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Happy Wednesday maharanis! Today we’re wrapping up the hottest Indian bridal fashion trends from this years runways.. Featuring the likes of Falguni And Shane Peacock to Tarun Tahiliani and Bollywood’s fave, Manish Malhotra, we have all the top designer wear covered for your big fat wedding festivities.

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.”

AICW Event | The Maharani Diaries

India Couture Week is returning tonight promising to be bigger and better with a few surprises in between. The event hosted by the Fashion Design Council India in association with title sponsor, Amazon.in will span over 5 days at the Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi.

12 of India’s finest couturiers will be showcasing timeless collections in front of a lucky invite-only audience.

Designer’s are set to mesmerise with glitz, glamour and Bollywood showstoppers.

The Maharani Diaries will not be present at the event, but we will do our level best to bring you the best of this fashion extravaganza.

Here are just a few of the things we are looking forward to covering over the next week:Sabyasachi Couture | The Maharani Diaries

 IMAGE: SABYASACHI COUTURE
  • Sabyasachi! Need we say more?

The master couturier, Sabyasachi Mukherjee will be collaborating with French master shoe designer, Christian Louboutin for opening night of Amazon India Couture Week (AICW). Sabyasachi’s aesthetics will be matched with Louboutin’s iconic Parisian footwear.

This is Louboutin’s first ever creative collaboration with an Indian designer and likewise for Sabyasachi. A remarkable milestone.

“This time, for womenswear, the focus is stilettos, and who better than Christian Louboutin? What I appreciate the most about his shoes is that in spite of the high glamour, the brand manages to keep alive a sense of quirkiness, and that resonates well with our brand philosophy.” – Sabyasachi Mukherjee

Expect luxe bridal couture, shoes and handbags in dark and daring hues. Sabyasachi’s collections have a regal feel about them, yet they still manage to evoke modern sensibilities.

A pure genius. Cannot wait!

Manish & Aishwarya | The Maharani Diaries

MANISH AND HIS MUSE, AISHWARYA RAI BACHCHAN
  • Style guru, trendsetter and India’s most popular fashion designer Manish Malhotra will close out Couture Week with a bang. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will return as Manish’s muse after a 5 year hiatus.

Manish’s showcase will be a celebration of the “Manish Malhotra” label which this year completes 10 successful years.

“This finale show at couture week is going to be a departure from what you’ve seen, with an intimate setting as we are going to present a preview of our limited edition MANISH MALHOTRA LONDON LABEL.” – Manish Malhotra

Manish is promising old-world charm with luxurious 1950’s ensembles in front of an intimate, vintage style setting. Voluminous creations featuring Manish’s signature intricate embroidery.

Rohit Bal | The Maharani Diaries

SHOWMAN, ROHIT BAL
  • Colourful character, Rohit Bal is promising a ‘world of fantasy’ for his audience. Rohit has been teasing us via social media for the past few days with glimpses of his designs for his collection supposedly titled, “Husn-E-Taa’iraat.”

As per any Rohit Bal show, we can expect glamour, extravagant sets and stunning bridal and grooms wear.

Rohit is a bit of a showman in the Indian fashion world, so I’m looking forward to him breaking out into one of his signature runway dance’s again.

Deepika Padukone wearing Anju Modi’s creations in Bollywood movie, "Ram-Leela."

IMAGE: BOLLYWOOD FILM, “RAM-LEELA” – ACTRESS, DEEPIKA PADUKONE DRESSED IN ANJU MODI’S CREATIONS
  • Anju Modi is the star designer behind the fabulous Rajasthani style costumes featured in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie, “Ram-Leela.”

Her upcoming collection is set to be inspired by Persian culture and she has taken inspiration from Bhansali’s next magnum-opus, for which she is once again costume designer for, “Bajirao Mastani.”

