Monthly Archives: February 2015

Aashni & Co Wedding Show

20th February 2015

I’m ridiculously late with this post…!!!

Last month the Grand Ballroom of London’s luxury hotel, the Dorchester played host to the first ever Aashni & Co Wedding Show with the crème de la crème of Indian designers and new gen talent. Aashni & Co’s Notting Hill boutique opened in 2012 and is already the leading store in London for luxe Indian designer wear. The wedding show provided an opportunity to showcase the store’s designers on a larger scale and to a larger audience.

I was lucky enough to join Aashni the store’s owner on BBC 94.9- Jo Good show that week to talk about Indian weddings and the wedding show. It was the first time I’ve been on the radio and the fifteen odd minutes we were on air seemed to fly by. It was a great experience and a big thanks to Jo, Nishy and Gurpreet @ the BBC for making the experience enjoyable. Ok back to the wedding show….

The line up at the show was pretty damn impressive with A-list design talent including Sabyasachi, Manish Malhotra, Tarun Tahliani, Anamika Khanna, Varun Bahl and talented new gen designers Sonali Gupta, Shehlaa and Arpita Mehta.

Image Credit: Adnan Qazi

Image Credit: Adnan Qazi

Aashni Anshul Doshi the founder of Aashni & Co had this to say about the show

“ I am so, so, so humbled that these designers have taken that leap of faith and have actually come down here to be in one room with each other and be part of Aashni & Co. It is time people stopped travelling all the way to India to find their wedding outfits- we wanted to bring the best of India’s bridal to our doorstep.”

I got married last year and the exhibition was a perfect opportunity to connect (translate to get star struck) with some of the designers who I wore for my wedding which included Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi, Varun Bahl and Arpita Mehta.

_DSC0016L-R: Anushree Reddy, Anamika Khanna & Arpita Mehta: Image Credit: Shahid Malik

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_DSC0021L-R: Sabyasachi & Shehla Khan: Image Credit: Shahid Malik

_DSC0023L-R: Sonail Gupta, Tarun Tahilani & Varun Bahl: Image Credit: Shahid Malik

I caught up with Sabayasachi and asked him…

with Sabya photo credit Nina Patel

You already have a connection with London. How does the U.K bride differ to the brides back home?

“Yes, I do. I did a short stint at London Fashion Week and before I came to London with my Bridal wear. I used to also cater to the western audience here through Browns and Selfridges. So, I do have a good idea about what the girls in London want from us. They like being traditional and every single bride whether conservative, whether democratic, whether eccentric actually fantasises about looking like a princess on their wedding day. So we try and keep the fantasy in mind but make sure we keep ethnicity in mind too because of course she is an Indian Bride.”

I also asked him what tips he would give a bride when shopping for her trousseau.

“I’d tell her to do some yoga before you come shopping and get a little introspective because I think it is very easy to get swayed by other people’s opinion on what you should wear but at the end of the day its your wedding so just wear what you want to wear which means if you want to wear a GAP t-shirt and get married just do it.”

I love his answer because it’s so true wedding shopping can become stressful with everyone having an opinion on what you should and should not wear!

Tarun TahilianiTarun Tahiliani: Image Credit: Shahid Malik

Manish MalhotraManish Malhotra: Image Credit: Shahid Malik

Varun BahlVarun Bahl: Image Credit: Shahid Malik

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESYummy florals by Zita Elise Image Credit: Raj Dharar

photo boothPhoto Booth at the entrance

_DSC0027Cakes by Krishanthi- these pics don’t do the cakes justice. The designs were sooo detailed and intricate. Image Credit: Shahid Malik

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Getting a lesson on how to take a selfie by Kay from the Desi Dossier and Raj from The Secret Wedding Blog. Was good catching up with other bloggers at the event. Image Credit: Raj Dharar

The event was a first for London and it was lovely to see such a wealth of Indian craftsmanship and talent in one place. With U.K brides following the trends in India (albeit sometimes a little latter) weddings are becoming longer with more and more events to shop for. I really hope it becomes a regular event…are you reading Aashni?

Fab post event video by Aashni & Co.

Full list of exhibitors for Aashni & Co wedding show in association with Zouch & Lamare

– Anamika Khanna
– Anushree Reddy
– Arpita Mehta
– Ashima-Leena
– Elisha W
– Jaipur Gems
– Kotwara by Meera Muzaffar Ali
– Manish Malhotra
– Monisha Thahryamal
– Nikasha,
– Pallavi Jaikishan
– Rajesh Pratap Singh
– Rimple and Harpreet Narula
– Sabyasachi
– Shehlaa
– Sonali Gupta
– Tarun Tahiliani
– Varun Bahl

I have interviews with Shehla Khan, Arpita Mehta and Anushree Reddy coming up on the blog in the following weeks- so keep a look out!

