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Gold Dazzles at amfAR India Gala

Ace Indian designers Abu Jani & Sandeep Khosla, Tarun Tahiliani and Rohit Bal showcased unique creations at ‘The Gold Fashion Show’ presented by amfAR India (the world’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to the support of AIDS research and HIV prevention) in collaboration with LoveGold- an initiative by World Gold Council.

Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla ensembles, Jewellery by Azva

Rohit Bal ensembles, Jewellery by Azva

Tarun Tahiliani ensembles, Jewellery by Azva

The spectacular fashion show celebrated exquisite gold jewellery in a modern Indian context as the designer trio presented five unique creations accessorized with beautiful gold jewellery. All the models wore beautiful statement gold jewellery from Azva. Indian and International Celebrities like Sharon Stone, Hillary Swank, Kesha, Neeta Ambani, Shobha De, and Nargis Fakhri were also seen wearing resplendent gold jewellery.

Neeta Ambani glows in gold

Shobha De and Sharon Stone adorned in gold jewellery

Kesha wears a gold creation by Azva

Photographs Courtesy- LoveGold

AZVA Presents ‘The Mulmul Masquerade’ by Rohit Bal

Rohit Bal left the audience completely spell bound with his collection- ‘The Mulmul Masquerade’ on day 4 of India Bridal Fashion Week. Sharing his excitement on IBFW he said, “I have done so many couture shows in the past, but I never showed my bridal collection on the ramp, and it’s an amazing time to showcase bridal collection.” Nayanika Chatterjee opened the show wearing a Victorian gown. Victorian look hairstyle donned by the models, frilled high collared blouse teamed with a saree and a long robe like floor sweeping jackets, reminded everyone about the Elizabethan era.

From the simplicity of muslin to extreme grandeur of rich velvets, the collection was inspired by the rich craftsmanship of both the periods. To match the taste of Indian bride, a couple of heavy gold embroidered velvet red lehengas were also presented towards the end. The highlight of the evening was when Sonam Kapoor in beautiful muslin and paisley pattern lehenga closed the show for Rohit Bal as his show stopper. All the models wore intricate bridal jewellery by Azva.

Rohit Bal at Delhi Couture Week 2011

Who else but Rohit Bal could give a stylish grand finale to Delhi Couture Week 2011. Intricately detailed and immaculately stitched, the collection used zardozi work, applique work, cutwork and embroideries. Take a look at the stunning ensembles here.

Varun Gandhi’s Wedding

Varun Gandhi and his bride have kept a very low profile (we haven’t even seen a couple picture of Varun and Yamini) but there’s a lot of buzz about this wedding. After all, who wouldn’t be curious to read the wedding details of the scion of India’s now most famous family?

Yamini Roy and Varun Gandhi

The Hindu wedding ceremony is at the Kanchi Shankarachaya’s temple on Hanuman Ghat, Varanasi. The Shankaracharya will preside over the morning wedding ceremony, after which the newly-weds and their close ones will return to Delhi by a private aircraft. The reception for 1,200 guests is at Ashoka Hotel, Delhi on March 8th. Here’s more about the people working behind the scenes.

Decor by Sumant Jayakrishnan: The groom’s mother is India’s most well-known environmentalist and animal rights activist, so obviously we’ll see the most eco-friendly decor here. Jayakrishnan, an NID alumni and his team (most of whom are architecture graduates) have created the most exotic visual experiences for some of the most high-profile weddings in Delhi. In an earlier interview to WeddingSutra, Jayakrishnan said: “Since I’m from a theatrical background, I enjoy creating the visual ambience for the drama that unfolds at any event—be it a wedding, luxury launch, fashion show or award function.” Every season, Delhi’s most sought-after Production designer takes on 4-5 wedding events only, and he prefers working at large, private spaces like Delhi’s farmhouses vis-a-vis Hotel and Banquet-like set-ups.

Wear by Rohit Bal: In an interview to Bombay Times, Bal made an interesting comment on the dress sense of young scions of political families: “They don’t want anything flashy and ostentatious”. So Bal has designed two extremely simple and elegant outfits for Varun. While he has not revealed much, there’s buzz that Varun will wear a dhoti-kurta in white and gold for the wedding and a traditional churidar-achkan teamed with old polka buttons for the reception. Yamini, will not be wearing a designer creation for the Reception but a 100 year old brocade Benarasi, that belonged to Varun’s great grandmother, Kamala Nehru. Her mother-in-law will wear a sari with the Nandi bull motif designed by Madhu Jain, who specialises in reviving heirloom saris.

From left to right. Sumant Jayakrishnan, Rohit Bal and Puneet Sikand

Pan-Indian menu by Puneet Sikand: The vegetarian fare will include dishes from Kashmir, Bengal, Awadh (UP), Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Sikand, who runs Delhi’s Kitchen Art Company, is known for creating the most contemporary cuisine in traditional flavours; Kitchen Art’s offering includes a no-onion, no-garlic option for weddings, bar-be-que and South Indian delicacies for the mehendi and a continental bar-be-que, crepe station and stir fry station for the sangeet and cocktails.