“My collection is inspired from Persian culture as I have been working on ‘Bajirao Masatni’ and had to create outfits for the Persian princess’ character. She is a girl who hails from Persia and the character is such that I needed to do a lot of research anyway.” – Anju Modi

Modi will pay homage to India’s rich textile heritage. I am expecting beautiful and rich textured gowns and lehenga’s with Persian influences featuring intricate zari embroidery and thread work.

Monisha Jaising | The Maharani Diaries

IMAGE: MONISHA JAISING COUTURE
  • Monisha Jaising’s ‘Sailing Bride’ collection promises “light-weighted ensembles” for the “cool laid-back bride.”

“We have constructed silhouettes that are easy to handle as well as chic and trendy. There is no hassle of draping and pleating, making it a perfect choice for a wedding on a yacht.” – Monisha Jaising

From the sounds of it, we can expect silks, chiffons in beautiful resort like colours. Perhaps a line that could appeal to the destination wedding market or the adventurous bride?

  • All eyes will be on Rajul Mishra’s debut AICW collection titled, “Tree Of Life.”

“In a way this collection focuses on all the aspects that create glory in the villages of India and how they interact with cities, technology and the world at large. There is a great deal of participation from weavers and embroiders who live there.” – Rahul Mishra

His line is promising to showcase luxe sportswear as well as traditional lehengas, saris and this year’s must-have item, capes.

Gaurav Gupta couture.

IMAGE: GAURAV GUPTA COUTURE
  • Experimental designer, Gaurav Gupta will present “Silt & Cipher” this week.

“Many a time I have heard criticism about conceptual avant-garde designers creating garments which are a ‘part of their fantasy world’ and are impossible to be worn by regular people. Fantasy and its figments have always remained the lot of the stories I narrate and strongly believe in.” – Gaurav Gupta

The talented young designer is showcasing delicately embroidered and intricately crafted ensembles featuring zardosi work and lace.

Expect luxurious and timeless silhouettes. Certainly one show to watch out for.

Bollywood actress, Kangana Ranaut expect to walk the ramp for Manav Gangwani.

BOLLYWOOD ACTRESS, KANGANA RANAUT EXPECTED TO WALK THE RAMP FOR MANAV GANGWANI
  • The current ‘Queen’ of Bollywood, Kangana Ranaut will showcase the showstopper for Manav Gangwani’s French inspired collection.

“The collection this time is French collection, called “Le’amoureuse” (the beloved) and who else is better than Kangana to wear the final outfit. She is a dear friend and is perfect as my muse. I have worked with her in the past, she is a very versatile person and the collection is also very versatile.” – Manav Gangwani

This will be a departure from Gangwani’s signature style, but I’m more excited about seeing Kangana back on the runway! 

  • Finally, MAC cosmetics are known for their trend-setting makeup looks at runway shows and at this year’s Couture Week event, beauty and fashion aficionado’s are expecting nothing less.

What are you excited to see at this year’s Couture Week event?

*Content courtesy of FDCI, The Indian Express and India Today

The audience were definitely in for a treat on day 4 of Lakmé Fashion Week. The line up featured the likes of Anushree Reddy, Arpita Mehta and Payal Singhal all showcasing their diverse, ethnic collections.

ANUSHREE REDDY

Designer of the minute, Anushree Reddy’s summery, princess-like lehenga-choli outfits featured her signature floral motifs adorned with intricate gold zardosi embroidery work. A relatively new designer, her elegant and romantic flowing lehenga’s have become an instant hit with Bollywood-town celebrities and Indian brides from around the globe.

The alluring ensembles featured refreshing summery hues such as blushing pastels, bright pinks and even bright reds. Anushree’s clever play on feminine colours in her collection, struck a chord with young Indian women from around the globe and the following week her work was tagged and credited all over social media.

‘The Royal Courtyard’ runway show closed out in a spectacular fashion with actress, Ileana D’Cruz dancing alongside Indian pop-star, Kanika Kapoor. A defining show-stopping moment of Lakmé Fashion Week.

Anushree’s classic and timeless ensembles are without a doubt fit for an Indian princess.

