Anjalee and Arjun Kapoor’s creations are an accolade to art, style and all things luxury. In Bollywood Anjallee & Arjun have dressed celebrities including Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone, Anushka Sharma, Kangana Ranaut and many more. Not only do they cater for women, but they offer menswear and precious jewellery too. Arjun out of the duo plays the business mastermind behind the brand, where Anjalee is the essence of their brand’s fashion creativity. They have studios in New Delhi, Mumbai, Hong Kong and Dubai and recently opened their boutique in London. A gateway into a Asian fashion haven is what you will find when you enter Anjalee & Arjun Kapoor’s boutique, in the Asian shopping district of London’s East Shopping Centre. I had the gracious opportunity to have a personal styling session and interview with Anjallee Kapoor!
As soon as I walked upstairs into the fashion haven, there stood Anjallee, who looked glamorous in her peach satin dress. Where do I start? Anjallee had an outfit ready for me to try on. At first it would not have been something I would pick out myself, although I did love the colour combination of pastel blue and rustic gold, and the vivacious shape of the lehenga skirt. To my surprise the lehenga fit me like a glove! I have quite wide hips and upper body frame (as I am a pear shape), so I was surprised it fit. I presumed the outfit would be heavy, but it was super-light (*shock*); talk about hitting one of the tick boxes for a bride’s outfit wish list. The small trail behind the lehenga skirt flowed beautifully as I walked across the boutique. I could tell a great deal of craftsmanship and thought was put behind this outfit; although I am sure it was the same ideal behind all of their attire.
Anjalee selected out another outfit for me to wear and I was happy it was sari. I fell head over heels with her ready-made shimmery gold sari! It made me feel glamorous head to toe. It was so easy to wear without the hassle of using safety pins and putting on the sari the conventional way. I still cannot believe how lightweight the sari was; the stretchy fabric was soft and comfortable.
Anjallee made great outfit selections for me; I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and learnt some great styling tips. One big tip I have to take away from Anjallee is always try on outfits, even if you like it and you think it would not suit you. When outfits happen to be on the rail or a mannequin it does not give the outfit any justice, only a true decision can be made once you wear it. We ended our lovely session with an insightful interview about AAK, their latest collection and advice for brides-to-be and for those aspiring designers out there.
What attracts brides to AAK? How would you describe the AAK bride?
I think what attracts a lot of brides to us is the whole customising aspect we do. We try to maintain our style sensibility. A typical AAK bride is a glamorous bride, someone who is very fond of flamboyant outfits… somebody who is not very conservative. I’m not talking about revealing clothes, but contemplating in their mind about experimenting. My brides love to experiment and love wearing statement pieces, something which people are going to remember for years to come, not just for days to come.
When did you know that you wanted to be a fashion designer and what is your favourite part about being one?
It just came very naturally to me, at the age of 1 when a kid could not even hold a pen, I would start painting. My creativity, I do not just limit it to clothes, I can design home and jewellery. Basically if you are a creative person you can lend your style sensibility into different avenues. I love the fact people look up to you and rely on you, it is such a feel good factor, because they come to you and literally take you like a doc’… you are like the fashion doctor! They trust you; the trust factor gives you a big kick. And of course all the glamour associated with it, you become famous and you get used to being recognised everywhere.
Please tell us about your latest collection.
It is the Persian fantasy, everything is inspired from the Persian motifs and Persian architecture. Every season to season I love taking one specific theme and then I do extensive research on that and try and incorporate those motifs, style sensibility and their silhouettes and incorporate it into my design sense. I have something new to offer to our client, so when a bride walks in there has to be no saturating fact into your stores that “I have seen this and it is repetitive”. She (the bride) needs to get a variety of options, according to me why should a bride go to X, Y and Z, when I can provide her for all her occasion needs. And in order to do that you need to give a lot of versatility in your style sensibility. My wedding outfits are extremely traditional and my cocktail and reception outfits are modern.
Who inspires you most in fashion?
I love the Lebanese designers, I think they are very flamboyant and I definitely love the Ellie Saab way.
What are your top style tips are for brides-to-be?
I feel just because you are getting married, doesn’t mean you go OTT in clothes and your jewellery… there has to be a balancing factor. If you are wearing a very ornate outfit then you minimize on your accessories, and if your outfit is simple you can wear a whole lot accessories to give that oomph factor!
What would your advice be any aspiring fashion designers?
My advice would be stay focussed on your forte, if you are best at making skirts, given your best shot then make the best skirts in the world. If you are best at making t-shirts then make t-shirts. Take one line of specialisation, don’t try and do what everyone else is doing. It is a very volatile market out there, every stone throw distance there is a designer cropping up. If you stay focussed in what your minds tells you to do, the sky is the limit for you.
What are your plans for the future?
I ventured myself in London and opened a store, I want to have an AAK store in every important city in the world and I want to be catering to all the brides that I can. I also want to start a global label… which will concentrate more on gowns and on western wear, but all couture.
Overall my experience with AAK felt like world class opulence. Anjallee had mentioned that she would be in London more often to try and give that one-on-one personal service, so I would try and grab the opportunity to get an appointment with her if you can. If not don’t worry as her boutique staff are an absolute delight and you will be in capable hands. I would recommend Anjalee & Arjun Kapoor; not only will you get sophisticated attire for any wedding occasion, but you will get that service and expertise to give you ease. I would suggest AAK being suitable for customers who have a medium – high spending budget. For me purchasing their attire may have to wait till the near future, but in the meantime some of their pieces are definitely on my wish list!
You can find Anjalee & Arjun Kapoor’s boutique located at East Shopping Centre, Unit 22-24, Green Street, London E7 8LE. For a bridal consultation you can contact them on 07860597339 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Bliss PR and Anjalee and Arjun Kapoor