Vogue’s Age Issue (August) interviewed political insider Huma Abedin as a fashion exemplar in her 30s and offered a peek at the contents of her closet, suitcase and BlackBerry. The piece adds to the mystique surrounding Abedin, who was profiled this spring in The New York Observer‘s “Hillary’s Mystery Woman: Who is Huma?”, while placing her stage-center in two red dresses, a Vera Wang and an Oscar de la Renta. De la Renta often hosts Abedin and her employer Hillary Clinton at his Dominican Republic vacation home and, as he told the Observer, does not “want to die without seeing [Huma] in a strapless dress.”
Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, into a “very traditional family” with a Pakistani mother and an Indian father, Abedin moved at age 2 with her family to Saudi Arabia where her father started an institute devoted to religious understanding and her mother helped create a private women’s college. With aspirations to become the next Christiane Amanpour, Abedin made her way as an intern to the White House in 1996, hoping to be placed in the press office. An assignment to the First Lady’s office hooked her to Hillary’s rising star, where she now plays an integral role in the presidential hopeful’s daily campaign schedule.
“I’m not sure Hillary could walk out the door without Huma.”—Mandy Grunwald, Clinton advisor.
“Huma does make the trains run on time.”—Bob Barnett, the Clinton’s longtime personal lawyer.
“I don’t know if it’s a chicken-or-the-egg thing—Hillary affecting Huma or the other way around—but together they work.”—Mary Steenburgen, longtime Hillary friend and actress.
Previously: “Hillary Brings Tanden On Board For ’08”
You might remember me finding out last week about this year’s flower show at Macy’s in San Francisco. Well, it’s not over yet! There’s still time, through Saturday, April 14, actually, to see the floral displays in store or attend one of the upcoming events, including the cooking demos with chefs from Junnoon and Le Meridien, and a final chance to have Lancôme-sponsored Henna Lounge artists adorn you with intricate designs. Hurry up if you want complimentary henna on your hands, though. Judging by the long line formed well before the event’s starting time last Friday, this may be one of the show’s most popular events. (Event details.)
Puja Sabharwal, who works in media relations at Macy’s, offers a tip on what not to miss if you make it out to “Imagine India:” “The tabletop settings on the 6th floor are phenomenal. Each setting is inspired by different elements of nature in India. The Macy’s visual team has done a tremendous job of capturing India in every possible way.”
Check back on Monday for more from Sabharwal in the second part of our April issue.
Sanjaya Malakar has made it through another week on American Idol, another week of negative comments from the judges, another week of changing hairstyles. While his fellow contestant Brandon Rogers was voted off on Wednesday night, 17-year-old Sanjaya managed to garner enough votes to go to the next round of competition.
How does Sanjaya do it? E! News reports that votefortheworst.com, the anti-Idol site endorsing him as having the weakest vocals in the competition, may have played a part. “As soon as Malakar was declared safe Wednesday night, Vote for the Worst credited its minions for prolonging his survival.” (“Idol Says Buh-Bye to Brandon“)
Another reason may be the hair. Like Samson, Sanjaya seems to draw strength from it. Fans of his look may constitute a voting block that has successfully kept him on the show so far. His ever-changing hairstyles suggest that he carefully cultivates and caters to this constituency. How far his coiffure will carry him remains to be seen.
Pratima Sethi, of San Francisco-based Manak Jewels, helped the stars shine even brighter this Oscar season. Check out Sethi as she takes Carlene Davis of US TV behind the scenes to the TMG Luxury Swag Suite:
Look for contestant Uzma Lone from the Lone Star State on the Sunday, March 11, episode of TV game show “Deal or No Deal” hosted by comedian Howie Mandel. Uzma will have her twin sister Saima Bukhari on the show as her helper and the two will be donning desi duds, giving the show’s models a run for their money. Nirali interviewed Saima, the owner of Dallas salon and med spa Glow, for the October 2006 “Fall Beauty Trend Report.”
Lawyer by day, jewelry designer by night, Radhika Tandon is responsible for the latest evolution of the timeless cocktail ring. Her company Isharya—which she runs with her sister-in-law Gauri Tandon—features precious and semi-precious stones set in silver and gold.
“If we don’t love it, it’s not going to be in our collection,” Tandon, 32, says. “Ohmigod, how fabulous. Where did you get it?’ That’s the feeling we want to evoke.”
Radhika Tandon is a patent lawyer based in Menlo Park, California, while her sister-in-law (a London School of Economics grad) lives in Mumbai, working with “the artisans who translate their vision into fabulous creations of tourmalines, smoky topaz, coral and rose-cut diamonds.”
“One TV commercial aired in India (often referred to as the Air Hostess advertisement) “showed a young, dark-skinned girl’s father lamenting he had no son to provide for him, as his daughter’s salary was not high enough – the suggestion being that she could not get a better job or get married because of her dark skin. The girl then uses the cream [Fair & Lovely], becomes fairer, and gets a better-paid job as an air hostess – and makes her father happy”.
Rising star Naeem Khan recently created a stir with his Spring, 2007 collection of flirty, vibrant cocktail dresses. Last week, Khan and other designers joined forces at New York Fashion Week to raise awareness and funds for Darfur.
Participants in “Designers for Darfur” included Luca Luca, BCBG Max Azria, and Rabia Yalcin, a conservative Muslim designer interested in marrying high fashion with Islamic sensibilities.“In private, clothing should reflect a woman’s sensuality,” says the Istanbul-based Yalcin. In public, she wants to help “show the beauty of the flower while covering the flower.”
All profits generated through the fundraiser go directly to the Save Darfur Coalition.
Khan and Yalcin join the growing cadre of eastern designers, showcasing their work in New York (remember Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s collection from Olympus Fashion Week earlier this year?).
Something is wrong with the universe when Norah Jones is being told she needs to lose weight.
The Grammy-winning songstress made headlines last week when her third album settled into the number one position on both the US and UK charts. Jones was told to shed a few pounds in preparation for her debut on the big screen (she is set to star opposite Jude Law and Natalie Portman in the film My Blueberry Nights).
“First I got really mad, then I got nervous, thinking, ‘Oh no! I’m fat!” Jones told reporters at British Glamour.
Jones has sold over 45 million records to date.
He’s 50% Malayali, 50% Irani—and 100% dreamboat.
Frequently voted as one of Bollywood’s sexiest stars, John Abraham intends on sticking to the unbeaten path. “I’m most comfortable with unconventional roles,” he told the Mumbai Mirror newspaper last week. “I want audiences to identify me with unconventional films.”
Abraham is pleased that the Deepa Mehta film Water (in which he plays the gentle idealist Narayan) has received an Oscar nod.
In his latest movie, Kabul Express (released last month), Abraham plays a journalist covering the Taliban in Afghanistan. It has been reported that Abraham received death threats while filming in Kabul. The Yash Raj project, directed by Kabir Khan, has received mediocre reviews. Anyone seen it?