CHENNAI: For almost a week now, the social media platforms of Phoenix MarketCity, Chennai, have been buzzing with activity, taking fashionistas on a journey into the world of style, glitz and glam. The shopping destination will play host to the first edition of its homegrown talent hunt — Phoenix Fashion Icon — in an attempt to bring out the best of budding models and vibrant fashion enthusiasts in the fore.“When we announced the auditions for the talent hunt, we were overwhelmed by the responses. Despite it being the first edition, we received around 200-250 entries. That’s more than what we had anticipated,” shares Pooja Patti, centre director, Phoenix MarketCity, Chennai.
The idea, Pooja says, is to provide a platform for young and aspiring fashion enthusiasts to showcase their skills. “Chennai has been witnessing a rising potential in the number of fashionistas. This fashion property was curated keeping in mind how fashion-forward the city is becoming. It is also a conscious attempt to make PMC and Palladium the go-to fashion hub,” she explains.
The auditions saw the participation of 200-odd models — male and female, between ages 18 to 25. Over the week, the participants were shortlisted based on various criteria and gauged by their willingness to learn, and 24 aspiring models have been selected for the grand finale, giving them a chance to walk the ramp with eminent models from the city.
The selected contestants have been meticulously groomed by celebrity fashion choreographer Sandeep Dharma and been given dance training sessions by choreographer John Britto. Talking to CE, Sandeep, who has worked with popular names in the fashion and television industry including Mahima Chaudhry, Pooja Chopra and Gaurav Bajaj says, “The quality of participants we’ve got for the talent hunt is commendable.
Both the male and female participants are not just fashionable or skilled but are also intelligent. Being a mentor, the task of grooming everyone was a give-and-take process. The kind of attitude the participants showcased was very good. It was refreshing to see that the participants were being honest and not pretentious. The experience so far has been new and amazing.”
Sandeep will be interknitting outfit elements — from traditional veshtis and lungis to neckties, jackets and blazers — for the grand finale to create a unique character for each participant. “The female models will be sashaying in sari-pants and other smart outfits, the pageant will witness trendy and edgy looks on the ramp,” says the fashion guru.
“Winners of the Phoenix Fashion Icon will be awarded the title and Rs 1 lakh worth gift vouchers. The portfolio for the winning candidates will be done by a leading fashion photographer in Chennai, following the event,” adds Pooja. The winners will also feature in Phoenix’s upcoming campaigns.