House Of Blouse is a one stop shop built for women to create their dream blouse. The quest to find the perfect saree or lehenga blouse is over Maharani’s with hundreds of custom designs, styles and materials to choose from.

To find out more, we caught up with the geniuses behind it, Rachana and Roopa Reddy.

Numaish Cover Photo | The Maharani Diaries

Manisha Kumar is the woman behind quite possibly the most acclaimed fashion and lifestyle exhibitions in the U.A.E. She is instrumental in bringing high end designers as well as artists to showcase their work through the popular fashion and art exhibitions.

Established in 2012 Numaish exhibitions brings western and ethnic designer wear, accessories and jewellery fresh off the runways, this shopping extravaganza is a one-stop fashion destination that fulfils every bride’s shopping needs.

Numaish | The Maharani Diaries

Now in it’s fourth year running and on the back of another successful summer edition presentation, the Numaish shows are living up to the hype and building an excellent reputation with both organisers and exhibitors.

We caught up with the lovely Manisha to learn more about Numaish and find out what’s next for these hugely popular shows.

Tell us about yourself? What inspired you and how did you develop it?

Manisha Kumar | The Maharani DiariesI have been passionate about fashion since a very young age and had always dreamt of being a part of the industry one day. I started in the banking sector and then did a complete 360 to move into marketing and events management. Numaish began in 2012 with the intention of bringing eminent and emerging South-Asian designers to Dubai showcasing their seasonal collections in fashion.

We want people to have access to this designer fashion and so far the response has been fantastic. Shoppers get an opportunity to meet and receive personalized styling tips from designers from India, Pakistan, London and also UAE.

Could you give us a little insight into the Numaish Talent Hunt?

Our path-breaking initiative gives emerging designers a platform to showcase their creations alongside well-established designers, providing them a jump start in their fashion careers.

We give them free space, provide the marketing and PR for them as well and it’s kind of like a launch pad for them to get an idea about how the customers in the region will react to their products. This is an amazing initiative that has proved to be very successful.

Your first international edition took place last year in Singapore. Tell us a little about it and why did you choose Singapore?

Singapore is similar to Dubai in many ways in terms of demographic, weather and lifestyle. There are exhibitions that do take place in Singapore, however this event was something different for the shoppers.

Numaish | The Maharani Diaries

Numaish | The Maharani Diaries

Numaish | The Maharani Diaries

We had a good mix of designers to fulfil the South Asian expat’s needs for Diwali and Eid. Over the years Numaish has been renowned for its association with ‘revivalist’ designers who are preserving the craft of traditional textiles and making a significant economic impact to the weavers in the villages of India. We presented these designers in Singapore with their latest collections designed by traditional art forms.

Numaish | The Maharani Diaries

Numaish | The Maharani Diaries

It was an honour and a privilege to present the fist international edition.

The feedback was overwhelming and we want to strive to take the brand globally with a diverse range of new and seasoned designers.

How many designers have you worked with so far?

We are proud to say we have provided a platform to over 600 designers to establish their brands in the UAE Market.

Our designers have included the likes of Gaurang Shah, Ritu Kumar, Anushree Reddy, Masaba Gupta and Anavila.

 

We particularly like to showcase work from women entrepreneurs. Numaish provides an opportunity to talented women designers with limited resources to showcase their designs in an international market and give them access into the global fashion industry.

Why are such events important?

Numaish is a one-stop fashion destination aiming to fulfilling shopping needs. Shoppers not only have the opportunity to meet their fashion idols, but they will also receive personalized style tips from fashion week designers.

There are often many misconceptions about these shows. Many people often have reservations about it not being affordable. Mrinalini Chandra for Numaish | The Maharani DiariesWhat are your thoughts on this?

We strive to work with designers who are give us affordable designer wear. So, it’s not going to pinch your pocket. Their designs will be reasonably affordable as well as wearable.

What has been your greatest achievement to this date?

I love hearing stories of people who have purchased their outfits from a Numaish event. I feel a sense of accomplishment and it’s a great feeling to know that they had a great experience at my show. Shoppers’ perceptions have changed. No longer do they have to travel all the way to India. Numaish is a one-stop shop and the exhibitions take place during the festive season, that being Diwali and Eid. So it’s the perfect time to shop.

