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It's India that has caught the fancy of Karl Lagerfeld, chief of Chanel and Fendi houses of fashion this time. An India that's not about Bollywood but harks back to the world of the maharajas.
An evening in Paris caught Lagerfeld, he of the white hair, dandy dressing style and provocative quotes fame, spinning a world of fantasy, as his models showcased a collection called Paris-Bombay.
Coming from a guy who once confessed to enjoy designing little black dresses the best, the elaborate outfits like pearl-beaded Nehrucollared jackets layered over sari-draped outfits and slim leather churidars in whites, cream, beiges and browns complete with elaborate head tikkas and ornate jewellery, came as bit of a surprise.
But Lagerfeld with much aplomb said India inspired him because "even the poor have dignity there. . . even poor women own three gold bracelets. " You'd imagine he's seen India up, close and personal, but no, the designer said, "Fantasy is often better than reality. . . It's much more inspiring not to go to places than to go. "
After choreographing Madhuri Dixit-Nene in dance sequences in Dil To Paagal Hai and Devdas, Pt Birju Maharaj has agreed to another film, Kamal Haasan's Vishwaroopam, which marks the veteran actor's return to Hindi cinema after about nine years. "Around six months ago, Kamalji called me up asking me to choreograph a song in his new film. Since he's such a manjha (seasoned) hua artiste, I said yes to him, " says Maharaj.
The Tamil version of the song has been written by Haasan himself while the Hindi one has been penned by Javed Akhtar. The music has been composed by Shankar Mahadevan. "Even while the song was being recorded, I supervised the bol and padhant to give it a kathak flavour, " informs Maharaj. It was shot in Chennai recently.
The dance, which Haasan says is an integral part of the film is being performed by him on the screen. "He's practised very hard for it. And despite being a Bharatanatyam dancer, looks pretty authentic as a kathak guru, " adds Maharaj.
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