The Asian Woman Awards for Excellence 2007


The Asian Woman Awards for Excellence 07 in association with the Bank of Ireland 

The grandeur of the Banqueting House designed for James I in Whitehall was the setting for the glittering ‘Awards' event which began with a drinks & canapés Reception for mingling VIP's and guests representing the great and good from blue chip corporate to the Arts, Entertainment and all sections of society.

A glamorous function with ladies looking lovely in designer wear and bright bling and men stylish in their dinner jackets, black ties or even black dots!  As the gold and silver ticket holders sipped exotic concoctions, the volume of chatter grew louder in the ‘Undercroft' drink den where we (Gina & I, covering the Awards) met and photographed several guests prior to the main event. 

Some of the charming guests we met (amongst them acquaintances) included:  Hazel Blears Sec. of State for Communities & Local Government and Mr. Blears, Aozina & Ushrat Sultana, Meera Syal & her daughter, Ameet & Shikha Chana, Nitin & Meera Ganatra, Laila Rouass, Steve Isles of AIM International Ltd, Sunny Hundal Editor Asians in Media, Julie & Paul Jackenelli, Alison & Jim Pindell, Chief Inspector Parm Sandhu of Croydon Met. Office & her son, Commander Rod Jarman Metropolitan Police Headquarters, Preea Hayre Head of PR & Marketing Avakian, Dr Kartar Singh Lalvani CEO Vitabiotics, Pragna Padel of Southall Black Sisters, Jenny Abdullah designer for Seduze fashions,  Sheetal Mehta and Pablo Sat-Bhambra Co-founder of Bollywood Nights.

Hostesses pretty in pink n silver saris flitted around while the exuberant MC Andrew Bignold in scarlet attire made an appearance and projecting his voice bellowed "Jaldi!  Jaldi! " He ushered amused guests into the dazzling dining room the Main Hall with its glorious ceiling paintings by Paul Rubens. 

At this point we writers, photographers & media were ushered out crudely by the boss man and relegated, isolated to the ‘Balcony' area close to the painted ceilings from which point we were expected to follow proceedings way below and take photos of the Fashion show!  Though we had a bird's eye view, that was no angle and far too far away to take photos of models etc on the Catwalk below so, Gina had to go down when the Show began to join other professional photographers to take some photos of the clothes collection. 

The Awards event was hosted by Adil Ray BBC Asian Network Presenter and Simone Bienne Travel writer.  But, the charming and elegant Brianna Ragel Editor of Asian Woman introduced the programme and spoke of the Magazine's global circulation and popularity - well, we love the Magazine and think it was unique at its inception.  Brianna incidentally, being the professional she is, took the trouble earlier when we arrived to take Gina and myself six flights up to the Balcony to show us where we would be stationed for the evening and where we could have expected Romeo to clamber up in search of Juliet!

The evening progressed after the glitzy Catwalk collections when Saira Khan TV personality delivered a talk relating to Save the Children Charity working globally in 50 countries preventing child cruelty, slavery and rescuing vulnerable children from poverty, malnutrition and working "flat out" for the rights and needs of deprived children.  An auction and raffle was held in support of this noble Charity.

The Awards ceremony listing eight categories followed with nominations and results of four winners after which there was a break for guests to continue to sip and sup and be entertained by the quick-witted comic Shazia Mirza with quips like "you look like you've never seen an Asian Comedienne before...Does anyone speak English here...Just eat and I'll carry on!"

Resumption of the Awards ceremony confirmed the remaining four winners followed by guests being treated to further entertainment by the vivacious and delightful Preeya Kalidas who broke into song and dance with Shukalaka Baby which more or less concluded the very successful evening leading guests onto the night's After party and more merry-making with the exuberant dhol players.

Oh, and many thanks to Sidar?  Manager of Sanjay Foods who kindly sent up a trolley with a generous large tray of delicious Indian cuisine for us which we shared and enjoyed with the remaining others up in the Balcony...

Article by Amita Chatterji © Photos by Gina Chrysanthou


Aozina & Ushrat Sultana (latter Awards winner of Young Achiever of the Year) with Gina

Please click to view photos of Awards winners, VIPs, guests and fashion show in our Gallery

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