Apart from the fashion shows what else do Numaish organize?

I also host an art fair once a year where I get artists from India and the rest of the world to showcase their work. It’s like a global art fair.

Who is/are your favourite fashion designers?

I have a long list of them actually. Too difficult to narrow down. I like to work with designers who value tradition and are reviving age-old textiles, such as Gaurang Shah. Ritu Kumar of course is another favourite of mine. I’ve worked with her on many occasions. She’s a very classic designer and I love her designs.

What’s next for Numaish?

We want to go international and develop an online portal to give shoppers who are further away the access to the brands I love to work with.

CEO, Manisha Kumar with a happy customer.

Manisha with happy customers

Thank you so much for taking the time out to chat with us Manisha. All the very best with Numaish and we wish you all the very best for future shows.

Have you attended a Numaish show before? Let us know all about it in the comments below.

For further information about Numaish, follow the links over in our vendor directory and stay tuned to our events page as well.

Talented artist, Aparna Ram from Cuckoo For Colour creates beautiful fashion illustrations that has captured the attention of renowned Indian designers.

We caught up with the watercolour artist to discuss fashion, her inspiration and how her illustrations became “Insta – famous.”

Much like the business name, Aan’s diaspora appeals to the global woman; strong and powerful, yet graceful and feminine. She is a woman who values art and elegance and would never compromise on finesse.

We recently had an opportunity to catch up with director of Aan By Arti, Ms Arti Badhwar, to discuss her journey into the world of Indian fashion design.

Sal Singh Photography | The Maharani Diaries

It gives us great pleasure to introduce to you, The Maharani Diaries first Indian wedding photography vendor, Miss Sally Singh.

Based in tropical Brisbane, Australia, Sally has an incredible eye for detail and captures beautiful, special and heartfelt moments, creating memories for couples to treasure over a lifetime.

Her natural and timeless photography style is a big hit with Indian couples all over Australia and she has expressed a desire to cover weddings internationally.

Sal Singh Photography | The Maharani Diaries

Welcome to The Maharani Diaries vendor directory, Sal. Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Thank you very much.

I am a Punjabi girl who was born and raised in a small country town by the name of Murwillumbah in northern NSW.

After having completed high school, I moved to Brisbane to pursue my dream of studying photography. At the time, I realised that there was certainly a gap in the market for professional female wedding photographers in Australia. I was always passionate about arts and creating and figured that I would give it a shot.

It wasn’t until I started studying about different wedding photography styles that I really began taking my passion for photography more seriously. In my final year of college, I created my Facebook page and started uploading some of my assignment portfolios. It was through word of mouth that my photography work started attracting interest and attention from couples.

When I received my first phone call from a client asking me to photograph their engagement session, I remember being lost for words and feeling so overwhelmed. They mentioned to me that they were after a photographer who had a unique and different style to other wedding photographers. After capturing the engagement I then went on to photograph the couple’s wedding and many other Indian weddings after that.

3 years on and I haven’t looked back. I am now photographing weddings, portrait and events from different cultures all around Australia and I am happy to say that I am running a successful business.

Sal Singh Photography | The Maharani Diaries

That’s a fantastic story. So, how would you describe your wedding photography style?

I like to think that my photography is warm, modern and journalistic. I enjoy making my clients happy and I feel that reflects in my photographs.

Sal Singh Photography | The Maharani Diaries

Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration stems from everyday life. I always take in my surroundings whether I’m walking down the street and I see a beautiful billboard advertisement or stumble across a glossy print publication. I believe that it’s all around you. Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook are also brilliant sources of inspiration for me.

Sal Singh Photography | The Maharani Diaries

What are the ideal weather conditions for wedding photography?

Overcast weather conditions are perfect for a wedding or any portrait session for that matter. You might notice when you see my photographs, I love to capture dramatic and overcast skylines. The only way I can create this effect is with an overcast day. 

PhotosForPoonam_26Sal Singh Photography | The Maharani DiariesSal Singh Photography | The Maharani Diaries

What are your favourite wedding moments to capture? 

