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Monthly Archives: March 2016

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All you need to know and more about buying and selling previously loved luxury goods in India.

The arrival of pre-owned luxury shopping in India is making news and changing wardrobes, if not lives. It is no secret that India is a lucrative market for the prominent European and American luxury brands, with most ofA� thema��like Louis Vuitton, Dior and Guccia��opening multiple boutiques in the metros. But fashionistasA� across the country are left wanting more for less, bemoaning theA�A�A�A� high-duties levied on luxury goods, the late arrival of new designs and the lack of vintage keepsakes. a�?Pre-owned luxury shopping is no longer dA�classA�. India is a price-sensitive and demanding market, so there is definitely reduced stigma to pre-owned luxury,a�? says Anvita Mehra, 24, founder of Confidential Couture, a popular e-commerce boutique for high-end labels. With prices starting from Rs 3,000 to several lakhs, herea��s all that you need to know about why, how and where you can shop and sell confidently for authentic
previously-loved luxury goods.


Launched last July, Mumbai-based Luxepolis was started with the vision of making a�?value luxurya�� accessible across India. With over 500 international luxury brands to choose from, co-founder Vijay KG shares how Luxepolis was conceptualised. a�?We observed that in India, the three luxury categories that taste immense success are real estate, jewellery/gold and luxury automobiles,a�? says the 35-year-old, adding, a�?And the one thing that connects them all is the resale value and the vibrant resale market that exists. Similarly, every luxury purchase from us is an investment.a�? In the nine months since its inception, Vijay reports that 40 per cent of their customers are repeat clients and that the same percentage of their shoppers hail from tier-2 and tier-3 cities and towns. a�?We are focussed on providing accessible and authentic luxury products,a�? he adds, referring both to price and to the pre-loved venturea��s reach. Other perks to shopping with Luxepolis is the packaging. a�?We provide a certificate of authenticity. Our 20-member strong global authentication team collectively has over 150 years of experience in culling fake luxury products,a�? he concludes.
We especially liked the selection of handbags and shoes from classic American brands such as Coach, Michael Kors, Tory Burch and DKNY.
Style steal: Luxepolis has a small but stylish selection of Miu Miu minibags and wallets.
Details: luxepolis.com

Confidential Couture

Delhi-based Anvita Mehra turned her passion for fashion into a business when she launched Confidential Couture in June, 2014. a�?The fact that we are able to cater a realistic luxury shopping experience to a style-savvy clientele is our ultimate takeaway. High-end luxury items are extremely aspirational in India lately and there is a visible surge in demand,a�? she says. Mehra pays heed to the authentication process, too, offering a money-back guarantee if any purchase is proven to be counterfeit. a�?Our in-house team reviews every product and its accompaniments (receipts, authenticity cards), hologram codes and heat stamps. To ensure authenticity, we also draw on the advice of our partners, Authenticate First, a US-based authenticating agency.a�? With handbags, shoes and sunglasses from the usual French and Italian luxury suspects, as well as a few niche brands such as Celine, Chloe and Sophia Webster, buyers have plenty to choose from.
Style steal: The new handbags from Celine Details: confidential couture.com


Former interior designer Chitra Goenka confesses to discovering the seeds of her pre-loved luxury business, LabelCentric, over brunch. a�?I stumbled upon the idea over a casual lunch with my girlfriends. The conversation revolved around not knowing what to do with our last season designer handbags and accessories, and while I was still working on interior design at the time, this stayed with me,a�? she begins. Launched last August, the Mumbai-based venture even ships their products to customers from tier-2 cities like Faridabad and Ranchi, who impress Goenka with their fashion and brand knowledge. Shopping for pre-owned goods, however, does not come cheap, warns Goenka. a�?A client can pay up to Rs 1.5 lakh for a pre-owned Lady Dior bag, which retails at Rs 3 lakh at the store.a�?
We liked their express delivery service, the dustbag, lifetime authenticity guarantee and, of course, the limited but carefully curated repertoire of handbags, belts, sunglasses and other luxury products Style steal: Ita��s raining Dior here! The discounted prices on the classic Diorissimo lady bags are hard to resist.
Details: labelcentric.com

Need to know

? You may have found the deal of a lifetime on a classic LV a�?Neverfulla��, but if you arena��t familiar with the brand, its current showroom price, availability and authenticity, then educate yourself before pulling
out your credit card. Visit the branda��s official site or
the store, talk to a retail assistant, a stylist or a friend who is a current owner.