Devina Vadera’s stylish Wedding in Goa

Devina Vadera, daughter of Bindu Vadera, Delhi’s prominent socialite/businesswoman, got married to Finance professional Anmol Bhandari. Devina works with her mother at Varya Design Studio, an exclusive home furnishing and accessories store in Delhi.

The celebrations commenced with a Sangeet on 12th Jan at their Farmhouse in Sultanpur, Delhi. For the Sangeet, Devina wore a flowy Tarun Tahiliani lehenga.

The wedding party then moved to Goa. A welcome celebration was held at Devina’s friend home in Dona Paula and the Mehendi the next morning.

The theme for the Mehendi was ‘brighter the better’. Devina wore a blush pink lycra saree, which looked oh-so-perfect for a shaadi by the beach. It was made by Delhi-based duo Shivan and Narresh.

The Sikh wedding ceremony was held in the morning of 16th Jan. Tarun Tahiliani, designed for Devina a net Anarkali with lotus embellishments all around, and a bit of pearl and Swarovski embroidery. Anmol wore a sherwani by Rohit Bal. For the reception on 16th Jan, Devina wore a Marchesa gown.

Sumant Jayakrishnan did the set/ design & decor for all the events in Delhi and Goa

More Wedding Details

Makeup artist: Ashima Kapoor
Photographer: Ronicka Kandhari and Vickrant Mahajan
Food in Delhi: Puneet Sikand
Food in Goa: Taj
Wedding logistics/ co-ordination: Shaadi Online

Anushka, the Wedding Planner’s Style

Costume designer Niharika Khan designed 15 costumes for actress Anushka Sharma who plays the role of Wedding Planner Shruti in Band Baaja Baraat. This was an interesting assignment for Niharika since the film featured weddings set in varied locations—a budget wedding in a middle-class locality in Delhi, a big fat wedding in Sainik Farm and a destination wedding in Rajasthan. Explains Niharika: “Director Maneesh Sharma briefed me to design the wardrobe according to the profile of the wedding. So for upmarket weddings, I chose subtler colors, handmade embroideries in fabrics like real silk, georgette, velvets and chiffon by designers like Varun Bahl, Rohit Bal and Tarun Tahiliani.”

What about the creations for the budget weddings? She explains: “For the first wedding, set in Janakpuri we chose a lime green chiffon mirror work kurta. It was ‘Jhatak’ (in the words of the film) and we added baubles intermittently on the contrast dupatta.” In the second part of the film, Shruti moves to a new turf, Delhi’s elite Sainik Farm. Explains Khan: “For Shruti’s first assignment at Sainik Farm we wanted to show that she has made the effort to wear an outfit that ‘fits’ in with the Sainik Farms style and yet, is something which she loves—rich, colourful and vibrant. It was a purple and orange anarkali. I bought the brocade and border from Vandana Fabrics in Bandra after which it was embroidered and tailored to our specifications.”

For the grand finale i.e. Shruti’s own wedding, the cream gold orange and pink lehenga was designed by Varun Bahl. Says Niharika: “When it’s time for her own wedding, Shruti has evolved. She has travelled, earned money and knows a lot about bridal fashion & style (in the film she helps brides with wedding shopping). For this outfit, most time was spent on the embroideries– birds/peacocks in an oriental inspiration, and after rejecting sample after sample, the perfect size, shape & design for the panel emerged. The blouse was sexy, embroidered and the dupatta in net fabric. After that Varun Bahl weaved his magic.”

Rohit Bal’s Khakasart – just perfect for wedding season

Rohit Bal’s latest collection, Khakasart, for HDIL Couture Week 2010 had plenty to delight the brides. With a minimalist palette, Bal still delivered an opulent collection of heavy zardozi embroidered lehengas, saris and jackets. Since its targeted for the Autumn/ Winter Season, there was plenty of velvet on the ramp. And his jackets are to die for!

Delhi Couture Week – Rohit Bal Drench’d

Rohit Bal’s collection at Delhi Couture Week titled ‘Khakasrtari’—Colours of Ash, is as symbolic as it gets; and what a comeback Bal made after grave illness with a collection that speaks of fashion thats timeless. Celebrating the 2 decades of his impeccable craftsmenship. we got a glimpse of Bal’s characteristic style – intricate zardozi work on velvet jackets paired with voluminous skirts, lots of Taj motifs, delicate mukesh work, layers of chiffon and more. Plenty of eye-candy for Brides-to-be.

The finale was ethereal with Bal and his models floating in a pool in virginal white clothes.

Cannes Day 2 – Sarees vs. Gowns

Aishwarya Rai Bachhan was back on red carpet last evening for the “On Tour” Premiere during Cannes Film Festival looking stunning in a black glittery Armani Privé gown with Ferragamo black satin clutch. Love the red lips. What an upgrade from Day 1!

