It is a sort of homecoming to Shruti Agarwal, she was away to New Zealand but her attraction to show biz attracted her to homeland. Shruti owns a degree in Communications and Public Relations from New Zealand. After her return to India, she got into full time modeling. With a height of 5 feet 8 inches, this sexy damsel has crowned Miss Pune. After winning the beauty pageant, Shruti received many offers. Shruti was featured for major print campaigns like Rocky S Couture, Canon Calendar, L'Oreal, Westside, Jashn, and the Tanishq Campaign. But the biggest offer she ever got was from Maxim to pose for the popular Men's magazine, and she accepted the offer with open arms. For Maxim cover, she posed in an itsy-bitsy black and white striped two-piece, looking uber hot! She has appeared in Kingfisher Swimsuit Calendar twice,She has also appeared in a music video with choreographer Ganesh Hegde. The hottie is all set to take her big leap to Bollywood, and is taking her acting training at Anupam Kher's academy. Shruti is having a clear road to succeed in fashion and entertainment industry, her dedication and hard work is facilitating her to achieve objective with ease.. Listening to music, travelling and reading are something she is addicted to specially biographies, and surely loves driving people round the bend.
— Yashwant Amin from Australia/New Zealand Bureau...
There’s no business-like show-off business. And “Kambakkht Ishq” has plenty to show off. Fabulous Hollywood locales, Hollywood icons like Sylvester Stallone and Brandon Routh doing cameos and above all, crackling and smouldering chemistry between the film’s lead pair.
Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor make a super glamorous couple. Even when they’re ready to bite off each other’s’ heads, call each other names and scream like a double-banshee delight at a horror festival, there is just no way the compatibility of the combo can be repeated … even by them.
Indeed if the supreme silliness of the plot in “Kambakkht Ishq” works it’s because of Akshay and Kareena’s glorious goofiness. The lead pair, never in better form, gets into the grandly caricaturish groove effortlessly and convincingly.
For Akshay and Kareena it’s hate at first sight. They pass sexist remarks about the opposite sex loud enough for the other to hear. They continuously carp about the vices of being of the opposite sex in a world polluted by bigotry and gender bias. Goodness, these two despicable creatures deserve each other!
The battle of the sexes is loud and aggressive, designed to create a cacophony of conflicts that leave us reeling in stupefied embarrassment.
Sure, we’ve seen other films about a goofy man and stuck-up woman who can’t stand each other. But none so engrossed their own self-serving hemispheres.
Seemingly rudderless and often risque, “Kambakkht Ishq” is a film that doesn’t endear itself with its plot. It’s all about the styling often at the cost of what most moviegoers think of as substance.
But there is no real substance in “Kambakkht Ishq”. The storyline is wispy slim and the gasbag gags are as cheesy as the goofy grin that Akshay wears like second skin. The veneer of vivacity seldom falls off, though admittedly some episodes wear us out with their svelte jibes at that old and baffling thing called the man-woman relationship.
The film is a no-holds-barred gender war- tangy, spicy and supremely smug in its silliness. And Akshay’s character slowly realises that there’s more to love than scoring.
The farce fest miraculously manages to sustain the mood of zany fun most of the way. But some episodes like Boman Irani’s cameo appearance as a shrink fall flat.
But as far as eye-catching locales and protagonists go, “Kambakkht Ishq” goes a long way. The Akshay-Kareena pair just makes you stare. And if you are into clothes and accessories you could spend an evening with “Kambakkht Ishq” just checking out what Kareena wears and how well she carries it off.
Akshay’s comic timing has now been honed to a fine art. He invests his completely caddish character’s personality with a frank and fearless arrogance that borders on megalomania but finally settles on being plain outrageous.
Kareena matches him step by step. Just because she looks like a million bucks doesn’t mean her performance is cosmetic too. Her satirical expressions as a man-hater are to die for.
Debutant director Sabbir Khan knows how to bring out the beast in his characters and milks the outrageous situations for all their mirth. Somewhere in this jokey binge of gender wars, Sylvester Stallone pops up for two of the film’s most arresting sequences.
But ‘Superman’ Brandon Routh is utterly wasted. Where else but in Bollywood would Routh come across such a farcical feast designed in a slick-flick format where the hero is operated on by a supermodel who moonlights as a surgeon and leaves a watch in the hero’s stomach?
The watch chimes a Hindu mantra into Akshay Kumar’s ears ad nauseum. He’s of course maddeningly annoyed. We’re by then beyond that point.
