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Original Indian Supermodels

The previous post with a suspected 'Persis Khambatta sighting' got me chasing names like Yasmin Daji(turns out it may have been her and not Persis!), Reita Faria, Meher Mistry, Nayyara Mirza, Anjuman Mumtaz Beg, even Colleen Bhiladvala...till I gave up and settled for something rare.

Persis Khambatta. Miss India 1965.
Meher Mistry. Miss India 1964
Meher Mistry, 25, (left), Fowzia Kardar, 24, and Persis Khambatta, 21, (below).
Persis looks like she is accompanying her elder sister on a vacation.
The photographs were taken during their Australia visit in 1968 (or 1970?).  These and a couple of more photographs of this trip can be found in the digital archives of State Library of Victoria [Search Link, Copyright held by The Herald & Weekly Times Limited]

The photographs may be rare, but names are famous except for Fowzia Kardar. That got me interested.


Notice the heading: 'See-through mini from Sari-land'
Fowzia Kadar at a show in Singapore.
The Straits Times, 19th March 1970
found at National library Singapore
Meher Mistry and Persis Khambatta was also there.
(Guess the photographs are from 1970)

Fowzia Kardar's father was famous director-producer A.R. Kardar who at first made silent movies in Lahore and in later years became renowned for making remakes of Hollywood films at Bombay.

A. R Kadar auditioning an unknown girl in his studio.
Photograph by James Burke for Life magazine,1951 [previously]


  1. Hi Vinayak,

    Been reading (although 'watching' would be more apt given that yours is a visual blog!) this blog for some time now and just wanted to congratulate you for the fantastic job you're doing. I love almost all your stuff, the Sharmila Tagore bikini shoot being a personal favourite. How do you do it though? Is your (amazing) collection a completely personal effort or do you have access to some institutional archives or is it something else altogether?

    Here's a nice site for visual pop art as well:

    The Times Of Bullshit

  2. Hi Hades, is a personal favorite. They take visual arts to entirely different level.

    I don't have any special access to any institutional archives. Mostly I rely on the online digital archives (the lack of which in India is really frustrating) of various foreign institutions, then there is the stuff from my own collection - stuff bought from ebay, old magazines stolen (rescued is the word I use) from friends and relatives, then there is stuff already available on the net lying in some nasty or obscure corner of the web(I just do a brush-clean-post job on those) and then there is stuff sent by some really generous online friends from their personal collection.

    So now you know :)


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