Jenny Packham’s 2016 Bridal Collection

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Inspired by the work of England’s greatest playwright William Shakespeare, Jenny Packham’s latest collection draws inspiration from one of the bards most familiar works ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. Ethereal and feminine are the two words which sum up this collection, with its flurry of delicate florals, complimented by flowing fabrics of luxurious silks and satin’s.

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Evoking that fairytale world of Shakespeare’s magical play, there is a genuine elegance to this collection, fusing elements of the English countryside, the literary and indeed Elizabethan world, Jenny Packham has stuck gold once more.

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Silhouettes and beautiful contours remain a strong feature in this collection, with many of the designs floating in a princess like manner, however there are close cut mermaid shapes and tiny shifts, which adds the element of sartorial variety to the collection.

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Igniting thoughts of dreamy woodlands, where the sun pierces through the lush green branches of the trees, Jenny Packham truly let her imagination run wild. Embellishments ranged from ebullient rosy bundles of feathers at the waist, with another that includes an understated sheath, and cape featuring pastel floral embellishments at the neckline.

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Keeping with embellishments, others include oversized camellia flowers which accent the simpler silhouettes, adding an amazingly whimsical feel. The palette befits the theme perfectly, with a gorgeous mix of white, creams, gold and more pastel colours.

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This marvelous collection, with its simply gorgeous style is one of the finest of the new seasons.

Suneet Varma: The Princess of Shekhawati

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Regal Rajasthan was the inspiration for this collection, presented at the BMW India Bridal Fashion Week. As Suneet Varma went all out to create an evocative and sensual panoply of designs, that made us fall in love with him all over again.

Now, it’s all very well and good for us at Think Shaadi to talk about the outstanding show, which we will be doing later, but the preparation is where the magic really happens. It’s was a frenetic time for Suneet and his team, but as he is a consummate professional, it was a beautifully ordered kind of freneticism, one in which all the last-minute details were perfectly pieced together.

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As Suneet remarked “It’s all about draping, styling and the finer details of each ensemble, until we reach perfection.” Perfection is of course what all good shows are about, and if you’re Suneet Varma, then it has to be a certain kind of perfection which supersedes everyone else. This was achieved through carefully going through every aspect, whether it be big or small, from the jewellery, hair, makeup, design presentation and so on.

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After days of careful consideration over each design and model, the show finally arrives, when all the fastidious preparations come to a head.

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Rajasthan, as one of the most colourful states in India, with its elaborate and brightly painted havelis has always been beacon for artists, designers, writers and so on.

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Specifically inspired by Shekhawati in northern Rajasthan, the city is famous for its richly painted havelis and inspiring aesthetics, built by wealthy Marwari merchants, the havelis were decorated by some of the most outstanding artists from England, Spain, India and Italy.

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Suneet spoke of Shekhawati and the deep influence it had on this collection – “I have visited Shekhawati several times‐ and each time am awestruck at the beauty and splendour of this renowned city. The very idea and opulence of living in hand painted Havelis is very inspiring for me. The stark and bright colored sprawling Havelis with incredible detailing and architecture against the blue skies of Rajasthan are magical.”

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Suneet’s imagination ran wild with this collection, The Princess of Shekhawati is traditional, yet with subtle modern twists. Like Shekhawati itself, the designs mix both age-old Indian and European artistry, the influences are maximised with fine execution.

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Festooned with piercing crystals and gems, they fit the with the variety of palettes which are a range of feminine pastels, blushing pinks and reds and midnight shades. The collection is designed in three sections – dawn, dusk and divine.

Each section is all about layering, the different ways one can achieve the perfect layered effect, from two piece sarees with embellished corset blouses with delicate antique zardosi, long anarkali kurtas with mirrorwork and thread embroidered all over jaal to short tunics with colour on color thread and Swarovski crystals with draped dhoti salwars, Angrakha style kalidar kurtas worn with short cropped jackets with draped collars and delicate bead embroidery.

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This collection of artistic dreams come to life is a masterful example of how architecture influences fashion. The show was triumphant in revealing this aspect, with the princess of cinema, Kangana Ranaut as the cherry on the cake. It was she who embodied Suneet’s Princess of Shekhawati in a way no other woman on that catwalk could.