Deepika Padukone didn’t do too bad either for her first appearance on the red carpet at the Cannes Film festival. Deepika showed off her curves in a white and gold saree by Rohit Bal which she paired with kundan earrings. A tad disappointed with the draping but gorgeous Deepika still made quite a few heads turn.

Brings us back to the question – Sarees vs Gown, what should indian celebrities wear on the red carpet abroad? Who won the day – Deepika in a saree or Ash in a gown?

Ten Favorite Bridal Designers of the Decade

This was truly a decade that changed the face of Indian fashion. From Chandni Chowk to High couture – the bridal fashion has come a long way. And leading the charge were some designers who made traditional trendy. Here are our Ten favorite Bridal Designers of the Decade.

Ritu Kumar
The undisputed queen of bridal couture, Ritu Kumar reinvented the bridal market in the noughties with innumerous brides clamouring to to own a Ritu Kumar original creation. She has a unique style of her own which includes beautiful fabrics, stunning colors and intricate zardozi, bandhani and chikan work – very traditional silhouettes but very classy and contemporary feel. It helped that many celebrity brides and Miss India contestants flaunted her lehengas in public eye.

Tarun Tahiliani
Tahiliani believes a bride’s dream is, “Opulent, grand and majestic – and yet contemporary”. He’s dressed every major celebrity bride – from Elizabeth Hurley to Shilpa Shetty. Style, craftsmanship, quality and refinement are the defining symbols of Tarun’s garments. No wonder his lehengas and sarees are heirlooms and wearing a Tarun Tahiliani outfit is a defining moment for most brides.

Manish Malhotra
His name is synonymous with Bollywood fashion and his starry clients include the Kapoor sisters, Kajol, Aishwarya, Preity and Urmila. Think of those gorgeous brides in Karan Johar movies and you know who dressed them – Manish Malhotra, tinseltown’s favourite designer. Very popular with the NRI set, his bridal outfits are all about breathtaking colors, rich fabrics, detailed textures and delicate embellishments.

The poster boy of Indian fashion industry understands Indian clothing, culture and mindset like no other designer. And his designs are far too eclectic to be understood by everyone but that’s where lies his appeal. A Sabyasachi is an absolute must-have for the well-heeled, from the socialites to Bollywood’s biggest stars and his bridal collections are usually sold out within says of launching. But what we love most is his sense of color – his palette consists mostly of earthy shades of olives, rusts, golds and rich browns. His clothes have a certain nostalgia about them – as if they belonged to beautiful women of an era gone by.

No one does opulence better than Valaya – without losing style and edge. His love for all things imperial translate into most gorgeous lehengas in silk brocade embellished with beadwork, embroidery, and crystals. Fit for a princess. Even more impressive is the fact that he has influenced men to drop their Armani suits and dress Indian to compliment their brides.

Neeta Lulla
If you remember the exquisite and extravagant costumes of Jodhaa Akbar, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, and Devdas, you know what to expect from Neeta Lulla – the queen of bollywood costumes. From Bollywood biggies to business families – Neeta Lulla’s clientele swear by her signature flowing, diaphanous lehengas and saris. She has had her share of misses but then who doesn’t.

Rohit Bal
A favorite of the social set, his clothes please and tease at the same time. He is celebrated for reinventing and resurrecting age old techniques like gold leaf printing. His bridal ensembles have a sexy edge and yet an incredible attention to detail and construction. His lehengas will make any bride feel graceful, stylish, elegant and sensuous.

The designers are hailed for reviving chikankari and making it oh so desirable. Voluptuous fabrics, the most intricate embroidery and embellishment and the finest finishes—that’s their trademark. Known to be the favourites of the Bachchan family and having had their designs being worn on the Oscar red carpet by none other than Dame Judi Dench, Jani and Khosla are also a favourite amongst the sophisticated in the wedding market. Their chikan and zardozi lehenga and sarees are work of art – you just have to have them.

Pallavi Jaikishen
The grand dame of Bridals, Pallavi Jaikishan launched her label in 1972. Since then, she has enjoyed tremendous success and her ensembles have become heirlooms of sorts – passed on down the generations. Her clothes are unapologetically ethnic with rich embroideries, bold colors and motifs. Although, she likes to keep a low profile, her clients include women from top industrialist families, movie stars as well as wives of international heads of states.

Ankur Batra
“Ankur Batra is the hottest pick for super-rich Delhi brides. My bridal clients are picking atleast one if not many outfits from him”, says Vipul Bhagat, a makeup artist to brides from business magnate families. If you haven’t heard about him, it’s because he is very secretive about his designs. He doesn’t show at fashion events, doesn’t retail from stores and only meets clients by appointment if he’s sure you can afford him. And the clients’ love that clothes that they order are really exclusive and no one else owns anything like that.

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