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Affordable Designer Bridal Shopping Mumbai

27th March 2015

My most popular blog post of all time is My Mumbai Shopping Guide post. The majority of feedback I’ve had from the post has been incredibly positive. Although I have recently felt the raised eyebrow of a couple of my fellow bloggers who believe that my designer wedding trosseau is not in all brides budgets. Firstly I’ve got to say- I’m from the ‘each to their own’ kinda way of thinking. I don’t think my budget should be judged and as with everything in life its all relative… some people would think I spent a lot on my wedding shopping and others would think I spent peanuts!!! Secondly there’s this notion that Indian designer wear = super duper expensive. I always say if you can afford to shop in the likes of  UK designers -Sonas, Mona Vora and Ekta Solanki whose bridal lenghas start at £2k up you can buy from the likes of Manish Malhotra and Sabyasachi.

Ok, so I know the eyebrow raisers will say what if you don’t have £2k to spend…even with half the budget I’d still rather spend my money on designer- the thing is its completely different in India. There are a huge variety of designers all offering different price points. I’d rather buy a £800 Tamanna Punjabi Kapoor wedding lengha then a Sabyasachi knock off from the likes of Kalki, Seasons, Friendship etc in Santa Cruz for the same price….but that’s just me saying what I’d do…each to their own!

So here’s my list of designer stores in Mumbai that are more wallet friendly than the likes of Tarun, Manish, Anamika and Co….

Tamanna Kapoor Punjabi

cocktail

Remember Cocktail? Diana Penty looks gorgeous in a Tamanna lengha

t punjabi kapoor

Tamanna store is small which is the norm for smaller designer stores -there’s maybe room for about 30-odd designs.  My sis bought a gorgeous lime green gota work lengha for her Mehndi night for £800 from her. It’s an absolute beauty and I know brides have picked the same piece in hot pinks/red and oranges for their bridal lenghas. Sonaakshi Raaj recommended us Tamanna and we went in three days before we flew back home. In a day and a half she got the blouse made so my sister could have a fitting before she left and six weeks later as promised the lengha was couried over.  Tamanna was fantastic and I can’t recommend her and her work enough!

Address: Gurmukh Sagar Bldg, 29th Road, Pali Village, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050, India

We didn’t have an appointment but would advise you to arrange one to make sure Tamanna is in-store.

Chamee and Palak

Chamee & Palak 1 Chamee & Palak 2 Chamee & Palak

Again this designer duo’s store is small – maybe forty odd designs in store but they are all very pretty and youthful. They will custom make any of the designs in store and can work with you to design a special piece. We didn’t place an order from them as they were one of the last stores we visited and had already done most of our shopping. My mum’s friend had placed orders with them and has been happy with the service they provide. This store is by appointment only

5,Shubham apartment, Bajaj road,Vile Parle – west,Mumbai. contact: +919930782891 / chameeandpalak@gmail.com BY APPOINTMENT

Shruti Sheth

Shruti Seth

Shruti Seth 2

Shruti Seth 3

Another small store- again maybe thirty odd designs, I visited her store but didn’t buy anything but her designs are lovely esp her heavy blouses (a little Jade-esque I might add but without the Jade price tag).

Shruti Sheth– Hill Crest, 10th Road, Opp Absolute Spa, Juhu, Vile Parle West, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India 400049

Again we didn’t make an appointment but would advise making an appointment when the designer is in store.

Fuel 

Fuel-fashion-preview-2

peppermint diva

Feminine florals of Peppermint Diva are available from Fuel

Fuel is another multi brand designer store and its on my original list. There are three stores across Mumbai and the store in Opera House is the biggest- actually its huge and if you’re short of time this a def a must visit store. Fuel also carries a real mix of price points and styles as well as some really fab accessories. Labels stocked include Sabyasachi, Peppermint Diva, Rina Dhaka & Rohit & Rahul Ghandi.

Prices start at £150

Address: Kantilal Karia & Co.Chowpati View Building, Opp. Sukh Sagar,Opera House
Tel: (+91) 22 23693131

Address: Lakshmi Niwas,Plot no. 450/B, 14th Road, Off Linking Road, Khar West
Tel: (+91) 22 26497878

Address: SV Road, Vile Parle, Juhu, Mumbai – 400049

Aza

aza

aza anushree

Anushree Reddy is stocked at Aza

Aza is my favourite multi brand designer in Mumbai. It’s worth visiting all three stores- for my sis recent wedding shopping trip we picked up pieces by Anushree Reddy, Pankaj & Nidhi, Arpita Mehta and Ridhi Mehra.

