The last weekend of January, London had its very first bridal and occasion wear show by India’s most celebrated designers curated by Aashni Shah. As much as I regret missing out on the opportunity to wear a saree and attend Saraswati Puja aka Basant Panchami celebration by Bengali diaspora in London, but I have hugely compensated by finding myself in a fashion heaven- where India’s leading designers descended on London’s Dorchester Hotel on Sunday (January 25) to present their latest bridal and couture collections at the Aashni + Co Wedding Show in association with Zouch & Lamare. The atmosphere was electric and the air was thick with luxury fashion from India. January- renowned as being a key buying and browsing period for Summer Brides – the Aashni + Co Wedding show successfully showcased the latest offerings by a host of India’s best designers in the UK.
Know the organizers: Aashni + Co is UK’s leading luxury multi-designer store for Indian fashion. Focussing on current trends and mainly designers stocking within the Aashni+Co flagship store with a beautiful concept set in the heart of London’s Notting Hill: the Aashni+Co Wedding show promised and performed as the event to be ‘at’ with its annual offering of current season trends.
While more than 20 Wedding shows featuring Asian designs take place in the United Kingdom, Aashni+Co aimed for a high-fashion offering with a focus on the luxury market. The difference is in the edit, which is what Aashni+Co prides itself on.
The stars behind this hugely successful show was not one or two but a handful of people especially the team of Zouch & Lamare who designed and produced this show. So, if you are on the look out for a luxury wedding planning service which is tailored to each and every couple, you know where to go now as they take care of everything needed to realise your perfect wedding day!
Highlights of the event: With every designer – whether they create clothing or fine jewellery – being handpicked, it was surely the event for all the British Asian Brides, Mothers of the Bride and Grooms, family members from both sides along with all enthusiasts of fashion from Indian sub-continents came, saw and shopped designs from the top end of the Indian design spectrum.
Not just brides and grooms to be, the event also appeals to fashionistas, tastemakers and the aspirational alike. The wedding show not only focused on mainly Luxury Designer Indian bridal wear but also the offering in other aspects of the day was the florists, cake designers, wedding planners, live bands, a fun free photo-booth and other service providers handpicked from the creme de la creme within the United Kingdom which includes exclusive floral designer Zita Elze who was commissioned to design several display areas and had also exhibited at the show. I am besotted by Zita’s work especially done for the weddings and was delighted and equally thankful for the flowers she and her team allowed us to choose, pick and bring home with us after the show.
From established A-list fashion houses to cutting edge new generation talent, illustrious exhibitors include Manish Malhotra, Anushree Reddy, Varun Bahl, Kotwara by Meera and Muzaffar Ali, Pallavi Jaikishan, Shehlaa Khan, Sonali Gupta, Elisha Wadwani, Nikasha, Tarun Tahiliani, Ashima Leena, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Rimple and Harpreet Narula and Sabyasachi, who also featured in a stylish and amusing promotional video for the show – seen on B4U channel.
Speaking at the event, Aashni Shah said: “I’m overwhelmed by the atmosphere, the energy and the response here today to a luxe exhibition concept and retail platform of this scale.
“It was important to feature the right mix of designers and fashion houses, from established A-listers and luxury designers to the most sought after and desirable new generation talent. It is time people stopped travelling all the way to India to find their wedding outfit – we wanted to bring the best of India’s bridal to our doorstep and we’ve achieved that. The response has unanimously been amazing.”
When asked about the event, here is what India’s three most illustrious designers had to say:
Sabyasachi Mukherjee described the lavish event, saying: “It’s spectacular here today. I have brought a lot of pieces here today that our Bollywood girls have worn, from Aishwarya to Deepika, and I have also brought my latest collection that was on the runway. Indian brides in the UK are hungrier for culture. They are used to the best things and London is truly the most cosmopolitan city in the world.”
Manish Malhotra, who designs clothing for Bollywood’s biggest stars, said: “My collection here today is basically bringing back the classic red. I like taking vintage and heritage culture and giving it a modernising nature, which is easy to wear and personality driven.
Tarun Tahiliani added: “My first show at the Dorchester was in 1995. It was the first show I ever did and it was one of the most beautiful, magical nights. When I heard the venue for this event was the Dorchester, I had to do it just to do something a little different. It is wonderful being here. I had no idea it would be such an incredible turnout. It has been wonderful speaking to brides and the audience here. “
In addition to designers, other VIP’s in attendance included Kanika Kapoor, Pratham UK brand ambassador and singer; Tamara Al Gabbani, Jaipur Gems Brand ambassador, UAE; and Asian Awards founder Paul Sagoo.
My best moments at the show:
Not many people have a photograph of the best moments of their life’s important events. If you do, what a gift! This is why I believe in capturing every moments and emotions in a shutter click. Aashni +Co London Indian Designer Wedding Show was no exception to this rule. Actually I have two best moments from the show:
First of all, it’s meeting, greeting and getting to know the creative genius- the designer par excellence Sabyasachi Mukherjee. He made me feel he is ”one of us”. Humble and down-to-earth Sabya had teased me for never being happy with the pictures I take, (he is a quick personality trait reader;)) and, was patient with my (”perfectionist”) tantrums when initial iPhone clicks was an epic fail due to dim light decoration inside the hall and I had to run after him with my camera to get a couple decent pictures. If success makes you this relaxed about everything in life, then everyone should try to be nothing but successful!
My second best moment of the day rather an experience was to work closely with designer Nikasha. I was immediately drawn to her warm, friendly nature. As soon as I heard Nikasha’s Mum (who came to help her on the show) speaking in Bengali (which is my mother tongue), I instantly felt the warmth and got along with her entire team like a house on fire. But what made it so special to hit the list of one my best moments was Nikasha’s generosity to invite me to work with her in India, how sweet of her!
I’m very delighted that I had the opportunity to work along with Aashni +Co’s in-house team for the weekend only to put together this spectacular show, Aashni + Co treated everyone working for the event to coffee/tea and treats. I’m also glad that we all from Aashni+ Co’s event management team could share a piece of the demo wedding cake on display along with all the attendees and would like to take this opportunity to provide a small bit of thanks for all of your contributions to the success of this show. I am also looking forward to the drink night with all the members of this organizing team proposed by Aasni +Co to be held sometime in February, it is totally awesome of them. Aashni+ co rules!