The year may have only just begun but we may have already witnessed the bridal event of 2016. The Aashni + Co Wedding Show took place at the iconic Dorchester in London which was the perfect home to bring together some of the biggest fashion icons of the century to showcase their bridal and couture collections.
The day started with the press and media gathering to meet with the designers. Bloggers, magazines, TV and radio channels were all out in force. It’s not every day you have India’s most celebrated designers all under one roof. One thing was clear all the designers loved being in London, quite a few had even spent time living and studying in the UK and referred to it like a second home.
If like me, you made it to the show; you’ll no doubt know what I mean when I say the whole entire show was beyond fabulous and outrageously glamorous. It was wonderful to have an event creating a bridge between the brides in the UK and Indian based designers. Making these designs so accessible even more so than if you were to travel to India yourself.
I’ve been pouring over images of these designers for years now, so it really was a treat to see all of the heavenly creations right in front of me. I must have had a wow moment at least a 100 times during the show.
When you hear the words wedding show you typically think, fashion shows and lots and lots of supplier. Well this wasn’t your average show, it felt rather like a high end trunk show on a very grand scale. They hand picked suppliers for everything you might need at a wedding, decor, flowers, hair and makeup, photography, i could go on.
Something that came up again and again, was the question of a fashion show. Many people asked if there was to be one. There wasn’t. I can imagine it would be amazing, if there ever was a catwalk. My question is, is it really necessary?? isn’t talking to the actual designer and trying on outfits yourself even better than a model wearing the clothes.
I walked around in a wedding haze, there was so much bridal beauty on show. The Dorchester was buzzing with excitement. Lots of ohhs and ahhs. It was extremely busy at some point, with brides trying on gowns, people asking for selfies, mainly with Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra. They seemed really laid back, happy to pose and chat.
I’m going to do another post talking about the designers and trends otherwise this post will be never ending so keep a look out for that, meanwhile some highlights…
Its worth noting that all of the designer present at the show are stocked at Aashni + Co they include Anamika Khanna, Anju Modi, Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi, Varun Bahl, Akanksha Gajria, Ridhima Bhasin, Gaurav Gupta, Masaba, Rimple Narula, Samant Chauhan, Sonali Gupta and Paras Modi of SVA. You can visit the Notting Hill store if you missed out on the show.
Official Photographer Victoria from Elegant and Wild Wedding Photography had a colourful indian inspired photo booth set up. Everyone had fun, taking pictures including the models
Designers & Trends
When it comes south Asian weddings traditional colours will never go out of fashion. But something that was very evident at the show, was the move to more contemporary hues. Off whites, muted shades, blues and pinks. Looking ahead to spring and summer there was an array of sherbet and neon colours and florals. The on trend jackets and capes were also spotted.
Floral Styling by Zita Elze
Zita is a designer who is just full of brilliance and originality; she created an enchanted woodland theme within the hotels Gold Room, which became somewhat of a centerpiece in itself. Inspired by jewels the indoor forest was filled with mossy greens, asparagus fern and snowdrops. Amid the greeny were punches of ruby red. It was a joy to walk through with its path made of emerald green verdant crystals, which made such a delightful crunch when walked upon, the addition of the bird song in the background, made it truly feel like you had stepped into a magical forest.
The area also presented the top 5 designers at the show, they were Faraz Manan from Pakistan, alongside Manish Malhotra, Rimple & Harpreet Narula, Sabyasachi and Varun Bahl from India.
Official Makeup Artist Summaya
Summaya had created a flawless look on the models and though they were clearly made up, it still looked as though they hardly had any make up on. “It’s my statement look, nothing too in your face, light makeup, I’m very light handed with my application she said. “That’s not to say she’s not wearing anything, it’s all there, just very well blended light layers, with no hard contour.”
Official Hairstylist – Shamalah
Thrilled to be at the show, Shamalah enthused about the clothes and told me about the hairstyles she was doing for the models. “The look I’ve gone for is flowy and glamorous hair, nothing too structured. Known for her signatory up dos I asked her what looks could be we see brides sporting this year. “
“I take inspiration from the catwalks, as stylists it’s our job to show brides new and fresh trends. The middle parting slicked back look, along with soft tousled hair will be popular. Think effortless glam.
Its so difficult to find good, fashionable festive attire for children, I should know i have two girls. So a special mention goes to Kids Couture By Payal Bahl. They had the most adorable and most importantly well made outfits.
I caught up with some of the organisers and sponsors of the show to hear what they had to say …
Founder and Creative Director, Aashni Anshul Doshi (Shah)
Aashni said “The events been phenomenal even bigger than last year, there have been queues, outside and I just hope, everyone gets a chance to come in and get to see what their after. We have so many more designers this time.”
When speaking about, bringing leading Indian designers to the UK she said “I think it’s so important, people put down so much money for the outfits, at some point they do want to meet the designer. I want people to know that they don’t have to travel all the way to India they can get designer pieces here, in London at Indian prices.
Mustang Productions – Saadia Siddiqui
“I’m so delighted and extremely proud to be part of the Aashni + Co wedding show. The production of the show has been a real labor of love. We wanted to create a heaven for brides to be so they could come and have all the designers under one roof.”
“We wanted to connect designers and potential customers here in the UK. It’s not easy for people to travel all the way to India when there is a wedding. It’s an expensive affair, you’re already spending so much on the venue, food, clothes and then to add on top of that travel. It’s not convenient, and not everyone had family back in India, so we needed a platform where we could get all the designers in Indian and now even Pakistan with the introduction of designer Faraz Manan in one place.”
Editor In-Chief at Khush Wedding Magazine – Sonia Ullah
Sonia said “We were here last year and this year we decided to become media sponsors, simply because the show was such a success. It’s been great meeting all the designers and taking inspiration from them. We have Anamika Khanna on our latest cover. It was absolutely brilliant to meet her and she was very happy with the cover which was good for us.
Asked about the impact of shows like this Sonia said “Up until about 5 years ago brides didn’t have the option where they could go and pick up a designer piece, but now we have stores like Aashni and co where they can go and pick up a sabyasachi or a manish outfit which is good. Social media is also helping brides become, more educated and a lot more fashion forward.”
The show had its debut last year, which i missed, and since i had heard quite alot about i wanted to attend this year and i’m really glad i did. Kudos to Aashni and her team for doing something that i’m sure on the outside looks pretty easy but getting all these designers together is by no means an easy feat.
Much of the wedding industry was at the event and anyone I spoke with and even brides I overheard; pretty much loved the curated vibe of the show. Overall It was a well put together and well thought out event. Brimming with inspiration and im already looking forward to the next one.
Would love to hear from you if you went and what you thought of the show.
Aashni + Co Wedding Show in association with Mustang Productions took place on the 10th of January 2016. Images taken by me or via instagram #aashniweddingshow www.aashniandco.com