Altamount Road 21, Altamount Road, Mumbai – 400026.Ph: +91 22 2353 0212 / +91 98674 51199 Email: altamount@azafashions.com

Shishir, 15-A, near Maneckji Cooper School, Juhu Tara Road, Mumbai – 400049 Ph: +91 22 2661 0091 / +91 98339 51198 Email: juhu@azafashions.com

Bandra, 24, Aza House, Tuner Road, Bandra West, Mumbai – 400050

+(91)-9833281197

www.azafashions.com

Prices start at £250

Amara

Another multi brand store worth checking out. They stock the very popular Delhi based designer Dolly J as well as the likes of Namrata Joshipura, Gaurav Gupta and Vineet Bahl,

Amara

1/3/5, Kemps Boulevard, Kwality House, Kemps Corner, Mumbai – 400006, Near Crossword Book Store, Above Rudra Spa & Salon View Map

+(91)-22-23872537, 23872538, 23879687, 23875909

+(91)-22-23872538

www.amara.co.in

Vandana

vandana

Vandana is a fabric store in Mumbai that I’ve already raved about. It’s my go to store to buy fabrics to make outfits/ saris for smaller occasions- like poojas or friends mehndi nights etc…they have hundreds and hundreds of fabrics and borders so you can be your own designer! Their sales assistants are amazing and will help you combine fabrics to create individual pieces. I had a crop top/high waist pencil skirt, churidaar pants and dupatta outfit made. Cost of fabrics was £100 and my tailor charged £30 for stitching. LOVE this store. Both my sis and I bought our bridesmaid saris from here.

304, 305 Rajdoot Chsl, Linking Road Khar West, Opp Rajkumar Jewellers, Mumbai 40005

I’m going to finish off by saying it’s worth noting that Indian designer shopping is very different to shopping in stores on Green St, Ealing Rd and Southall Broadway. The designer stores don’t carry large ranges (apart from the big designer names), everything is hung up and there’s no sitting in front of a wall of saris that are pulled out to show customers. It is much more time consuming shopping from designer stores but personally I think its worth it for the different pieces you find there.

Hope you guys find the post useful and Happy Shopping!

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Asian dating Q and A for @ Match.com

3rd Nov 2014

I got my cupid on for my latest guest blog post for Match.Com. Am I am dating guru/know it all??! Hell no! but I def enjoyed answering the dating questions below. Let me know what you think. And if you didn’t read my first post for Match.com read it here…

Nina pic

Question 1 – cultural differences

Hi Nina,

I’m Scottish and have recently started dating an Indian guy. He’s very kind and I enjoy his company but I’m a little worried about the differences in cultures and wondered if you had any advice on dating an Asian guy?

Anna

Hey Anna,

Thanks for your email. I could give you a really unhelpful list of stereotyped tips like….

1) Enjoy curry, the hotter the better (a bottle of Tabasco should become a handbag staple)
2) Learn how to wrap yourself in a 7 yard piece of fabric (aka The Sari)
3) Learn how to walk in the above without looking like a penguin
4) Work on your Bollywood moves (screwing a light bulb is a classic)
5) Watch Bend it Like Beckham and East is East on repeat

But the best advice I can give you is to try not to stereotype because every single guy out there is different. It’s understandable to be slightly nervous of the unknown and the best way of overcoming this feeling is to get to know each other more- ask questions/learn about his culture and likewise talk about your background. From what you’ve said in your email – you’ve met a great guy- have fun!

Question 2 – how to find the right girl?

Hi Nina,

I’m a 30 year old Muslim guy. For the last three years I’ve been looking for a long term partner and I’m just fed up. I go on two or three dates a week whether it’s through internet dates or family set ups but nothing seems to happen. I met a couple of girls that I liked but after a few dates things just fizzled. My friends say I’m a catch- alright looking, good job, down to earth etc…so I just don’t know why I’m struggling to meet the right girl.

Asif

Hi Asif,

Thanks for getting in touch. It’s great to hear from a male dating perspective. It sounds like you have a major case of ‘dating fatigue’. I’ll give you a pat on the back for being pro-active but think you may have taken it too far the other way. You might be going on too many dates, so take your time, and think about what you’re really looking for in a date. You’ve said that you’re fed up and that jaded outlook is probably coming across on your dates. Also going into a date with the mind set that you are looking for a serious relationship can put pressure on the date and you may find yourself making snap decisions about people. Dating should be fun and you’re definitely not having any fun at the moment.

