Celeb cut
Ashima Batish

Celebrities and fashion are usually synonymous. Moving a step ahead, some turn designers in their own right by launching their own clothing line…

John Abraham's career trajectory is a perfect success story waiting to be written about, especially after the exploits of his production house. Not a gifted actor though, the MBA, model-turned-actor, used his business acumen to kick-start his clothes label back in 2007, when fashion really didn't even feature in Bollywood's scheme of things. The very next year he went international with his label.

While it was anticipated that more names would follow suit, it's only recently that Sonam Kapoor and Bipasha Basu announced their plans to launch their clothes and accessory lines, respectively. It is certainly not a follow up to John's initiative, but it hints at celebrities adding to their credibility as fashion followers.

If you consider the West, it's a kind of a natural progression for actresses who understand and swear by fashion. Victoria Beckham is in fact more popular as a fashion designer than a former spice girl. Others in the league are Jennifer Lopez, Eva Longoria, Justin Timberlake, Nikki Minaj, among others. "And if the model has worked in the West, it will surely reap benefits for celebrity-turned-fashion designers or enthusiasts in India, considering Bollywood's influence on people here," says Megha Samor of Megha Pragya, fashion designer duo.

Their label, Samor, this year completed four years in the fashion industry and has been worn by the likes of Alia Bhatt and Sonam Kapoor. While they have gradually got popular and achieved fame with time, for Bollywood actresses, it will be rather easy. "The shelf-life of Indian actresses is short; taking to fashion designing is a sound backup plan," Megha opines.

A successful model for an actor's clothes line in India has to be of Salman Khan's Being Human! It already has 80 stores in India and also retails in France, Belgium, Egypt and Jordan with plans to enter Canadian and South African market soon. Kiran Uttam Ghosh, a senior designer from the fraternity is in favour of competition. "Fashion designing or even coming out with a label is not an easy task. You have to keep a tab on people's preferences." Kiran adds that at the same time, surviving in Bollywood is tougher. So anybody who has done well in Bollywood will be successful as a fashion promoter as well.

Another name from the industry to come up with a clothes line is Malaika Arora Khan, who will sell through The Closet Label, in collaboration with The Label Corp. Fashion Designer Anupama Dayal feels that if for celebrities it is just about lending their names, it will be a cakewalk. Otherwise, to get involved at any step of designing, be it sketching, production or detailing, one needs special skills. "A celebrity might know how to dress up impeccably, but making clothes is a different ball-game altogether," Anupama says.

While Bollywood actors endorse a range of products, this time Sonam Kapoor, Bipasha Basu or Malaika Arora Khan are not merely brand ambassadors but partners in the venture. "They are most welcome to come up with clothes line like any designer is free to act in Bollywood film," designer Nida Mahmood says while adding that it's a win-win situation for the celebrity and the product. "The celebrity will get popular as her label reaches out to people and so will the label because it bears the celebrity's name." No wonder then, in this year itself, Sonam, Malaika and Bipasha have declared their respective business agendas for the next year!

Why not!

Pernia Quershi, Sonam Kapoor's stylist in Aisha and a fashion designer, welcomes her decision to launch a clothes line. Empathising with Bollywood actresses taking to fashion, she says, "Sometimes creative minds need more than one outlet to showcase their talent, but if it makes them happy, why not!" And of course there is work for everyone in the fashion industry!

Wearing her attitude
Manpriya Singh

Designer Karishma Shahani says she is more art-oriented than commercial. This is quite evident from her creations…

Karishma Shahani was assimilating her India experience, comprising all the colours and stark contrast of realities, documenting all the slums and festivities; rebelling against its perception outside. In the process, designing collections and brushing aside the constraints of commerce and industry.

For a graduate from London School of Fashion, her previous three collections, showcased at Lakme Fashion Week, have proudly revolved around India. "My first collection was titled Yatra, which was about India in all its colours. This was followed by Kranti because when I was leaving London, a lot of people questioned me on the decision. Finally, the Basant O Vasant paints the country in all its glory and brightness," she shares, while in Chandigarh for a workshop at International Institute of Fashion Design.

