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Aashni + Co Bridal Show

Meet the Designers: Gaurav Gupta, Varun Bahl and Sunita Shekhawat

Brides to be, don’t miss out on your chance to shop the latest Spring/Summer bridal collections from leading Indian designers this week!

Aashni + Co, the UK’s leading, Indian high fashion multi-brand store will be hosting a Spring/Summer 17 bridal and luxury prêt trunk show on Friday 9th June between 11am – 6pm.

Visitors to the store will have an exclusive opportunity to meet Gaurav Gupta, Varun Bahl and Sunita Shekhawat.

As a UK exclusive, fashionista’s will have the chance to discover and browse the avant-garde and fashion forward designs by Gaurav Gupta; the delicate and feminine styles with an edge by Varun Bahl; and exquisite, heirloom-worthy jewels by Sunita Shekhawat. Shoppers will also get an insight into their heirloom and existing jewellery pieces at the show from an expert and are invited to bring their pieces along.

The collections will comprise of winning bridal ensembles and trousseau staples as well as pieces for the entire wedding squad, presented by the fashion luminaries themselves.

The Spring Summer 17 Bridal & Luxury Prêt Trunk Show

Friday 9th June, 11am – 6pm

Aashni + Co, 47 Ledbury Road, London W11 2AA

Sonam Kapoor Divalicious London

After hugely successful outings in destinations such as UAE, India, Kenya, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Hong Kong and Indonesia, it was time for London to play host to luxury boutique pop-up exhibition, ‘DIVAlicious’ at The May Fair Hotel.

Sonam Kapoor Divalicious London

Sonam Kapoor at DIVAlicious

DIVAlicious are a unique mobile fashion concept brand launched in Dubai in 2011 to popularise Indian fashion and design globally.

Presented by Dubai based multi-brand retail store The Rack – by Kachins, DIVAlicious partnered with communication consultancy, Sterling Media and Sterling Reality to bring their celebrated exhibition to London shoppers.

Bollywood actress and fashion icon, Sonam Kapoor graced the luxury-shopping event, as did renowned designer, Anita Dongre.

Anita Dongre has been at the forefront of fashion for over 20 years, having created one of the most successful fashion houses in India. A metaphor for supreme craftsmanship, her designs showcase Indian aesthetics in a contemporary language. Dongre’s Rajasthani inspired, handcrafted bridal gotapatti lehengas and handwoven heritage benarasi creations are coveted by brides across the world as well as amongst personalities and public figures.

Divalicious London Anita Dongre

DIVAlicious London marked Anita Dongre’s inaugural London showcase.

Speaking of her participation, she said,

London is an exciting city with an eclectic mix of art, architecture, fashion and business. DIVAlicious was a wonderful event to bring designers, buyers and clients on one platform. I enjoyed being back in London to showcase this season’s bridal couture. – Anita Dongre

Her commitment to revive, sustain and empower the Indian crafts and textiles is evident in her sustainable label, Grassroot.

Alchemy Anita Dongre London

We had an opportunity to ask the designer a few questions about her craft traditions, in addition to her celebrated bridal collections.

You’ve been so instrumental in reviving age-old crafts and eco fashion, how do you make it so appealing for today’s generation?

Today’s generation truly appreciates the gifts of heritage. They understand that handcrafted work translates into luxury. And in India, we have great resource of vintage crafts. As a designer, I bring these beautiful crafts from the interiors of India to the runways by moulding it into modern styles and silhouettes.

Tell us a little about the story and inspiration behind your beautiful new collection?

‘Alchemy’ celebrates the surreal and the whimsical—it combines the deserts of our muse state, Rajasthan, with verdure to present a fantastical land that glistens with the golds of the sand with a mix of a lush forest. The colour palette is reminiscent of the miscellany of the flowers, trees, dense jungles, water bodies, wildlife and the large expanse of the deserts of Rajasthan.

Your bridal collections are timeless, how would you describe the Anita Dongre bride?

