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Mumbai, Globe-Trotters: Mashoom Singha, model / television host

06.16.2010

You?ll see a lot of Mashoom Singha in Mumbai. The model and television host?s sculpted face and never-ending legs make regular appearances in Vogue, Elle and L?Officiel. She?s been featured in Kingfisher?s coveted swimsuit calendar; ad campaigns for Motorola and JW Marriott; and has walked the ramp for top Indian designers like Ritu Kumar, Rohit Bal and Wendell Rodricks.

But meet her in person and you?ll discover a lot more. For one thing, she?s a qualified engineer who, upon her supermodel sister Shamita?s prodding, circulated shots of herself while she crammed for final exams. Ace Indian photographer Atul Kasbekar spotted them and instantly signed her to his modeling agency. And just like that, her life changed. When Mashoom isn?t busy at work, she also runs a Mumbai wine tasting club called We Know Vino. Mashoom lets L-atitude into her closet, her travel plans and her favorite Mumbai haunts.

 

You?ll see a lot of Mashoom Singha in Mumbai. The model and television host?s sculpted face and never-ending legs make regular appearances in Vogue, Elle and L?Officiel. She?s been featured in Kingfisher?s coveted swimsuit calendar; ad campaigns for Motorola and JW Marriott; and has walked the ramp for top Indian designers like Ritu Kumar, Rohit Bal and Wendell Rodricks.
 
But meet her in person and you?ll discover a lot more. For one thing, she?s a qualified engineer who, upon her supermodel sister Shamita?s prodding, circulated shots of herself while she crammed for final exams. Ace Indian photographer Atul Kasbekar spotted them and instantly signed her to his modeling agency. And just like that, her life changed. When Mashoom isn?t busy at work, she also runs a Mumbai wine tasting club called We Know Vino. Mashoom lets L-atitude into her closet, her travel plans and her favorite Mumbai haunts.
 
What do you love most about being a model in Mumbai?
Mumbai is home for me. In spite of the rush and frenzy of the city?s fashion world, which I love by the way, the industry is also very warm and accommodating. I?ve worked with some fabulous and super creative people in Mumbai, many of whom ? model Sanea Shaeikh, choreographer Alison Kanuga, backstage coordinator Vahbiz Contractor - have become close friends.
 
Which new and upcoming designer would you bet your money on to be the next big thing in Indian fashion?  
Anand Kabra's ability to experiment will yield some bold designs in the near future; Nachiket Barve will be recognized for his use of color, textures and the wearability of his garments; and Swapnil Shinde?s luxurious gowns  are perfect for the red carpet.
 
What?s your favourite shopping ritual in Mumbai?
There are a bunch of standalone stores in Mumbai where you get great finds that won?t burn a hole in your pocket. I usually hit boutiques like Izzo and Taxxi & Vitamin K in the hip Bandra district for my monthly shopping fix. If I?m in the mood to hunt, export surplus stores like Cotton On also yield some great finds.
 
Have you been to any international fashion weeks? How do they compare to the Indian ones you?ve been part of? 
I have watched an international fashion show in New York, which was managed at a much larger scale, and the level of organization was exceptional. However, with every passing year Indian fashion weeks are coming closer to achieving international standards ? now, there?s no stopping us.
 
What?s the most challenging ramp you?ve had to walk?
From fashion shows with escalators to glass lifts, I've done them all. But the most challenging ramp I?ve had to work with was one built on a swimming pool. It was hard to maintain my posture with all the water around, and the stilettos weren?t helping. But I made it across eventually and it was a great experience! 
 
Name one thing you wanted to steal off the ramp and take home with you from the last fashion week.
Exquisite half-sarees and beaded jackets from designerAnamika Khanna.
 
If you had to do an outdoor shoot anywhere in India, which city would you pick and why?
Studio shoots are boring! I love outdoor pictures. Ladakh [in India?s northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir], with its stunning visuals of mountains and rivers would make for a great location. 
 
Your job requires that you travel extensively. Tell us about your favourite travel destination and the style souvenirs you bought back home?  
My favorite travel destination would have to be Spain. I covered the entire southern region and crossed the river into Portugal. But my coolest style souvenirs are all from Miami's design distract.  Here, there are a bunch of wholesale stores that sell great designer wear at half the price.  I bought some amazing dress from Adrianna. 
 
What's your favorite travel ensemble?
It would have to be the tracksuit ? comfy for long flights and stylish.
 
If you could spend an hour with any international designer who would it be and how would you spend it? 
I?m crazy about shoes, so it would have to be Christian Louboutin. I would love to watch the genius at work.
 
You?ve been featured in the coveted Kingfisher swimsuit calendar. Do you think photo shoots in India have gotten bolder in the last five years? 
Yes, they have. And so long as it?s done in good taste, I?m all for it. It?s great that people in India are now broadening their minds to make room for all forms of creativity.
 
You also run a wine club called We Know Vino with your model sister. What?s your favorite place to drink wine in Mumbai? 
The Tasting Room in Lower Parel. Not only do they have a great vino collection, but they also offer wine flights [tastings of multiple wines] to those who are experimenting or want to increase their understanding of a specific region.