Bollywood stars Parineeti Chopra and Urmila Matondkar joined India۪s leading fashion designer Manish Malhotra last night who appeared on a London catwalk for the very first time.
The award-winning designer showcased his collection at the prestigious Grosvenor House Hotel in London۪s Park Lane, in aid of The Angeli Foundation, a charity that works to empower the Girl Child in India, and in association with Dubai based Rivaage boutique.
The 450-strong audience at The Angeli Foundation Gala Fundraiser, were on their feet with rapturous applause as Malhotra۪s Bollywood buddies Parineeti Chopra and Urmila Matondkar walked the ramp to support the designer and the cause.
As well as Parineeti Chopra and Urmila Matondkar, a host of British Asian stars also put on their glad rags and came out to support The Angeli Foundation and Manish. Amongst the celebrities attending were: leading soap stars Shivani Ghai, Jimi Harkishin, Sunetra Sarker and Ace Bhatti; BBC Sports presenter Sonali Shah; TV and radio presenters Anita Rani and Nihal; actor Adil Ray better known as Citizen Khan; as well as the stunning actress turned singer Preeya Kalidass.
Malhotra۪s collection was organically Indian with Kashmiri & Chikankari work woven onto traditional silhouettes and styles such as the lehngas, his signature floor length anarkalis and lehnga anarkalis in colors inspired from 50’s such as exclusively dyed corals, pinks, blues.
The breath-taking collection was reminiscent of contemporary India and its Craftsmanship,
The two leading ladies certainly did Malhotra۪s collection justice. Ms Matondkar who opened the show was dressed in a beautifully fitted and styled navy lehnga woven with white chikankari, with Parineeti Chopra adding fabulous glamour to the finale in a glittering floor length, red and gold anarkali lehnga. The beautiful stars walked the ramp in true style, giving the models a run for their money!
Malhotra selected The Angeli Foundation as the charity of choice for his UK launch after the horrific rape of Jyoti Singh Pandey in Delhi highlighted the shocking inequality and attitudes towards women in our country. The Angeli Foundation works to Save the Girl Child۪ and redress the balance for women who are treated as second-class citizens throughout their lives. From female foeticide to limiting healthcare and education in favour of male siblings, to bride burnings, unreported rapes and acid attacks, inequality exists from womb to woman.
He said of his support for The Angeli Foundation and the response on the evening, “I can think of no better partner to have worked with for my debut show in London. The Angeli Foundation works so hard at a grass roots level to change the lives of young girls in the hope that their voices will eventually be heard and that attitudes in our society will change. As celebrities, it is our role and responsibility to lead by example and if I can make some small change by lending my support to this invaluable case, then I have achieved something.”
Parineeti Chopra added, “As a former PR person I know the value of celebrity and how they can help raise awareness and start to drive debate and discussion. After the tragedy in December I don۪t think there is anyone in our industry that doesn۪t feel strongly about gender inequality and the terrible treatment of women. When Manish asked if I would walk the ramp for the Foundation, there was no doubt in my mind that it would be an honour to play a part in something so important.”
Ratika Puri Kapoor, chair of UK Chapter of The Angeli Foundation said of the event, “I have been overwhelmed by the support that we have received for The Angeli Foundation. As a small charity that is still in its infancy in the UK we needed to create a springboard that would help raise the issues around gender inequality in India and highlight the objectives that we have as a charity. There is no doubt that we couldn۪t have raised our profile in any better way than with the support of Manish, Parineeti, Urmila and the amazing British contingent who I hope will take the message on further.”