Applaud this film for its audacity, vivacity and energy. And please don’t look for a reason behind the comic chaos. Some things are not meant to mean anything beyond what they seem.
This film is a marvel of packaging.
New York will be a unique movie experience for Indian audience
What kind of research have you done for your role in the film "New York" since the first half you look all cheerful and happy whereas in the second half the serious mode takes over?
The research actually started accidently when I and Kabir were doing 'Kabul Express'. We met a lot of people out in Afghanistan, Pakistan and also met a lot of Talibans. I watched a lot of Kabir's documentaries and we tried to understand the concept of Jihaad if I may say so. We tried to understand why the world looks at certain communities in a certain manner and vice versa. We have always tried to maintain that New York is not a jingoistic America film but have been very biased about whatever we have portrayed in the film. In terms of my character I have stuck to my director's brief as what I am supposed to do, where I am supposed to and the thought process I have to take. I have simply followed orders. We have just made an honest and a simple film.
We heard that you took your role very seriously and went into a shell especially in the second half of the film to justify your character?
Honestly during the shoot we enjoyed every day. I didn't go into any kind of shell except for the last three-four days where Kabir wanted me to take that portion of the film very seriously. We have had a great time during the shoot.
You have studied the Quran while filming for the movie "New York". Why was that study required?
Kabir actually gave me some insights about Quran and how some of it is interpreted at times by certain people for their own benefit. That is something we went through in detail before we started filming for "New York" in terms of character sketch. But that is just a kind of backdrop for my character as we had to build a character history for my character. That was just an individual thing done and not to make a serious research based film.
Kabir made you do some edgy stuff during your first film together and we believe you have done some stunts for "New York" as well. What made you do that those stunts?
When we went to New York and Philadelphia, Kabir looked around at the buildings and I said that this was not dangerous enough for him. I think he made up for it by sending me down a forty six storey building. But the strange part of the shoot was that once you come down you can't go back up. I had to go to the ground floor once up there. When I reached the twentieth storey, the unit went in to pack up and move location and I realized I was all on my own.
What is the storyline of the film "New York"?
Sam is a typical American jock. The story is about three friends. An incident takes place which is 9/11. After that how their lives change is a brief on the story. "New York" is your second film with Kabir Khan.
What kind of development as a director have you seen in him?
Kabir is a brilliant director. I remember I had told him while shooting for 'Kabul Express' that he will win a National Award for it and he won it. I feel he will win an award for this film as well and I can't be wrong.
How was it for you shooting for the film?
I felt very nice. We shot in New York first and then we went to Philadelphia as well. It was great shooting there. It was great working with Neil, Katrina and even Irfan Khan who is the principal character. After watching the film people will realize the strength of everyone's performance. Everyone is absolutely wonderful in the film and the film is a very commercial thriller.
What parts of the film do you like the most?
Well I like the climax of the film and the second half of the film is brilliant. I have liked them.
Tell us something about the music of the film?
The music of the film is great. My favourite is "Sam's Theme" which I think is beautiful. 'Hai Junoon' has become a popular number. I am just waiting for the film to release. The audience wants a good film and we hope "New York" is that film.
Do you have any interesting experiences or any anecdotes that you want to share?
The best on the set experience was when I was coming down the forty six storey building during the presidential elections and Obama was passing from below. So I was stuck around the twentieth floor for about two hours with the breeze blowing and flying around buildings. But I felt like Spider Man. So it was great.
What is the USP of the film?
The USP is a combination of a lot of things. Kabir Khan has directed it, Yash Raj productions and brilliant actors in the film. Audience exactly knows when one is giving a good film or a not so good film. So let the audiences decide but the film is a sensible film.
Mumbai Bureau arrangement courtesy movietalkies
Kambakht Ishq explores the relationship between two individuals as different from each other as chalk and cheese. No matter how many times they are pushed together, there are only fireworks... no fire. Viraj Shergill (Akshay Kumar) is a swashbuckling stuntman in Hollywood who lives by the mantra ''women are only good for two things... making love & making love'' Simrita Rai (Kareena Kapoor) is a firebrand who is more than able to stare down the most arrogant male with her caustic wit and sardonic tongue... he firm belief ''there's no such thing as love''. So what happens when the two people who hate each other the most meet at Simrita's best friend Kamini's and Viraj's brother Lucky's wedding? ...a wedding that both Viraj and Simrita are violently opposed to and desperate to stop. Sparks fly, accidents occur, And both are thrown together in the most absurd, hilarious situation until one dramatic twist of fate binds the two together in a manner that they could have never ever even dreamed of in their wildest fantasies. The battle of the sexes in on. Who is going to throw the punches and who is going to blow the kisses?
