Nikki Tibbles: Luxury Florist

Launched in 1993, Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart has been creating exceptional floral displays for events and weddings across London and the UK, drawing inspirations from a range of sources, Nikki Tibbles is famed for creativity and quality, bringing aesthetic beauty to the forefront, not to mention artistic innovation.

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For Think Shaadi Boutique, which took place at the chic May Fair hotel and featured new collections by legendary Indian fashion designers Suneet Varma and Tarun Tahiliani, as well as accessories supremo Judith Leiber. The event was set beautifully by Nikki Tibbles, who created several eye-catching bespoke arrangements, of pink and purple hydrangea, pink piano and spray roses, purple and blue delphinium, guelder rose and clematis and placed them into golden brass urns and bronze fish bowls which were placed around the room to complement the space in a fun and uplifting way.

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On the inspiration for the arrangements, Nikki Tibbles says – “For the flowers, we took inspiration from the vibrant fabric colours used in the stunning bridal collections at the showcase.” The designs were a vibrant and exotic mix of colours and brought a great joie de vivre to the event.

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Nikki Tibbles went on to say – “We put together a sumptuous mix of bright and bold seasonal flowers to accentuate the intricately beaded dresses and floral paisley patterns, and of course the exclusive Judith Leiber rose clutch which we absolutely loved.”

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The bespoke floral arrangements included pink and purple hydrangea, pink piano roses, spray roses and guelder roses, purple and blue delphinium, and clematis. They were displayed in golden brass urns and bronze fish bowls which were placed around the room to complement the space in a fun and uplifting way.

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These outstanding arrangements, with their hypnotic colours and perfect form delighted guests and designers alike.

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Harpers’ Bazaar Bride

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Here at Think Shaadi we were amazed at the July cover of Harpers’ Bazaar Bride. Featuring the ethereal Jacqueline Fernandez, who is currently starring in Sajid Nadiadwala‘s action comedy ‘Kick’, alongside Salman Khan and Randeep Hooda. Fernandez sparkles in a kaleidoscopic creation by India’s king of all things sartorially adventurous Manish Arora.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 08.35.25This was an edgy shift away from Harpers’ Bazaar Bride’s usual themes, which often embrace the formal. The photographer behind it is Prasad Naik, one of the industries most sought after creatives. His photography truly pushes the boundaries, Naik weaves the young, the beautiful and the bold effortlessly.

After completing art school in 1996, Naik launched himself into the world of professional photography, and his since worked on numerous editorials with some of the most prestigious publications, including ELLE India, L’Officiel, Vogue, Marie Claire India, Flim Fare et al.

We got the opportunity to have a quick chat with Naik about his shoot for Harpers’ Bazaar Bride. “I had been working with Harper’s Bazaar for years and know the Editor and the whole team” says Naik “Some of them have now joined Harper’s Bazaar Bride and called me for the cover and cover story shoot.

On the preperation behind the shoot, Naik says “We treated all the shots like a goodpicture and then took a unanimous decision on which is the best and suitable for the cover. It was quite unique as this was the first time I shot for a bridal magazine. The shoot went on for approximately 5 hours and we did about 4 to 5 changes.

It’s been super to get some background info on how this amazing cover came to be. We’re waiting to see another colaboration between Naik and Hapers’ Bazaar Bride very soon! X

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Tarun Tahiliani: Bridal Couture Exposition

