Last year brought one of the most prestigious events in the UK: Aashni + Co Wedding Show, which was situated in the luxurious Dorchester Hotel. This event was dhamaka! The decor set-up by Zouch & Lamare was simply stunning and blew me away – see for yourself.
Manish Malhotra’s creativity and genius span the spheres of Bollywood design, styling, diffusion, bridal and couture. Manish 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. It is available at Aashni + Co. The Manish Malhotra bride is young, fashionable and knows what she wants. It’s wonderful to be here and to get such a fantastic response.”
As Manish mentioned he brought along his traditional collection of hues of red. Red is an evergreen and timeless colour which will be part of Asian bridal fashion for centuries to come.
“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.”
Anamika is famous for her amazing cuts and saree drape styles – nothing like I have ever seen before. I have seen these outfits in the reality when I worked alongside her in London and they just look incredible when worn on. Anamika showcased her more casual attire with the khaftan style gowns – which are perfect for that hot sunny day and summer holidays.
Anushree Reddy’s unique proposition landed in London: floral… floral and floral enchanted magic. I am a huge fan of Anushree’s designs and it was insane how affordable her outfits are. In an interview with her – she mentioned she wanted her outfits to make “brides feel like princesses” and of course ensure that she gets the best use out of it again and again. Agreed! Anushree Reddy revealed this was her first time showcasing in London and she would love to come back! We also managed to sneak in a mini-interview with her!
What is behind key theme behind your collections?
“I do bridal wear, it is not very strong. I want them (brides) to have that vintage and princess feel… more leaning towards vintage and old-world charm. I try to achieve this look with each collection. “
Would you say pick up trends as well and implement that into your collections?
“Yes you need too, you need to pick on colours and certain styles…to keep up with the time as you can’t do the same thing over and over again. Sometimes I introduced pearls this time into my embroidery, so we do have some things that we incorporate all the time.”
What was your inspiration to become a fashion designer?
“I actually have not studied fashion from anywhere, I am a self-taught designer. Fashion was not something I studied, it was something that just happened! It started merely and purely as a hobby, but now I’m sure I can’t do anything else! This is the only thing I can do. [Laughs]”
What’s the future for Anushree Reddy?
I am going to do more fashion weeks…grow as a designer and pace myself out and I think the biggest challenge is coming up with collection after collection. If you can pull that off then you are set.”
Describing her style as easy, fun, glamorous and fresh, the label concentrates on understated, attractive and detailed silhouettes. Her collections comprise contemporary ethnic as well as fusion ensembles largely focusing on intricate embroidery consisting of vibrant anchor threads and mirror work, used in innovative ways to make her collections consistently stand out.
Elisha was a new discovery for me at the show and I was just blown away. She had bought along a variety of collections to give a flavour of what she was about as a designer. Variety is good. There was one particular lehenga I just could not keep my eyes off – a royal blue silk lehenga skirt, with floral embroidery covered blouse. Their collection varied from contemporary lehengas to more traditional pieces.
Tarun Tahiliani is renoun for his world-class designs, characteristic style and distinctive signature visible in his attire. His collection consisted of a unique blend of traditional Indian sensibility, but yet relevant to a modern environment. Tarun was a great pleasure to meet again and was great to see his enthusiasm for Indian fashion and the pride he had in his work.
Varun Bahl is renown for his expertise in combining traditional with the contemporary and antique with his touch of innovation.
The belief of the label is to pave the way for couture to be embraced as part of one’s daily wardrobe with the generous use of exotic motifs and rich luminous tones, reflecting luxe glamour that makes a statement. Varun Bahl has an extremely loyal client base comprising Bollywood celebrities, known personalities from different walks of life, fashionista’s and fashion critics alike. He also has a commercially successful menswear prêt label with acclaimed filmmaker Karan Johar called Karan Johar + Varun Bahl since 2010.
The event was an exceptional experience and great initiative to help UK consumers shop and see their favourite designers’ collections in the flesh; for me I have to see clothes in person before purchasing and this event was perfect for that. If you missed the Aashni + Co Wedding Show, don’t worry some of the designers’ attire are available shop in their exquisite Aashni + Co boutique style store in Notting Hill. I hope Aashni + Co have another event as such down the pipeline as I would definitely not miss it!
If you want to find out more information about Aashni & Co, please visit www.aashniandco.com.