Designer touch

Joining her is Wasim Khan, the designer who discounts all the constraints that the concept of interior designing poses. "It is often confused with interior décor." Spatial designing is more like it for the designer, who's credited with art direction for the film Dansh and the design company Lemon Design that he co-founded.

It's a sheer call of the creative and the one that does not conform to the mainstream. "I'd like to call myself more of an art-oriented designer than a commercial designer. We use no chiffons and georgettes, and the like. It's only cottons and other natural fabrics that are played around with, while doing away with all synthetic fabrics."

There's a space for each one, a taker for every sensibility and albeit niche, a market for all the products. All that it takes is to stick to the individuality and ethos. "My target audience is whosoever wants to believe in the designs. I have four stores and retail under the label Ka Sha. They are pretty wearable," she points to a black coloured, bandhini print cotton blazer that's on her.

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What’s in store?

Do you want to know how the celestial stars are going to treat our Bollywood stars in 2014? Read on…

It's that time of the year when most of us would be inquisitive to know how 2014 will treat us. A Bollywood fanatic and a movie buff will go even further and will be eager to know how 2014 will fare for our movie stars. Celebrity astro-numerologist Bhavikk Sangghvi tells us what 2014 has in store for a few popular Bollywood stars. Now read the predictions below to find out what 2014 holds for your favourite stars.

Hrithik Roshan 
(10th January 1974)

Hrithik is primarily ruled by the most powerful star - the Sun (Number 1). Being a Capricorn, he is also ruled by Number 8 (Saturn) and his destiny number adds to Number 5 (Mercury). Hrithik will be now be entering the 41st year of his life which indicates his best year is ahead of him. On the film front, his next release 'Bang Bang' will fare extremely well at the box office. Wearing a 'blue sapphire' (after testing) on a Saturday(two hours and forty minutes before sunset) in his middle finger will take his graph to an altogether different level and put him in the international league.

Aamir Khan 
(14th March 1965)

Our very own Mr Perfectionist ruled by Number 5 (Mercury), Number 3 (ruler Jupiter - Pisces) and Number 2 (Moon). After creating dhoom (literally!) with Dhoom 3, his next release P.K. with the genius Rajkumar Hirani will set new benchmarks for others to follow. The new season of his television show will also garner huge ratings. Wearing a pearl will give him mental peace and reduce stress levels if any.

Salman Khan 
(27th December 1965)

The nation's most loved star, Salman is ruled by Number 9 (Mars), Number 8 (ruler Saturn - Capricorn) and Number 6 (Venus). His soon to be released Jai Ho will be a sure shot blockbuster, whereas his Eid offering for his fans Kick will redefine box office numbers. Although he might date someone, he will remain single and happy throughout 2014. Wearing a 'diamond' above 50 cents or half a carat will ensure someone really sweet enters in his life.

Shah Rukh Khan 
(2nd November 1965)

Influenced by Numbers 2 and 7 (Moon and Ketu) and Number 9 (Scorpio - ruler Mars), SRK being in his 49th year indicates an excellent phase for him in the times ahead. As usual, he will be winning a host of awards for Chennai Express. His X'mas release aptly titled' Happy New Year will do roaring business and break records of his own film. There will be happier times on the personal front as well. Wearing a cat's eyewill remove negativity. 

Ranbir Kapoor 
(28th September 1982)

Ranbir comes under the direct influence of Number 1 (Sun), Number 6 (Venus - Libra) and Number 3 (Jupiter). In his 32nd year, it is a good time for Ranbir on the professional front and on the personal side as well. His compatibility with Katrina (16th July 1983) is superb and they should at least get engaged in the last quarter of 2014. His releases, Roy and Jagga Jasoos will do decent business, but it will be Anurag Kashyap's 'Bombay Velvet' which will catapult him to a higher league. Wearing a yellow sapphire in gold on his right hand will help him remain focused and head in the right direction. 

Evelyn to shake a leg with Arshad

Evelyn Sharma seems to have all the luck. From starting out as a fashionista and graduating to Bollywood success with super hits like Nautanki Saala! and the Ranbir Kapoor--starrer Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (YJHD), she's now turning a new leaf.

Evelyn has been signed by director Neeraj Pathak for Bhaiyyaji Superhit starring Sunny Deol, Preity Zinta and Arshad Warsi.