As we trundle along towards Vogues carnival of bridal dreams, the Wedding Show, let’s take some time out to focus on those Kings and Queens of fashion who will be taking part. Recently, that fine master of the evocative and the ethereal Tarun Tahiliani, brought all his power and prestige together at his Bridal Exposition. It was the sixth edition of Tahiliani’s now legendary expositions, which was staged at The Four Seasons Hotel in the vibrant capital of fashion Mumbai, before it heads to Delhi in August. This time around Tahiliani has collaborated with World Gold Council, for Azva, Forevermark, Swarovski and Diageo – Johnnie Walker Platinum Label 18.’ It was a grand affair to stimulate the senses of the fashion conscious, carefully put together, with attention paid to detail which was reminiscent of a coronation ceremony; it defined luxury and sartorial innovation. The mannequins, which were festooned with his designs, were painted in gold, we certainly wouldn’t expect anything less, the beautiful male and female models were obviously angelic and the exhibition room was distinctly regal. For this collection Tahiliani titled it ‘The Modern Mughals’ a most apt title it has to be said, because Tahiliani singlehandedly brought those well known sartorial attributes, so emblematic of the Mughal age straight into the 21st century, an era when potential brides and grooms are so desperate for that mix of the traditional and the functional. The transcendent designs flow like honey, glistening with charm and sweetness. Don’t be mistaken though, sweet and charming they may be, but there is also Tahiliani’s trademark power intertwined between the stitching. These are statement pieces, each one possessing certain individual qualities from the last. The colours are if taken from a panoramic sunset in the countryside, deep oranges, reds, bronze, gold, silver and sun kissed greens etc. They conjure up a vision of a queen at her summer palace, essentially rural splendour at its best. As is stated, the inspirations and influences come from the Mughals, but not just from fashion, but from their jewellery, art, architecture, literature etc, and every facet of civilisation that the Mughals, with their mixture of Indian and Persian aesthetics, sensibilities and mores came up with. Going back to the modern Mughal though, for this collection modernity sits neatly and harmoniously alongside these historic influences, this is prominently seen in the fact that each design has so much accessibility and above all breathability. The bridegroom’s were certainly not left out either, the shift from all out traditionalism to exciting modern twists had their place here too, with pre-stitched dhotis and jodhpurs etc, that were not in the usual muted colour schemes, but were instead in bright and celebratory hues, not forgetting the careful stitching and embroidery. Tarun Tahiliani continues his journey as a creative master mind, surprising and delighting us all, each and every time.   Images courtsey of  Tarun Tahiliani.

Cakes by Krishanthi

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Krishanthi Armitt works a certain kind of magic with cakes. It’s a distinctive, eye catching and ultimately beautiful magic, where intricacy and grandeur operate in seamless harmony. Inspired to bake by watching her mother make tasty cakes for her family, Krishanthi uses the traditional techniques of Austrian and German bakers, renowned for their brilliance in the world of cake making, which she absorbed from her years studying at university in Germany.

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It’s Krishanthi’s skill with sugar work that gives her cakes the Midas touch, her range of delicately crafted floral motifs, which look unnervingly real, are a symbol of culinary perfection. Krishanthi really began to understand sugar craft when she became a mother. Her cakes emphasise the grand style of cake design, they take the classical form, but Krishanthi adds her eclectic influences, to make fashion cakes that epitomise individuality.

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It’s hard to define Krishanthi’s style, it’s something which has many facets. In a recent interview, when asked about her style, she said “My style is elegant, but it has to be unique and maybe even a little bit quirky. Fashion and architecture plays a big role when I’m looking for inspiration

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Ultimately, all Krishanthi’s designs are fashioned out of love and an astute understanding of aesthetics. Her designs achieve that all important air of wonder and amazement, a treat for both the eye and the taste buds.

Community Highlight: Rob Van Helden

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The love affair which Dutch artists have with flowers goes back to the Flemish Golden Era, when painters like Ambrosius Bosschaert and Balthasar van der Ast used floral displays as a tool to represent life, birth, death etc. Today, Rob Van Helden is creating magic with flowers; his designs encompass the grand and the small, his style is fashioned from a deep love for design, nature and colour.

Over his 24 year career Rob Van Helden has been courted by a wealth of famous faces from Elton John to Pierce Brosnan. Aside from the celebrity attention, Rob has designed for royal weddings, charity events, society parties etc, in the UK, Continental Europe and beyond, such as in the beautiful palaces of Rajasthan. His distinctive style is what captures people’s attention first and foremost, but the careful attention he pays to each client’s needs is what cements their love for him.

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When it comes to his aesthetic approach, Rob tends to work with one specific type of flower, as he says “this is the way in which flowers tend to grow in the wild.” Whereas some florists create with a dizzying mixture of flowers, Rob likes to stick to the way nature intended, and then elaborate from that.

Like all good florists, Rob uses flowers to frame a celebration, whether it is a wedding, party or even the changing seasons. It’s all about delighting the eye and triggering the pleasure senses. We are very happy to have Rob Van Helden part of our Community xx

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Below is Mark Niemierko’s interview with Rob. Mark is a leading luxury wedding planner, based in London and this video shows Niemierko Wedding Academy students visit Rob’s studio, along with a tour of Covent Garden Flower Market in October 2011, for an insight into the creative element of floral design when it comes to weddings and events.

 

Competition: Gehna Jewellers Mothers Day Contest

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Gehna Jewellers, a Bandra based jewellery design company, and Think Shaadi partners, have just launched their Mothers Day Contest, which gives you the chance to win an array of exquisite goodies. Simply upload an image of you and your mother via Twitter or Instagram, tag @Gehnajewellers1, then using #MomIsMyWorld tell them why she is the centre of your universe.

