashion Week.

“I think whatever I say will not match the incredible beauty we just saw right now,” Ambassador Chakraborty reportedly said. “I didn’t find a signature in the collection and that is because every collection was made by a different designer who is a student of the organization in India, which brings together the diversity, color and vibrancy of India,” Chakraborty said.

Chakravorty also mentioned that the event showcased the vibrancy of Indian design and that the world should see it as an example of the country’s diversity and heritage. He also stated that it was an example of shared values between India and the US.

There were a few outfits that were intriguing – like a floral patterned dress with a very low back; a rainbow colored dress with blue beads on the side – in time for legalization of LGBT rights in India; a pink dress with blue butterflies, and a pink skirt with ruffles on it.

The rest of the 14 outfits, however, just looked out of place. The golden flake eyebrows displayed by models didn’t help the overall look of the creations either.

“The U.S. is the world’s oldest democracy and India is the world’s largest democracy and I think we share an alliance, a passion and values for the future. When you deal with India, you deal with the future because 70 percent of India’s population is below the age of 30, so you are dealing with a young nation. Thus, India has to succeed somehow and what better success can we have than on the ramp of fashion,” Chakravorty added.

INIFD is the largest network of design Institutes in the world and they have many centers all across India and in 11 other countries. It is the only Indian student body to successfully showcase for five consecutive seasons at ‘India Day’ during London Fashion Week.

Miss India USA: Shree Saini – A life story of inspiration, dedication, determination, ambition, and courage

Miss India USA: Shree Saini - A life story of inspiration, dedication, determination, ambition, and courageBeautiful, compassionate, talented, ambitious, gentle, humble, determined and dedicated to achieving the lofty goals she has set before herself at a very young age, Shree Saini is a woman with a golden heart. Shree from the state of Washington was crowned ‘Miss India USA 2017-2018’ at the pageant held in December last year in New Jersey. And her life has not been the same ever since.

Born in India, young Shree says, she moved to the United States as a toddler. Being uprooted from one’s culture and dear ones was undoubtedly a major challenge. She had to experience hardships while in high school, where she was bullied. Young Shree fought bravely a heart ailment which required her to use a pacemaker. Shree, who had a pacemaker implanted at the age of 12 and was told that she would never be able to dance, is an inspiration for all. “I practice dance almost every day for several hours,” Shree says, pointing to the pacemaker she carries with her all the time.

Miss India USA: Shree Saini - A life story of inspiration, dedication, determination, ambition, and courageAfter doctors diagnosed her with a congenital heart defect at the age of 12, Saini recalls how she struggled to adapt to the life-changing situation of needing a pacemaker while still in middle school, especially when other students did not treat her kindly as a result.

“I have been the target of brutal emotional bullying. I was ridiculed in the most subtle ways, which is why I so often talk about ‘nonverbal’ bullying. For example, there were many instances where I was left out of events or edited out of pictures, and daily ‘whispered about’ by others. As a result of this treatment, there were many times when I would cry in my school’s restrooms or come home in tears after dance class… yet I persevered.

“My family helped me endure,” she explains. “My mom said, ‘the way people treat you has nothing to do with you, but has everything to do with them.’ She empowered me to step up and be even more compassionate towards those who hurt me, and to never give up on my true belief in always being kind.”

In order to reprogram her brain towards more positive thoughts and reach an understanding of how she could find inner peace in spite of all the negativity, she read extensively. “I read books and essays on achieving a more powerful mindset, responding to acts of hate with compassion, and the true value of emotional fitness and what can be done to address the lack of education around it. From what I have learned, I have formed my personal mantra: ‘Giving powerful responses to life’s struggles while being a positive contributor to every situation.’”

These experiences did not deter young Shree from pursuing her life’s mission.  “My journey went from a silent sufferer to a bitter person and finally an enabled victor,” she says. “If anything, the physical challenges and social pressures fueled her – all the way to the Joffrey Ballet and beyond, including winning the title of Miss India USA.”

Miss India USA: Shree Saini - A life story of inspiration, dedication, determination, ambition, and courageShree created the website www.ShreeSaini.com to educate people about her experiences. “It was created based on my personal struggles during my high school,” Saini says. Her hope is that it would inspire others to emulate and face the world with confidence and love. Her former tormentors are now her fans. Via social media, she’s received their congratulations – and apologies.

A woman with a noble mission, what the 22-year-old University of Washington student, is aspiring to achieve in her life, is to create awareness on a number of pressing social issues through her organization, and through her web-portal.  “I began my nonprofit at age 15. I work on raising awareness and raising funds for several nonprofits including anti-human trafficking and anti-bullying,” the young visionary says. “I am very passionate about my nonprofit and want to lead a life of service,” she says. “I want to help end human trafficking and work to promote the importance of emotional well-being in our society.”