All women inspire me. Women everywhere are beautifully multitasking responsibilities – at work, in the home and on a global platform with one achievement at a time. While they grow to be more and more independent, they also remain true to their roots.   

What are the top trends for brides or grooms to try this wedding season?

Brides can go bold with gold this season! Sheer layers look light and beautiful for a summer wedding. I suggest soft pastels with exquisite handcrafted gota patti in fluid silhouettes for brides who like to be comfortable yet look gorgeous.

Grooms look best in the classic sherwani. I suggest a sage green sherwani with minimal embroidery paired with handcrafted footwear for the summer. 

Divalicious London Fashion Show

Divalicious London Fashion Show

Anita Dongre - Divalicious show

UK shoppers had a chance to view, experience and purchase creations by over 20 established and emerging Indian designers along with accessory brands from Dubai, India and Hong Kong, all inspired by the East and toned for the West. The finest Indian designer apparel was brought to the event courtesy of The Rack – by Kachins, a luxurious multi-designer retail hub part of Kachins Group, the iconic Dubai-based suit makers. Designer collections showcased at the event included Anamika Khanna, Gaurav Gupta, Pankaj & Nidhi, Payal Singhal and Tarun Tahiliani

Private banker turned fulltime fashion entrepreneur Vanitaa Bhatia launched DIVAlicious in Dubai in 2011She spoke of the success of the London event.

We had a resounding weekend in London with a great turn out. With the reception we received, I can immediately claim that we will be back again next year and hope to make it an annual spring affair for the fashion-conscious market that is London. Our next step is Nairobi, Kenya! – Vanitaa Bhatia

DIVAlicious London’s partner is the globally renowned, multi-award-winning business and communications consultancy Sterling Media. Established in 1995, the company has a specialist luxury-lifestyle division, providing strategic consultancy to a range of clients.

CEO of Sterling Group, Natasha Mudhar said:

We have had an incredible response to the event, highlighting the love of Indian fashion, design and creativity internationally. As 2017 celebrates 70 years of India and UK’s cultural partnership, we were delighted to welcome the epitome of international fashion, culture and film Sonam Kapoor to the UK. – Natasha Mudhar

Speaking about their association with DIVAlicious London, Neetu Ramchandani of The Rack – by Kachins said:

The Rack – by Kachins was launched to fill a void in the U.A.E fashion retail landscape given the non-availability of Indian designer brands in the region. Both DIVAlicous’ and our vision is in complete sync presenting a natural synergy as we strive to fulfill the demand for South Asian fashion across international shores. We were delighted to have the opportunity to bring to London a preview of our A List designer collections and to showcasing our brand to the UK shopper at DIVAlicious London, without having the need for them to travel to us in the U.A.E. – Neetu Ramchandani

Finally, UAE’s leading property developer, Danube Properties and is the market leader in affordable housing. Speaking about their association with DIVAlicious London, Rizwan Sajan, Founder and Chairman of Danube Group, said,

“We were pleased to be part of DIVAlicious in London this year, and for giving visitors a peek of our project portfolio. Since our inception in the property market, we have garnered immense interest from international markets such as London and through the DIVAlicious London exhibition were able to make our offerings known to a wider majority.” – Rizwan Sajan

Hope we don’t have to wait too long until another DIVAlicious show!

*Images courtesy of Elevate Promotions and Asian Express Newspaper.

Did you attend the London show or any other DIVAlicious show? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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January saw the return of the Aashni + Co. Wedding Show. Once again, The Dorchester played host to India and Pakistan’s fashion royalty. Amongst the designers exhibiting at this breathtaking exhibition were Anushree Reddy, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Tarun Tahiliani, Rimple and Harpreet Narula, Akanksha Gajria, Elan, JADE By Monica & Karishma and Gaurang Shah.

