The Rediff US Special/ Shaheen Pasha
Hrithik Roshan was a no-show. But there was Karisma Kapoor. And Bad Boy Gulshan Grover.
The first ever Z-Gold Bollywood Fashion Awards, held last weekend in the center of the fashion world, New York City, touted some big
names in fashion. Names responsible for the unforgettable dress sense that has made the movies our first stop for sartorial dos and don'ts.
"I'm extremely happy to be part of the first ever Bollywood fashion awards,'' said Grover. "It's an interesting kind of event, and anything that gives Bollywood the opportunity to reach more and more people is an exciting thing."
Hosted by Ruby Bhatia, the fashion awards inaugurated the ceremony with a breathtaking sample of designer Alia Khan's newest bridal couture line.
Khan, who is the founder of Asian Andaz Inc -- a line of South Asian finery -- presented an array of lehngas, kurta salwars and saris in today's hottest earth tone shades of pink and brown.
The models strutting their stuff on the catwalk included some of the biggest names in the fashion circuit. Some of the Indian models, whose faces have become synonymous with music videos, commercials and Bollywood films, included Mrs World Aditi Gowitrikar, Mr India Aryan Vaid, twins Tapur and Tupur, Rajlaxmi Khanvilkar, Helen Brodie, Nayanika Chatterjee, Nethra Raghuraman, Jas Arora and Rahul Dev.
Dev, who has already dipped his toes into Bollywood, took home the Z-Gold Bollywood fashion award for best male model, while Bollywood brat Saif Ali Khan presented green-eyed beauty Aditi Gowitrikar with the fashion award for best female model.
The highly stylized designer Suneet Verma was presented the designer of the year award by Bollywood power couple Anupam Kher and wife Kiran.
Verma also introduced his new fashion line, 'Seduction'. Color was of the essence in the new line, with bright blue and yellow blends and shades of orange and pink setting the catwalk on fire. Even his elegant black sets were splashed with bright, sequined flowers to catch the eye.
But probably one of the most anticipated showcases of the night was action star Steven Seagal's collaboration with Bollywood's first lady of design, Neeta Lulla.
The 'To India With Love' collection featured Tibetan-inspired robes in Chinese brocades and silks. The line brought East and West together as brocaded short tops with a small train in the back were combined with tight blue jeans. Hooded robes and colorful lehngas completed the collection.
Seagal's traditional namaste greeting met with the audience's approval as they cheered both the line and its designers. "I've been designing fashion for a long time," he said. "I've been moved by other masters' work and I only hope to be able to achieve something close to their work."
Seagal presented the Bollywood fashion award for female celebrity style to Karisma Kapoor, who surprised the audience with her arrival after it was announced that she was unable to attend.
Hrithik Roshan broke hearts, however, as engagements kept the Bollywood heartthrob from accepting the fashion award for male celebrity style. He accepted via a taped address.
The celebrity fashion designer accolade went to Neeta Lulla. Lulla's designs have graced the forms of Bollywood's most beautiful and have gained fame in movies such as Taal, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Thakshak.
As a tribute to her many film contributions, the models danced and posed to film songs that immortalized Lulla's designs.
Blockbuster Kaho Na Pyar Hai earned the honor of being the most stylish film of the year. While Hrithik Roshan was unable to attend, Daddy Rakesh Roshan accepted on behalf of the film. The award was presented by Miss World 2000 Priyanka Chopra who was resplendent in an evening gown, minus the tiara.
The Z-Gold lifetime achievement award for style went to Jerri Hall who accepted the award from cover girl Erin O'Connor. Accepting the award, Hall said she was honored by the award and "loves everything Indian."
In fact, Hall told rediff.com that she had been hoping to attend the ceremony in a sari, instead of the elegant black evening gown she was wearing.
"I was trying to get this beautiful blue sari on but I couldn't get it to look as wonderful as all of these saris look," she said. "I think I may need a few more lessons in style."
Anand Jon's highly anticipated line ended the night. The collection of Western clothes featured risqué see-through gauze tops and short leather skirts topped with backless leather napkin tops that set many pulses racing.
His line of male kurta salwars in mixed black and gold velvet brought a touch of elegance to the collection.
"I just love Anand Jon's designs," said Miss India America Shaifali Prakash. "This is an awesome event because it gives designers like Anand Jon an opportunity to get the recognition they deserve. I hope it's done every year."
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