Star Power at Sanjana Jon's Fashion Show Causes Stampede

By Radhika Bhirani

New Delhi, Oct 26 (IANS) Sanjana Jon's show at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week may have been high on glamour with Salman Khan and Sushmita Sen walking the ramp with other celebrities, but it turned out to be a "fashion disaster" and even caused a mini stampede post the show.

While the designs looked amateur, ill-fitted, and extremely high on bling, the post show media conference was a total mess with almost 150 people -- few of them from the media -- vying for one "close" glimpse or an exclusive byte from Salman Khan.

"I saw Salman Khan walk the ramp but I want to hear him once," said a female fan.

Alas, her wish wasn't fulfilled. Though Sanjana was able to answer all queries before Salman came in to address the press, trouble ensued thereafter. The entire crowd started pushing towards the actor, much to the dismay of those standing in front and for the 10 bodyguards, who failed to manage the crowd.

There was a mini stampede where female mediapersons struggled to even stand still.

Salman, who was dressed in a plain black shirt and a pair of trousers with an ostentatious belt, waited patiently for the situation to come under control. But it only got worse.

"Save me! Get me out of here," shouted a print journalist, who was sitting on one knee and had three people over her, until a bodyguard came to her rescue.

However, when this IANS correspondent managed to cut across the massive crowd, she reached right in front of Salman and asked: "What do you have to say?"

He said: "Nothing! I guess I'll go now."

Immediately after, he whispered into Sanjana's ear: "Let's go now. There's no point."

Salman's brother Sohail, who is an actor-cum-producer, told IANS: "This isn't how it should be. Please try and get people to control this."

According to a security guard at the venue, the organisers had planned to build an elevated post show conference stage to avoid such a situation. However, there were last minute changes.

"Agar stage hota yahaan toh aisa nahin hota (If there was a stage here, this stampede wouldn't have taken place)," he said on the condition of anonymity.

People were not only upset with the post show chaos, but Sanjana's clothes as well.

Designer Rahul Jain of label Sirali said: "If this is fashion, all of us must die. Even though Sanjana is a friend, I would say the clothes were horrible - they looked straight out of Chandni Chowk or something. We designers put in days of creativity and hard work into our designs and then there is this sort of a show - happening only for the money and the star power. This is just so unfair."

Sanjana is the sister of Indian-born fashion designer Anand Jon, who was convicted by a Los Angeles court last month of sexually assaulting several girls and young women. During his trial, Sanjana made frequent visits to India with her mother to appeal to the Indian government and design fraternity to fight for her brother, and gradually became a popular socialite here.

When her name came up among the showcasing designers at the current edition of WIFW, it caused a stir especially because no one was aware of her design talent. But she claims to have made her fashion debut at Cannes in 2004 and says she also participated in the 2005 New York Fashion Week.

For her collection which was showcased late Sunday night, Sanjana drew inspiration from the Indian family system. Hence, she brought on stage a melange of celebrity siblings such as Salman Khan-Sohail Khan, Sushmita Sen-Rajiv Sen, Riya Sen-Raima Sen, Amaan Ali Khan-Ayaan Ali Khan, Shibani Kashyap, boxing champ Vijender Singh et al to spread the "the strength of love amongst siblings and family in India".

The show was a tribute to her brother, who has been sentenced to 59 years in prison.

Pointing to all the male celebrities around her, she said: "What would I need more when I have so many brothers here with me?"


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