?A� Chances are that shoppers will find more vintage and classic designs and less
of the latest ones.

?A� All pre-loved luxe platforms categorise their products based on the amount of wear-and-tear a product has been through, says Valecha. Read up on the rules of engagement
of each platform before
purchase. Ask to see close-up photographs of a handbag’s straps and zipper, the soles of a shoe, etc, that may be worn
out the most.

?A� When in doubt, ask for more photographs. Ask for the product to be placed on a model to determine size, and close-ups for colour and
fabric quality.

a��Shibi Kumaramangalam

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    With a tinseltown connect and a menu inspired by classics and personal favourites, ECR gets a new eatery.

    The name hints at divine inspiration, but for most of us ECRa��s new restauranta��s claim-to-fame is that a film star has ventured beyond the screen, into the hospitality world. Godka by Simran almost seems like the answer to a prayer for the (until recently) food-barren stretch of the East Coast Road. Located at Akkarai junction, Sholinganallur, it was launched with all the expected glam and glitz.
    Free Wi-Fi, comfy sofa seating, a mocktail bar and a coffee service add a conversational edge to the layout. The chandeliers and the Bollywood-themed walls complement the clean lines of the interiors. While the menu is largely understated, Deepak Bagga, actress Simrana��s husband and partner in most ventures, admits that the food represents a lot of what Simran and he like to eat when they travel. So a little Bangkok, a little Malaysia, and familiar pan-Indian fare feature alongside classic one-meal plates from the Continent.
    I reach beyond the fish and chips, and the spaghetti alfredo, and even the roast lamb ribs for something with a little more bite. The Tom Yum soup was just how I like it, hot and fragrant, and loaded with chilli and lemongrass. The nethili fry under the Godka specials is crisped in batter and served with mint sauce. But the pla tod gratiem prik Thai (crispy Basa tossed with garlic and pepper) could have been more meaty. In keeping with the South-East Asian fare, I order nasi goreng (Indonesian style fried rice) and stir-fried chicken with cashews, which is quite basic. While the desserts can get an upgrade, we find the setting is nice, the location terrific, and the bistro-style menu very accommodative.
    Meal for two at Rs 1,200 approximately. Details: 9600032441

    a�� Niren Saldanha

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      Enjoy staple Nepalese dumplings by Ashvita Bistroa��s GoGo MoMo, from the comfort of your hom.

      STEAMED momos can lay claim to being the perfect snack a�� delicious, healthy, with ample variety of fillings. Which is why it made a lot of sense for Ashvita a�� which gave us restaurants like Ashvita Bistro and Ashvita Nirvana a�� to begin GoGo MoMo, an outlet that delivers momos and nothing else.Starting point
      Kripa Thomas, CEO of Ashvita retail, explains, a�?I always liked the taste, and although it is now a common concept (momo pick-up counters) in Chennai, you really cana��t get it everywhere. It was already available in our restaurant, so I thought why not have a kiosk outside. And our sauces and fillings are really different,a�? she adds. They offer chocolate and mockmeat as filling options, meant to cater to people who have converted to vegetarianism.
      Taste talk
      GoGo MoMo gets it right with the packaginga��the carry bag is an Ashvita product, with a label revealing that it is made by people with special needs. The most popular momo from the menu is the chicken and cheese, which is a hit with us, too, with just the right amount of cheese. The vegetarian bestseller is the corn and cheese version. However, we didna��t quite take to the dragon mockmeat momos, which were supposed to have the flavour of mince meat but didna��t quite get it right.
      With plans for 10 counters by the end of this year, they also intend to add more varieties of fillings.