Viraj (Akshay Kumar)
Viraj is a successful Hollywood stuntman who loves women but thinks that commitment and marriage are words that should not exist in the dictionary. He gets paid the big bucks for doing what the heroes can't do and lives a lavish life. Women, parties, and the adrenalin rush during a stunt...these are the highs in life. Women exist only to have a good time with. Play and play well... but why take the game to its conclusion? ...After all there are numerous playmates on this extensive playground.
Simrita (Kareena Kapoor)
Simrita is a hardened feminist, part-time supermodel and an aspiring surgeon who does not see the need to have a man in her life. She believes that all men are no good losers. Life's experiences have taught her that men are just not worth the effort. To top it all Donald Trump and every other man is getting married AGAIN!
That just proves her point. She has a great career, and soon she will become successful. Who needs men?
Kamini (Amrita Arora)
She is ditzy, innocent and beautiful. She in one of the top lingerie models but her dream is to get married to a man who loves her. She wants the whole package... a loving husband, cute kids and a white picket fence house.
Lucky (Aftab Shivdasani)
He is Viraj's younger brother, he is genuine and loveable. He has been protected his entire life by Viraj and isn't as hard and practical as Viraj is. Madly in love with Kamini, he wants to marry her. But that is one thing that Viraj is against.
With "Slumdog Millionaire" having made waves on the global scene, Indian movie themes and filmmakers are beginning to reap the benefits in the international sales and co-productions arena at the ongoing Cannes Film Market.
"Slumdog has opened a door for Indian cinema," says Hollywood producer Ashok Amritraj. "We have to put our foot in and capitalise on the opportunity."
The happy augury is that several Indian films have been picked up for global distribution by frontline sales agents and the going could only get better from here on if filmmakers from this part of the world, as Amritraj points out, can learn the rules of the game.
The Indian Film Company (TIFC) has made history by selling its "Road, Movie", written and directed by Dev Benegal, to Fortissimo Films, which is one of the world's leading sales agents with offices in Amsterdam, London, Paris, New York and Hong Kong.
"'Road, Movie' is an important milestone in our company's endeavour to support India's growth on the cinematic world stage," said Sandeep Bhargava, CEO of the advisory board of TIFC. TIFC has also got leading British distribution company HanWay Films on board to handle Gurinder Chadha's "It's a Wonderful Afterlife", starring Golden Globe winner Sally Hawkins, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Jimi Mistry and Shabana Azmi.
Endeavour Independent has bought the distribution rights of Venus Records and Tapes' "Hisss", a Hindi-English film directed by Jennifer Lynch and starring Irrfan Khan and Mallika Sherawat. Also playing for big global stakes is Ambika Hinduja's Serendipity Films. It is pitching the Leena Yadav-directed "Teen Patti" for widespread global sales in the Cannes Film Market. The film features Amitabh Bachchan, Ben Kingsley, R. Madhavan and Saira Mohan.
"We want to make cinema that will appeal to audiences in both India and around the world," Hinduja, whose previous production was Homi Adjania's wickedly quirky "Being Cyrus", told Variety here. India's biggest entertainment sector player, Reliance Big Pictures, has brought a slew of arthouse films, besides
Anurag Basu's Hrithik Roshan-Barbara Mori starrer "Kites", to the Cannes market. The response, company representatives say, has been hugely encouraging.
Big Pictures' offbeat regional line-up includes Buddhadeb Dasgupta's "Janala" (Bengali), Shaji N. Karun's "Kutty Srank" (Malayalam), Amol Palekar's "Samantar" (Marathi), M.S. Sathyu's "Ijjudu" (Kannada), and Rituparno Ghosh's "Abohomaan" and "Shob Charitra Kalponik" (both Bengali).
"We will be unveiling these films in various major festivals in the coming months," says Reliance Entertainment chairman Amit Khanna.