Now in its third year running, the Aashni + Co. Wedding Show has become the go-to wedding show for brides searching for their ideal outfits. Boasting of an elegant showcase featuring the latest designs, the show enables attendees to truly experience the form, fit and detail of each garment, whilst also receiving first hand attention from the designers themselves.

Zita Elze - A+Co. Wedding Show | The Maharani Diaries

Upon entering the ballroom we were greeted to a forest of dreams created by award winning floral artist, Zita Elze. Scattered amongst the enchanted fruit laden forest were exquisitely crafted designs from participating designers. Founder and director of the show, Aashni Anshul Doshi stated that “Zita is an integral part of the show and my extension.”

“I tend to work from the soul with my concepts, for Aashni especially, and for other major commissions. This idea was very site specific, in direct response to the beautiful Gold room at The Dorchester and with a view to showcasing the statement designer pieces that were going to be featured. I wanted to create a blend of French orchard and Garden of Eden with lots of fresh fruit and botanical touches, sculptural trees and natural materials against a darker background of bark, which was used for the floor. This was more about the atmosphere and mood and less about flowers than in previous designs for the wedding show, a magical pause before entering the main event, somewhere for people to be transported into an imaginary world. It was lovely to see how the visitors, designers and models responded to the space, creating their own stories. – Zita Elze

The relaxed atmosphere in the ballroom offered an exciting shopping experience for visitors. Aashni spoke highly of the response from happy customers. “It has been a spectacular show, surpassing even last year’s, and I thank our incredible designers. We had a great response from attendees who had the chance to see a bridal outfit to make their special day even more memorable.”

We were fortunate again this year to spend some time chatting with every bride’s dream designer, Sabyasachi Mukherjee. Fresh off the back of his recent successful couture line titled ‘Firdaus,’ the designer was all praise for the show. Sabyasachi said that brides of today should “keep a cultural identity, wear colour as it’s part of India’s heritage and invest in good textiles.”

The designer told the press,

Aashni is a great friend and her show is very well put together and organised. It feels like coming home. There is absolutely no stress and things are seamlessly planned. A lot of people in London were excited to see my latest debut collection with Christian Louboutin for shoes and handbags. I also showcased my very celebrated ‘Firdaus collection’ that has done well all over the world. I am very happy to bring this to London.” – Sabyasachi

As you can tell from the photographs, the Louboutin’s didn’t fail to impress!

Rimple Narula, one half of the designer duo and self-titled couture line, Rimple and Harpreet Narula was there riding high on the success of designing for Bollywood director Sanjay Leela Bansali’s next magnum opus, ‘Padmavati’ talked about how there isn’t much of a difference now between the international bride and the quintessential Indian bride from India. “The gap has been bridged by social media, but perhaps the only difference is the weather.” She later went on to say that “This is our third time at the show and I think London has become pretty much the second largest market, when it compares to India, looking how fashion savvy Asians are and their overwhelming response which has been really good.”

We had an opportunity to ask Rimple about the must have elements a bride should have in her trousseau.

“A bride must have anything which is timeless and classic. Feel the fabric and embroidery, see the designs and purchase something which is going to remain in your wardrobe for years to come. The hand zardosi work which we do has been around for years. These kinds of pieces are a luxury in today’s time and it will stay with you forever.” – Rimple Narula

Inimitable designer and pioneer of haute couture in India, Tarun Tahiliani talked to B4U Entertainment a little about his design sensibilities.

“Fashion has to be a fusion of who you are today and what you wear as a bride or to an event.” – Tarun Tahiliani

He also touched on the collection he bought with him to London which comprised of light and structured drapes and mixed brocades. “The collection is toned down. It’s subtle, romantic and contemporary with a very international couture fit.” 

Famous for pieces that combine the finest fabrics with exquisite craftsmanship and designs for a range of international stars, including Beyoncé in Coldplay’s “Hymn For The Weekend” music video, designer Abu Jani of the renowned designers Abu-Sandeep said, “it has been great to come to the 2017 Aashni and Co. Wedding Show and to introduce our latest brand ‘ASAL’ to the UK audience. We were enthused by the interest attendees had in our designs, which is a testament to the strong interest in Indian fashion in the UK. We hope pieces from our collection have helped to make some wedding days extra special.” 