I love to capture the bride’s first steps and looks prior to the ceremony and that moment when all the attention is purely on her. Reception dancing is a fun moment as well. A chance to see everyone let loose their crazy dance moves. Last but not least, the heartfelt moments between the bride and her parents. Timeless and precious moments.

What sort of services do you provide?

I offer a range of special wedding, portrait and event photography packages. I am primarily based in Brisbane, but I am more than happy to travel around interstate, Australia and the world.

I hold one-on-one free client consultations giving couples or individuals the perfect opportunity to ask any questions and to gain a personal insight into my work and photography style.

Do you have any tips or suggestions for couples looking for their perfect wedding photographer?

– Find out your photographer’s style.

– Ensure the photographer is a professional who has a portfolio or his/her own shots and who isn’t an amateur with just a simple DSLR camera.

– Your wedding day is the most important day of your life. Do not be afraid to spend the money. Wedding photos will remain with you for the rest of your life and are the only memories you will cherish from your special day.

– Make friends with your photographer. Get to know them. The photographer becomes part of the family on your wedding day.

– Create a checklist of what you would like your photographer to capture on the day.

Sal Singh Photography | The Maharani Diaries

Sal Singh Photography | The Maharani Diaries

Sal Singh Photography | The Maharani Diaries

Sal Singh Photography | The Maharani Diaries

10676124_773685596057322_5494077913087174498_n

Is there any advice you’d give every bride and groom prior to their wedding day?

– Indian weddings don’t always run to schedule or plans, so be organized and have backup plans for everything.

– Give everyone in the family a running schedule of events on the day, so everyone is on the same page.

– Create a family portrait session checklist. Provide this list to one member of the family and get them to shout out the names. This keeps the photograph order flowing and no one misses out.

– Try to relax on your wedding day. Have fun and don’t stress about the little things. What’s done is done.

– Organise endless meeting with your vendors to ensure all is sorted prior to the big day.

– Appoint a personal assistant for the day. Whether it’s your wedding planner, friend, bridesmaid or brother. Give them your phone so that they can answer any calls, vendor contact details, your make up/tissues/bobby pins etc. This person will be your ‘go to person’ on the day.

Sal Singh Photography | The Maharani Diaries

Do you have a favourite image you’ve taken recently?

One of my absolute favourite images would have to be a portrait session I held with Harj and Eshar at Harj’s farm in Woolgoolga, NSW. This image was captured 5 minutes before a big downpour and you can see the dramatic clouds.

Sal Singh Photography | The Maharani Diaries

What are you looking forward to most in the lead up to wedding season?

I am definitely looking forward to capturing many more special memories for my clients and of course meeting new people.

Finally, what’s next for Sal Singh Photography?

I am not sure what the future holds at the moment. I’m currently living in the moment and loving what I do.

I do have the desire to move to another city to broaden my services, capturing the wider market. I do also wish to photograph international weddings one day.

Sal, thank you so much for giving us an insight into your brilliant work. Here’s wishing you all the success for the future.

If you would like to get in touch with Sally, visit our vendor page for further information.

 

Leena Mistry of bespoke wedding stationery business, Ratanji Rani, is a woman of many talents. An accountant by profession, Leena always had a creative side to her. She has been hand crafting rakhi’s (threads) for Raksha Bandhan (Hindu festival celebrating the bond between brothers and sisters) as well as creating custom invitations and wedding stationery for many years. She is now based in the beautiful beachside suburbs of Sydney, Australia and continuing her passion for creating gorgeous stationery. We caught up with the face behind, Ratanji Rani to discuss all things wedding stationery.

You could say for us Aussie-Indian brides, we are fairly limited with choice when it comes to high-fashion Indian couture. We either have to turn to online shopping book a flight to India. I suppose you really have to turn to social media sometimes to discover what hidden talents are out there. I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across young designer, Kiran Lally’s Instagram account a few years back. The first thought that sprung into my mind was, “wow, an Indian fashion designer in Australia!”

The mehndi or “henna” party is one of the most important functions for a bride in the lead up to her wedding day. But until only very recently, finding an artist in Australia was a challenge. I caught up with one young and immensely talented artist by the name of Alisa Parveen, who gave me an insight into her amazing work as well as share some common myths and misconceptions about henna.