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Monday, July 09, 2012

Race + Fashion

Long time readers of the blog will have joyously noticed that my postings have dropped considerably during the last few weeks.

Well, it’s summer here in Toronto. I’ve taken a break of sorts, and unlike most people I know who read a book during their summer break, I decided to stop reading and do a few things that I don’t normally do.  

Hondo Indy in Toronto
Last week I went to the Toronto Indy car rally and then attended the International Fashion Festival Toronto 2012. And I had the most wonderful time at both places.

I accompanied my son to the Indy. If you’ve watched FI on television even once, NASCAR just doesn’t feel right because the cars just don’t look like race cars. 

Not surprisingly, considering NASCAR cars are regular cars that you’d see on the roads in North America. Incidentally, NASCAR is National Association of Stock Car Racing.

The open wheel vehicles of the Indy cars are similar to FI cars, although as my son Che explained to me, only three manufacturers – Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus – provide the engines. 

So there’s no Ferrari in the race, although Ferrari Ontario had a large space at the venue, with the California model occupying prime place at the Direct Energy centre off Lakeshore in downtown Toronto.

Seeing the race in person is a unique experience. Right from the pre-show flypast by Canadian Air Force jets to the mighty roar of the engines, to the amazing speed, and deft skills of the drivers all make for a breathtaking three hours. The sun, of course, was merciless.

After an exhilarating time, I went to the fashion event’s grand finale where the stars were Walid Atallah (UAE) and Vikram Phadnis (India). The show had designers from across South Asia and the Middle East, and loads of local South Asian talent from Toronto.

Fashion festival kickoff party (photo: Ali)
Atallah’s range of wedding dresses was an absolute stunner, with the audiences gasping at the intricacies of some of the designs; Phadnis’ charming, Hindi movies-inspired, collection evoked delirious responses from the audience.

A big kudos to the organisers – including all my dear friends at Black Diamond Entertainment – for bringing fashions from the subcontinent to Toronto.

Tomorrow, I’m off to the City Hall for an installation of my eyes. More about it later.

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