In addition, she uses the many social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, among others, to enhance her life’s mission. Through Shree Saini YouTube page, she wants to spread her message by creating short videos of discussions on social issues, college life, raising awareness of important organizations and human rights, as well as anything to help the community.

Miss India USA: Shree Saini - A life story of inspiration, dedication, determination, ambition, and courageShree won the Miss India USA after many years of focus and practice, participating and winning in several pageants. Shree has competed in a number of pageants within the Miss America organization. She was the first runner-up at Miss Moses Lake 2014, Miss Seattle 2016 and Miss Seattle 2017. She also won the Miss Seattle People’s Choice Award in 2016 and 2017, and Miss Congeniality, Highest Fundraiser, Director’s Award. All her pageant exposure has served as a platform for what she truly loves, in spreading awareness against bullying and other social issues. As Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, says, “Shree has used her platform to spread her story of perseverance, tolerance and heart health.”

Miss India USA was started by the New York-based community leaders Dharmatma Saran and Neelam Saran, under the banner of the India Festival Committee around 36 years ago, Miss India USA is the longest running Indian pageant outside India. “It has evolved over the years. Earlier, the participants of pageants presented their talent around Bollywood dance and songs and classical dances. But now pageant participants come out with their own innovations,” Dharmatma Saran said.

More than 50 contestants from over two dozen states participated in the three different pageants – Miss India USA, Miss Teen India USA and Mrs. India USA. “I am so incredibly honored, overjoyed, humbled and excited to be chosen as your “MISS INDIA USA 2017”! God’s amazing grace has surpassed all the words I may have to express this fete. I am astonished by the blessings showered over me,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

Shree, who was also voted as ‘Miss Congeniality,’ and will represent the USA at Miss India Worldwide Pageant, where all national title holders like Miss India France, Miss India Australia, Miss India United Kingdom etc. will contest for the title of Miss India Worldwide in December this year. Winners of the pageants here have gone on to act in various Bollywood movies.

Indian American beauty pageant winner Shree Saini has been in a public profile for years. She literally can make her choice on how she wants to mold her image and pave the way for her future.

Miss India USA: Shree Saini - A life story of inspiration, dedication, determination, ambition, and courageShree Saini, an undergraduate student at the University of Washington pursuing a double degree in public administration and business, wants to “lead a life of service.” When asked between the many engagements around the nation, where she finds the time to study, Shree says, “I study on the plane, while waiting for flights, as almost every weekend, there is an event I need to attend.”

Her passion for education started when she was very young. Even in high school, her drive led Shree to graduate with the highest number of high school credits (46, although only 26 were required). “I know education is vital to solving any of the world’s problems, and have therefore always stayed curious and dedicated myself to obtaining life skills, like public speaking, as well as gaining more knowledge by studying political science at Harvard University, and establishing my own emotional wellbeing startup at Stanford University.”

Pointing to some of the hard work she had to put in, Shree says, the Acting Program she attended at Yale was a very intensive conservatory program for actors comprised of 12+ hours of classes daily, which were then followed by rehearsals. With my heart condition, I had to work extra hard (just as I need to do in dance or as a UW student) in order to match the performance level of other physically-able actors. And, she succeeded through determination and hard work.

Her ambition to learn and conquer what she is set to achieve in life has taken Shree to some of the most prestigious schools across the United States. Saini, who studied journalism at UW and has attended as a visiting student at Harvard, Yale and Stanford, aspires to push legislation through local governments.

Miss India USA: Shree Saini - A life story of inspiration, dedication, determination, ambition, and courageAfter dealing with her own personal experiences, Saini penciled her thoughts in a journal, which she said helped change her from a victim to an empowered young woman. The journals in her diary turned to newspaper clippings in local papers in Washington. “In a society mainly obsessed with physical fitness, emotional problems are dismissed,” noted the young activist. “Emotional well-being is necessary to have a healthy body and mind,” she says.

Shree Saini is working on pushing through bill nationwide that will help implement emotional well-being classes for K through 12. “The classes will help start at a young age to build self-esteem.” Saini hopes to follow up her undergraduate degree with graduate courses at an Ivy League school, where she intends to study public administration or policy making and nonprofit management.

​A brilliant student and learner, Shree believes that children learn what they live in their own households. “Parents need to radiate kindness, and be generous enough to overlook minor offenses, while still raising responsible kids who will heal our societies.”

Miss India USA: Shree Saini - A life story of inspiration, dedication, determination, ambition, and courageShree gives credit to her parents, Sanjay and Ekta Saini, who have not only supported her dreams, but have gone beyond to help her succeed at every step of the way. Pointing to her mother, Ekta, Shree says, “My mother is my role model, who has been with me, supported me and have encouraged me to work hard and realize my dreams.”

