The finale for the 14th edition of the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour was with designer Ashish N Soni in Kolkata with his monochrome collection and the highlight of the show : show-stopper Sushmita Sen! I posted one of the images right after the show and most people commented saying they hadn’t seen her in ages and that she looked smashing still – and she did. Oh boy she did. Especially in that 3-piece suit that was custom made for her. Boss lady!
The evening was organized at the ITC Sonar hotel in Kolkata. Scroll down for behind the scenes, backstage, hair & make-up sneak peeks as well as behind the scenes with Sushmita Sen, Rajiv Makhni and two hot Sri Lankans! The Sri Lankan theme doesn’t seem to be leaving me alone and I’m glad. ( Just got back from a vacation to Hikkaduwa Sri Lanka too! ) The two Sri Lankans on the runway for Ashish N Soni were Miss Universe Sri Lanka (2011) and Miss Asia Pacific World Sri Lanka (2013), Stephanie Siriwardhana along with Sri Lankan dancer, singer and actor Dushyant Weeraman.
The finale of the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour, with designer Ashish N Soni, used the hashtag #MyIdentityMyPride – and the show-stopper, Sushmita Sen, had a lot to say about that. One of her tattoos, inside her left wrist, says simply, “I AM”. I didn’t think it was possible to pick a perfect show-stopper like this but there she was. Personally, I’m rarely star-struck. I understand it’s a tough industry and people are doing their jobs as best they can. A million press interviews, more camera flashes and I can’t imagine how they don’t manage to get cynical almost immediately. But the way Sushmita spoke about identity and the way she was involved in the interview process was a masterclass in professionalism and authenticity.
Ashish’s garments were black and white, perfectly cut, clean lines, with mix of a variety of fabrics and textures. The silver on the models’ hair and some of the women’s legs was a beautiful touch.
Previous city stops of the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour include : Rohit Bal’s “My Heritage My Pride” “Gul-Dastah” inspired by Kashmir at Bandra Fort, Bombay, Designer Gaurav Gupta’s “My Expression, My Pride” at Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad and Read more about the first leg of the fashion tour with Tarun Tahiliani and his show-stoppers.
And that’s a wrap for this year’s edition of Blenders Pride Fashion Tour!
Overall, it has been a very hectic and fun gig. I got to learn a lot. I met a lot of interesting people. Had a ton of interesting experiences – some of which I’m going to be using as fodder for my podcast no less. Travel to three cities outside my home city of Gurgaon, three hotels, and the same team members throughout.
I need to thank Ashutosh and Jeevan from Pernod Ricard, for being exemplary clients. Thanks to the agency SALT XP ( Arjun, Dhawal and Pulkit ) for managing the logistics and flights and cabs and whatnot. Thanks to all the models for letting me shove my camera into their faces. Special thanks to Pankhuri for making so many of the backstage celebrity photographs possible without my getting thrown out by the bouncers. “Yeh ladki hamaare saath hai”, saved me from a lot of sorrow. And I got some great, exclusive photographs. Another special thanks to WhiteBalance and it’s team for letting me hang around their sets so I could get some more exclusive behind the scenes shots : Gayatri, Anukriti, Mrig, Sukriti, and so many names I, shamefully, don’t remember – please call me for more parties and I will remember them 😛 And thank you Sharayu for making sure my spot was reserved in the photographers’ pit! “Madam yahin bethengi”, was very VERY helpful.
This is already one of the larger projects I’ll do this year as a photographer. Thanks y’all!
( For more client photography projects – if you’re willing to scroll and scroll and scroll through 15 years of work, see the Client Photography Showcase – and remember, when you hire me as a photographer, I showcase the gig as part of my portfolio, on my blog and on all of my social media channels 😉 )