Anushree Reddy:Kanika Kapoor:Ileana - LFWSS15 | The Maharani Diaries

SINGER, KANIKA KAPOOR, ANUSHREE REDDY AND ACTRESS, ILEANA D’CRUZ.

“For ‘The Royal Courtyard’, I took inspiration from the home of Nizams, where ethereal begums redefined grandeur. Each design from this collection is soaked in nostalgia and each piece holds a piece of history within it.” – Anushree Reddy

ARPITA MEHTA

Designer, Arpita Mehta presented a beautiful and neutral coloured collection featuring intricate accents of mirror work. ‘A Royal Summer Affair’ was stylish and youthful yet retained that traditional feel about it.

Arpita’s ensembles have become synonymous with mirror work. For this collection though, she opted for neutral toned sheer silhouettes with subtle, bright traditional accents.

Esha Gupta’s gorgeous and sensuous, high-slit netted gown was fitting as Arpita’s show-stopping ensemble. 

Arpita Mehta - LFW SS15 | The Maharani Diaries

DESIGNER, ARPITA MEHTA WITH BOLLYWOOD ACTRESS, ESHA GUPTA.

“Mirror work is my forte. I’ve always liked sparkle, all my collections have mirror work with a twist.” – Arpita Mehta

PAYAL SINGHAL

One of India’s most versatile designer’s, Payal Singhal showcased a collection which saw a modern take on western and ethnic outfits. Inspired heavily by the Sheesh Mahal in Amer Fort Rajasthan, ‘Palace Of Mirrors’ featured silhouettes with subtle, yet intricate work. Payal presented a modern interpretation of the famous, mosaic patterns on the walls of the beautiful palace.

Elegant fluid floor length lehenga-choli skirts and modern crop-top choli outfits in stunning pastel tones wowed the audience. Actress, Tamannah Bhatia turned showstopper for Payal Singhal on this occasion, dressed in a majestic peach coloured lehenga choli.

Payal’s metallic, intricate embroidered garments are what sets her apart from her counterparts. These beautiful bridal ensembles will without a doubt become an instant hit with South-Asian brides for the upcoming wedding season.  

Designer, Payal Singhal with Bollywood actress, Tamannah

DESIGNER, PAYAL SINGHAL WITH BOLLYWOOD ACTRESS, TAMANNAH.

“I have grown up on the runway. I say that as a joke, but it’s kind of true. I was 21 when I started, and I am 38 now. I think I was really serious about fashion from the day when I joined the business.” – Payal Singhal

Payal Singhal’s runway show highlights can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1O9w0c2 

NEHA AGARWAL

‘From Russia With Love’ is a stunning, vibrant, vintage collection showcased by new designer, Neha Agarwal. In her second season of Lakmé Fashion Week, Neha presented romantic and elaborate 20th century Russian inspired ensembles with an array of unique designs in a variety of colours.

The collection featured eye-catching gowns, intricately embroidered capes and denim crop tops. The silhouettes were adorned with Russian doll prints, intricately embroidered floral motifs, chains and even tassels.

The show closed with popular nineties Bollywood actress, Karisma Kapoor dressed in a sheer, peach coloured cape and beautifully printed gown.

Neha Agarwal - Karisma Kapoor - LFWSS15 | The Maharani Diaries

DESIGNER, NEHA AGARWAL WITH THE BEAUTIFUL, KARISMA KAPOOR.

Neha Agarwal is without doubt one designer to watch. She has an incredible ability to fuse two cultures to produce show stopping collections with world appeal.

SUNEET VARMA

Talented designer, Suneet Varma presented a meticulously crafted bridal wear collection that exuded elegance. His grand runway presented entitled, ‘Decorative Arts Of India’ covered traditions of all the regions in India.

Suneet Varma pulled out all the stops here. The timeless collection featured an array of different fabrics, work and colours. From tulle sarees, heavily embroidered lehengas to intricate jaal mirror-work blouses, it’s no wonder why this designer’s outfits are highly sort after by Indian brides.