As the reigning Miss India USA, “I believe I will be able to make even more of an impact. During my reign, I am responsible for reaching out to individuals, nonprofits, businesses, and schools to make at least 100 appearances during the next 12 months. At every event, I strive to raise public awareness about the value of emotional fitness. I find I am able to engage audiences by asking them my most powerful question: ‘What is more important to you than your own emotional wellbeing?’ I also share my personal story of receiving a pacemaker at age 12, being brutally bullied, and then having to build myself back up emotionally.” She is committed to live a life of service where she intends to teach people about love, harmony and tolerance.

Shree is now focused on winning the title of Miss India Worldwide. And if good offers come her way, Shree is open to acting in movies, whether it be in Bollywood or Hollywood. Another effective way to showcase her talents and still more importantly, another way to champion and spread her message for a better, just and peaceful world. “Meanwhile, I want to continue working on my nonprofit and become an ambassador of emotional health by continuing to visit s many places as possible,” Saini said.

Redmond Fashion Week held

Redmond was able to host its inaugural Redmond Fashion Week (RFW) on August 05, 2018! With major support from Experience Redmond, Suley Era, and Ravishing women, RFW launched this historical event at the Seattle Marriott Redmond which is located at the heart of Redmond Town Center.

This event was graced with the presence of many brilliant designers both local and international, each one showcasing their art on stage with over 60 models and a multicultural array of splendor. The representation of global culture was easily spotted on the runway as designers presented clothes from across multiple continents. We were proud to host designers such as Lisa Mensonides, Vibhuti Malhotra, Joy Sircar McMillen, Joy Egbejimba, Vartika Mittal Garg, Chany Venturini, Parul Mathur Nag, Ritu Goyal Mongia, & Gustavo Apiti.

Attended by hundreds of guests as RFW unfold into reality and became a very successful event by great networks & connections to bring communities together . This event truly lifted Redmond onto the global arena of diverse and multicultural fashion! Flying in from across the US, Africa, India, Italy, and Canada, guests were greeted warmly as they joined in the celebrations as they also had the chance to connect with other audience members. Some such members included Tankia Padhey from the City of Redmond, Aisha Qadri from OneRedmond, Sony TV Celebrity actor Jagjit Athwal and many other exceptional movers and shakers including models, hair artists, make-up artists, photographers, videographers, sponsors, volunteers, and a lively DJ.

Rohit Verma was another designer who brought a celebrity show alongside his designs from Bollywood. Sophisticated and creative apparel exploded on the stage as Verma paid tribute to women of substance by hosting Ms. Wheelchair, Ms. Tourism World Priyanka Shah, Miss India USA Shree Saini, Ms. World Meghan Buelt, and many more community leaders as his runway models of choice. This was a perfect addition to RFW because this event was founded by Ravishing Women and API Chaya which are two major nonprofits that seek to inspire, encourage, and protect women. It was a perfect celebration of women empowerment!

RFW proudly received substantial media coverage across the platforms including on television, social media, newspapers, and broadcast on radio stations. With such strong support, RFW has created a platform that will bridge gaps in city culture and promote a sense of global citizenship using fashion as a tool. Finally with a fashion week of its own, Redmond will stand alongside Seattle and Bellevue as a fashion industry hotspot in the coming years.

To further the message of diverse fashion, RFW also hosted the inaugural Mr. Asia North America contest. The winners are as follows:

Mr. Asia North America 2018: Sooraj Nagpal working as IT Manager in Microsoft,

Mr. Asia Washington 2018: Adi Naidu

Mr. Asia Seattle 2018: Adarsh Kumar

Mr Teen Asia North America 2018: Ishaan Sandhu

Mr. Pre-Teen Asia North America 2018: Aryan Boparai

Mr. Pre-Teen Asia Washington 2018: Mahad Vakil

Mr. Personality Asia North America 2018: Zuhair A Hussain

Mr. Gentleman Asia North America 2018: Ashish Bhatia

Mr. Best Smile Asia North America 2018: Saravjeet Yadav

Mr. Photogenic Asia North America 2018: Karan Daftary

Mr. People’s choice Asia North America 2018: Fiqqy A. Randolph

Mr. Director’s Choice Asia North America 2018: Chaitanya Nalla

TV Channel links:

www.facebook.com/2037059633219783/videos/236111467240122/?modal=admin_todo_tour

www.facebook.com/2037059633219783/videos/306625586777453/?modal=admin_todo_tour

More Pictures:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2067858593473220&type=1&l=d8bd81674c

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