What Deepika Padukone’s wedding saree designer has to say about Sabyasachi credit controversy

Deepika Padukone's wedding saree designer speaks out about Sabyasachi controversy.

Deepika Padukone ooked like a vision in all of her wedding looks. While earlier it was believed that Sabyasachi had designed and conceptualised all of her wedding looks, it was later revealed that that was not the case.

Deepika’s gorgeous red and gold saree was bought by her and her mother from a very famous silk store in Bengaluru called The House Of Angadi.

Sabyasachi and his team, who had earlier taken credit for dressing up Deepika on her Konkani wedding day ‘head to toe’ later issued an apology after the original designer K Radharaman contacted famous fashion journalist Shefalee Vasudev about the same and she brought the matter to light.

Sabyasachi issued a written apology and gave credits to the original label immediately.

Deepika’s saree for the Bengaluru reception was also designed by K Radharaman.

Anyway, a long time after the controversy took place, the man behind the gorgeous designs finally decided to speak about it. Here is what he said:

“I do not and never did have any intention of being critical of Sabyasachi Mukherjee or anyone else. I do not have any negative sentiment towards anyone and we did thank him publicly on social media for giving credit to us after we pointed the error to him.”

He continued:

“That said, when I was informed that another design label had claimed credit for my work, I felt obligated to speak up on behalf of the entire design community of which we are all a part of.”


Stop designer baby experiments

The dystopian Brave New World of designer babies may be upon us, courtesy of Chinese scientist He Jiankui.

The physics expert, who has no experience with human clinical trials, announced that twin girls had been born from embryos that he “gene-edited” in an attempt to increase their resistance to HIV.

He Jiankui’s experiment to genetically modify twin girls using a gene-editing tool has been met with worldwide condemnation.
He Jiankui’s experiment to genetically modify twin girls using a gene-editing tool has been met with worldwide condemnation.  (Mark Schiefelbein / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

And that is not good news.

In fact, his announcement on Monday — bizarrely made on YouTube — was met with worldwide condemnation, including from HIV researchers and some 120 Chinese scientists who denounced his work as “madness.”

Elsewhere, scientists criticized the secret and unjustifiable testing of a hypothesis when experts have no idea what the repercussions and possible mutations will be for these children, Lulu and Nana, never mind future generations as the altered DNA is passed on.

But what is known is scary enough. People without a normal CCR5 gene, the one He edited, have a higher risk of contracting other viruses, such as West Nile, and dying from the flu. And the twins’ risk of cancer could increase dramatically.

This experiment could also lead to the slippery slope of trying to create superhuman designer babies, a path that the late Stephen Hawking warned could lead to the end of “unimproved humans.”

“The Pandora’s Box has been opened, but we may still have a chance to close it before it is irreparable,” Chinese scientists said in a joint statement.

Their words should be heeded in laboratories around the world.


Urban Zen Celebrates Designer and Artist Robert Lee Morris

Having worked hand in hand with Robert Lee Morris for years on jewelry with her own brands, Donna Karan always knew that she wanted to do something special for the artist within her Urban Zen space. “This reminds me of everything we’ve done together and now he’s taking it into another dimension and I see even more reasons to do it together,” she expressed.

Karan’s whole idea of Urban Zen is, “past, present and future” (through preserving culture and future education); she celebrated the works of Lee Morris’ as such through an intimate gathering of his latest sculptural works, displayed within the  Greenwich space among photographs by Jimmy Nelson, sculptures by Karan’s late husband Stephan Weiss, and handmade accessories, home decor, textiles, clothing and more from artisans around the world.

“This is an official launch of the latest sculpture collection,” Lee Morris proclaimed. ”I’ve been making them and making them and making them and they piled up, so I had no more room in my studio. I happened to come to a birthday party for Stan Herman here [at Urban Zen] and Donna said, “What have you been doing?” and I showed her the pictures and she went, ‘I want them here, immediately.’ So from that point, which was only about two months ago, we scrambled to get all this together.

While sculpture is something Lee Morris has always done, it was never a major focus until the last year or two.

“Now I consider myself a sculptor,” he stated, “I’ve been a jewelry designer, but my main focus now is sculpting. It’s not wearable stuff, but things that look like they have the jewelry touch somehow.there’s a sensitivity, a fragility.”

