We got to see an interesting dichotomy this weekend, reminding us once again of just how diverse Chennai is. The city’s fashionistas were busy ensuring they had front row seats at the Volvo Chennai International Fashion Week, which was kicked off by Nazia Syed with her latest collection, Anastasia. The rest of the line-up included several CIFW favourites, along with a few up-and-coming names as well. There was, of course, no shortage of showstoppers, right through, ending with Sanjana Jon’s grand finale featuring an assortment of Tamil film industry stars.
Many of the same faces were also seen at the opening of Sidney Sladen’s new store on TTK Road, in outfits by the designer, happy to show their support and check out the new place. Getting a lot of attention was actor Namitha, ready to model her new look for the cameras.
The fashion trail continued at Phoenix MarketCity as they previewed their Autumn-Winter 2015 collection with a fashion show put together by Marc Robinson. Instead of the usual runway, models used the moving escalators, and while we watched with our hearts in our mouths, the professionals went about it with ease, with not so much as a stiletto out of line. The show included the mall’s brands like Charles and Keith, Steve Madden, Aldo, Brooks Brothers, Guess and Vero Moda, styled by Kumud Sareen.
In a complete contrast, another group of people were busy partying at the Covelong Point Surf and Music Festival. One part of it was the surf contest, drawing participants from all over the world, while the other was all about having a big old party by the coast. The surfers put up an impressive show, taking things to the next level this year. For the audience, there was loads to do and experience, from food, to sand sculptures, to having your fortune told, along with great music right through. I haven’t seen a line-up of musicians as diverse as this in a while. Other highlights included Jhonty Rhodes, specialised sessions by Rutland Gate Yoga Studio, and Out of the Blue by Niren Saldanha serving, as one person described it, ‘crazy delicious’ food. Dishes like the Bobotie, and Bunny Chow had people queuing up for seconds and thirds, myself included.
Meanwhile, at the ITC Grand Chola, a crowd of around 400 witnessed the premiere of The Lion In Winter over cocktails and a sit down dinner. The Welcome Theatre production, directed by Aamir Raza Husain and Virat Husain, is headed to Hyderabad and Kolkata next.