Take up a new hobby, spend time with your friends & family or join a sports team! Basically, use some of the time you were previously using to date on just you. And when you do feel like starting to date again- slow it down a little and go into the date with the mind set that you’re meeting a new friend- take the pressure off and in the words of John Legend- Take it Slowwwww!

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Diwali bouquets from Appleyard London

20th October 2014

I really don’t know where the year has gone! I can’t quite believe its Diwali time again although I’m sooo not complaining. I love Diwali- family, friends, food, fireworks and festivities what’s not too love! I’ve noticed over here in the U.K Diwali celebrations are becoming bigger by the year. Who ever sent out Diwali cards before? Now there’s a whole section of cards in my local Waitrose alongside a fireworks counter!

So when the lovely florists at Appleyard London got in contact to share news of their Diwali bouquet range I thought I’d def have to share it on the blog. They kindly gifted me a bouquet too- I chose the gorgeous Jade bouquet, it was the rich reds and oranges of the Grand Prix Roses and Mango Cala Lillies that I thought were fitting with the colours of Diwali.

Appleyard, london, flowers, bouquets, diwali, festival of lights, india, hindu


Appleyard, london, flowers, bouquets, diwali, festival of lights, india, hindu

The hand tied bouquet was beautifully packed too which makes it a great gift for a loved one or a great gift for you!!! My bouquet is proudly sitting on my hallway table- a lovely welcome me thinks!

Appleyard, london, flowers, bouquets, diwali, festival of lights, india, hindu

Appleyard London have offered a discount code. Enter BLOG40 for 40% discount off a luxury flowers bouquet.

This is a sponsored blog post. I was gifted the bouquet by Appleyard London.

Website: Appleyard London
Facebook: Appleyard London Facebook
Twitter: @AppleyardLondon
Pinterst: Appleyard London

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Textiles of SouthEast Asia: Tradition, Trade & Transformation: by Robyn Maxwell

15th August 2014

The publishers of the book: Textiles of South East Asia kindly sent me a copy. If you’re after in depth knowledge on the history, culture and influences on the area this really is the book for you- all 432 pages. As a designer and having traveled to several parts of South East Asia (I went backpacking in the area after uni) I was really looking forward to the book but I found it too text heavy for me. There’s some beautiful imagery accompanying the text but I would have preferred far more images and I would have liked to see more images showing traditional weaving, dyeing and block printing techniques.

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The book is available to buy @ Amazon

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Will.i.am ft Cody’s ‘It’s My birthday’ Vs A.R. Rahman’s ‘Urvasi Urvasi’

6th August 2014

I have had ‘It’s My Birthday stuck on loop in my head for the last couple of weeks (yep Summer is mega birthday time for friends and family) So I was killing the song with my out of tune singing when my friend said- do you remember the original? Me : Ohhhh that’s why it sounded sooooo familiar! Friend: Urvasi, Urvasiiii, take it easy Urvasiii. (yep she stated singing too)

It makes a change to hear a Western song inspired by a South Asian song rather than the other way round!!!

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Guest Blog Post @ Match.com

30th July 2014

I was approached a couple of weeks ago by the Match.Com blog team to write two guest blog posts to go into their Asian Dating section. Well the first is now live… they asked for an Indian Dating perspective but I think the post is pretty general-here’s the repost let me know what you think!!!

Nina Asian Blogger ( I sent a few pics over surprised they choose this black and white one?!)

My name is Nina. I’ve been contacted by the lovely people at match.com to share an Indian dating perspective on this blog. Am I some sort of dating guru?.. ummm NO! But I’ve def had my fair share of the good, the bad and the down right ugly when it comes to dating. Here’s my top five dating tips…

1) If you don’t buy the ticket you won’t win the lottery

At Uni I would bump into this one guy pretty much every week. We’d chat a bit and he’d ask me out. He wasn’t really my type (I remember a big monobrow situation; in fact there was just a general teen-wolf thing going on). Anyway, after a few months of some cheeky banter and that line when I’d decline a date, I eventually thought why not? We only went on a few dates but they were far more enjoyable then I expected. So next time you’re umming and ahhing about someone, say yes and see what happens…

2) Tear up your check list (or at least re-evaluate)

Hey, we all have a check list whether we’re vocal about it or whether it’s subconscious. I was guilty of this one – my original checklist read like this: needs to be tall (I’m 5ft 9 so over was a must), dark, and handsome, have a good sense of humour, and be kind and caring with a good job. So half my list was pretty superficial hey? And guess what my husband is shorter than me…he was unemployed when we met. If I’d have stuck to my checklist I wouldn’t have even have gone on one date with him…

3) Be proactive

So this pearl of wisdom came from my Mum. I was having a moan about the dating drought I was experiencing a few years ago, and instead of the sympathy that I was after (thanks, Mum!) she said “well who are you going to meet sitting at home? Make an effort and go out.” Got to love Mums and their brutal honesty. And she was right. So all you guys are signed up to match.com (good start!) Try talking to a few people and don’t just wait for people to say hello to you. Perhaps you could also sign up for one of the Match.com nights out?