      At Rs 95 – Rs 120. At Bawa Road, Alwarpet (42109990), and Fifth Avenue, Besant Nagar (24424404)

      a�� Tushar Kaushik

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        Parsi plate
        As part of the Parsi New Year, chef Hushmoin Patel has rustled up a traditional spread that includes specials like dhanshak kebab, lagan nu custard, patra ni macchi and murghi na farcha. At Jamva Chaloji, the Parsi food festival at The Raintree, St Marya��s Road. Available a la carte for dinner till Sunday. Rs 2,000++ Details: 42252525

        2_Westin_DimsumDining on dimsum
        Available as a set menu, enjoy unlimited dimsumsa��from steamed shumais and kothes to paosa��at the Cantonese Feast festival. Also sip on jasmine tea and choose from desserts like mango sago pudding. At Five Sen5es, The Westin. Till April 3, from 7 pm onwards. Rs 1,499++. Details: 8939892072

        Desi flavours
        Celebrating Holi, Six a�?Oa�� One serves up traditional flavours with a contemporary twist at the Dynamic Desi festival. Expect dishes like motichoor rabdi parfait and karuveppilai thengai crab cake, a la carte. From today till April 3. At The Park, for lunch and dinner. Dishes from Rs 395++ onwards. Details: 42676000

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          From hot cross buns and chocolate eggs filled with marzipan and praline bon bons to the classic brunch, a round-up of Easter dining essentials across the city.

          THIS Sunday, take the Easter celebrations up a few notches with live music, lavish brunches, high tea and exotic goodies like Bavarian torte and tsoureki, besides the staples a�� candy-filled eggs, chocolate bunnies, egg hunts and hot cross buns. Pick your favourites from five-star hotels, cafes and independent bakers, who are all set with extravagant spreads and some surprise gifts for this weekend.

          Musical brunch,
          Taj hotels
          At Anise, Taj Coromandel, enjoy music by the band Medium Rare while you sample desserts like mud cakes and dry fruit coconut gateaux at their brunch buffet (Rs 1,950 onwards). At La Patisserie, try the custom-made chocolate bunnies (from Rs 90, details: 66002827). Meanwhile, The Verandah, at Vivanta by Taj – Connemara, will serve high-teaa��including veggie burgers and spring onion tartsa��with magicians and live piano to entertain. Kids can go egg hunting, too. From 3-6 pm. Rs 1,500. Details: 66000000

          Big and small
          appetites, The Hilton
          With macaroons and cheese-stuffed hot cross buns in the childrena��s buffet, they can enjoy the egg hunt, balloon and tattoo zone, and the photo booth. Also grab Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies at Est. From 12 pm. For adults, an elaborate brunch for two at Vascoa��s will include dishes like a honey and cinnamon-glazed ham leg and asparagus and artichoke crespelle. Rs 5,999. Details: 30855511

          Raise a toast,
          ITC Grand Chola
          Nibble on cheese sushi and fish shao mao (at Pan Asian), and dine on roast chicken durby and truffle-scented tender pea soup (at Madras Pavilion) for brunch, at the ITC Grand Chola. Rs 2,195 onwards. Details: 22200000

          Time for classics, Hyatt Regency
          Indulge in Spice Haata��s brunch that includes stir-fried lamb, beef Wellington, peach-glazed ham, eggs Benedict casserole with hollandaise sauce and tsoureki (Greek Easter bread). Also, dona��t miss the Easter treatsa��like chocolate eggs filled with candies and flavoured breada��at Biscotti. Brunch at Rs 2,150++ onwards. Details: 61001234.

          CicloPlate full,
          Ciclo Cafe, La��Amandier
          The cafA�a��s sangria (mocktail), Easter salad a�� made with tuna chunks a�� and pavlova with kiwi and strawberry are big draws for lunch and dinner. (Rs 165 onwards, details: 42048666). The bistro, La��Amandier, offers breakfast and brunch featuring dishes like carrot celery millet porridge and Irish vegan pie. Rs 399++ onwards. Details: 30853590


          Easter contest,
          The French Loaf
          Celebrating the spirit of Easter, savour traditional marzipan and chocolate eggs, and Argentine bread, among other staples (Rs 40 onwards). Surprise hampers also await the winners of a contesta��where children between five and 12 years get to colour and create Easter eggs out of materials provided. Across all French Loaf outlets, till Sunday. Details: 32216627