Pitted as the leading lady opposite Arshad, she plays a cute, sexy but traditional Indian girl. What the actress is most excited about is matching dance steps with him!

Apart from being a powerhouse performer, Arshad is well-known for being a great dancer. And Evelyn feels this gives her a great chance to hone her dancing skills too. Nowadays, the gal is often spotted at a dance rehearsal hall in Andheri, Mumbai. We wonder if that has something to do with the challenge of dancing with Arshad.

Meanwhile, having bagged a role with various shades, comedy, songs, dance and all, Evelyn is glad to work with director Neeraj Pathak. "He spotted me in YJHD and invited me to his office for a meeting. He complemented me for my talent and thinks I am a quick learner. I feel honoured with the praise."

And what does Arshad think of her? "When I first shot with him in Jaipur, it was a scene where I was performing a puja in the house. And Arshad was quite amused by my Hindi accent," she winks.

Fardeen Khan becomes a father!

Actor Fardeen Khan and his wife Natasha, who were expecting their first child, have been blessed with a baby girl on December 11. His cousin and jewellery designer Farah Khan Ali confirmed the news and tweeted: 'Woke up to wonderful news. My cousin Fardeen @khanff & his wife Natasha were blessed by a beautiful baby girl Diani Isabella Khan yesterday. God bless my little niece with loads of health wealth and happiness. Congratulations to the parents.' she added. Meanwhile, actress Celina Jaitly, who worked with Fardeen in Janasheen, congratulated him and tweeted: "Finally wonderful news to hear...congratulations @khanff and lovely Natasha on being blessed with a baby girl Diani Isabella Khan..God bless"

The couple has named the baby as Diani Isabella Khan. Ken Ghosh wrote: "Congratulations Fardeen and Natasha Khan on the birth of a beautiful baby girl Diani Isabella Khan. God bless." Natasha is currently in London staying with her parents Mumtaz and Mayur Madhwani.

A productive five years

Actress Anushka Sharma, who made her debut in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi opposite Shah Rukh Khan, completed five years in Bollywood on December 12. To congratulate her, her fans made flooded the internet with her pictures and congratulatory messages.

The 25-year-old actress turned to Twitter to thank her fans and wrote: "Thank you for the beautiful wishes & the unflinching love and support over the years #5yearsofanushkasharma. I love love love love love y'all." Buzz is that Anushka will spend New Year's evening with her alleged boyfriend and cricketer Virat Kohli. She is currently shooting for Anurag Kashyap's Bombay Velvet.

Punjabi scope
An exercise in disaster
Jasmine Singh

First time in history, comes a Punjabi film that will send a red alert signal to your senses! The movie finds its way to your conscious level, going all the way down to the sub-consciousness level and after shaking each atom of your body, the only voice that is heard is—what the fish!

Is this a movie? Where is the story? Who is the actor? Why isn't he acting? Who has done such pathetic cinematography? Where are the dialogues and the last, why are you doing this mental assault on us?

Directed by Vicky J, the movie has Mandeep Mandy and Avantika Hundal as the lead pair along with Rana Jung Bahadur, Milind Gunaji and many more. The screenplay is by Vicky J and dialogues by Gaurav Bhalla. The director selected the worst places, worst background to shoot this film to begin with. The 'lady' streak in you wants to get up, take out a handkerchief, enter the screen and do some cleaning!

The movie moves from one scene to the other effortlessly without any story and few handy dialogues. Gautam Buddha said you should flow with the tide, sometimes this is the best thing you can do. So, with this thought in mind, you let yourself move along with the film. Vicky J has read Gautam Buddha well too, the director doesn't obstruct anywhere!

The lead actor in the film Mandeep Mandy is short of many things—expressions, dialogues and acting skills. Whether he is in the film or not, the film will still move on like a flowing river! Avantika Hundal is the actress; this information is enough. Rest, yes there is no laughter in the film because throughout you can't help laughing on yourself for choosing to watch this film. Rana Jung Bahadur and Milind Gunaji are the villains who try to scare us with some over-the-top expressions they probably borrowed from somewhere. Rest…the movie goes on.