Aashni has captured the design pulse of her clientele through extending her vision to produce an uber-luxe wedding show. She has introduced discerning wedding buyers to ensembles that are exquisite in form whilst at the same time providing the access to visionary designers of South Asian background to the residents of the UK.

Aashni at A+Co. Wedding Show | The Maharani Diaries

“I think the best part about this event is that it allows people to meet the designers behind their wedding outfits and if they wish to have a bespoke creation. Our show makes that possible and demonstrates that you don’t have to travel to India for the right designer outfit.” – Aashni Anshul Doshi

The Aashni + Co. Wedding Show is proudly supported by Zita Elze, Sony TV, Akshaya Patra, Bazaar Bride, Khush Wedding Magazine and Hello! Pakistan.

 

Garments on exhibition at the show will be available to purchase from the Aashni + Co. boutique located in Notting Hill. For further information, visit http://aashniandco.com/.

Were you at the Aashni + Co. Wedding Show this year? What was the highlight for you? Let us know in the comments below.

*Images courtesy of Muse Motion Pictures and Monica of Mango Luxe & Co.

BollyGoods Edition 2 | The Maharani Diaries

After a successful first edition on her home soil, BollyGoods founder, Promila Jain Bahri thought it was high time to take her film-inspired fashion and lifestyle exhibition to international shores.

Inaugurated by first lady of Bollywood, and wife of superstar, Shah Rukh Khan, Gauri Khan, BollyGoods Edition 2 provided a platform for South Asian designers and artists to showcase their unique talents on a global scale. BollyGoods is about fashion, art and lifestyle, highlighting the creative work and aesthetics behind Indian cinema.

From left: Founder, Promila Jain Bahri, Gauri Khan, Shivani Ahluwalia

From left: Founder, Promila Jain Bahri, Gauri Khan, Shivani Ahluwalia

BollyGoods Edition 2 | The Maharani Diaries

Held at the prestigious, The Dorchester hotel, the scene was set for a busy afternoon, much to the delight of South Asian shoppers.

BollyGoods Edition 2 | The Maharani Diaries

Eminent fashion designers, Gauri & Nainika and Manish Arora presented stunning modern and eclectic pret collections as well as up and coming contemporary fashion designer and ex-television presenter, Roshni Chopra.

BollyGoods Edition 2 | The Maharani Diaries

BollyGoods Edition 2 | The Maharani Diaries

Indian songstress, Kanika Kapoor and her mother Poonam showcased their recently launched fashion line inspired by the ‘chikankari’ work of their hometown, Lucknow. Loved Poonam’s lightweight summery collection which featured an array of suits, sari’s and lehenga-choli’s. A number of emerging designers were also invited, giving shoppers a variety of choice.

BollyGoods Edition 2 | The Maharani Diaries

BollyGoods Edition 2 | The Maharani Diaries

Popular multi-designer London boutique, Onitaa brought a variety of opulent formal and bridal couture to the show. Loved their stand.

BollyGoods Edition 2 | The Maharani Diaries

Another designer who caught my attention was Abha Dalmia. Her traditional benarasi silk sari’s were absolutely stunning. Sadly, Abha only showcases her collections at trunk shows, so keep an eye out for her ensembles at the bridal shows around India.

Couldn’t help but take notice of the beautifully hand crafted jewellery on display from jewellers to the movie, “Bajirao Mastani,” Shri Hari Diagems and UK based Deevara Jewels and Red Dot Jewels who have recently launched a new flagship store in Pinner.

Models were draped in designer wear and jewellery throughout the afternoon to highlight the work of local and international designers.

See below for some of our favourite looks.