          Bun intended,
          Old Madras Baking Company
          Cinnamon-flavoured hot cross buns with raisins will be on offer this Easter at the Old Madras Baking Company, known for their artisan breads. With no added preservatives, these are priced at Rs 50 each. Details: 42084422

          Of tales & tiny tots, InterContinental
          Walk into the hotel at Mahabalipuram to engage your tots (aged five and above) in storytelling and origami sessions, and an Easter treasure hunt. The winner will win a complimentary stay for the family. Also try the classic honey-glazed ham and bavaroise for brunch, with unlimited select spirits. From Rs 1,999++. Details: 71720101

          Ciclo CafeTurkey delights,
          For the first time, Westin will offer pizza topped with turkey mortadella at their Easter brunch. Also expect makai shazaadi, baby lobster tails and apple Bavarian torte. At Seasonal Tastes, from 12.30-4 pm. Rs 1,700 ++ onwards.
          Details: 66333777

          Homestyle bakes

          ?A�A� Smitha Kuttayya, a city-based baker, will home deliver Simnel cakes and tarts, dressed and stuffed roast chicken, carrot cakes, chocolate mousse and Coorg-style pork curry this Easter. Rs 60 onwards. Orders close today. Service available till March 31.
          Details: 9444385425

          ?A�A� Cooked true to the Anglo-Indian stylea��with minimum spices and no additivesa��Anglo Auntya��s Takeaway offers beef Scotch egg, turkey biryani, turkey roast and turkey curry, available as combos and a la carte. Served for lunch and dinner, from 12 pm onwards.A� Rs 2,000 onwards for the combos. Details: 9884087177

          Text: Lalitha Ranjani

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            Actress Karisma Kapoor brings Hyderabada��s famous Neerua��s, known for its Benarasi saris and handloom, to our city.

            WHILE fashion statements change every season, the urban ethnic designs from Hyderabad-based Neerua��s form a staple for most of us caught in a wedding frenzy. Known for their Benarasi ensembles, designer silk saris and lehengas, the 45-year-old brand launches its first boutique in the city at Cathedral Road. Scheduled to be opened by long-time ambassador actress Karisma Kapoor tomorrow, the store is headed by Avnish Kumar, a third generation businessman who is keen on exclusive designs that will make the city sit up and take note. a�?Our store in Chennai is the result of much planning, which went on for about three years. I am talking about new additions such as Benarasi lehengas (Rs 25,000 onwards), printed cotton kurtas featuring shibori, tie dyes and similar prints from my mother Neeru Kumara��s signature line, along with Neerua��s staples like stitched and unstitched variations of suits, saris, menswear, kidswear and more, in trending colours like midnight blue,a�? says the 26-year-old director of the brand. With its wide network of weavers and workshops all over India, in places including Surat, Benaras and Jaipur, the award-winning branda��s (Best Regional Retailer South at Indian Retail Congress 2016, Mumbai) Chennai chapter promises more natural fabrics such as kanjeevarams, Benarasi silk saris and handloom. With plans for two or more showrooms (think display areas of 5,000 sq ft) in the city, Avnish also intends to take the brand to a global market.
            At Cathedral Road. Opening tomorrow. Price from Rs 500 – Rs 1 lakh. Details: neerus.com

            The K factor
            Actress Karisma Kapoor will inaugurate the new store in a red silk lehenga from the brand. a�?I have been associated with Neerua��s for more than five years now. From their launches to photo shoots, it has been a great ride,a�? begins the star, while elaborating on her love for the Benarasi lehenga and handloom products from the brand. a�?I think fusion defines the trends now. Especially with lehengas teamed with crop tops.a��a��

            a�� Arya P Dinesh

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              Fine fashion, food and cars. This week had the best of all three. The buzz was centered on the Fashion Premier Week at Crowne Plaza, of course, featuring a mix of both local and national designers. I happened to get a front row seat at the opening show on Friday night, when city-based Osman Abdul Razak showcased his collection of bespoke fashion, with its first-ever fashion show. Despite the late start, the crowd was upbeata��all cheers for the young entrepreneur and the dramatic video of him that opened the show. We were given a little taste of everything, from pastel linens for summer, to intricate threadwork bandis, with interesting choreography by Priya Manikandan who made good use of the entire space. On Sunday, the silver screen brigade was fully represented with Vikram Prabhu for Osman Abdul Razak, Neil Nitin Mukesh for Sharad Krishnan and actress Namitha for Shane and Falguni Peacock. The hall was transformed with flowers, which served as a backdrop, complementing The Peacock Bride collection of opulent saris and lehengas.
              VINTAGE3Meanwhile, Saturday saw us at the WCC Vintage Car Rally, where we got to see beauties like the 1949 Buick (pre-owned by Jim Corbett) and ride in some as well, thanks to the Madras Heritage Club. Some lucky ones took home boxes of chocolates from Zuka,A� after cruising through the car quiz.
              We also caught an interesting collection of repurposed saris at Maalgaadi, thanks to the efforts of White Rainbow Project a�� an NGO aimed at giving new life to the widows of Vrindavan. Another boutique that is becoming adept at curating unusual events is Kingsley. On Saturday evening, guests snacked on kuzhi paniyarams before settling down under the mango tree in the courtyard, where Bharatnatyam exponent Malavika Sarukkai proceeded to dance like a dream.
              I got to extend my weekend a little bit with a scrumptious dinner at The Park, as part of the GoA�t de France celebration of French gastronomy. At 601, the citya��s foodies dug into a special menu curated by chef Ashotush Nerlekar. The five-course meal included fois gras with grilled figs and, my personal favourite, a guinea fowl with sausage stew.

              Paloma Rao

              a��A� paloma@newindianexpress.com

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                March 25 | Amethyst
                A collection of rare tribal carpets curated by Bengaluru-based Danny Mehra will be showcased at the Folly. The exhibition, called Carpet Stories, will open at Amethyst with exhibits from places like Persia, Anatolia, the Caucasus and so on. The carpets are designed by ethnic groups like Qashqai, Luri and the Afshar. Prices from `50,000 onwards. More on Page 18

                Beach action
                March 26 | ECR
                Wild Tribe Ranch is now bigger and better. The adventure park has relocated to ECR with new attractions by the beach, like trampoline jumps, zip lines, rope scores and more.
                More on Page 23

                Out of Africa
                March 29 | Evoluzione
                Ever been to the grasslands of East Africa and witnessed its rich wildlife? You can get a glimpse of the action at Evoluzione, where popular designers Pankaj & Nidhi will be bringing their latest collection. There will be signature white appliques and shades of earthy orange and grass greens, as well as art works featuring animal print. Prices from `12,500 onwards.
                On March 29.
                Details: 28333627

                Fashion files
                March 31 | Mumbai
                The Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai will open with a showcase by Manish Malhotra. Other big names include Neeta Lulla, Rahul Mishra and Masaba, while Gaurang Shah will reveal his favourite jamdani weaves on 19th century-inspired dresses, on March 31. Till April 3. Details: facebook.com/LakmeFashionWk

                At the movies
                March 25 | SPI Cinemas
                The wait is over. Ever since Ben Afflecka��s first look as Batman was revealed, expectations about the look and plot of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice have been sky high. With a majorly original premise, the movie revolves around Batmana��s attempts to stop Superman (Henry Cavill) from causing more collateral destruction. Also starring Jesse Eisenberg, Amy Adams and Gai Gadot. Details: 42244224

                traditional painted eggsBunnies alert
                March 27 | Tryst Cafe
                This Easter (March 27), Tryst Cafe has three varieties of hot cross buns to choose from a�� plain, raisin and chocolate. Sporting a new look, the cafe also has chocolate eggs and bunnies, along with cakes like chocolate truffle. Buns at `30 each and eggs at `120 each. Details: 64575575