Fun with Kapil

Comedy guy Kapil Sharma gets the taste of his own medicine, as his fans pull his leg during an interactive session

Kapil Sharma is popular and so is his show Comedy Nights with Kapil. The show is on his fans' mind and on his too, so much so that, says Kapil, "Even when I say bye to my Mummy ji, I end up saying "Dekhte rahiye Comedy Nights with Kapil…"

Kapil interacts with his fans for Airtel Talk 2 Me with Kapil on Thursday afternoon. While he cracks jokes on them, some Smart Alecs pull his legs too…"So kaisa lag raha hai mere se baat karke," asked this doctor from South with Kapil merrily falling for it.

While some crazy female fans can't stop blowing kisses on the phone, others add somewhat coyly, "We love you Kapil." And, there are questions, "Why don't we see Guthi anymore?" Kapil gives a candid reply, "Lots of people want to know this. He's got an offer from another channel and he wanted to go. I tried to convince him that it is a good platform but he was insistent. I wish him luck."

Another concerned viewer wants to know if all the earnings of the show go in funding sharab for Dadi…Kapil is quick to rectify, "No no. He's not Dadi in real, actually he is Dada and vaishno. But trust me I have also started to treat him like Dadi for that's how he is always dressed up."

Kapil's fans calls from Kolkata, Guwahati, Chitrakut, Sri Ganganagar, Nagpur, Jammu, Shimla and a pind near Malerkotla. Kapil addresses men as brothers and pulls jokes on them too. "You call people on show and then insult them. Don't they feel bad," a fan asks. "Not insult, we crack jokes. We have months' long waiting for the show. And, they know what I am going to do. They have fun too," he says.

Chatter box
Rajasthani flavour

Producer Rajan Shahi is currently in Rajasthan shooting for his next show titled Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya. The show, which will air on Zee TV by the month end, is going to be a typical family drama but will have its own essence of entertainment. It will have a Jaipur-based Marwadi family background. To bring in the real feel of Jaipur, a few episodes of the show are being shot in the pink city itself. But due to permission issues, some parts were also shot in Jodhpur. The show's star cast includes Kanchi Singh, Nishkat Verma, Mayur Mehta, Reena Kapoor, Ashita Dhawan Gulabani and Waseem Mushtaq.

Real-life inspiration

Every actor has an inspiration; so does Shahshank Vyas who is popular as Jagya from Balika Vadhu. He says, "Many people ask me this question about who is the hottest woman according to me. I do not consider any women hot. This word does not exist for me. For me every girl and woman is beautiful. For me the most beautiful actress is Madhuri Dixit Nene. She is the epitome of beauty. I love and respect Amitabh Bachan sir. I have seen his films and grown up with them; he is my true inspiration. I fall short of words to express my feelings for him."

Hooked up

Here's a little sad piece of news for all girls. Cute actor Ruslaan Mumtaz is apparently seeing a girl! He is dating Nirali Mehta, who works as a wealth manager. Sources informed us that Ruslaan is extremely serious about this relationship, but has been keeping it under wraps.

Bipasha’s support

Actress Bipasha Basu took to Twitter to support Sangram Singh, who is currently inside the Bigg Boss house. She tweeted, "The most deserving winner of Big Boss 7 should be Sangram. Decent guy with no nonsense attitude." Justifying her choice, Basu added: 'It's just my opinion. Like people to b a lil respectful by nature even under difficult and uncomfortable circumstances. So everybody is entitled to support someone in a game. Let the best person win." We agree!

The year ahead
Madan Gupta Spatu

If your birthday is December 14...

With a birthday on the 14th, you are talented, versatile; good at presenting ideas and at organising things. Mercury makes you friendly and cooperative. 2014 is a favourable year for you if you wish to start up or improve an emotional relationship. You will find new proposals and work assignments this year. Some of you can get good increments and promotions. If you are a sportsman or an artist, you can expect fame towards the end of March. Property cases will be solved out of court in 2014.

Positive colours: Turquoise, Sea-green, Blue.

Select days: Sunday, Wednesday, Friday.

Favourable numbers: 5, 6, 9.

Gems recommended: Emerald, Yellow Sapphire, Ruby.

Charity on birthday: Donate black pulses, oil, sweets.

