NEW DELHI: Mrinalini Kumari, a dynamic design professional, a couture producer, a fiercely proud Indian-American and one with a sharp eye for finesse in fashion, spoke to The Daily Guardian all the way from New York in a freewheeling chat, where she insisted that ‘vocal for local’ is not just dressing up the Indian milieu, but also adding great gravitas to global fashion. “The world of global couture would be poorer if it were not for the Indian craftsman, embroiderer, weaver or beader. They are the backbone of global fashion. The silent geniuses who, with their Midas touch, turn everything they craft into priceless gold. Their design ingenuity is inimitable and understanding of fit and form unparalleled. Yet their contribution remains unacknowledged, forgotten, pushed under the carpet. My mission in life is to give ‘Made in India’ an honest place in the global world of design,” said Mrinalini.
A self-made entrepreneur who works with ove r 2 6 5 A m e r i c a n brands, besides the finest of European couture, Mrinalini lives between the US and India, sampling in her design atelier in downtown Manhattan and producing in the heart of Mumbai, where she employs over 6,000 kaarigars, in a factory that is “world-class and steadfastly craftsman-centric”. “Gone are the days when you created couture in dark and dingy sweatshops, tucked away in slums or notorious ghettos. I have set up a fashion production unit in India where my workers can design in pristine peace, assured that they will get proper wages, healthcare and other benefits that must be ensured to anyone who is capable of creating magic with their two hands,” said Mrinalini.
With her transcontinental design enterprise, Mrinalini has not just produced fashion but also dressed iconic music stars like Michael Jackson and Beyonce Knowles. I also started my own label called Renzo and Kai in 2011, which was sold in Saks, Bloomingdales, Bergdorf, etc. Unfortunately, I had to shut that up because being a single mother became very time consuming,” she shared. Raised between India and the US, Mrinalini grew up travelling the world with her family and experiencing the cultural diversities that would come to inspire her life.
A graduate of St Stephen’s College, where she went after her schooling at Welham, she went to New York for college, met her husband, fell in love and stayed there forever. A typical jet setting New Yorker, she has been busy showcasing the craft of leading Indian couturiers and raising funds for noble causes through high-nosed events. She outlined, “I was always proud of Indian design and was lucky to present the contemporary Indian couture journey through fundraisers. I hosted an event for ‘50 Years of India’ with the Indian government and top fashion designers like Mary McFadden and Suneet Varma. Vera Wang and Badgley Mishka also showed their collections.
The event, held at the Metropolitan Club was attended by the who’s who of the town. Then, on the legendary USS Intrepid, I presented the couture of three designers I admire, Meera-Muzaffar Ali, Mary McFadden and Suneet Varma.” It was at one such event that she accidentally bumped into Ralph Lauren and, as they say in fairy tales, “there was no looking back”. “I asked for his time which she agreed on. I had a bag full of samples which he was open-minded enough to view. We met, he placed my first order and there I was ready to embark on a very exciting journey with design,” she shared.
A small production unit was set up, craftsmen handpicked, and an environment for excellence created. “Each one of these craftsmen was a master of his craft, but needed someone like me with an eye for fashion and a sense of design to bring out the best,” she said. Paying attention to the details and guiding their craft in the right direction, she was able to go from ten workers to a hundred, then to a thousand, and is now working with 6,000 craftsmen. Working closely for many years with couturiers and contemporary brands worldwide, Mrinalini’s designs can be found both on the rack and in the archives of celebrated couture houses like Fendi, Oscar De La Renta, Giorgio Armani and Valentino, among many others. She said, “I work with each one on a one-on-one basis, sampling for their next season’s look, working my way to construct the entire collection and then feeling satisfied to see it do well.” Besides couture, Mrinalini is also known to have dressed many music legends. Her designs for Michael Jackson’s ill fated Thriller tour are now archived at a museum. She also dressed Beyonce, which she admits was also by chance. “I met her mother Tina and we instantly hit it off. She felt I understood stage dressing and then, there I was, dressing Beyonce.” Mrinalini is known for her understanding of the gravitas of stage presence and has costumed for many shows on Broadway.
Each of her creations, whether hanging in LA or Milan, is a testimony to the treasure trove of Indian handcrafted design. About the strength of such design, she says, “By combining traditional techniques with modern interpretations, India based couture producers are able to construct distinctive pieces that have only been in our client’s imagination. Handwork and our attention to detail set us apart and allow us to create designs ranging from haute couture to ready to wear, that are both edgy and timeless.”
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AS ‘TADAP’ TEASER UNVEILED, SUNIEL ROOTS FOR HIS SON AHAN’S DEBUT
MUMBAI: Suniel Shetty’s son Ahan Shetty is all set to make his acting debut opposite Tara Sutaria in the film ‘Tadap’.
On Tuesday, the makers unveiled the teaser of the film. The teaser gives us a sneak peek into the world of Ishana and Ramisa, portrayed by Ahan and Tara respectively and establishes their characters well. While Ramisa is seen at the picturesque location of snow-clad mountains, Ishana, on the contrary, is spotted in a rugged macho avatar with his bike.
Sharing the teaser of his son, Suniel took to Instagram and wrote, “A glimpse of my heart for the world. A teaser of what I’ve loved. A humble tease of what is to come #Tadap – a little at a time. So excited for my son @ahan.shetty & his teaser of #Tadap. Give him as much love as you gave me.”