One man army, surely Aamir Khan can be rated as the best actor in Bollywood. Aamir Khan #Abhishek Bachchan #Katrina Kaif stars in the latest version of Dhoom series. In 1987, a masterpiece called Hard Ticket to Hawaii arrived in theatres. It chronicled two Playboy models sent undercover to Hawaii to bust a diamond racket and battle a mutant snake. Why am I telling you about Hard Ticket to Hawaii? Because like that film, Dhoom:3 is stupid, ridiculously over the top, unbelievably hammy, hilariously terrible cheesy, contrived and non-stop fun. Back in 2008, director Vijay Krishna Acharya made Tashan which flopped because believe it or not, it was way ahead of its time. Had it released today, in the post Rohit Shetty-Prabhu Deva Rs 100-crore era, it would easily have made a few hundred crores. Acharya got a second chance with Dhoom:3 and with its humongous budget, he's really let his imagination go berserk. Aamir Khan makes his entry by running vertically down a building, with currency notes flying everywhere and a background score that sounds like "We want chocolate we want chocolate". Abhishek Bachchan makes his entry by breaking through a concrete wall in an auto-rickshaw, then jumps over rooftops in the auto and then does Tom Cruise's Mission Impossible 2 bike stunts with the auto. Katrina Kaif makes her entry by doing a Marky Mark- "Good Vibrations"-style, five-minute-long aerobics workout (and/or striptease) as an impromptu audition for The Great Indian Circus in Chicago. Really, Dhoom:3 is Dhoom to the power of 3. It's 27 times as ridonkulous as the previous Dhoom films in every department. The longer it runs, the more preposterous it gets, and you can't help but admire it for what it is. The action sequences were most certainly conceived during a drunken chor-police game that Acharya played with his toys one night. You see Khan driving a bike that turns into a boat that turns into a submarine that turns into a bike. You get Bachchan Jr tailing Aamir's bike boat marine while clinging on to the rope ladder of a helicopter. You get Uday Chopra wearing a Captain Jack Sparrow costume and chasing Khan on a BMW in random corridors. And don't you dare think there is no substance to this movie. Prepare to have your mind blown - the villain in the film is not Khan, but banks. Yes, Dhoom:3 is a social commentary on the postmodern world being afflicted by the tyranny of bankers. It's deep stuff. In one scene, a wicked man looks at the camera grimly and tells a destitute common man, "We are bankers. We understand the world of money." And since this is a Dhoom movie you get a ginormous buffet of bad acting, cheesy romance, dreadful songs and plot holes so big you could drive Van Damme's Volvo trucks through them. It's not fair to take potshots at Chopra because he's the only genuine element in the film - all of his jokes are self-referential. Bachchan Jr doesn't do much more than grimace a couple of times and walk around extremely determined. With her back perpetually arched, midriff perpetually bare and dialogue perpetually corny, Katrina comes off like a parody of an action movie heroine. But Dhoom:3 will be remembered for being the point where Khan gleefully ignored all of the accolades he's ever received for being a good actor. He clearly worked extremely hard on his muscles, but every dialogue he utters magically produces ham hocks around the screen. In the film he's either a) Too serious, and hence unintentionally funny or b) Completely barmy, and hence unintentionally funny. Khan is a good dramatic actor and a great comedic actor, but is not a commercial action hero. Someone needed to tell him to lighten up a bit. This is a Dhoom movie after all. You may have predicted all of the above things, but nothing will prepare you for the barn burning 'twist' just before the interval. You can see it coming, but you desperately wish and pray for that to not be the case. But it does come, and you're left groaning in defeat, wrapping your face with as many palms as you can find. It's the kind of stuff you'd see in Hard Ticket to Hawaii and the twelve other films by the director Andy Sidaris, all twelve of which are available in a single DVD pack with your neighborhood pirate.
It is certain that Dhoom 3 will break box office records though you may find large number of critics suggesting negative reviews too. Already there is a polarization for and against for the movie globally.
In a tranquil segment of overtly busy roads of Calangute in Goa,the road suddenly takes a swing amidst many newly constructed shops and economic resorts and bee lined trees towards an unique Portuguese styled brown and off white secluded villa home which barely hints at who its occupant is or may be unknown to its neighbors. But this villa is the epicentre nerve wing of Goa’s much loved Scandinavian designer well known for her style in Goan society who recently launched her fashion label that will soon become a brand in Goa and India. For this is the abode of Inger Solberg the lady who coined her designer label simply ‘Solberg’ and fondly termed by her well wishers as a fashion diva. In her own words, “My women oriented garments are not as simple as are the unique garments on display. They could be called fusion-fashion, uniting the best of East and West. Wonderful Indian materials, embroidered by local craftsmen, styled in my own unique way, I desire to be associated to create outfits and accessories for Indian women. I love India, but I am a Viking. I have a statuesque figure which made it difficult for me to find elegant outfits in Indian stores.