The outfits were complemented beautifully with delicate Reliance Jewels. No doubt though that the pièce de résistance of Varma’s show came when the gorgeous, Nargis Fakhri flaunted the show-stopping vibrant crystal encrusted red lehenga-choli.

Designer, Suneet Varma along with his muse, Nargis.

DESIGNER, SUNEET VARMA WITH HIS MUSE, NARGIS.

“I use colour to express or communicate my ideas and will go to any length to find the exact shade that will make all the difference.” – Suneet Varma

I absolutely loved Suneet Varma’s modern bridal ensembles and if you did too, you can re-live the highlights here –> http://bit.ly/1Sq88lJ 

What were your favourites from day 4 of Lakmé Fashion Week Spring/Summer week? Let us know in the comments below. 

*All images are courtesy of Lakmé Fashion Week

Satya Paul LFWSS15 | The Maharani Diaries

Mid-way through Lakmé Fashion Week and all eyes were on fashion-loving, entrepreneur and wife of Bollywood star, Shah Rukh Khan, Gauri Khan. For the first time ever, Gauri lent her creativity to Satya Paul to make her foray into the world of fashion.

India’s first fashion brand and innovators of the traditional sari, Satya Paul are celebrating an impressive 30 years of designing. Known for their original, colourful and not so conventional designs, the designers have once again proved why they are a force to be reckoned with in the Indian fashion industry.

This year, Satya Paul collaborated with Gauri to present a collection of tropical inspired silhouettes. Titled, ‘A Tropical Wonder,’ they created resort-like ensembles that saw a mix and match of sheer kaftans, tunics and vibrant coloured saris.

A former artist, now interior designer, Gauri drew a lot of her inspiration from Satya’s past collections. They stuck to their signature vibrant, abstract luxurious prints. The saris were adorned with contrasting motifs and borders as well as poetic words. The watercolour tones and unique sari blouse designs were refreshing, refined and sophisticated. A perfect way to close out day 3 of the fashion festival.

Gauri Khan for Satya Paul.

GAURI KHAN FOR SATYA PAUL

“I was an artist and I love colours and Satya Paul’s collections always have some colourful outfits, so that’s what inspired my tropical collection.” – Gauri Khan. 

Satya Paul by Gauri Khan highlights here: http://bit.ly/1Gp80w1 

Are you a fan of Satya Paul’s unconventional sari’s? Let us know in the comments below. 

*All images are courtesy of Lakmé Fashion Week

Anavila - LFWSS15 | The Maharani Diaries

The second day of Lakmé Fashion Week was a celebration of Indian handlooms and textiles. Designers paid homage to the diverse textile tapestry of India, with designs that push the boundaries of regular Indian wear.

ANAVILA

Designer, Anavila Misra’s earthly collection aptly titled, ‘A Summer Stroll’ included beautifully crafted saris in plaid and batik patterns. Anavila took inspiration from nature and rightfully stuck to a neutral colour palette. Her main emphasis for the collection being on the rich and simplistic textiles used in each of the outfits.

The show stopping moment of the show arrived when beautiful Bollywood actress, Dia Mirza gracefully strutted down the runway in a signature Anavila sari.

Natural and earthy tones are popular for the summer season. The stars from Bollywood town are loving wearing Anavila’s lightweight ensembles.

Anavila Misra - LFW2015 | The Maharani Diaries

ANAVILA’S SIGNATURE LOOKS.

GAURANG SHAH

Like Ananvila, Gaurang Shah’s presentation was inspired by Indian traditions, crafts and textiles. The inspiration for this collection was ‘Kalpavriksha,’ which in Hindu mythology translates to a wish-fulfilling divine tree. Shah’s perfectly balanced summer collection is woven by the Jamdani weavers from the Andhra Pradesh and Bangladesh regions of India.

The hand woven soft-toned saris were a breath of fresh air and actress, Vidya Balan shone in the show-stopping pink and gold sari. Gaurang’s collection was truly a celebration of the rich Indian heritage.

Vidya Balan as Gaurang Shah's show stopper.

