Sonam and Anita grace luxury exhibition, Divalicious London

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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Jewellery Inspiration for The Modern Bride


It’s that time of the year again where Indian brides splurge on their bridal attire, hair and make up, bridesmaids and what more. But, it doesn’t stop there. An Indian bride’s trousseau is never complete without her jewellery for that added bling or sparkle. Indian bridal jewellery contributes to your overall look and captures the essence of different cultures, whether it’s north or south Indian inspired, traditional or contemporary. Jewellery has the power to make a bride feel like a princess on the most important day of her life.

This wedding season, the modern Indian bride is rediscovering her tradition. At India International Jewellery Week (IIJW), jewellery designers showcased exquisite and breathtaking collections with most marrying the old-world styles with Indo-Western contemporary design aesthetics.

In this post, we cover the various styles of jewellery as seen on the runways, highlight popular brands as well as feature key bridal looks.


For Indians, gold is a symbol of purity, opulence, class or prosperity. The fascination with gold combined with weddings will never grow old.


Tanishq is a brand that has become synonymous with high level craftsmanship, purity, bespoke designs and overall exceptional quality. Their collection, titled ‘Divyam’ is heritage focussed, comprised of intricate heirloom pieces created from 22 carat gold and precious gem stones. Inspired by the temples of India, this exquisitely crafted ethnic-contemporary collection is incredibly versatile and so elegant, it will complement modern or traditional bridal wear.


On opening day of IIJW, Bollywood actress Juhi Chawla channeled an ethnic glam look for Tanishq. Dressed in a maroon and black lehenga
choli,Juhi looked stunning bedecked in a magnificent layered temple bridal necklace set, maang tikka and gold rings. The choker was a
particularstand out featuring cut diamonds and gemstones.

Tanishq’s regal wedding collection features ornate jhumkis in various shapes and sizes, classic rani haar necklaces, chokers, statement bangles and rings.

Shobha Shringar

Shobha Shringar’s versatile South Indian and Rajasthani inspired jewellery also has a very festive vibe. The meticulously crafted pieces have been specifically designed to be worn during the festival and wedding season. 

Featuring uncut diamonds and pearls, the striking jewellery fuses ethnic and western styles appealing to every bride.


Chitrangada Singh’s traditional attire was complemented beautifully with Shobhaa Shringar’s jewellery.
Wearing a striking borla maang tikka, layered gold necklaces, armlet and delicate bracelets, the actress dazzled in her bridal avatar.

Shobha Shringar’s classic and contemporary jewellery can be cherished for generations. Undoubtedly one of the best collections showcased at IIJW.

Traditional bridal jewellery is always a favourite with many brides and Tanishq and Shobha Shringar’s latest offerings will inspire brides who wish to keep their look authentic and timeless.


Gemstones have long been a part of Indian bridal jewellery and there’s no doubting that whether it’s rubies, emeralds or even pearls, these sparkly numbers enhance any wedding sari or lehenga.

Moni Agarwal

Moni Agarwal’s ‘Zohrakshi’ collection, inspired by nature’s flowers, has given timeless pieces a modern twist. Her sophisticated jewels are studded with rubies, emeralds and pearls.


Tennis star, Sania Mirza’s exquisite bridal set was cast in diamonds, gemstones as well as pearls.

Moni’s elaborate sets are embellished with emeralds, rubies and pearls. On the runway, statement necklaces were beautifully balanced with dramatic earrings. The jewellery sets were paired beautifully against pure kanchipuram silk sari’s. Add a bit of sparkle to your reception look with a Zohrakshi set.

Surya Golds

Another brand to embrace colour at IIJW was Surya Golds. Their well crafted jewellery combines Indian and Western techniques created with precious stones and Swarovski Zirconia.

Surya Golds’ pendant necklace sets featuring peacock motifs that are not only striking, but also add a sense of youthfulness. 

Pataudi princess, Soha Ali Khan looked ethereal in her sparkling crown as she sashayed down the runway for Surya Golds.

Pataudi princess, Soha Ali Khan looked ethereal in her sparkling crown as she sashayed down the runway for Surya Golds.

Peacock motif jewellery blends effortlessly with modern or traditional attire and will make any bride stand out at her wedding.

Anand Shah

Last but not least, Anand Shah’s breathtaking use of gemstones in his goddess-like yellow metal pieces is outstanding. 

Richa Chadda’s grecian princess look was enhanced by the striking headpiece.

Richa Chadda’s grecian princess look was enhanced by this striking headpiece

Comprised of bespoke chokers, rani hair necklaces, elaborate head gear, accessories and bracelets, the collection has a very contemporary feel and was one of the standouts at this year’s jewellery week.

For that added royal treatment, gemstones will lighten up any bride’s face and accentuate her overall look. Coloured stones and pearls are more likely to stand out against mono-toned outfits, but don’t be afraid to mix and match.


Speak of diamonds and this gets any bride-to-be’s heart racing. These days more brides are experimenting with contemporary looks blended with traditional aesthetics and this is where diamonds come into play.

Aara By Avantika and Dhruv Singh

Actress, Evelyn Sharma looked like a royal princess, wearing a Dhruv Singh diamond encrusted choker and complementing chandlier earrings.

