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LOADS OF spex appeal

Sanjay Dutt didn't turn up and Suneil Shetty did a quick sortie on the ramp

It's eyewear now, dude. No one says specs or even glasses any more. -- Photos: K. Bhagya Prakash

THERE ARE boutiques and there are boutiques and then... there are eye fashion boutiques.

That is what we would perhaps have called the kannadakada angadi or spectacles shop in days gone by. No sir, not now in the times of Suneil Shetty and Sanjay Dutt. You dare not.

Star power and business acumen is perhaps the right combo that brought about Shades, the eye fashion boutique from Bollywood actors-cum-businessmen Suneil Shetty and Sanjay Dutt.

They launched their eyewear store ... oops, boutique... of international branded glasses (please allow me say that instead of eyewear) with a dhamakedaar fashion show on Taj West End's tennis court. And yes, a showroom on Residency Road, the third after Hyderabd and Pune.

Er, it was dhamakedaar after it started a mere one-and-a-half hours late. Sanju baba, the star attraction promised on the ramp, didn't turn up (was busy in a Mumbai shoot or something).

Savvy businessman Suneil Shetty, who already owns the Mischief chain of boutiques and restaurants and is an old hand in the biz world, had an excellent business proposition for future franchisees announced during the show — Shades would soon launch its own brand of glasses, Spex Appeal (we're hoping they spell it that way!).

But all who had gathered for the cause — which was to raise funds for the Save the Children India Foundation — were only too glad to look at the models sporting funky designer wear. And, oh yes, as MC for the evening, Kelly Dorjee often emphasised: "In case you didn't notice, the shades too!"

Hmmm. Cute Kelly Dorjee did inspire a lot of men with his bald new look, I guess. One woman in the audience whispered emphatically: "Yeah I know, that's the fashion now, no? No hair at all!"

Hey, but let us swear the glasses were good — plain and metal frames the old way, with larger-than-the-cheek diameters, funky non-reflective shades, glasses to go with beachwear, metallic shades, black, brown, tinted...

Glasses were made to match ghagras, sequinned saris and naughty cholis, sheer organza shirts, tinsel-trimmed capes and ponchos, the bare-chested beach bum carrying a mat or the everyday man and woman carrying their tiffin-dabba and vegetable bag (yes, we're getting really innovative on ramp these days).

All the big names in the modelling industry were there sashaying on the ramp — Sheetal Malhar, actor Rahul Dev, Rachel Bayros, Shonali Rosario, Jackie Besterwich, Pashmeena, Shakeel, Diandra and others. Suneil Shetty did a quick sortie on the ramp toward the end and declared he loved Bangalore.

The show, choreographed by Inder Sudan, featured designer clothes from the collections of Anand Kabra, Sapna Chopra Shelly and Pavitra Halkatti among others.

At the end of the night, Suneil Shetty and Rahul Dev personally auctioned the designer wear and eyewear of the night's show backstage to raise funds for children.


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