Ms Bahri was very pleased with the success of the event and here’s a little of what she had to say:

“We’re delighted by the tremendous response and welcome that BollyGoods has received today in London. I wanted to celebrate and share the creativity from the celluloid world globally. BollyGoods is all about design and the lifestyle of the stars. People love Bollywood and are hugely influenced by its fashion and lifestyle. That’s what I want to share with discerning fans and, after several successful events in India, we have now brought BollyGoods to the UK for the first time.” – Promila Jain Bahri

London-based luxury consultant, influencer and stylist, Shivani Ahluwalia spoke of bringing the show to the UK.

“Today has given us the opportunity to showcase the art, craft and design that is synonymous with Bollywood to discerning buyers of luxury pieces and Bollywood enthusiasts alike. We are extremely proud of what we have achieved today and we look forward to hosting another edition of BollyGoods in London soon.” – Shivani Ahluwalia

Official charity partner, The British Asian Trust proudly supported the event.

BollyGoods Edition 2 | The Maharani Diaries

BollyGoods Edition 2 | The Maharani Diaries

Full video highlights as follows –> https://vimeo.com/167312846

Were you at BollyGoods Edition 2? Let us know or perhaps you’d like to see something of this scale in your city. Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments feed below.

*Images and content courtesy of The Maharani Diaries, Shahid Malik and Media Hive World.

BollyGoods

A unique exhibition inspired by the celluloid world, presented by the extended Bollywood fraternity.

The art and aesthetic behind Indian cinema will be curated on one, high end exhibition platform at BollyGoods Edition 2, London on this Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May 2016Hosted by members of the extended Bollywood fraternity, BollyGoods is a unique presentation of celluloid inspired fashion, design, art and lifestyle, highlighting the rich creativity beyond the screen magic of the world’s largest film industry.

BollyGoods Edition 2, London will be inaugurated by First Lady of Bollywood Gauri Khan – Indian film producer, co-founder of film production and distribution company, Red Chillies Entertainment, interior designer, wife of superstar, Shah Rukh Khan and one of the most stylish women in Bollywood.

One of India’s most celebrated designer’s Rohit Bal will be presenting his latest prêt collections at the event along with other exhibitors such as design duo Rohit + Rahul, whose outfits have graced red carpets the world over and are a favourite with Bollywood’s gliteratti, including Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Freida Pinto, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and many more. Eminent, contemporary designers, Gauri and Nainika and Manish Arora will also showcase their timeless couture on the day.

Among the jewellers exhibiting is Shri Hari Diagems by Vinay Gupta, who created the exquisite jewellery worn by Deepika Padukone in blockbuster Bollywood hit, Bajirao Mastani’ as well as also designed jewellery for Mira Rajput’s wedding last year.

Other jewellery exhibitors include model turned designer, Queenie Singh, who has accessorized personalities such as Hilary Clinton, the Queen of Morocco and Kangana Ranaut and Roshni Chopra, actress cum television presenter and now designer.

BollyGoods is the brainchild of Delhi-based entrepreneur, Promila Jain Bahri, a design enthusiast who has enjoyed a successful career in the world of aesthetics. A key influencer in India’s fashion and retail sector for the past two decades, she launched India’s first domestic-born childrenswear label, ‘Li’l Tomatoes’, with over 100 stores across the country. Cultivating her passion for the arts, she founded ‘Gallery of Galleries’ and ‘Ananda the Bliss.’ Combining her prowess in both spheres, she has gone on to pioneer the BollyGoods brand.

“I wanted to celebrate and share the creativity from the celluloid world with the wider world. BollyGoods is all about design and the lifestyle of the stars. The whole idea is to bring together the hugely talented family of superstars who are accomplished designers in their own right. People love Bollywood and are hugely influenced by its fashion and lifestyle. That’s what I want to share with discerning fans.” – Promila Jain Bahri

Bringing the concept to the UK is London-based luxury consultant, influencer and stylist, Shivani Ahluwalia.