In the past, Lee Morris had shown, and sold, larger sculptural works in Donna Karan’s Madison Avenue store, as well as in some galleries, but he saw more movement with his smaller brass works with home decor appeal. The sculptor explained that each piece takes about two days, or “one very furious day,” where he cuts and hammers until his hands can no longer hold the works-in-progress. Each piece, from the more affordable “sails” or larger “artichoke fire” pieces indeed hold the appeal and allure of his work in jewelry.

A range of his productions was shown Tuesday night and will be available for purchase throughout Urban Zen’s upcoming Holiday Marketplace — smaller “sails” sculptures and a small assortment of jewelry starting individually for $350 to $5,000 and ranging up to $12,500. Works that are perfect for the holidays and Christmas lists, according to Lee Morris. “I would really love it if someone would give me a sculpture like this. (So one-of-a-kind.) Especially if it’s someone you already own and appreciate their work.”


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The home of Julius Babao and Christine “Tintin” Bersola-Babao is situated on a wide street in a gated village in Quezon City. Today it’s steeped in Monday sunshine, and the cold climate trees hardly move when an easy breeze sets in. White kalachuchi flowers catch the light while the boughs stay fixed to their spot. The only thing that looks poised for flight in this street is this beautiful home designed by architect Jason Buensalido. It’s shaped like an origami bird, and unfolds in just as many ways. “It was just recently that I found out that [the Babaos] had a deep affinity with birds and animals in the house. They didn’t even tell us to design something that’s bird-like,” he says, “it just naturally came about, as far as form-finding was concerned, and then they approved it right away because they saw that it actually looked like something that’s in flight—something that looks like a bird.” The form of the house also appealed to the Babaos’ spiritual life,  reflecting as it did the mystical body.

The design of the house was a collaboration between Architect Jason Buensalido, his firm Buensalido + Architects, and Julius Babao, the man of the house and a well-respected figure in the Philippine Art Scene.

Christened Casa Uccello, the home was named for the Italian word for bird, and reflects the many stages of flight. The home began as a renovation project. From its original cubic shape, the couple were able to make the house grow organically after they purchased two adjacent properties over time. The new home is a reflection of its growth—its flight from original conception to its present-day form. “The house was really a search for a language that would bridge two disparate elements. So something new and something old. Something that’s free versus something that’s very boxed in,” Buensalido says.

Bird-inspired forms abound within the house such as this drop lamp from Moooi called “Perch”, acting as a conversation piece floating in the midst of an undulating steel ceiling that engulfs the entirety of the dining room.

The previous house, which was rectilinear and almost very sparse didn’t really reflect the kind of people they were, the young architect adds. “The couple are very creative, very free, very expressive; and they wanted a house that’s very unique, right? So that’s what they asked us to do.” Buensalido combined those elements by creating what he calls a “language of transitions.”

“We used a lot of fragments, a lot of folds to basically negotiate the solid nature of the old house to the open nature of the new extension. From something old, something new, something that is boxed in, to something that’s free. And then we developed that language and then we made it wrap around the existing house.”

The heart of the house is the living area that showcases a unique mix of mid-century and contemporary furniture and art pieces. Shown here is a luxurious sofa from Poliform, a customised centre table from Vito Selma, a whimsical Horse Lamp from Moooi, the iconic Egg Chair from Arne Jacobsen, and the Spun Chair by Thomas Heatherwick, among many others. The walls are adorned by work from a host of sought-after local and international contemporary artists such as Jose Santos III, Ronald Ventura, and Elmer Borlongan, Jeff Koons, and Austrian artist Gottfried Helnwein.

Buensalido created the space to reflect the personalities of the couple—the interiors are warm and gracious despite the minimalism of its exteriors. “It’s all them,” Jason says, meaning the character of the house. “The moment you walk inside, you’ll see them because it’s filled with the artwork that they’ve collected over time, and each piece is actually a reflection of themselves. So more than the architecture, I think it’s the interior space that reflects their personality. So they feel really at home here.”

The home also showcases the Babaos’ extensive art collection, which counts in  the hundreds—works from local masters to a few choice pieces from international art superstars. Parts of the house were built around the works of art—and there was a lot of negotiation between the couple and Buensalido. The architect wanted to fill the space with natural light but the couple needed wall space for the paintings. The result was a good compromise between natural elements and wide hanging space.