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Haute and happening

Meet the LIFW model and `Meri beri ke ber' girl Alesia Raut


ALESIA RAUT is the young speak-your-mind model who recently, along with Vidisha Pavate and other leading names, voiced concern over the increasing bias towards foreign models, for ramp shows, videos and item numbers, in the country. "Of late many models are coming over from New York, London and other European countries. There are agencies, which take care of getting modelling assignments for the international models who sign up with them. We don't have such agencies here and the result is that the overseas models don't know how much to charge and end up signing contracts for less and this is affecting the prospects of local models. World over Indian models are sought after for their dusky complexion, hair texture and eyes. I really wish Indian models could do equally well in fashion capitals abroad," says Alesia.

A half Russian and half Indian herself, "my father is an Indian and my mother is a Russian and I have grown up in Mumbai," says the commerce graduate from Mithi Bai College. Comparing the two cultures, "Vodka will always be there but Indian cuisine as also Indian films are popular in Russia today," she explains as she plans to go over for a visit the following year.

A globetrotter, Alesia's take on fashion comes from her work experience abroad, from walking the ramp for Neeta Lulla in Dubai and South Africa to signing up with an agency in Singapore. "My father was posted in Singapore so I signed up a contract for six months with an agency there. It was a worthwhile experience. People out there respect time and are thorough professionals," she recollects.

It did not come as a surprise that she was selected as a runner up for the pageant Metropolitan Model Hunt by the French agency that brought Claudia Schiffer and other super models into limelight, in New Delhi last year.

Alesia has also participated in the Lakme India Fashion Week for three consecutive years since 2001. "I could not participate this year since I was doing full-fledged movies, Chehra which is slated for June while Kaanch, incidentally shot in Hyderabad, will hit the screen in September. Then I am also doing Kacchi Sadak with Rahul Singh. He played Manoj Bajpai's brother in Zubeida. Kachi Sadak is also Madhoo's comeback film.

This apart I have been doing music videos including the Meri beri ke ber and an earlier Bhankas. I am a fan of Sridevi, Urmila Matondkar and Madhuri Dixit.

They are incredible dancers. So when I got to do my first video Bhankas from Sridevi's Tohfa, I was elated. But I think Helen is `the' dance goddess, especially when you look back at her performance," she says. Alesia also runs a school - "I teach dance, filmy and western, to tiny tots." Plans ahead include, "becoming a fitness instructor. I plan to open an aerobic studio and take up a course in nutrition as well.

For the moment it's going to be modelling," she says. Shuttling between Mumbai and Hyderabad, Alesia compares the two cities, "Mumbai is a commercial hub and offers plenty of work opportunities. Hyderabad is laidback and an ideal place to come for a relaxing break. The tall Buddha standing in the middle of the lake is a magnificent sight. Plus we do get to miss the greenery that you find in the twin cities and in Bangalore, " she explains as she looks forward to her next visit here.

SYEDA FARIDA

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