Actress, Evelyn Sharma looked like a royal princess, wearing a Dhruv Singh diamond encrusted choker and complementing chandlier earrings

Avantika Kumar Agarwal and Dhruv Singh’s breathtaking pieces consist of diamonds, precious and semi-precious stones. The National Institute of Design graduates presented impressive and delicate pieces that can be paired with traditional or western gowns.

Yoube Jewellery

Yoube Jewellery’s artisanal diamond jewellery is a unique blend of Victorian grandeur and traditional Indian elements.

Their latest collection oozes luxury. Owners Ashok Barmecha and his son Aakash Barmecha pride themselves on producing high quality and bespoke designs that are elegant, luxurious and feminine and appeal to all tastes.

Aditi Rao Hydari’s statement Yoube pearl and diamond layered necklace makes for the perfect reception party look.

Aditi Rao Hydari’s statement Yoube pearl and diamond layered necklace makes for the perfect reception party look.

At IIJW, models graced the runway in elegant gowns adorned with elaborately designed sets. Yellow, white and rose gold sets featured fine diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and pearls.

This season pair striking diamond earrings with a classic, yet elegant bracelet and necklace.

Diamond jewellery is versatile and can be paired to suit most occasions. Best not to wear oversized pieces during the day time functions though.


Polki versus kundan. What’s the difference? Firstly, polki is more expensive than kundan stone because simply put, it’s uncut diamond. Traditionally polki is used in Rajasthani jewellery and is always in demand during the wedding season due to its natural, untouched glossy shine and detailed craftsmanship. Kundan is glass stone typically cast in pure gold and more popular with North Indian brides.

Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas Jewellers

Well renowned jewellery artisans and pioneers of Kundan Minakari (enamelling) work, Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas Jewellers sublime collection titled ‘Adaa’ draws inspiration from the powerful women rulers of yesteryears who maintained a strong sense of style and elegance. 

Preity Zinta as Mughal Empress, Jodha Bai, dressed in a royal red lehenga choli and delicate kundan and polki jewellery. The traditional borla drop matha patti and necklace were particular standouts.

Preity Zinta as Mughal Empress, Jodha Bai, dressed in a royal red lehenga choli and delicate kundan and polki jewellery.
The traditional borla drop matha patti and necklace were particular standouts.

Despite having an old-world charm about it, the collection is timeless and elegant. For brides who are seeking more traditional forms of jewellery for their wedding, Birdhichand is your go to brand for exceptional quality and brilliance.

Jewels By Preeti 

Preeti Jain from Jewels By Preeti showcased colourful butterfly inspired jewels created with gemstones and polki diamonds. The designer’s creations have a worldly appeal and cater to all age groups.

There are delicate headgears, bracelets, waistbands, rings and exquisitely crafted haars and necklaces. Set with 22 carat gold, the polki diamond sets are versatile enough to be worn with western or South-Asian attire.

Indian actress, Ileana D’cruz sported a diamond and emerald necklace, armlet and gorgeous drop earrings.

Indian actress, Ileana D’cruz sported a diamond and emerald necklace, armlet and gorgeous drop earrings.

Sunil Jewellers

Jaipur based manufacturers, Sunil Jewellers utilise modern techniques in their traditionally handcrafted pieces. Sunil Jewellers’ specialty is in its heritage kundan meena work. The collections feature antique gold work, engraving and quality polki diamonds.

‘Ethnica’ has been designed to match conventional and elegant bridal wear.

Kriti Sanon as Sunil Jewellers showstopper.

Kriti Sanon as Sunil Jewellers showstopper.

Both polki and kundan sets are best suited for the regal bride who wants to shine on her wedding day. Rich in heritage and tradition, these brands would make any bride feel like a princess.

Traditional is trendy this wedding season. Embrace all the favourites. Whether its vintage gold, coloured stones, classy diamonds or polki and kundan stone, there’s a look to suit everyone and every piece has its own dignified place in a bride’s trousseau.

IIJW 2015 was a star studded event featuring television stars, Bollywood celebrities and well-known dignitaries. Actress, Sonam Kapoor shone as the brand ambassador, particularly on the final day. Sonam captivated the audience dressed in a lilac Shyamal & Bhumika lehenga choli and accessorized beautifully with exquisite jhumkis.

More image highlights from IIJW as follows –>

For more bridal jewellery inspiration, stay tuned to The Maharani Diaries. What are your favourite wedding jewellery styles? Let us know in the comments below.

*Images and content courtesy of Indian Express, Boldsky, Times Of India, Vogue India, IIJW and Diamond World.

Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2015 – Equality in Cinema and Fashion

For the past four years, movie stars, producers and directors alike from the Indian film fraternity have been converging on Australia’s arts and cultural capital, for the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM). This bright and colourful annual event, presented by Film Victoria, City Of Melbourne and the Victorian State Government, is the biggest celebration of Indian cinema in the southern hemisphere showcasing a diverse range of films covering different genres and subjects. From record-breaking Bollywood blockbusters to thought provoking documentaries and regional films, this festival is fast becoming a premier event on Melbourne’s burgeoning event calendar.