Actress and social activist Lisa Ray took to the runway at the Angel Orensanz Foundation in New York on Sunday, October 27th, in support of the exclusive Sari line she co-created with Indian design house Satya Paul. The Splendid Indian Closet event is a three-city fashion tour showcasing Indian couture, luxury fashion, and prêt lines by some of the biggest and brightest designers in the industry. Ray wore an exquisite silver and gold lehenga on beige sheer as the show stopper. The concept of 'East meets West' inherent in the 'Ray of Hope' line, was rendered by 'Kundanwork' used in a contemporary manner. Special guests who also walked the runway included Bollywood actress and host of India’s “What Not to Wear,” Soha Ali Khan, for Joy Mitra’s “Chokher Bali” collection. Recently-crowned Miss New Jersey USA, Emily Shah, also walked to support the cause.
Ray’s early success as a top model and celebrity in India evolved into an acclaimed acting career, which includes the starring role in Academy Award nominated film Water. She is currently the host of Top Chef Canada, and is on a National tour of Canada with Indian star, Kabir Bedi for the stage production ‘Taj’ written by award-winning Canadian playwright John Murrell. Ray is completing her autobiography, which is expected to be published in 2014.
In 2009, Ray was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, cancer of the plasma cells. Following treatment, including a stem cell transplant, Ray met financial executive Jason Dehni. In 2012, the couple married, and on her wedding day, Ray wore a custom-made Satya Paul georgette sari highlighted with traditional gota-patti work. With the aim of sharing her experience of being a Satya Paul bride, Ray has partnered with the brand to design an exclusive range of saris. Through the ‘Ray of Hope’ collection, Ray illustrates her experiences with life, love, and cancer on nine yards of fabric. The fabrics can be draped as a sari, or framed as artwork; Ray calls the pieces, ‘wearable art’.
“Living with Multiple Myeloma, I have learned that the progress of the human spirit doesn’t stop with obstacles and challenging circumstances. I want to share my message of victory and love with others,” says Ray. “I am partnering with Satya Paul to present a line of saris that capture the intimate and celebratory emotions of my wedding. The collection is themed around universal qualities that helped me rise above, like Phoenix Rising, Hope and Faith,” said Ray."Getting diagnosed with multiple myeloma has been a catalyst for change in my life. It is still considered incurable and ultimately fatal. While I'm living with cancer I've also learned how to live more fully."
A portion of the sales from the ‘Ray of Hope’ collection in Canada benefit the Molly and David Bloom Chair in Multiple Myeloma Research at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. The Bloom Chair supports Multiple Myeloma research and the development of life-extending treatments for this treatable, yet incurable cancer.