VIDYA BALAN AS GAURANG SHAH’S SHOW STOPPER.

Designer, Gaurang Shah.

Manish Malhotra - WEvolve Campaign | The Maharani Diaries

Day 1 featured a mixed bag of tassels, neon prints and even frills, but all eyes were on the maestro, Manish Malhotra for the unveiling of his socially conscious blue themed collection. 

PALLAVI SINGHEE

Pallavi Singhee’s collection, titled ‘A La Suite’ featured stunning lightweight gowns in pastel shades. Her textured silhouettes had a summery feel to them with floral motifs and lots of interesting, bespoke lace detailing. There were midi dresses, culotte pants and crop tops.

Sagarika Gatke as the showstopper in an off-white organza sheer gown was a refreshing way to end the showcase. Sagarika’s open hair and black heels complemented her dreamy and free-flowing ensemble.

The youthful collection had a very western feel with delicate touches of Indian sensibilities. ‘A La Suite’ was Pallavi’s extension of her popular ‘Verb’ label which has been going strong for almost 10 years. It was another successful showing from the talented designer.

Pallavi Singhee - LFWSS15 | The Maharani Diaries

DESIGNER PALLAVI SINGHEE WITH SHOWSTOPPER, SAGARIKA ON DAY 1 OF LAKMÉ FASHION WEEK SPRING/SUMMER 2015.

YOGESH CHAUDHARY

A relative up and comer in Indian design and fashion, Yogesh Chaudhary showcased some beautiful bridal ensembles under his new collection, titled ‘Mithu.’

From the looks of it, Yogesh’s inspiration was evidently drawn from bird life. The delightful ensembles featured a vast array of different prints and materials. The hybrid sari-choli like ensemble was a real winner here. Another notable stand out was the understated, yet beautiful and elegant black sari.

Yogesh Chaudhary - LFWSS15 | The Maharani Diaries copy

DESIGNER, YOGESH CHAUDHARY.

ILK

Designer duo, Shikha Grover and Vinita Adhikari showcased a somewhat romantic collection titled, ‘Love Me, Love Me Not’ for their ‘ILK‘ label. 

Their designs often reflect a grunge like feel to them. However, on this occasion their garments looked anything but grunge. The 3D textures, monochromatic prints, floral motifs and frills were a standout. The bespoke collection featured contrasting colours and the addition of the textures to cotton and net fabrics was simply outstanding.

MANISH MALHOTRA

Manish Malhotra is a name synonomous with Bollywood and bridal wear. His designs have been flaunted by the best in Bollywood as well as some Hollywood stars.

Manish Malhotra - LFWSS15 | The Maharani Diaries

On this particular night, Manish’s collection was all about gender equality. The message was presented in a unique manner with models holding placards reading “justice,” “equality” and “gender.” ‘The Blue Runway’ collection was showcased in association with WEvolve which is a global campaign challenging the issue of gender based violence.

The ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream‘ like setting provided the perfect backdrop for Manish’s beautiful ensembles which featured vibrant lehenga’s in cream, yellow and blue hues and intricate thread work, mirror work and elaborate floral embroidery.

Manish Malhotra LFWSS15 | The Maharani Diaries

A Manish Malhotra runway showing in India always brings out the Bollywood stars and this time they came out in force supporting not just the designer but a worthy campaign. Hollywood actress, Rosario Dawson was also present to lend her support.

Designer Manish Malhotra with Hollywood actress, Rosaria Dawson

DESIGNER, MANISH MALHOTRA WITH HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS, ROSARIA DAWSON.

“Fashion has a comprehensive and universal appeal and can thus, be a powerful instrument to raise awareness and promote action.” – Manish Malhotra.

India’s fashion elite have once again converged on the capital to kick off another season of Lakmé Fashion Week. The lineup at the 2015, Spring Summer outing is quite possibly the strongest ever, with the likes of Sabyasachi, Manish Malhotra, Anamika Khanna, Suneet Varma and Tarun Tahiliani all presenting inspiring collections.