The who’s who of the world’s global fashion industry gathered in Mumbai this week for the spectacular opening event of the country’s newest cultural landmark. The Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre which promises to honour fashion culture and arts within India and further afield opened with an impressive three-day event.
The gathering attracted the likes of global stars Zendaya and Tom Holland, Gigi Hadid, Penélope Cruz, Deepika Padukone, Salman Khan, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Christian Louboutin, Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas and many more.
This first-of-its-kind venue in India which celebrates India’s rich cultural heritage in all its glory and aims to make art from across the globe accessible to all was marked by three expertly-curated shows and exhibits in the space of performance, costume and visual arts.
“My heart is full…Mukesh [her husband, renowned businessman Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani] and I had dreamt about having a cultural centre in India comparable to the best in the world. I’m looking forward to welcoming everyone to the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre in Mumbai,” Mrs Nita Mukesh Ambani said at the launch.
Isha Mukesh Ambani added, “My mother [Nita Mukesh Ambani] and I believe that art has the power to transform and engage with a community. Art spaces are a unifier – where cultures meet and converge. The Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre is an extension of this vision.”
Day one saw the inauguration of The Grand Theatre, the star attraction of the Centre. The sprawling 2000-seater venue was launched with an immersive theatrical experience, ‘The Great Indian Musical: Civilization to Nation’. This exclusive production written and directed by Feroz Abbas Khan, brought together a line-up of exceptional Indian talent along with a Tony and Emmy Award-winning lineup.
Day two was dedicated to the launch of ‘India in Fashion: The Impact of Indian Dress and Textile on the Fashionable Imagination’. The exhibition was curated by fashion industry icon Hamish Bowles and spotlights how India has influenced fashion and style from the 18th century to the present day. The showcase features over 140 costumes including both India-inspired works of international designers as well as specially-commissioned garments created by Indian designers. On display were also pieces sourced from some of the world’s biggest museums and unseen personal collections from across the globe.
On the final day of the grand opening, the Art House, a four-storey building celebrating visual arts, was inaugurated by Shrimati Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani. The debut exhibition, Sangam/Confluence, co-curated by Ranjit Hoskote and Jeffrey Deitch, explored the theme of union that’s deeply embedded in Indian culture through the works of 10 Indian and international artists.
On the same day, Nita Mukesh Ambani launched India in Fashion: The Impact of Indian Dress and Textiles on the Fashionable Imagination, a new book edited by Hamish Bowles and published by Rizzoli.