Produced by Sajid Nadiadwala and directed by Milan Luthria, ‘Tadap’ will be out in cinemas on 3 December.
EMRAAN OPENS UP ABOUT PARALLEL LOVE STORY WITH HORROR GENRE
MUMBAI: Ahead of the release of his horror film ‘Dybbuk’, Emraan Hashmi opened up about his connection with the particular genre. “I feel I have a parallel love story with this genre. I personally like horror films and hence starring in ‘Raaz 2’ and ‘Ek thi Dayaan’ was like a dream come true for me. A wave of horror films will always be there in the industry and Horror should be consumed like this (‘Dybbuk’),” he said. Emraan also urged filmmakers and actors to come forward to create more horror films in the industry.
“I feel yet in our country and industry, this genre hasn’t been completely explored yet. Not many films are made. I really wish more and more stars come forward to do horror films. Also because I know the success ratio of this genre is a lot more,” he added.
Talking about ‘Dybbuk’, the film also stars Nikita Dutta and Manav Kaul in prominent roles and is all set to release on 29 October on Amazon Prime Video.
‘JONAS BROTHERS FAMILY ROAST’ TO STREAM ON NETFLIX
WASHINGTON: Streaming giant Netflix is all set to come up with a comedy special ‘Jonas Brothers Family Roast’, which features none other than musicians brothers Nick Jonas, Kevin Jonas, and Joe Jonas.
Touted as a celebration of “the universal truth that no one can get under your skin quite like your own family”, ‘Jonas Brothers Family Roast’ will include sketches, songs, games and special guests all meant to tease the brothers about their lives and careers, reported Variety. Pete Davidson, Niall Horan, Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, John Legend, Lilly Singh, and Jack Whitehall will make special appearances in the special. Also, Saturday Night Live’s Kenan Thompson will host the show.
On Tuesday, Nick took to Instagram and shared a teaser video to announce the launch of the show. “Someone teach @joejonas how this works… The Jonas Brothers Family Roast will be available on @netflix,” he captioned the clip.
‘Jonas Brothers Family Roast’ is scheduled to release on 23 November 23.
WITNESS COP SALMAN AGAINST GANGSTER AAYUSH IN ‘ANTIM’ TRAILER
MUMBAI : The makers of the Salman Khan, Aayush Sharma-starrer film ‘Antim: The Final Truth’ unveiled the action-packed trailer of the film on Monday.
The film also marks the debut of Mahima Makwana. The trailer comes loaded with pumping action, highoctane background music, and much more. The nearly three-minute-long trailer opens with Salman Khan, who plays the role of a cop, in his first-ever Sardar persona.
The trailer also gives the audience a good peek into the transformation of Aayush’s character, the nemesis of Salman in the movie. Aayush plays the role of an aggressive, dreaded and territorial gangster. Both Salman and Aayush had to undergo significant physical transformation to play their characters in the film, and the trailer shows precisely that. Laden with thrilling action, in the trailer, Salman Khan comes out as a ruthless, no-bars-held cop who will stop at nothing to rout out crime.
‘Antim: The Final Truth’ is directed by Mahesh Manjrekar, produced by Salma Khan and is presented by Salman Khan Films. The film will be globally released in theatres by Zee Studios on 26 November.
SHARVARI’S PRIYANKA CHOPRA MOMENT
Gorgeous debutant Sharvari, who will be seen in the family entertainer ‘Bunty Aur Babli 2’ playing the role of the new Babli, is over the moon about her Priyanka Chopra moment on the sets of the film. When Sharvari donned a metallic gold bikini and dazzled the crew with her sass and curves on the Abu Dhabi beach, she reminded us of Priyanka’s stunning onepiece bikini sequence in ‘Dostana’ that had stopped the heartbeat of the audience. Sharvari says, “I was the happiest person on set the day I shot this scene. Growing up, the image of Priyanka Chopra walking out of the sea in her golden bikini in ‘Dostana’ was etched in my mind. She is the queen of sass and cool, she looked drop-dead gorgeous.”
She adds, “Ever since I decided to become an actor, I have secretly wished for a sequence like that to be in. And it’s a really sweet coincidence that ‘Bunty Aur Babli 2’ script had a sequence of me coming out of the sea in a stunning bikini. I just couldn’t believe it!”
Sharvari exclaims, “So, on the day of the shoot, I was thrilled and confident to pull this off. I was in good shape and had the best crew to shoot this. I was seeing my wish come true. I hope I have pulled off the scene well because someone like Priyanka Chopra had absolutely nailed it and set benchmarks of how to do a great bikini sequence with so much oomph.”
ARSHAD TO BE SEEN IN TURBANED LOOK IN NEW FILM ‘BANDA SINGH’
MUMBAI: Arshad Warsi will be seen donning a turban in his new film ‘Banda Singh’.
On Monday, Arshad took to Twitter and shared the first official poster of the movie. In the image, he can be seen sporting a turbaned look as he poses with actor Meher Vij. “Really excited to become #BandaSingh for you all. All we need is your blessings,” Arshad captioned the poster.
As per a statement, ‘Banda Singh’ is a survival story of a man and his family, set in North India and based on true events. It is helmed by Abhishek Saxena.
Abhishek said, “I have been looking for a script like this to direct since a long time as my earlier two films Phullu and Saroj Ka Rishta were on social issues but Banda Singh is about survival. I am quite thrilled to go on floors and roll the film with Arshad, Meher and rest of the cast.” ‘Banda Singh’ will go on floors in mid-November.
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