I could not help but notice that many Indian ladies share this problem. That’s why I produce my designs in many sizes. They start small but go to XXL.Today her idea has taken firm ground and she intends to spread its roots as far as the catwalks of Delhi, Mumbai Chennai, Kolkata and other fast growing fashion conscious towns in India.
But how did it all got started?
So far, in Goa mostly insiders know Inger’s name. In Europe Inger Solberg’s designer wear is a popular brand especially in her home country Norway and Denmark where she has lived for many years. After receiving a degree in fashion design in Copenhagen, she started her own line of couture. For many years, she sold her clothes in exclusive shops all over Europe and the USA. International celebrities like Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Cindy Lauper and many royals flaunted her outfits. Her last show in Paris in 1999 carried the title ‘Luxus Hippie’. And it was uproar there.She credits her Paris stint with the finesse, the elegance and the refinement that are the hallmark of her clothes today. On her career upswing, her collective designing ideas prompted herself to move back to Goa. “It was the best move of my life, as I became this person who could concentrate on what I wanted for myself and my clothing philosophy. The very first collection I presented to Goa was a runaway hit,” she says. “I began to put the flavor of Goa into the clothes, giving India its first ‘resort wear’ garments. It’s a tremendous success especially after the launch on Oct 19th. I am indeed blessed with the massive quality turn out o 19th Oct with ‘Senorita’ singer flying in from Mumbai for this elite launch and our own Goan celeb socialites from the Hospitality department,Government folio and close friends from different countries gracing my dream occasion. The clothes vanished in a jiffy as it got purchased for its great demand and style. Everyday I am learning a lot in Goa and it’s an incredible feeling that I could become anyone I chose to become. Goa gave me that confidence in me.”
The Melting Pot
“Goa trotted me along the path I visualized. I realized then that it was not only about the clothes. It was about creating a design philosophy unique not just in India but in the world.” That’s when the trademark ‘Solberg’ style began to develop. I reintroduced fashion in the late ’80s and early ’90s which was marked on brightly-colored silk with embroidery on monochromatic clothes and on humble cotton with bling embroidery. “It was a revolution.
The shopping elite of Goa exclaimed “What are these simply yet stunning cotton and silk clothes doing on high fashion racks?”” she explains. “The media was as puzzled,” she adds. “But after observing the collections, they saw the philosophy behind her creative thoughts. The much needed words ‘Eco- friendly’, ‘Minimalism’, ‘Asymmetric’, ‘Resortwear’ and ‘Goan Design’ entered the Indian fashion radius. Born in Goa.”For her present collection now avail- able in Candolim, Goa, Inger chose the same theme. All the garments are light and easy to wear. The materials are high quality silk and cotton; most of them embroidered and embellished in one way or another. “The clothes are meant to fit any occasion. You can wear them at the pool or the beach and carry them to a Party later on. They are fun, but not overdone”, says Inger.
There are sketches of Goa in all her work. “I desire to put Goa on the fashion map and give it its apt place in the Euro fashion industry. Though I was a mere individual in that process, I am glad to note that it materialized,” states Inger, not without some pride. Still, her move to Goa was not without obstacles. The fabrics and colors she needed for her work was unavailable in Goa. She recalls that she would often take numerous trips to Rajasthan to buy material or to get fabric dyed in colors she needed. “Friends and people said I was insane to dwell in Goa, that it was professional suicide to live here instead of any big fashion capital. But I loved Goa so much that I intend to stay rooted here. Not Norway. Not Rome. Not Paris. Not New York. Not London. Each day I go back to Candolim with a heart full of happiness.”
“Art form is the mantra in my business,” But having said that, she promptly points out that she’s no amateur in the finance department either. “Give quarter lakh of rupees and challenge me to make it into a lakh and I will, very easily,” she confesses. And while she admits to not being a business woman in the traditional mould, she prides in calling herself a self made one.
She also designs exquisite bling pillows, blankets and curtains in a style that fits into any home it looks good with modern minimalism and antique furniture. Her bags are great companions at an art opening, a party or at the beach and they are big enough to carry a bit more than only a cell phone. She is in all praise for the Indian crafts fraternity. “If we do not look after the well being of these craft people it will be a dishonor. I hope the government supports and encourages the weaving units she plans to start,” she articulates. She is stoic when asked what her future plan. “It is apt to speak about the future when the future becomes a reality to stay on. I have no inkling on what is in store for me. But whatever it is I will accept it with dignity as part of Lord’s words for me.” Amen to that.
