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Sabyasachi Collections showcased at ‘Ramp it up for Raksha’

By Neha Negandhi
May 2015
Sabyasachi Collections showcased at ‘Ramp it up for Raksha’

(Photos: Niraj Sharma)

Combine fun and fashion, spice it with a worthy charity and you’ve got a designer saree showcase benefiting the nonprofit organization, Raksha. Barkha Jayaswal, owner of Bollywood Closet boutique, Sumeta Satija, choreographer/creative director, and Pooja Kapoor Badlani, jewelry designer for Elegante, joined forces for an afternoon fashion-focused fundraiser on March 28. “Ramp it Up for Raksha” showcased stunning Sabyasachi Mukherjee sarees and lehengas with part of the proceeds benefiting Raksha, a volunteer-driven organization empowering Georgia’s South Asian community.

Bollywood elegance radiated from the moment you approached the Country Club of the South’s residence of Anil and Salila Sharma who hosted the afternoon soiree. Two tuxedoed teens greeted guests as they entered the charming home with vaulted ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. DJ Sam provided music while guests nibbled on food platters ranging from Manchurian samosas to South Indian pakoras. But it was when the center spotlight beamed on the arched entryway, new music beats began to strum, and the 60-person full capacity living room stilled that the real show began.

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"Amazing and dedicated young men volunteering for Raksha." Aparna Bhattacharyya, Raksha’s Director, was the first model to walk the ramp.

Rakhsa volunteers welcomed guests and spoke about the power of youth volunteers and the importance of engaging teenagers in dialogue regarding taboo subjects. Aparna Bhattacharyya, Raksha’s Director, was the first model to walk the ramp and she thanked the sponsors, volunteers, and marked Raksha’s 20th year anniversary celebrations in 2015. Music was beautifully choreographed to Satija’s creative direction as each model made a dramatic entrance—some on the upper floor overlooking the guests below and some at audience level. Each striding to the beat, stopping at the exact moment the music insisted, and telling an exquisite story with each show-stopping saree. The Sabyasachi Mukherjee saree and lehenga collection was quite simply exquisite. The silks and organza fabrics with finest embroidery were draped to perfection on the models in a candle-lit backdrop. Make up and hair by fashion blogger Shreya Kadu added to the look. Audience members went wild as each model took center stage; clapping, whistling, celebrating each other as well as the designer who masterfully defined his design motto, “personalized imperfection of the human hand.”

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Later, it was in the crowded basement converted to a sales room that the women’s voices (and checkbooks) took center stage. Bollywood Closet’s Barkha Jayaswal, who grew up with designer Mukherjee, couldn’t wait to partner with Raksha for an event. “Raksha does such important work for the community. I wanted a way to not only support what Raksha does but also celebrate women and bring everyone together for fun and fashion.” All the models walked around, showcasing their haute couture sarees and guests were encouraged to try the designer pieces on for themselves. Pieces were bought quickly off the models as well as the racks lining the walls and at the jewelry table covered in velour; Badlani reigned supreme insisting guests model hoop pearl earrings, granite-pendant necklaces and other intricate pieces. Conviviality filled the air, couture glamour overflowed and for those who helped fill their closet, they also helped fulfill a community member’s need to feel empowered. And that will always be in fashion.

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Website Bonus Feature

Photo Gallery:
http://www.nirajsharma.com/Ramp-It-Up-for-Raksha/

A note from Raksha:
We love ourRamp it up for Raksha Volunteers and Partners! Thanks for all your hard work and amazing energy. It was so beautiful to see so many new and old folks supporting Raksha! We loved the young men who gave their time to Raksha and loved seeing parents and youth volunteering together. We are grateful for our community!! If you did not make it to the event, you can still donate to Raksha to help kick off our 20th year, and if you want to check out the sari's that were displayed you can connect with https://www.facebook.com/thebollywoodcloset!

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"Keep Calm and Empower On" say some of the volunteers!


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