4) Are you great boyfriend/girlfriend material?

We’ve been so accustomed to talking about what we want from a partner that it’s easy to forget that we have to be a good catch too! Ask your friends what your best and worst qualities are, as having self-awareness is such a plus point. Be someone that you’d want to date.

5) Dating should be fun

The last tip, and I think the most important, is such a simple one – forget games, forget the rules, forget your checklist – just be in the moment and have fun.

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My Fave Trends at PCJ Delhi Couture Week and India Bridal Fashion Week

30th August 2013

All these back to back fashion weeks are making my head spin! So, I’ve decided to in the words of John Legend- ‘to take it slooowwww’ that’s why I’m here posting a trend report on PCJ Couture Fashion Week and India Bridal Fashion Week when everyone else is already in the thick of blogging about Lakme Fashion Week. Ohhh Well! And yep I’ve put together both fashion weeks in the report because no matter how many times the organisers say there’s a huge difference between both I’ll disagree.

SEXY BACK
It was all about the sexy back at both Fashion Weeks. The prettiest examples were from Manish Malhotra with demure front necklines with open or low backs which just looked sooo yum.

Sexy Back, trend, Fashion, Top 5 trends, PCJ Delhi Couture Fashion Week, India Bridal Fashion Week, Deepika Padukone

WHITE & GOLD

White and Gold was trending all over the catwalks and I love these bold White and Gold looks. Who says you need colour to make a statement?

Sexy Back, trend, Fashion, Top 5 trends, PCJ Delhi Couture Fashion Week, India Bridal Fashion Week, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Rohit Bal Shantanu & NikhilL-R Rohit Bal, Shantanu & Nikhil.

Sexy Back, trend, Fashion, Top 5 trends, PCJ Delhi Couture Fashion Week, India Bridal Fashion Week, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Rohit Bal Shantanu & Nikhil, Anamika Khanna, Suneet VermaAnamika Khanna and Suneet Varma’s softer White and Gold looks

JERSEY SARI

Jersey Sari’s have been around for a while but these super hot incarnations needed to be shared. Seriously how super sexy is the master of drape- Guarav Gupta’s sari? I just can’t get enough of this trend and yep I’m still pining over the Sonaakshi Raaj sari Deepika Padukone wore recently!

Sexy Back, trend, Fashion, Top 5 trends, PCJ Delhi Couture Fashion Week, India Bridal Fashion Week, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Rohit Bal Shantanu & Nikhil, Anamika Khanna, Suneet Verma, Guarav Gupta, Jyostna Tiwari, Monisha Jaising, JJ Valaya, Raghavendra Rathore, JAckets, capes, Satya Paul, Masaba Gupta, Anamika Khanna, A/w, 2013, Anju Modi

JACKETS/CAPES

Layering in general was a big trend at both fashion weeks. There were cute bolero shapes at Rohit Bal and JJ Valaya and longer jackets over saris, pants and gowns at JJ Valaya, Raghavendra Rathore and Meera & Muzaffar ALi. Capes were also all over the place with the most directional at Anamika Khanna and pretty sheer capes at Masaba Gupta @ Satya Paul

Sexy Back, trend, Fashion, Top 5 trends, PCJ Delhi Couture Fashion Week, India Bridal Fashion Week, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Rohit Bal Shantanu & Nikhil, Anamika Khanna, Suneet Verma, Guarav Gupta, Jyostna Tiwari, Monisha Jaising, JJ Valaya, Raghavendra Rathore, JAckets, capes, Satya Paul, Masaba Gupta, Anamika Khanna, A/w, 2013L-R Masaba Gupta for Satya Paul, Anamika Khanna & Raghavendra Rathore.

THE ETHNIC MASH UP

I can’t think of a better name for this trend than- The Ethnic Mash Up. We’ve already become accustomed to the humble sari getting an injection of youth with pop art prints via the likes of Masaba Gupta and Aarti Vijay Gupta and then of course the jersey sari via the likes of Guarav Gupta and Sonaakshi Raaj. This reworking of the traditional continues with some exciting mash ups.

