By Leiselle Maraj Saturday, November 10 2012
It was billed as an evening of beauty, fashion, delicacies, cocktails, and music, that pay tribute to East Indian culture, but it was entertainer Denyse Plummer's performance of a Whitney Houston classic which stole the show at Bombay Dreams 3, held at the Hilton Trinidad, Port-of- Spain on Tuesday night.
After an energetic rendition of "Nah Leaving," Plummer comfortably switched to Houston's "One Moment In Time," hitting the right notes with her powerful voice, earning a standing ovation from guests. Plummer, who performed between the presentations from local fashion icons Meiling and Heather Jones ended her performance with a calypso medley that had many dancing in their seats.
Also creating a stir on Tuesday night was chutney and crossover artiste, Ravi Bissembhar who, somewhat unexpectedly, got rave reviews not for his performance, but for his hair. As Ravi B performed during Peter Elias' fashion presentation, guests could be heard commenting on his tousled, spiky do.
Even after the presentation, shouts of, "Ravi I love your hair!" could be heard as he left the stage.
There were some eye-catching fashion both on and off the stage. Female guests came out dressed to impress in their elaborate East Indian-inspired designs, including the Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar who has been the patron of the event since its inception in 2010. In her address to guests, Persad-Bissessar congratulated the event's production team and said she was looking forward to an evening of sophisticated fashion and live performances. She also noted the philanthropic aspect of the event, proceeds of which would be donated to the Angels on Earth Foundation, which cares for abandoned and abused children and young women and the Mary Care Centre, which provides support for young pregnant women. The Prime Minister also greeted guests ahead of Divali and Christmas. "As we prepare to celebrate Divali next week and Christmas next month, let love show the way," she said.
Models, including local personalities presented pieces by local fashion designers. Among those who walked the catwalk were contestants of the recently staged Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe pageant led by the eventual winner, Avionne Mark, former Miss World, Giselle LaRonde-West, masman Brian MacFarlane, hair stylist Ashvin Bally and comedienne Rachel Price.
Designer Meiling presented a few pieces which had an East Indian flair with flowing fabrics and sparkling embellishments.
Heather Jones also opted for flowing fabrics in teals, blues and other sea-inspired colours, some with elements of East Indian construction and others with the signature Heather Jones touch of Caribbean prints.
Peter Elias played with the trend of mixing patterns and prints and presented a full range of looks from the casual to the formal. The night was not complete however without the showing by House of Jaipur, which presented a glittering collection of very modern East Indian pieces for both men and women. While the other collections stuck to fashion for women, House of Jaipur paraded several selections worn by male models who were very much appreciated by the women in the crowd, judging from the loud applause when they appeared on stage.
Ravi B and Plummer were not the only entertainers who performed on the night. The show began with Kathak dance by Trinidad born Quincy Kendell Charles who studied the art form in India, and is now a respected dancer and choreographer there.
Other performers included the bmobile Shiv Shakti dancers, veteran chutney and chutney soca artiste Rikki Jai and beautifully dressed soca sensation Destra Garcia.
Guests snacked on a variety of authentic East Indian delicacies and were treated to samples, gifts, giveaways and mehndi art from sponsors Pantene, Optometrists Today, First Citizens, bMobile and Bally.