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Headed by Sunil Datwani, Gehna Jewellers is the premier design house for luxurious and unique jewellery. Opening up their store in uber trendy Bandra, Gehna features some of the best artisans in the industry, including Shaina NC, James Ferreira and Shaheen Abbas. Together they create stunning collections, which are intricately designed using the finest gold, diamonds and platinum.

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News: Pavan Ahluwalia Opens Henna Bar in Selfridges

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Since we last spoke about self-taught henna artist Pavan Ahluwalia, she’s gone onwards and upwards, finally opening up her henna bar at Selfridges. With it being the first of its kind, Pavan had a curious public clamouring to get a personal design.

Opening on May 1st, with typical style and finesse, her new outlet offers a range of personal services, including henna tattoos, bridal consultation and private henna bar hire. It gives Pavan a greater opportunity to flex her creative muscle, mixing her trademark ancient inspired artistry with contemporary style.

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On twitter she simply wrote “this is a dream come true!” A dream which we think will continue to rise in popularity. The bar is housed in a minimalistic setting, free from distractions, it’s an oasis for customers to sit and indulge in the age old traditions of henna.

Pavan’s passion for design has only intensified with her Selfridges venture; we’re keeping our eyes firmly fixed on her career, anticipating what beauty she will conjure up next.

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Community Highlight: Suneet Varma

Fashion’s Great Magician

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Grandeur, it’s a word that conjures up many thoughts, in art you might think of the Baroque, the Neo-Classical etc, in architecture you might think of the Palace of Versailles, and in fashion you’re more than likely to think of Suneet Varma. Suneet, one of India’s leading women’s and bridal wear designers launched his career back in the late 1980’s, when the Indian fashion industry, as we know it today, was in its genesis. It was a time when designers were breaking free from the traditional structures and beginning to embrace new design methods.

Going back to grandeur, it’s Suneet who has spearheaded an aesthetic that is forever structured around the grand, something that is fantastical and dreamlike, pristine fabrics that delicately layer over one another and elaborate embroidery that finely compliments every facet of a design, it’s pure theatre. Suneet’s inspiration is typically diverse, from art, books and film, to design, photography and nature, his creativity is continually spurred on by the world around him, and like a magician Suneet takes these varied inspirations and conjures together designs that encapsulate beauty in all its artistic forms.

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It’s hard and indeed impossible to place Suneet Varma in any specific box. He creates fashions that are as if lifted from a fairytale, designs that celebrate tradition and modernity in equal amounts. A specific factor that cements Suneet as a designer of merit is his understanding of the female form, and femininity as a whole, each one of his collections has embraced femininity, from the shaping and stitching to style and execution. So many designers try to incorporate grandeur into their creations, yet often fall flat, diluting beauty in favour of ephemeral attention, but Suneet has always mastered the alchemy of grandeur, showing us that to be grand doesn’t always mean turning fashion into an exaggerated circus.

The Making of a Master

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25 years ago, fresh from the London School of Fashion and an internship at Yves Saint Laurent, Suneet began climbing the ladder as a designer, but would quickly be recognised as one of the great artisans of Indian fashion, an artist who was confident in his abilities but astute and humble enough to continue learning from others.

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Year after year, each collection has superseded the last; the fashion establishment along with the public have become ever more entranced by his creations. For Suneet the goal was, and still remains, to highlight the sumptuous, the ethereal and essentially to make fashion tell a story.

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Always keen to collaborate, Suneet has been courted by a wealth of luxury brands from across the world, such as Armani Junior, Donna Karan, luxury hotel Dusit Devarana et al. In 2011, Suneet’s collaboration with designer Juith Lieber, famed for her luxury clutches and minaudieres, marked a greater exploration into accessory design, creating an autumn collection that fused together his playful and poetical creative approach, with Lieber’s sophisticated and synergistic approach, the outcome was a bejewelled extravaganza that celebrated nature and traditional Indian patterns. A spokeswoman for Judith Lieber said of the collaboration “Suneet Varma was our first and only choice as a design partner; he is the perfect designer for our creative aesthetic.”

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More recently, the luxury motor giant BMW approached Suneet to collaborate, which included designing interiors for their 7 series, unveiled in the spring of 2013. The “Auto-Couture” launch was held at the Dusit Devarana hotel, and featured fashions inspired by motorcar culture, from the 1930’s to the present day.