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My Top 10 Asian Bridal Shopping Tips

6th February 2015

I’m sure regular readers and my twitter followers will be expecting today’s post to be on the recent AH-MAZING Aashni & Co wedding show + my guest appearance on BBC London’s Jo Good show. But as I’m still suffering from a dirty ole cold- it’s this bridal post that’s been in my pending box that’s going out today!

Vogue india bridalImage Credit: Vogue India…still love this editorial!

Bridal shopping can be exciting and fun but on the flip side it can be overwhelming and confusing too. So here’s a few tips that might help…

budget

I’d say the first thing to do is to set a budget for all your bridal outfits. And make a list of how many pieces you need. Be flexible within your budget. It’s tempting to break down your budget-allocating certain amounts to different occasion outfits but it doesn’t always work like that. I had in mind that I’d spend around £2k for my reception gown and I ended up buying a gorgeous Varun Bahl gown for £750.

RESEARCH

Wherever you decide to do your shopping do your research. I did my wedding shopping in Mumbai and yep I already had a heads up on where to go because my blog is all about Indian fashion and I’m an avid reader of Indian fashion magazines. So getting a basic list was easy enough but I still carried on asking family and friends for recommendations. I also read a lot of Indian wedding blogs and that’s how my list doubled. I made sure I had each store’s address, telephone number, opening times and price range. Even when we were in India we’d ask for further recommendations. We bought a couple of gowns from Sonaakshi Raaj (I heart her work) and she told us to visit Tamanna Punjabi Kapoor’s store as we were still looking for my sister’s mehndi outfit. And bingo that’s where we got my sis STUNNING lengha from.

OPEN

It’s great to have an idea of what you’d like to wear. I know so many brides who create a scrap book or pinterest boards on outfits they like. BUT does it mean those styles suit you? For both my Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra  lenghas – I had to be made to try them on by my mum and my sister. I wasn’t keen on either of them on the hanger – neither were what I had imagined I’d wear. but when I wore them it was a different story- I loved them both. So be open minded and try different styles & colours.

SMALL

Take your bridal shopping seriously. There may be hangers on that want to join you- because for them its a fun day out! but for you its another opinion that you might not necessarily want. I shopped with my mum and sister and they know me and I trust them- that’s why when they made try on styles I wasn’t sure of I did!

ADV

Right so I know alot of brides leave their wedding shopping till the last minute in order to shop once they’ve got down to their ideal weight. But the biggest disadvantage to this is that it reduces your options when shopping. You may have to buy off the rack designs that are than adjusted to fit you or may have a nail biting time hoping your ordered piece comes in time. Remember custom orders can take between 1-6 months (and maybe even longer) to make. I personally would recommend brides have all their pieces with them at least a month before their wedding. This allows time to get any adjustments done as well as hair and make up trials done with the outfits and of course any last min accessory shopping.

RAMP

This is a goldilocks kinda tip- You’ve got to ramp up your usual look so there’s no mistaking who the bride is but on the other hand don’t go so out there that you end up looking like someone else entirely. No Renee Zellwegers please! I remember my mum insisting I try a bright fuschia lipstick at my wedding make up trial- I hadn’t been a lippy girl till then and I was ummming and ahhing. Anyway, Gini the mua said try it, if you don’t like it we won’t use it on the day and again my Mum was right. It completed the look- its just because I wasn’t used to seeing myself all glammed up!

MIX

Asian weddings have so many different events. Make sure you mix up your looks so you look different on each occasion. A friend (quite rightly) told me off at a recent wedding because on each occasion I was wearing either a cream or white based outfit! And make sure you go for looks that suit the event- if you’re having a beach party wearing a heavy lengha that you can’t move in just isn’t going to work.

FIT

I am so ridiculously fussy when it comes to the fit of my Indian clothes because no matter how stunning the outfit is if the fit isn’t right it won’t look as wow as it could.

AGE

Work with what you’ve got. And remember you’re young and beautiful so don’t hide away the body that in 30 years time you’d wished you’d showed off more. My belly is always hanging out! I just think while I’ve still got a small waist and only a mini muffin top I may as well work it while I can. LOL!

HAPPY

Lastly and importantly- you’ve got to be happy in what you’re wearing! If everyone loves an outfit but you don’t- don’t get it! It’s your wedding, your choice!

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