FASHION FIESTA

By Richa Kharshandi

It was an evening to remember as young aspiring models enthralled the audience at U Soso Tham auditorium last weekend.
Miss Shillong 2019, one of the most coveted events in the city, took place last Saturday to hunt for the queen of hearts. While the belles kept the five judges and the spectators glued to the seat, a witty Valden Pariat made sure there was no dearth of entertainment.
The event was enlivened by a series of performances and a traditional fashion show by a brilliant designer.
The fashion show kicked off with a video introduction of the 14 participants in traditional wear. It was followed by an Indo-Western outfit round and the participants took the stage with storm as they walked in style and elegance. The spectators could not stop cheering and whistling.

Traditional vogue

The display of Khasi traditional attire with a touch of Western world by Duncan Karmon was the highlight of the event. Kharmon has done several fashion shows in and outside the state. He is known for his unique designing style where he gives traditional attire a touch of his innovation. As the models walked in with his creation, the auditorium that was packed to the rafters filled with applauses.

Young talents

Young singers Daisyquin Wallang and Suphai Junior kept up the tempo with their performance of a number by Hollywood singer Jessie J. The audience grooved along with them.
It was followed by a performance by Kevin Kharhunai, a Class IX student of BSF School. His mellifluous voice and smile hypnotised all, including the judges Jaya Karla, Jagriti Nenong, Rosou Rhi, Monika Aggarwal and Phiralin Nongbet.

Whirl & twirl

A ballet dance act by Darishisha Mawroh was an absolute hit and the audience was at awe. Dressed in a white Tutu skirt and a white lace blouse, the young artiste looked like a mighty swan twirling like a ribbon. There was also a group performance by young dancers that received a big applause. Devilicious Devil, a music band, stunned everyone in the auditorium.
There was also a bonus act by the Fitness and Body Building Association of Meghalaya.

‘First step to success’

Aakriti Shen had never walked the ramp before participating in the Miss Shillong 2019 beauty pageant. For the 19-year-old student of Media Technology at St Anthony’s College, the crown is the first step towards realising her dream of making big in the world of fashion.
Shen started preparing for ramp only three months before the event and took grooming classes. However, looking at her gait and attitude on stage, it was hard to say she was a novice. “I never knew that I would be a part of the beauty pageant though I had interest in this field since childhood.”
The beauty queen is grateful to her mother and younger sister for encouraging her to participate in the contest. “They are the ones who made me believe in myself. From a young age, my parents have encouraged me to perform on stage and now I am a stage person. Deep in my heart, I always knew that I belong to the stage,” an elated Shen told Sunday Shillong.
In this context, she pointed out that many aspiring models here face several problems like lack of family support and encouragement and financial problems.
Born and brought up in Shillong, Shen grew up following both Khasi and Nepali culture and tradition (“My mom is Khasi”). She is originally from Mynso village in Jowai.
But Shen said she drew flak on social media “because many people did not know that I am half-Khasi and the comments were hurtful”.
When asked how she managed to prepare for modeling alongside
studies, Shen promptly said, “I cannot call it a problem. Balancing both at the same time taught me how to multi-task. However, at times it
was tough to juggle modelling and studies.”
In the long run, Shen wants to pursue travel journalism “so that I can promote Meghalaya’s tourism far and wide”.
“I want to represent my state and my country at a higher level… This (winning the Miss Shillong title) is the first step towards my dreams and the platform where I discovered my potential,” said Shen, an alumnus of Army Public School.
Shen is also a talented singer and dancer. She has sung and dubbed for Kaphal, a children’s movie.
“In my leisure time, I compose poems and songs,” she said with a smile.
Shen loves Khasi cuisine and admitted that she is a foodie. “I have always been a chubby child. True to the fact that I love eating every kind of food as long as it tastes good,” she said.
When asked what was her best ever compliment she said, “That I look like my mother.”
And your biggest fear? “Losing determination after a failure,” the teenager was upfront.

(As told to Richa Kharshandi)

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