In 2013 his career was celebrated in a photographic retrospective, simply titled Suneet Varma, published by Niyogi Books. It was a humbling moment for a designer that has changed the face of Indian fashion, catapulting it onto the global stage. A man who has always wished to tell stories through fashion, with influences that cross Asia and Europe, Suneet Varma’s own story as a designer is the most fascinating of all.

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This week on May 8th and 9th, at London’s prestigious Nobu restaurant, Suneet, along with Judith Leiber and Dubai based jewellery designer Kajal Assomull, will be showcasing his latest collection, which includes some of his collaborations with Judith Leiber. It will be a luxurious affair that brings together three designers who are never shy of celebrating the beautiful aesthetic.

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We at Think Shaadi highly recommend you RSVP and for personal Bridal appointments email: suneetv@gmail.com

Images courtesy: Suneet Varma & Harper’s Bazaar Bride

Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor in Harpers Bazaar Bride

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We at Think Shaadi were quite taken with last month’s cover of Harper’s Bazaar Bride, which featured the two hottest properties in Bollywood – Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor. Alia looked coquettish whilst Arjun smouldered in his usual leading man manner, the shoot, although fashioned in the traditional bridal aesthetic was refreshing. Gone was the stiffness and ultra-formality of previous shoots and in its place saw a more relaxed and younger tone.

The subtitle ‘Colours of India’ was an apt description, with Alia wearing a kaleidoscopic lehenga from Manish Arora’s 2013 couture collection, famed of course for his eclectic palette, and jewellery by Think Shaadi partner Gehna Jewellers. The pairing of Arora and Gehna was perfect in invoking the colourful experimentations of contemporary Indian design.

Alia and Arjuna were promoting their latest film release 2 States by Abhishek Varman, and the narrative of the film was reflected in the shoot. Young love was the key theme here; it was about bringing a sense of fun and frivolity to the forefront, so the clothing had to fit with that theme.

It’s pretty difficult not to smile at this, a young couple on the threshold of love.

The Elite of South Asian Fashion Comes to Town

In recent years the city of London has fast become the European hub for Indian and Pakistani fashion. With stores dedicated to high-end South Asian designers, numerous trunk shows and small scale events staged. Interest from the fashion press has intensified, and we are very pleased to announce that this spring sees three spectacular events happening in the city.

Faisana Fashion Weekend at the Mayfair Hotel: May 2nd – 3rd

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The fashion extravaganza kicks off with Faisana Fashion Weekend, at London’s gorgeous May Fair Hotel. The event marks a first for South Asian design in the UK, organised by two purveyors of luxury fashion Radhika Hassan and Aamna & Aisha. The weekend will showcase three Pakistani and three Indian designers, each at the top of their game.

The designers include Umar Sayeed, a man who has systematically revolutionised Pakistani fashion, with his glamorous collections. Sayeed is a genius of understated beauty, working on men’s, women’s and bridal wear. Anita Dongre is the crown princess of Indian fashion, with a career that spans 20 years; she creates designs that carefully mix traditional Indian techniques with sweet contemporary shapes. Other designers include Rina Dhaka who incorporates unique bohemian flavours into her designs, Bhairavi Jaikishan who gives her creations the explorer treatment, incorporating a range of both Eastern and Western sensibilities, Nida Azwer whose influences reach far back in to the depths of South Asian history and finally Sania Maskatiya, who works along the lines of elegance and comfort respectively.

Suneet Varma Trunk Show, Nobu London: May 8th – 9th

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We don’t need to tell you that Suneet Varma is a man whose designs have brought Indian fashion to global attention. For over 25 years he has mastered the art of designing women’s and bridal wear that epitomises luxurious elegance, incorporating a smorgasbord of varied cultural and historical influences.

Varma will be displaying some of his most recent designs, along with collections from sought after luxury handbag designer Judith Leiber and Mumbai based fine-jewellery designer Kajal Assomull. It will be an intimate affair taking place at London’s celebrated Japanese restaurant Nobu in the heart of West London.

Tarun Tahiliani Trunk Show, Aashni & Co: May 17th – 18th

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The final event this month sees Tarun Tahiliani host a trunk show at Aashni & Co, Notting Hill’s hub for designer Indian fashion. Tahiliani is a true renaissance man, famed for his fusion of traditional Indian textiles and European silhouettes; he has also worked his magic over interior design and wedding events.

His collection is an ethereal cornucopia, fashioned from the finest silks, lace and summer cottons, structured by age old Brahmanical patterns, accentuating that restrained regal tone which Tahiliani has become so loved for. Layers are flamboyant and create an intense poetical feel.

We hope events like these become ever more frequent and London’s taste for South Asian fashion continues to rise.