Tag Archives: pakistan

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…


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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!


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.


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.


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!


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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Vogue India Guest Post: Fashion Parade @ Kensington Palace

13th June 2014

Here’s a re-blog of latest guest post for Vogue India : )

London’s Royal Kensington Palace’s Orangery played host to an evening of Pakistani and Indian fashion on Monday night.

Sadia, Aashni & Co, fashion, Ali Zafar, Pakistan, India, Anamika Khanna, Kensington Palace, Orangery, Fashion Parade

Sadia, Aashni & Co, fashion, Ali Zafar, Pakistan, India, Anamika Khanna, Kensington Palace, Orangery, Fashion Parade

Sadia, Aashni & Co, fashion, Ali Zafar, Pakistan, India, Anamika Khanna, Kensington Palace, Orangery, Fashion Parade

Anamika Khanna

Sadia, Aashni & Co, fashion, Ali Zafar, Pakistan, India, Anamika Khanna, Kensington Palace, Orangery, Fashion Parade

Guests were a mix of diplomats, high society, celebrities and fashionistas who came to support South Asian fashion as well as the Great Ormond Street Hospital — the event’s charity partner, which the late Princess Diana was also a patron of. Guests included Pakistani musician-turned-actor Ali Zafar and wife Ayesha Fazli, director Gurinder Chadha, businessman Lord Gulam Noon, marketing expert Suhel Seth and musician Zoheb Hassan among others.

“Fashion Parade is a great platform to showcase designers from the East globally,” Aashni + Co boutique owner Aashni Shah told Vogue. “Being the only Indian store to have been invited, I thought Anamika Khanna’s designs would strike the right pitch on contemporary Indian clothing… She is able to marry the heritage of Indian sensibilities with the dynamic aesthetics of the modern global woman.”

“Anamika and I sat down to make an edit of her couture collection (first seen at PCJ Delhi Couture Week 2013, view it here), focusing on pieces that would appeal to a global audience and not just the Asians at the event,” Shah adds, explaining that those pieces would appeal because they retained their air of couture exclusivity and were not mass produced.

This translated into 10 on-the-spot orders of a particular Anamika Khanna ensemble — a floral floor-length jacket worn over a bright blue lehenga — with more potential customers on its waitlist.

From Pakistan, designers Faiza Samee, Ayesha Hashwani, Nomi Ansari, Zara Shahjehan, Seher Tareen and Nazneen Tariq showcased capsule collections.

“Fashion Parade provides a platform for participating designers to introduce their work in the UK and helps promote trade relations between our two countries,” says Pakistani high commisioner Imran Mirza. “It represents a fusion of both east and west, thus bringing both the British and Pakistani communities together. Such events take us beyond the usual narratives associated with Pakistan.”

Images Aashni & Co / Vogue India

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Champagne, Canapes and Couture Evening at Faisana Weekend

16th May 2014

Over the last bank holiday I attended the wonderful Champagne, Canapes and Couture evening @ Faisana Weekend. The event was held at the luxurious Crystal Room at the Mayfair Hotel with a show by designers Anita Dongre Rina Dhaka & Bhairavi Jaikishan and Pakistani designers Umar Sayeed, Nida Azwer and Sania Maskatiya as well as a performance by Fasih Rehman.

Sania Maskatya

Sania Maskataiya

Loveddd the Sania Maskatya collection- the African inspired prints were gorg.

Sania Maskatya

Sania Maskatiya

I have to say a big Congrats to the teams involved in the event-it was a fab evening and my fave part? Getting to chat to the ah-mazing Anita Dongre.

Anita Dongre

Anita Dongre

I asked her how she got involved with the event.

Radhika wrote to my team and I thought it was a great idea-an event with three Pakistani designers three Indian designers that have never really sold in London. So it was just a good to be a part of and to dip my toes into the London market.

and on that note I had to ask her if she had any continued plans in London.

Honestly, as a brand and as a company we are always looking to open new stores and we are considering a store in London. It’s maybe a year away….I’m hoping to come over with my other brand Global so not really ethnic.

Anita Dongre, Faisaina

Which area gives you the most pleasure designing?

So when I’m sitting on the drawing board for AND and Global Desi its great fun they are high street brands and I get a different kind of pleasure designing those two labels but the bridal market is luxury and its not bound by prices as much so maybe that is like my most luxurious de-stresser and I enjoy that the most because I’m not limited by cost, I just want to make a beautiful lengha- I want it to be light, I want my bride to enjoy it and I’m not doing it with a price point in mind.

Anita Dongre

Anita Dongre

Which bridal trends are you championing this season?

Since a few months I showed at Lakme fashion week and I showed the bandi, and its been accepted beautifully.I’m showing a couple of Bandi pieces today…showing how you wear it with a gown, showing how you wear it with the lengha, my clients have bought it with a palazzo pant and saris so its something that I put it on the ramp and I’ve told my fashion consultants on store to educate the customer and I love the way that todays young Indian woman is realising that she can invest in pieces but can get more out of them. I don’t even price a bridal lengha as one price which people are amazed so I price the choli or the bandi separately, the lengha seperately, the dupatta separately,so that my consumer comes in and buys any garment she wants and dresses it up or dresses it down

Anita Dongre

Anita Dongre

Umar Sayeed

Umar Sayeed

Me with the oh sooo talented Pakistani designer Umar Sayeed.

I’ve heard on the grapevine that following the success of the event the organisers are planning on bringing more talent over for a series of events like this one!

Thanks to Shahid Malik for the fab pics


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FAISANA-Fashion weekend 2nd-3rd May 2014

25th April 2014

Writing this ole blog means that now and then I get an invite or two to upcoming Asian events. Some invites I’m a nah, some a hmmm and once in a while I’m a hell ya! The Fasiana– Fashion weekend takes place over the bank holiday at the May Fair Hotel and def falls into the later category. Hosted by Radhika Hasan (RHL), Aamna & Aisha (A&A) and Cchavi Seth Management the two day event brings over leading Indian designers- Anita Dongre (how much did I crush over her Jaipur Bride photoshoot earlier this year?) Rina Dhaka & Bhairavi Jaikishan and Pakistani designers Umar Sayeed, Nida Azwer and Sania Maskatiya. All the designers will be coming over to personally represent their brands.

Anita Dongre Hapers Bazaar Bride India

Anita Dongre Hapers Bazaar Bride India

The Fasiana fashion weekend opens on 2nd May with the glamorous ‘Champagne, Canapes and Couture’ evening which features a champagne reception, walking exhibits, a fashion show, live music and a special performance by Kathak dancer Fasih ur Rahman of the Akademi institute. Tickets are available here and if you can’t make it down on Friday the event continues with a free open exhibition 12-7pm where designers will be retailing their latest ready to wear and couture pieces at their Indian and Pakistani prices.

Nida Azwer

Nida Azwer

Rina Dhaka Rina Dhaka

Website: http://www.faisanaweekend.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/faisanafashionweekend

Twitter: @FaisanaWknd #FaisanaWknd

Faisana: Fashion Weekend

Friday 2nd May 2014: Champagne, Canapes and Couture evening. Invite/ ticket only, 7-9.30pm. For tickets, email: admin@faisanaweekend.com

Saturday 3rd May 2014: Grand Trunk Show. Admission: Free to attend, 12-7pm

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