Inger’s friends already have ear-marked her boutique as the new ‘shop down the block’ when they need a trendy outfit. For the public SOLBERG fashion boutique is on the Main Road in Candolim, close to Pedro Martina Resorts, opposite Toto’s Bar and Restaurant near the Old Ice Factory in Goa.
– Carlyta Mohini: OE News Bureau
Born in India, raised in Tanzania, Africa and USA, Deepa Iyengar is a model, TV anchor and a serial entrepreneur, currently based in USA. A music and performing arts enthusiast, she's a fashionista, fitness lover, vegetarian, and has been a dancer throughout her life. After completing her education in Computer Science, she moved towards the glamour side of the world.
Opinion Express team interacted with her online to present a case study of a determined girl hoping to make big in entertainment world…
Deepa is an artist, performer and dreamer, what motivates you to excel in life?
My passion motivates me. I am a born artist. I have great respect and interest in the performing arts. I have been dancing since I can remember, and started performing at the age of 4. If I don't live my dreams and passions, life feels empty. To feel the thirst of just wanting to get up and do something creative, alone, motivates me. I love to entertain, and love to showcase my talents, and even sometimes educate people on what they are seeing. I love to dream. My dreams take me to a place of joy. And they say, everything starts with a dream.
What is the most innovative thing you have done during your professional journey so far?
I am doing innovating things every day in my life - in some way or another - whether I am doing photoshoots, or dancing, or acting, everything involves on-spot creativity. Even in my sleep, my mind doesn't stop. I am always thinking about creative ideas for my next project. So, it's hard for me to put a finger on the "most" innovating thing ever done. But, I can tell you about my proudest achievement. When I was 8 years old. I did a Bollywood dance with a group of 5 girls and 5 boys. I did everything from choreography, training, costume designing, makeup and jewelry, and to even editing my own music. And that time, I didn't really think it was a big deal because everything came very effortlessly to me; but in retrospect, I feel like it was quite an achievement for an 8-year-old!
Besides being an artist, what other training have you had (voice, dance, stage combat, etc.)?
I come from family of musicians and dancers. Therefore, music and dance has been engraved in me since childhood. I am a trained Kuchipudi dancer. Kuchipudi is a type of Indian classical dance. I have been taught by some of the great Kuchipudi exponents from India. I have given over 100 stage performances in various parts of the world. I also frequently dance to Bollywood and hip-hop. Growing up, I was trained in Carnatic and Hindustani music. I have taken some theater classes in college. Acting is my passion, and one of my achievements was winning an award for "Best supporting actress" for an Indian TV serial that I acted in.
If you could choose, what three actors would you really want to work with?
This is an unfair question because there are so many talented people that I would love to work with and learn from. But if you must insist, I would say Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, and Hrithik Roshan. Shah Rukh Khan - he is the most celebrated and most-watched actor. Amitabh Bachchan - well he is just a legend. And Hrithik Roshan is such an amazing dancer and being a dance myself, I see an exciting dance sequence there. Honestly, to share a screen space with any of these Hero’s would be an honor, an educational and humbling experience for me.
Your message to young women of India?
Follow your strong desires and do what makes you happy. Not to sound cliché, but decisions made by the heart seem much more rewarding that decisions made by the mind. We are no longer in an era where we should be forced to choose a career path set for us. Find what fulfills you and go and try to pursuit it. It is never too late. And don't feel pressured or rushed to achieve it. Life isn't about constantly worrying about the final destination, it is about living.
In a tranquil segment of overtly busy roads of Calangute in Goa, the road suddenly takes a swing amidst many newly constructed shops and economic resorts and beelined trees towards a unique Portuguese styled brown and off white secluded villa home which barely hints at who its occupant is or may be unknown to its neighbors. But this villa is theepicentreand nerve wing of Goa's much-loved Scandinavian designer well known for her style in Goan society who recently launched her fashion label that will soon become a brand in Goa and India. For this is the abode of Inger Solberg the lady who coined her designer label simply 'Solberg' and fondly termed by her well-wishers as a fashion diva. In her own words, "My women-oriented garments are not as simple as are the unique garments on display. They could be called fusion-fashion, uniting the best of East and West. Wonderful Indian materials, embroidered by local craftsmen, styled in my own unique way, I desire to be associated to create outfits and accessories for Indian women. I love India, but I am a Viking. I have a statuesque figure which made it difficult for me to find elegant outfits in Indian stores.