You share your birthday with Padma Shri Shyam Benegal (December 14, 1934, Secunderabad), who is a prolific director and screenwriter known for films Ankur, Nishant and Manthan. He created a new genre, which has now come to be called the 'middle cinema' in India. He has won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi seven times.

first-day-first show
It’s a gamble! Jackpot

Jackpot is a 2013 Hindi comedy thriller directed by Kaizad Gustad starring Sunny Leone, Naseeruddin Shah and Sachiin J Joshi. The story revolves around a casino, called Jackpot. A group of amateur youngsters come into the casino with a perfect plan to play a con game. Everything was going according to their plan, until a woman with a gun, Maya (Sunny Leone) and Francis, (Sachin Joshi) appear in the scene. Though the casino manager, Naseeruddin Shah, is aware of everything, he cannot do anything as Maya's oomph bowled him over.

Confusing story

There was a lot of hoopla about the film, but after seeing it, I am not so sure of either Sunny Leone's acting skills or where the film was headed to. Honestly, the storyline of the film is very confusing. I would not advise anyone to watch it.

Niharika Sachdeva, student

Disappointing date

I didn't like the film, but since I am a huge fan of Naseeruddin Shah's acting, I chose to watch it. However, after watching the film, I am quite disappointed. It's something that one can watch for a time pass.

Nitin Saluja, bank employee

Average fare

The film is not all that bad. I like the fact that the industry has accepted Sunny Leone and as a beginner, she's not bad. However, the story of the film has quite a few glitches but it's an average film.

Vishakaha Dogra, student

What the fish

Produced by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, What the Fish stars Dimple Kapadia and it is directed by Gurmmeet Singh. The story of the film features Sudha Mishra, 67, a divorced woman who wants Sumit, her niece's fiancé, to take care of the house. When she returns a month later to her house, everything seems to be in order until she opens the bedroom door and a woman appears, wailing loudly.

It's different

It is an awesome film and it has a very trippy feel to it. It is very different from the typical Bollywood masala films that we get to see every now and then. Honestly, I think it is a must watch.

Himani Gupta, student

Dimple did it!

It's a different film and Dimple Kapadia manages to pull the movie rather efficiently. It does remind one of Hangover, but all in all it's a decent watch.

Puneet Kaur, student

(As told to Amarjot Kaur)

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For the love of music
Ashima Batish

For California-based musician Ishmeet Narula, making Punjabi music is like home-coming

In times when including a rap in the track has become an unsaid rule, debutant Ishmeet Narula prefers to be a puritan. Professionally trained under Ustad Abdul Aziz Khan in Delhi, Ishmeet is now settled in California.

Making Punjabi music, she says, is like coming back to the roots. "I am a full time musician. While I have heard people say that music is their passion but for livelihood abroad, they take to other jobs. But I realised that doing anything besides music would adulterate my passion." Similarly, she thought that rap would mean compromising with the purity of Punjabi music. "Rap didn't fit in anywhere. Also each song that was picked, was well-thought of. Songs in the album haven't been picked for the heck of adding tracks.

Titled, Sakeeriyaan, a synonym for relationships, the album celebrates the bond between a couple. "All tracks are romantic and soulful. There is nothing run of the mill." Singing legend Rahat Fateh Ali Khan too has lent his voice for the title track. The producers of the album, Speed Records approached him to sing his part in the song. "He happily obliged after listening to the song," Ishmeet adds.

A follower of singers like Surinder Kaur, Reshma, Jogmohan, Sudesh Kumari, she hopes to come up with the same quality of music. Also Ishmeet adds, "The album has been done in collaboration by Punjabis residing in different parts of the world. I am settled in California, the lyricists, Bunti Bains and Ranbir Singh are from UK, and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is from Pakistan." She says that she has been approached by a few Bollywood music directors and there are a few things in the pipeline, "But it is a tad too early to announce anything." She has already sung a single which will first see a release in UK and then come to India.

Celebrating phulkari

After Manish Malhotra pulled phulkari on the ramp, gave it a twist, used it in his collection, the mention of the traditional weave of Punjab paints an ever more colourful picture. But what's presented in NIIFT, as a part of institute's celebration of craft of Punjab, is rather a sepia portrayal of the same.

There are phulkaris, but not done by the students. Though the traditional mats (daris), jutties, and parandis are woven by students, the presentation isn't propelling enough to make you pick and check.


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