November 16, 2017


Kolkata is perhaps the only city, which celebrates with equal verve both ‘art’ and fashion, under one roof. The connoisseurs of culture made their way to Alipore Old Bunglow on 10 November to be part of an eight hour long carnival: the ‘Stylefile Shopping Carnival’, which was hosted by Ms Preeti Goenka and Ms Sumedha Sarogi. Mr Sanjiv Goenka was personally present to welcome the guests and support his wife’s epic effort to bring the best of fashion and art to the city. On the 17th year of the exhibition, a proud Ms Goenka, the co-founder announced the participation of a few rising artists, some of whom were first-timers at the show. Ms Sarogi, her partner in this creative venture added that the collections this year were a culmination of their curious journeys to Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Chennai, Hyderabad and Vishakapatnam.

Left: Vidhi Singhania from Delhi had a spectrum of Bridal Sarees to offer

Right: Anamika Khanna takes a look at ‘14 MC- One for my Closet’

With the wedding season on, the guests had enough to fill their bags from exquisite collection of Namrata Joshipura, Vidhi Singhania, Kavita Bhartia, Amit Agarwal, Anjali Swarup, Nidhi Tholia, Isharya, Sangeeta Khanna, to name a few. It was indeed a platform, which most, ‘up-to-the-minute style conscious shopper’ could not give a miss. We found the city’s own celebrated designer and style icon, Anamika Khanna to be among the first celebrated guests, who seem to be captivated by the bejeweled slings and crossovers bags from ‘14 MC- One for my Closet’. We found her drooling over the beautiful bags for a while.

Left: The creative installation by David Gersten from Israel

Right: A cluster of varied art work

The entire space was done up with elegant élan and had a sophisticated carnival look with the fluttering white triangular flags against the autumn blue sky, contrasting well with the lush green carpet and palm trees. As you would enter, the installations by David Gersten from Israel, featuring creative composition of cutout figures from painted stainless steel would steal your heart. And just about time, when you have managed to pace down, a cluster of installations by varied artists at the entry of the bungalow’s portico would make you skip a beat or two.

Asmita Marwar from Hyderabad designed a ‘zero-waste’ line of cool, lazy ensembles

While most of the prêt fashion stalls were located around the open spaces at the backyard and sideways, the jewelry and couture bridals made their way inside the rooms of the bungalow. Among the many usual exhibits, there were many new names on the block this year. It was particularly interesting to see the recycled clothes by Asmita from Hyderabad. The brand USP lies in fair trade and a holistic approach towards zero waste. They use the cut away threads and selvedges to add design elements to their neat and chic silhouettes. Geometry plays an important role in their collection. The designer proudly posed with her favorite outfit for me, while wearing one herself. She harped on the importance of being a responsible designer and to remain as sustainable as possible.

Vivek Karunakaran from Kerala flaunting his draped gowns

Another interesting designer to look out for was Kerala based Vivek Karunakaran whose menswear was high on style, while he chose to use South Indian fabrics as his base. His collection consisted of shirts, kurta sets, bandhgalas and Nehru jackets. His womenswear has a high dose of western inclination and the designer himself spotted an interesting draped kurta under a formal Nehru jacket.

Pankaj and Nidhi from Delhi presented an array of fresh designs

The fresh and crisp sensibility of Pankaj and Nidhi from Delhi was evident in their lineup. The designer duo gave special emphasis to intricate surface ornamentation, thus churning out dream like ensemble, which stands unique. The eclectic and generous use of colour in three distinctive collections spoilt the shoppers with ample options. On one side were the pastels to romantic line, while juxtaposed with a collection in black and white. The third was neutrals and strong jewel tones, perfect for bridal shopping or festival extravaganza.

Sangeeta Khanna had bridal jewelry for those looking for medium weight options

The jewelry line by Sangeeta Khanna from Mumbai was a perfect answer to a bride’s quest for something unique yet not over the top while Vistara aimed at those seeking pure opulence. What added some sparkle to the guest’s enthusiasm was the tea, Jhaal Muri and Nimbu Pani with soda – all made to order and on the house. Apart from this there were a few food stalls to pick up some munchies from. The exhibition was indeed the ‘Jhal-muri Mix of Fun and Fashion’.


Sreenanda Palit

Sreenanda Palit

Sreenanda Palit, presently heading the Fashion Communication Department at NIFT Kolkata, has a couple of Masters Degree in Fashion Journalism and Communication (from India and London), and currently is pursuing her PhD. She has a flare for Fashion writing and hand drawn illustrations. She undertook the huge Indian Story social media campaign, in 2015, which was a roaring success. She had also been writing concept notes and making Look Books for designers. Her other passion includes craft and product design. Sreenanda has published several research papers as well.