I was recently part of an assignment where I got to closely watch how Anisha & Aparna Bahl – two if India’s leading names in the production and management of events related to the fashion industry – get work done. It was an eye-opener even for me. I’ve been backstage and I have photographed fashion events earlier but this was quite something else.

The ladies sure know how this works and to make it work just the way they want. This particular event was the launch of DELH1. This is the first Indian Four Seasons Private Residences project in collaboration with The 3C Company. As part of the launch event, four well-known Indian Fashion Designers were showcasing their creations as part of each season. Tarun Tahiliani, Rina Dhaka, Rohit Bal and Anamika Khanna.

And Anisha and Aparna Bahl were managing everything that goes on behind the scenes. And I do mean everything. The complicated machinery that always boggles my mind that actually makes events like these come together beautifully – all of that was being managed and made to work by the ladies.

Watching this level of professionalism and perfection in the Indian space was close to astonishing for me. ( I know it sounds sad for the rest of the unprofessional population but it is what it is. )

The fittings took place at The Park Hotel. Any day that begins with coffee is deemed to be a great day! And so it was!

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First up is Tarun Tahiliani’s collection and Aparna takes a look at the clothes each model will be wearing.

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The clothes have arrived and the models are lined up.

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And it begins! One by one, each set is handed out to the model who will wear it.

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Footwear and accessories are next.

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The models are now wearing the clothes and Aparna, with the designer’s team, makes recommendations and helps with the tweaks and even possible re-assignment of the clothes to different models.

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Stickers on the inside seams so that there is no possibility of confusion when the actual show happens. And additional pins and needles to make sure the garment is an exact fit for the model wearing it.

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Model measurements on a chart.

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The male models ( so few! ) are fitted next and they join the line up.

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Aparna is on the phone a lot – coordinating things at the venue along with Anisha who is currently at the venue taking decisions about layout and setup.

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Rina Dhaka’s garments arrive.

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And the garments are handed out to the models again to follow the same cycle as for the previous designer’s garments.

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The designer Rina Dhaka above. She was quite hands on herself during the fittings.

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She even took lots of photographs on her phone to make sure all required tweaks were documents so changes could be made for perfect fits for the models.

And now lunch!

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Aparna looks at the schedule for the two remaining fittings.

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She helps Rina out with the script for the NDTV interview.

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Power sockets are always hot property at these things. Deserted during lunch time.

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Rohit Bal’s garments start to arrive.

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The area is still deserted as models slowly start filing in for the next round of fittings. Everything was on time. Yes I’m still shocked. Pleasantly!

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Rohit Bal’s team confers with Aparna about possible combinations of garments and how they would go out on the catwalk etc.

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Garments start going to the models.

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Unboxing!

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Models wait for the others to get their garments so that everyone can change together.

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Holding the curtains together while the models change into their outfits.

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Once the girl models are done, the men get to change in a tiny room.

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Detail from one of Rohit’s creations. With the ubiquitous lotus.

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Models start lining up.

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Footwear.

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Aparna and Rohit gave me a couple really cool shots with the things they were doing. Pointing in two different directions above and in deep thought below.

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More stickers go on and Tarang takes notes.

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The garments are photographed so that they can be put in sequence later, to decide which model goes out on the catwalk in what sequence.

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Sigh. That smile!

Below, Rohit helps out model Arya Bhat with the jacket he will be walking the ramp with.

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Rohit Bal during his “snippet” interview with NDTV.

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Now onto designer Anamika Khanna’s fittings. Garments going out to the models.

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Such beautiful colors.

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Anamika was also quite hands on with her fittings and made sure the garments came together.

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The accessories were simple, elegant and beautiful – they complemented the garments.

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Now that right there is attention to detail above!
Below, Aparna suggests a tweak as designer Anamika Khanna looks on.

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The day at The Park ends with Anamika Khanna’s interview and we then move to the venue. The venue for the actual launch event was the Canadian Ambassador’s home on Aurangzeb Road and we proceeded there for the setup and rehearsals. I will follow up with those stories in the coming days.