                Karisma in town
                March 28 | Neerua��s
                Hyderabad-based Neerua��s, known for their grand wedding ensembles, launches in the city on Cathedral Road. Promoted by actress Karisma Kapoor, it also stocks menswear, kidswear and fashion accessories. So if therea��s a wedding in the family, you know where to go. More on Page 7

                Play your song
                March 30 | Hoppipola
                Therea��s nothing like hearing your favourite song being played by a DJ at the bar. Hoppipola gives you a chance to experience the same through Jukebox Nights, a special series where you can get your choice of music played, after you place a request with the waiter who will forward it to the DJ. At Hoppipola outlets on all Wednesdays, from 7 pm onwards. Details: 33011638

                Race to the semis
                March 27, Punjab
                The last time Australia defeated India in a World Cup tournament, the former went on to become champions. But looking at their contrasting records in recent T20 matches, the host nation has the edge, as the race to reach the semis hots up. Steven Smith better watch out for Virat Kohli, who is in blistering form at the moment. From 7.30 pm onwards, on Star Sports. Details: icc-cricket.com

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                  A few years ago, listening to Hindi music on a breakfast time slot in the city would have been impossible. All that changed when Fever 91.9 debuted in Chennai. RJ Sindhu is the brand new voice behind Ready Steady Po. And her style of presenting and her approach towards the listener is extremely warm and easy on the ears. Here are excerpts from our chat.

                  How is it to host the breakfast show on a Bollywood station in Chennai?
                  Like eating hot aloo paranthas with mangaa urgai. Thata��s how I feel when I am hosting my show every day. It is a new city to me and a Bollywood music station is new to Chennai. We are enjoying each othera��s company. The city has made me feel good and has accepted me. I am extremely thrilled about it.

                  How has the listener response been?
                  Both my voice and style of RJing is new to Chennaia��s ears. The response has been overwhelming. I am drowning in all the love the city has shown me. Talking about the music, ita��s like a splash of cold water on a hot summer day. Chennai was waiting for something different and Fevera��s offering of Bollywood music sealed the void.

                  As a host, would you say that Chennai listens to a lot of Bollywood music?
                  I would say Fever 91.9 FM has got Chennai to listen to Bollywood music. People from all walks are able to relate to the music we play. Though a lot of our listeners are not hard-core Bollywood junkies, they are humming tunes of Arijit Singh and Shreya Ghoshal. So it is extremely gratifying to know that the music I pick is being loved by the city.

                  Whata��s in store on Ready Steady Po in the coming month?
                  Ready Steady Po is now on a a�?Go Team Indiaa�? mode. Elections are around the corner and we want to go all out and influence people to vote. We want to create more awareness among people about how powerful their vote is. So ita��s mostly going to be a�?Ready Steady Votea��.

                  See you next week.

                  a�� talkingradio@gmail.com .
                  The writera��s views expressed here are entirely in his personal capacity.

                  A look at the most loved two-wheelers of recent times.

                  Many a motorcycle model has come and gone, but some still remain in our hearts. We found three that have a special
                  place on Indian roads.

                  Starting life as the Hero Honda Splendor, and evolving from the CD100 platform, the Splendor is one of the highest-selling motorcycles in the world. A simple, convenient and efficient commuter motorcycle, with a bikini fairing and curvy fuel tank, it took India by storm after its launch. A success story like none, the Splendor has gone through various iterations till date, but its core competence keeps it in demand even today.

                  Honda Activa
                  While the Activa wasna��t exactly the first automatic scooter in India, it definitely is the most iconic. Its rider-friendly ergonomics and ease of operation, coupled with a smooth ride, made it a darling among a whole generation of women riders. The success of the Activa prompted many manufacturers to offer competitive products, but, along with its fibre body version, the Dio, Honda has ruled much of the scooter market for a long time.

                  KTM 390 Duke
                  The 200 Duke had already proven its mettle and the 390 simply went one step further, with an upped cubic capacity. The bikea��s power-to-weight ratio is brilliant and there still doesna��t exist any naked street bike that can deliver the kind of bang-for-your-buck that the KTM does. No wonder that it still remains the favourite, along with its smaller sibling, among bikers who want a powerful motorcycle without having to break the bank.

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