I could not help but notice that many Indian ladies share this problem. That's why I produce my designs in many sizes. They start small but go to XXL.
Today her idea has taken firm ground and she intends to spread its roots as far as the catwalks of Delhi, Mumbai Chennai, Kolkata and other fast-growing fashion-conscious towns in India.
But how did it all got started?
So far, in Goa mostly insiders know Inger's name. In Europe Inger Solberg's designer wear is a popular brand especially in her home country Norway and Denmark where she has lived for many years. After receiving a degree in fashion design in Copenhagen, she started her own line of couture. For many years, she sold her clothes in exclusive shops all over Europe and the USA. International celebrities like Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Cindy Lauper and many royals flaunted her outfits. Her last show in Paris in 1999 carried the title 'Luxus Hippie'. And it was uproar there. She credits her Paris stint with the finesse, the elegance and the refinement that are the hallmark of her clothes today. On her career upswing, her collective designing ideas prompted herself to move back to Goa. "It was the best move of my life, as I became this person who could concentrate on what I wanted for myself and my clothing philosophy. The very first collection I presented to Goa was a runaway hit," she says. "I began to put the flavor of Goa into the clothes, giving India its first 'resort wear' garments. It's a tremendous success especially after the launch on Oct 19th. I am indeed blessed with the massive quality turn out o 19th Oct with 'Senorita' singer flying in from Mumbai for this elite launch and our own Goan celeb socialites from the Hospitality department, Government folio and close friends from different countries gracing my dream occasion. The clothes vanished in a jiffy as it got purchased for its great demand and style. Every day I am learning a lot in Goa and it's an incredible feeling that I could become anyone I chose to become. Goa gave me that confidence in me."
The Melting Pot
"Goa trotted me along the path I visualized. I realized then that it was not only about the clothes. It was about creating a design philosophy unique not just in India but in the world." That's when the trademark 'Solberg' style began to develop. I reintroduced fashion in the late '80s and early '90s which was marked on brightly-colored silk with embroidery on monochromatic clothes and on humble cotton with bling embroidery. "It was a revolution. The shopping elite of Goa exclaimed "What are these simply yet stunning cotton and silk clothes doing on high fashion racks?"" she explains. "The media was as puzzled," she adds. "But after observing the collections, they saw the philosophy behind her creative thoughts. The much-needed words 'Ecofriendly', 'Minimalism', 'Asymmetric', 'Resortwear' and 'Goan Design' entered the Indian fashion radius. Born in Goa." For her present collection now available in Candolim, Goa, Inger chose the same theme. All the garments are light and easy to wear. The materials are high-quality silk and cotton; most of them embroidered and embellished in one way or another. "The clothes are meant to fit any occasion. You can wear them at the pool or the beach and carry them to a Party later on. They are fun, but not overdone", says Inger.
There are sketches of Goa in all her work. "I desire to put Goa on the fashion map and give it its apt place in the Euro fashion industry. Though I was a mere individual in that process, I am glad to note that it materialized," states Inger, not without some pride. Still, her move to Goa was not without obstacles. The fabrics and colors she needed for her work was unavailable in Goa. She recalls that she would often take numerous trips to Rajasthan to buy material or to get fabric dyed in colors she needed. "Friends and people said I was insane to dwell in Goa, that it was professional suicide to live here instead of any big fashion capital. But I loved Goa so much that I intend to stay rooted here. Not Norway. Not Rome. Not Paris. Not New York. Not London. Each day I go back to Candolim with a heart full of happiness."
"Art form is the mantra in my business," But having said that, she promptly points out that she's no amateur in the finance department either. "Give quarter lakh of rupees and challenge me to make it into a lakh and I will, very easily," she confesses. And while she admits to not being a businesswoman in the traditional mould, she prides in calling herself a self-made one.
She also designs exquisite bling pillows, blankets and curtains in a style that fits into any home - it looks good with modern minimalism and antique furniture. Her bags are great companions at an art opening, a party or at the beach - and they are big enough to carry a bit more than only a cell phone.