Sexy Back, trend, Fashion, Top 5 trends, PCJ Delhi Couture Fashion Week, India Bridal Fashion Week, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Rohit Bal Shantanu & Nikhil, Anamika Khanna, Suneet Verma, Guarav Gupta, Jyostna Tiwari, Monisha Jaising, JJ Valaya, Raghavendra Rathore, JAckets, capes, Satya Paul, Masaba Gupta, Anamika Khanna, A/w, 2013, Anju ModiAnamika Khanna’s beauties- Is it a sari? is it a gown? is it a suit?

Sexy Back, trend, Fashion, Top 5 trends, PCJ Delhi Couture Fashion Week, India Bridal Fashion Week, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Rohit Bal Shantanu & Nikhil, Anamika Khanna, Suneet Verma, Guarav Gupta, Jyostna Tiwari, Monisha Jaising, JJ Valaya, Raghavendra Rathore, JAckets, capes, Satya Paul, Masaba Gupta, Anamika Khanna, A/w, 2013, Anju ModiMasapa Gupta @ Satya Paul and Gaurav Gupta- Is it a gown? Is a Sari?

Images: PCJ Fashion Week Facebook, India Bridal Fashion Week Facebook and Barcode 91

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Spotlight: Rajni Perera

23rd July 2013

Procrastinating (yep, surfing the internet instead of working) led me to the work of Rajni Perera. Her website bio reads…

“I am a Toronto-based artist whose work floats in the space between Western and Immigrant culture. Blending the visual languages of ethnography, archaeology, astronomy and the indexical sciences, the work becomes a record of impossible discoveries and mythical creations.”

and I’m a fan of her latest work the ‘Maharani’ prints series in which she adds a pop art spin to sepia portrait prints transforming her Maharanis into mythical creatures. See if you can spot a familiar face.

Maharanis by Rajni PereraImage of her studio space.

Maharanis by Rajni Perera 2

Maharanis by Rajni Perera 3

Maharanis by Rajni Perera 4Yep, its Monica Dogra

Maharanis by Rajni Perera 1

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D.I.Y Wedding or Engagement Cake Stand

21st June 2013

As I mentioned in an earlier post I added a few craft-y touches to our engagement party and here’s one of them- my D.I.Y Cake Stand. I’m rather proud of my stand and loved the fact no one could tell that it was made from a lampshade, 3 plastic plates and 2 wine glasses.

I didn’t take pics as I made the stand (DOH!) so I don’t have the best step-to-step pic guide but hopefully my commentary will be clear enough.

D.I.Y Cake Stand The Asian Fashion Journal

I bought three different sized plastic plates, a set of wine glasses (used two) and a two tiered lamp shade all for £40 from TKMaxx (TKMaxx home-wares section is fab)

D.I.Y Cake Stand 1

Yep, here’s the lampshade- it was originally a two tiered lampshade- I cut off the smaller tier so only this big base was left. (make sure you buy the right size plate to fit onto your lampshade base.) I then cut out the beads from the smaller discarded lampshade tier and kept them to one side.

D.I.Y Cake Stand 2

Using a glue that bonds glass to plastic, I glued the wine glasses upside down in the centre of the plates. Once all layers were glued together, I glued a strip of draught excluder (you’ll find this in a hardware shop and use the 1cm wide excluder) around the bottom edge of the top and middle plate. I left the glue to dry overnight and then sprayed the stand with two coats of primer and then two coats of metallic finish silver paint.

D.I.Y Cake Stand 3

Using some florists wire I had (cut to approx 8cm long) I bent the wire into a U shape, threaded the beads I’d kept aside and stuck them through the draught excluder in even intervals. You don’t have to do this last step but I do think it finishes off the look.

Hope you liked! the tutorial

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M.I.A – ‘Bring the Noize’

19th June 2013

The lady is back…’Bring the Noize’ her first track from her new album ‘Matangi’ has been popping up all over music blogs

and my opinion on the track? I loveeee it (yep that’s about as in depth a music review you’ll get out of me!) The new track just makes me think its been tooooo long since she released some new material and as you can see from below I’ve been on youtube watching my favourite M.I.A videos! Here are my favourite 5.

Galang

XXXO

Bucky Done Gun

Bad Girls

Jimmy- yep I’ve even included her mash up of Disco Dancer’s “Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja” – gotta love it

Videos Sound cloud & Youtube

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