Miss India finalists 2010 make their debut
The finalists who will be competing in the Pantaloons Femina Miss India 2010 pageant were revealed on March 23 at a plush suburban Mumbai hotel. Also unveiled on the same occasion was the jewelled crown that this year's winner will take home -- here's a look at how it all went down.
Seen here are all 18 entrants who made it to the finals from amongst 80 girls. Actresses Neha Dhupia and Tanushree Datta, who held the titles of Femina Miss India Universe 2002 and Femina Miss India Universe 2004 respectively, shortlisted these lovely ladies along with fashion and contestant director Marc Robinson.
Photographs: Akhtar Shaikh
All the ladies strutted their stuff on the ramp in a showing choreographed by Robinson and supervised by model Alesia Raut, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. In the coming 40 days leading upto the pageant, the girls will receive extensive training and grooming from a panel of health, wellness and beauty experts.
Image: Finalist Nicole Faria poses on the runway
Touches of bling
Jewellery giant Gitanjali came together with the World Gold Council to create a special line of jewellery for the event, in addition to creating the three winning crowns. Called 'Collection G', the collection consists of young, chic 18 carat gold pieces that are targetting young women.
Image: Contestant Gurpreet Bedi faces the cameras in a funky gold neckpiece
Designer Swapnil Shinde created a special collection of evening gowns for the occasion. Called 'Spectrum', it consisted of 18 one-of-a-kind chiffon cocktail numbers in free-flowing silhouettes spanning hues like olive, tangerine, saffron and blue.
Image: Entrant Alisha Pekha struts her stuff in flirty fuschia
Each of the finalists shone in her own particular way -- some took the sensual, sultry route, with dare-to-bare necklines and sexy pouts, while others sported more of a girl-next-door look, appearing bubbly and effusive.
Image: Pearl Verma is all smiles as she faces the flashbulbs
But despite their individualistic appeal, all the Miss India hopefuls have one thing in common -- their incredible poise. While their grooming and rigorous training regime is yet to start, they already look very at home on the catwalk. In fact, it's easy to forget that some of these girls are as young as 18.
Image: Anshu Malik models a pretty aqua blue gown
'An electric mix of beauty and brains'
Says Marc Robinson, "The 18 finalists...are an electric mix of beauty and brains. The next 40 days of training promise to be intense, but full of fun. It will be a lifetime experience for all of them."
Image: Robinson steps out to acknowledge the applause at the end of the fashion show
Pantaloons Femina Miss India World 2008 Parvathy Omanakuttan was in attendance, lending the contestants moral support and giving them advice. Omanakuttan went on to win the position of first runner-up when she represented India at the Miss World pageant two years ago.
Image: Omanakuttan fields questions from the press
Show of support
Also in attendance was Pantaloons Femina Miss India World 2009 Pooja Chopra, who had her own words to share with the beauty queen hopefuls.
Image: Pooja Chopra takes questions from the media
And finally, here is a glimpse of the spanking new crown, which will go to the winner. in an unprecendented move, it has been created by students from the National Institute of Design (NID) and was inspired by 'contemporary royalty'. If you want to know which lucky lady will be taking it home, you'll just have to tune into the final round of the pageant, which takes place April 30!
Image: The winner's crown is unveiled at the event