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.

Suneet’s interview with Headlines Today

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.”

Suneet Varma and Judieth Lieber

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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

Tarun at Aashni & Co

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.