“I’ve worked in the luxury sector for years and bringing BollyGoods to the UK is an incredible opportunity for us to showcase the art, craft and design that is synonymous with the industry to purveyors of luxury goods and Bollywood enthusiasts alike. The UK has never before hosted an event of this kind and we are extremely excited to be bringing BollyGoods to London.” – Shivani Ahluwalia

BollyGoods Edition 2’s official charity partner is The British Asian Trust, founded in 2007 by HRH The Prince of Wales. Focusing on South Asia, a region where 500 million people survive on less than $2 a day, the Trust understand that the root causes of poverty go beyond a shortage of money, food and shelter. Complex issues with education, healthcare and employment opportunities keep many people on the margins. In response to this need, their programmes work to improve the quality of education, facilitate skills and training to support livelihoods, highlight the urgent need to combat child trafficking and to break the silence about mental health issues. To date, they have had a positive impact on the lives of more than 3 million people through a pioneering approach of collective giving to create impactful and sustainable change.

BollyGoods Edition 2 takes place on Bank Holiday, Monday 2nd May from 1:30pm – 8pm at The Dorchester, 53 Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 1QA. Tickets are 30£ each and available to purchase from www.chillitickets.com

*For further press information and enquiries, please contact Tony Gill of Media Hive via email, tony@mediahiveworld.com or call, +44 7970 034 636.

South Asian, High Fashion Studio presents a day of Seasonal Shopping at Stitch Three Spring Edit

Stitch Three | The Maharani Diaries

Dedicated followers of fashion are in for a seasonal shopping treat as South Asian high fashion retail and studio concept, Stitch Three, presents Stitch Three Spring Edit on Thursday 10th March, 11am – 7pm, The Baglioni Hotel, 60 Hyde Park Gate, London SW7 5BB.

Connoisseurs of premium, South Asian fashion brands will be able to shop latest prêt collections by some of India and Pakistan’s most sought after designers such as Sania Maskatiya, Maheen Karim and Pasho. Exquisite embroideries; on trend, graphic prints and luxe fabrics will be thematic at the trunk show, giving shoppers the chance to pick up coveted pieces at Indian and Pakistani retail prices ahead of the summer months as a UK exclusive. Additionally, curated accessory, jewellery and homeware collections will be presented by leading brands such the latest, must-have bag label, Sanetti, and the exquisite Deevara Jewels. Complementing the concept store shopping experience will be sumptuous hospitality throughout the day, making it a must-do diary entry for fashionistas and their friends.

Stitch Three has established itself as a leading powerhouse across the South Asian fashion landscape in the UK, driven by three of the sector’s leading influencers and tastemakers – Aisha Tabani Chowdhry, Aamna Lakhany and Radhika Hasan. Stitch Three curates in the UK a discerning edit of the leading design talents from India and Pakistan’s fashion scenes for a UK audience – household names such as Umar Sayeed, Maheen Karim, Sania Maskatiya and Nida Azwer from Pakistan and Tarun Tahiliani, Gaurang Shah, Rina Dhaka and Anita Dongre from India. Powered by a multi-channel platform that comprises retail distribution, exclusive fashion events and studio, Stitch Three connects consumers with leading and top tier South Asian fashion brands.

Stitch Three Spring Edit takes place on Thursday 10th March from 11am – 7pm at The Baglioni Hotel, 60 Hyde Park Gate, London SW7 5BB. 

*For further press information and enquiries, please contact Tony Gill of Media Hive via email, tony@mediahiveworld.com or call, +44 7970 034 636.

We take you inside one of London’s most luxurious bridal shows. Now in its second year running, the Aashni + Co Wedding Show brings together some of the hottest names in Indian and Pakistani bridal haute couture.

Held at luxury 5 star hotel, The Dorchester, this year’s event drew in large crowds and featured exquisite designer wear from the likes of Sabyasachi, Manish Malhotra and Varun Bahl.

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.