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AN ODE TO VOGUE... AND NIKHIL THAMPI

KARISHMA NAINA  (click here to know more about this blogger)

It was Saturday morning and I was greeted with an exhausted Shibani Dandekar straight in from a show in Cochin... with her Colgate smile in hand! Her fashion stylist Anisha Jain is on her way in and amongst the chaos of her unpacking and packing (for yet another shoot that day for Jhalak Dikhlaja this time), I realize that it's 'the' VOGUE 5th Anniversary party and I've totally forgotten! Now to fully understand the gravity of forgetting such a milestone event can only be described as catastrophic! This isn't just any party nor is this just any magazine but the event of the year and the magazine that is undisputedly the fashion bible for millions across the world. Now with stakes so high and time most certainly not on my side... how in the world do I compensate?

With stylist Anisha's mélange of clothes and accessories laid out for Shibani to choose from... the answer hit me like a truck load of Louboutins falling with dramatic and yet stylish effect! Nikhil Thampi!!!! Yes! Is there anyone else that I could run too that could be more in-"Vogue"? If I were to make an entrance looking stylish, dramatic and sexy all rolled into one then without a doubt in my mind I knew I had to get a hold of Nikhil Thampi and fast! While Shibani busied herself with Anisha, mixing and matching various looks, I started dialing away in the hope of wearing Nikhil Thampi to the event of the year. Without a moment of hesitation, Vidhi (Nikhil's incredibly helpful and enthusiastic assistant) got to work and started last minute brain storming with Nikhil on garments I could wear. I was thrilled beyond words that Nikhil even agreed to lending me an outfit on such short notice and I was also excited to hear that he was attending the party and that further more Vogue had directly called him to borrow pieces from his recent Lakme Fashion Week collection to wear to their own event... what did I tell you? This guy is so in-Vogue and he's too damn humble to flaunt it!
 
So after a series of phone calls back and forward, Nikhil suggested to me to not wear his latest collection as I had to stand apart from what was already being worn that evening by the Vogue staff. So my mind immediately went to a particular white jaw-dropping number that I had worn on my show "I Love Style" where I had interviewed him.
 To my joy, he was absolutely delighted that I had requested for that piece because apparently a lot of celebrities loved it but weren't experimental or daring enough to have worn it... maybe because this stunning white floor-length gown was back-less beyond imagination!!!! it was so vogue and I just had to wear it! Mutually agreed upon, the dress was delivered and as Shibani left for Jhalak Dikhlaja, I was further blessed that her fabulous clued -n stylist Anisha Jain volunteered to style my glamorous look. She was God sent and with the simplest of touches such as two gold Grecian arm bands and my hair combed to one side, I was understated yet impactful due to her little touches... thank you Anisha!!
 
So back from her shoot and now with the apartment full of Shibani's hair and make-up team and stylist, exhausted as she was, she busied herself yet again with getting ready yet again for another event... yet again! Even though it was her this time and it wasn't me, I know exactly how it feels to be endlessly putting on and then taking off hair and make-up and smiling and posing and making conversation when you are so tired you just don't know what is what anymore. When I was shooting for "I Love Style", it was a daily show and I was literally working 16 or more hours a day shooting, flying to Delhi every other day, interviewing designer upon designer in the car traveling all over Delhi or Bombay, non-stop changing hair and make-up (up to 15 times some days... I kid you not!) and amongst all of that I had to be coherent nod glamorous on camera and to top all of that off, I was the writer of the show as well and a blogger for this website. I don't think I slept at all for three months and when you're shooting a daily, you cant stop to take a breather! But Lord do I Love me a little slice of chaos... we all do... that's why secretly we crave for this profession: it's full of surprises and it's certainly not glamorous but with all your hard work and sacrifice it's fulfilling, exciting, challenging and unstable but also spontaneous and fun. We are all mad hatters inside and we all LOVE what we do!
 
So we made our way to the Vogue party and stage an early entrance of 10 p.m. (In Mumbai no party or event get's going till 11p.m.-ish) but Shibani had to be back at the Jhalak Dikhlaja house at midnight to shoot even more that night so we had to start the night early. I kid you not, the moment I walked onto that red carpet dressed in Nikhil Thampi's creation, the paparazzi went insane and that was just for the front of the dress. The moment I turned around, the camera's went double crazy!! I immediately knew that Nikhil Thampi was a hit tonight and I was dying for him to arrive so that I could see his reaction to the attention that his garment was getting. We did the stock standard mingling at the party and I caught up with friends I hadn't seen in a long time like Jacqueline Fernandez, Sonal Chauhan, Richa Chadha and Ashish Raheja and the model crew of Nethra and her husband, the Miss India girls, Diandra who wore a glamorous Raakesh Agarwal creation that I had coincidentally worn on "I Love Style". It was a stunning gold metal corset with a rich velvet drape underneath. Everyone looked absolutely beautiful and the who's who turned out by the truck loads!!
 
If you wanted Bollywood... you got it!! There was Karan Johar and Alia Bhatt looking so very stylish but dressed a bit maturely for her ripe age of 19 I feel. There was Kajol and Rahul Khanna who is just oh-so-stylish in every way possible and very suave too. Rahul Bose and the Reddy sisters Sameera and Sushma looked very chic. I love these ladies to bits especially Sushma who has always helped me every step of the way in my career... she is as big hearted as she is beautiful.  Considering it was a Vogue party, designers and stylists graced the event in throngs. A fashion show was themed the black sari with many of the top designers of India showcasing their variations on the classic and sexy black sari. The event sponsored by Jacobs Creek (an Australian wine company that I love) had alcohol pouring in and the party was reveling in the glory of 5 years of fashion magic in India by the Mecca of fashion: the players at VOGUE. It was a celebration of everything Vogue: style, glamour, cutting edge sensibilities, experimental beauty and all the things that makes you realize Vogue really does have its finger on the pulse. Judging by the turnout that evening and the respect given, it was a milestone event and a crazy party too! Shibani left for work and I stayed on with the Vogue crew to join in their celebrations.
 
To my delight I was absolutely floored with comments from every second person in the room from Shane and Falguni Peacock to Manish Malhotra and Umesh Jhivnani... you name it... all of them were saying that Nikhil Thampi's dress was the best outfit in the room!! The very second Nikhil arrived beaming at the sight of his dress at the Vogue party he realized that he had arrived... like really arrived. The rest of the night, Nikhil and I bathed in the glory of his handwork and his talent and spent the rest of the night just saying thank you for the outstanding amount of compliments on his outfit. Hands down... Nikhil's white floor-length back-less number was the best outfit at the Vogue 5th Anniversary and his phone has been ringing non-stop since. to make heads turn at a VOGUE party is never easy... the man has done it and done it like no other!! Congrats Nikhil... you have great things ahead of you boy... the streets are already buzzing about the new kid on the fashion block!!!
 
(pic sourced by Karishma Naina)
 
25-SEPTEMBER-2012
 
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4 Comments
 
30-SEPTEMBER-2012 mahesh dattani
looking hot!!!
 
 
25-SEPTEMBER-2012 anaya
man! Nikhil Thampi is everywhere..you are the IT thing at the moment I guess....you are goin places my friend. good job and Karishma very interesting article and yes u looked fierce and calm at the same time.
 
 
25-SEPTEMBER-2012 Madhoo
whoooaaaaa you lucky gal!!
 
 
25-SEPTEMBER-2012 tanisha rehman
i was there at the party and this girl truly stood out. I don't know if this was the best outfit of the evening but certainly was one of the best outfits, understated and simple but boy-0-boy so striking and high on design!!
 
 
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