Home Chennai After Dark Chennai in the limelight

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    Oona Dhabhar, Tina Malhotra, Priya Tanna and Kanika Subbiah at Park Hyatt. (On the right) Suma and Harris Jayaraj at Evoluzione.

    While the cover of this month’s Vogue India features Bollywood’s new brigade of talent, what lies inside is a Chennai special. Stories on our city, its charms and the people that are proud to call it home. And what better way to celebrate this issue than by getting to know Chennai’s flag bearers, on a more personal level.

    The setting was The Flying Elephant at Park Hyatt, a ladies lunch hosted by Vogue, giving us the chance to meet Priya Tanna, the editor and Oona Dhabhar, marketing director, Conde Nast India. The dress code for the afternoon was ‘a touch of Chennai’ and the ladies had fun interpreting the theme.

    Anaka Narayan of Brass Tacks chose to wear her own brand, while Kiran Rao chose a flowy piece adorned with Tamil text. Some went all out sporting silk saris, traditional jewellery and jasmine in their hair. Everyone got to mingle and sample a range of wines and fruity cocktails before we moved upstairs for a relaxed sit-down lunch.

    Commenting on this special issue, Priya said that for the first time in Vogue India’s six-year run, they’ve turned the spotlight on Chennai, to pay homage to the rich tapestry of the city. And to their delight they found it glistening with fabulous homes, art and design.Notes were exchanged through the meal, while Priya kept us entertained with stories from over the years. We slowly worked our way through course after course, while our glasses seemed to magically stay full. As we nibbled on desserts, our hosts promised to keep in touch and be back soon.

    It might have been all about the ladies during the week, but the focus shifted to the gentlemen over the weekend. Evoluzione hosted a bespoke session with Whitcomb and Shaftesbury and their master craftsman John McCabe from Lindon’s iconic Savile Row. With over 40 years in the business, John was happy to give a select group of gentlemen, his expert opinion and made-to-measure perfection.

    Mahesh Ramakrishnan, one half of the sibling duo behind the brand, said that Chennai was an exciting market for them. Not just for the interest that people take when it comes to dressing up, but for the variety that Indian clothes offer as well. As you can imagine, being amongst the best would include working with a variety of celebrities, from actors to politicians. Ask them how they manage finicky clients and they laugh it off with a “it’s all part of the job.” As for simple style tips, they advise balance, the rules of patterns and, of course, never compete with your wife.

    Paloma Rao (paloma@newindianexpress.com)

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