She is in all praise for the Indian crafts fraternity. "If we do not look after the wellbeing of these craft people it will be a dishonor. I hope the government supports and encourages the weaving units she plans to start," she articulates. She is stoic when asked what her future plan. "It is apt to speak about the future when the future becomes a reality to stay on. I have no inkling on what is in store for me. But whatever it is I will accept it with dignity as part of Lord's words for me." Amen to that.
Inger's friends already have earmarked her boutique as the new 'shop down the block' when they need a trendy outfit. For the public SOLBERG fashion boutique is on the Main Road in Candolim, close to Pedro Martina Resorts, opposite Toto's Bar and Restaurant near the Old Ice Factory in Goa.
Not many artists make music that crosses generations...not many artists have successful careers that span almost 2 decades...not many artists are born & raised in the united kingdom, yet listened to across the entire world...then again not many artists can be the ambassador of UK Bhangra music Jassi Sidhu.
More then 2 years after his last release Jassi Sidhu is back with his brand new single 'Hipshaker'.
After the success of his 2011 album 'singing between the lines' Jassi embarked a non- stop touring schedule which saw him perform in countries as far & wide as Africa, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, India, Australia as well as the UK. He also ventured back into the world of Bollywood & Hollywood with a feature in the 2011 international film Breakaway (Speedy Singhs).
Now 2013 see's the most recognizable voice of his generation come back with a new sound & vibe for 'Hipshaker'.
Featuring the co-production skills of long-time friend and international superstar DJBupsSaggu& the rap debut of Canadian Youtube sensation & comedienne Superwomen the song promises to enthrall the masses worldwide.
'Hipshhaker' is traditional with a twist...traditional punjabi lyrics, modern-day electronica beats, a fresh new female rap artist with her own unique style & of course the unmistakable voice of Jassi Sidhu.
The big-budget video for the song directed by renowned actor AmeetChana (Bend it like Bekham) & featuring international model & actress Jasmine Jardot (Jab TakHaiJaan) raises the bar for UK productions with its eye-catching look, feel & picturisation.
After 17 years at the top of the Bhangra industry, Jassi Sidhu's fans have come to expect quality over quantity & once again with 'Hipshaker' he lives up these expectations & delivers like only he can.
As the summer of 2013 comes to an end Jassi Sidhu's 'Hipshaker' guarantees to keep temperature's soaring on dance floors across the globe.
HIPSHAKER IS RELEASED WORLDWIDE ON ITUNES ON 29/08/2013 BY VANJHALI RECORDS PROMO LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUNAYhAj1ag
Ravika Gupta is one of the founders of the fashion brand KAVI kavikavi.com, a label she defines as glamorous, exotic and an affordable evening wear luxury for the contemporary woman. She took part in various international stage L'Oreal Fashion Week runway shows in Toronto, alongside her twin sister Dipika.
Afterwards, Ravika decided to move to New York City to pursue a fashion design degree from the prestigious Parsons university and worked for luxury houses Gucci, Alexander McQueen, YSL, Stella McCartney and Giorgio Armani Corporations to learn the business of fashion.
By gaining10 years of expertise in the fashion industry in North America, she has decided to launch her own label named RAVIKA. Her first collection for Fall 2012 is an affordable luxury inspired by the urban working woman who seeks comfort, simplicity, with a style aesthetic that adapts her lifestyle from work to play. The pieces of clothing; blazers, tops, pants, dresses and skirts from the collection are functional that can be worn mixed and matched that transition from day to night. She describes her designs to pose clean construction lines with casual fabrics of soft wools, knits and jersey that provide an effortless tailored fit. Her designs are currently selling at Limelight marketplace 656 Avenue of Americas in Chelsea, Manhattan alongside established brands.
'Our USP is affordable designer clothing'
Opinion Express fashion editor in brief interaction with Ravika Gupta to explore mind of a creative artist.
Q How do you see Kavi Kavi shaping up in next few months?
In the next few months Kavi Kavi will be showcasing the Spring 2014 collection from Dipika's recent trips to the factory in Bombay India.
Q The global slow down has effected your business in the recent times?
Our price points are affordable designer clothing and provide a good concept therefore it has not effected our business during the global slowdown. Here is a quote that I consider my mantra. "If you're making good clothes and you have a good concept, there's always business to do. The industry is hard when you're just following. If you have a point of view, if the quality and integrity and innovation are there, in good times and bad, the clothing is successful." - Andrew Rosen
Q Do you have plans to enter Asian markets?
Absolutely, the Asian markets are growing at a fast rate, we plan to expand there shortly.