Expect nothing, live frugally on surprise.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Style Check. Say cheers!!

Saturday Night. 11.pm. 200 people. It’s business as usual at Manré . At the bar, a bartender pours out a Cosmopolitan for an attractive young woman who has come with her friends. He tosses the vodka bottle in the air and pours the drink in a practiced manoeuvre. Models, designers and socialites rub shoulders with the party-goers.Manré is a dazzling piece of work: a sparkly white wonderland for Delhi’s party crowd, which hops onboard the newest nightclub in town.
They come in their Choos and Louboutins, drink their Black Label and Grey Goose, survey their compatriots and fiddle with their cellphones, possibly to check on the whereabouts of their less-fortunate buddies, informing them that the place to be is right here, right now.

If Mumbai sets the glamour for the rest of the country, Delhi is the more stylish and brand-conscious of the two cities. But that apart, what differentiates Delhi from the other metros? “For one, Delhi people drink much faster,” chuckles Laurent Guiraud, general manager of the restaurant. Delhi is also a city where Dom Perignon flows more freely at parties. An average Saturday night bill for a person is easily Rs 5,000-6,000. For nourishment, it’s demure, sensual tapas (you don’t want to be seen stuffing your face, dahling!) served with champagne, cocktails and martinis.
Delhi is moving from Janpath to Jimmy Choo. No longer do we need to send for a Louis Vuitton bag and wait impatiently for the cousin from California to bring it on her next visit to India. Or jealously watch a Ludhiana aunt flaunting a Bottega Veneta bag from ‘abroad’.
Delhi denizens have easy access to the biggest brands and their best lineup and they are making the most of it.Says Ruchita Sharma Bhardwaj, deputy director, head of luxury and lifestyle at FICCI, “Louis Vuitton and Chanel were here a year ago. But last October the advent of super luxury brands such as Gucci, Hermes, Jimmy Choo, Judith Leiber and Kenzo in Delhi have changed the scenario. Let’s say, around 60 per cent of the international brands have opened shop here. And the market potential is great.”With the world becoming a global village and travelling becoming a favourite preoccupation of the well-heeled, everyone wants to look uber chic. “The Delhi male’s interest ranges from salons to shoes, the woman understands the value of spending on the crème-de-la-crème (even though they could do with a little more elegance and chic, and less bling),” says Bhardwaj.
The consumer, she says, has a more discerning eye. We are not satisfied with a cheap knock-off of a Judith Leiber clutch from Hong Kong. We would rather splurge on the original from the flagship outlet in Delhi.The message is clear. The next time you feel like laying your hands on that must-have Chanel mini skirt, there’s no need to ask your NRI cousin to ship you one. Go shopping in Delhi, it’s all available right here.


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