We are very proud to have Suneet Varma as part of our community, to see more from Suneet head over to www.thinkshaadi.com to request an invite X

Photos courtesy of Suneet Varma

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.

Gianvito Rossi at the Italian Embassy

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Luxury was taken to a new level earlier this week, as Gianvito Rossi, the Italian maverick of shoe design, was given the ultimate accolade, having the Italian Ambassador, in Paris, host a dinner in his honour, which was also to partly celebrate the union of Gianvito with the German luxury online store mytheresa.com. It was an evening of unparalleled sensuality and beauty, the ornate surroundings of the embassy were the perfect surroundings to honour a man who has achieved what his late father Sergio Rossi did. Which is to design some of the most enviable and eye catching shoes in the history womens wear.

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Top: Rickie de Sole, Gianvito Rossi Bottom: Gianvito Rossi, Jared Leto and Justin O’Shea.

The event, although fairly small scale in comparison with other Gianvito Rossi events, had its share of big name stars in attendance, such as Hollywood heartthrob Jared Leto, along with some other familiar faces from the world of fashion and design, including Anya Ziorova, Elena Perminova and Maria Bogdanovich, not forgetting to mention royalty of course, with Saudi Arabia’s Princess Deena al-Juhani Abdulaziz also in attendance.

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Top: Gianvito Rossi, Italian Ambassador Giandomenico Magliano Bottom: Anya Ziourova, Maria Bogdanovich, Gianvito Rossi & Inga Rubenstein.

Gianvito Rossi learned and perfected his craft for shoe design working under the tutelage of his father, who grew his brand up from nothing. The quintessentially Italian trait of superb fashion design courses through his veins, and he was quick to understand the craft and the method. Gianvito has now become synonymous with creating shoes that really work for women, as well as being detailed and easy on the eye, as this example, from his Autumn collection, shows.

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Top: Veronika Heilbrunner, Serge Biasin Bottom: Princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz.

Gianvito creates shoes which are statement pieces, bold and artistically vibrant, yet demure and feminine at the same time. It’s a magnificent combination that only he can master properly. It’s hard to find anyone else who works with this formula in such a intriguing way.

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Top: Gianvito Rossi & Christiane Arp Bottom: Daniela Agnelli & Justin O’Shea.

Gianvito’s designs are especially versatile, with collections that range from perfect office wear to evening wear, but of course we at Think Shaadi have a particular love for the perfect wedding shoes, and Gianvito is the Crown Prince when it comes to this. We’re particularly taken with these precious designs, from his Spring/Summer collection.

The first is a gorgeous pair of plexi jewel tone pumps and the second is an exuberant pair of Ellipsis metallic pumps.

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All photos belong to Gianvito Rossi

The Vogue Wedding Show Is Coming

In just over a month the magically evocative cavalcade of the Vogue Wedding Show, in partnership with the Taj Group, will be taking place at The Taj Palace, New Delhi, August 1 – 3. As always it will be a tour-de-force in the world of luxury Indian weddings, highlighting couture and jewellery. The show will feature some of the finest designers in Indian fashion, with sartorial giants like  Tarun Tahiliani, Suneet Varma, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Manish Malhotra et al and the leading lights of jewellery design such as Nirav Modi and Rose.

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The show will be an extravaganza of artistry, quality and unrivalled beauty. The spectacles of reverie this year range in inspiration and style, from traditional contours to sharpe modern shapes, every design will be sure to excite and intrique. The preview shows with Vogue’s Bridal Studio are now well and truly underway, giving people a sneek peek of the delights to come. The first being staged in Kolkata, with Sabyasachi. If your look for your bridal outfits and need advice, you have to watch this wonderful interview by the editor of Vogue, Priya Tanna.

You can check out all the latest info about the Vogue Wedding Show by heading to Twitter and searching for the hashtag #VogueWeddingShow. We at Think Shaadi will be doing it religiously.

Image credits: Vogue Wedding Show &  Tarun Tahiliani 

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.

Suneet Varma at Nobu London

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

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.