I embarked on a relentless battle against the deadly menace of cancer after I lost my father and brother-in-law to it. Since the cause is so close to my heart and I feel strongly about it, I always give it my 100 per cent and this year too, I plunged into the preparation for my annual fundraiser almost six months ago. Meeting the Hospital doctors, finalising the venue, curating the pieces for the auction took a great deal of time and effort. At the same time, I let my creative freak flag high and worked on an exclusive collection that I would showcase at the fundraiser and also complement the gravity of the cause.
The vision of my A/W2018 collection was clearly etched in my head and I was crystal clear about the imagery I wanted to create. The collection celebrated the idea of wild, free-spirited beauty, unencumbered by any restrictions. And what better than a lush, breathtaking forest to shoot the campaign? Nothing says wild and free than the lovely lap of mother nature and there I was shooting my fearless-yet-fun pieces against the exotic backdrop of verdant greens, soul-searing forest trails, visually sumptuous waterfalls and dramatic rivulets. A two-hours drive away from the rough-and-tumble of Mumbai, my crew and I reached the virgin greens of Badlapur to execute our vision into timeless images.
It was perhaps the most challenging shoot and evoked an array of sentiments. The whole experience was a far cry from the controlled studio shoot environment and my team and I moved out of our comfort zone to give it out best shot. At the end of it, I was happy with the way images shaped up and looked. Once you see your work translating into reality, it’s a high which can’t be explained.
To ensure everyone was on the same page, closer to the event date, I met with Anu Ahuja – my choreographer and Nazneen my decorator. I had already briefed them about the jungle-inspired backdrop that I had desired to complement the animalistic pieces. We discussed at length the layout and the lighting – all of which can make or break a show. Also, an evening of this scale merited a menu, which was out of the ordinary and I along with the hotel staff curated it together.
In the end, we managed to pull off a breathtaking soiree, which was a visual spectacle at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel. I was elated to see the glamourati and the cinemarati showing up to extend their solidarity for my cause. The talented Boman Irani helmed the live auction and enthralled the audience with his rip-roaring repartees. Bollywood stars Jackie Shroff and Kunal Kapoor also graced the occasion. MP Poonam Mahajan spoke a few words to open the evenings proceedings.
Fashion for a great cause, MCan was able to raise through donations, cheques and bids around Rs 1.25 crores.