Friday 15th May, at the Penthouse Suite of the Mayfair Hotel bought one of the defining moments in the Asian fashion fraternity in London: Judith Leiber, Tarun Tahiliani and Suneet Varma all showcased in the same room. Think Shaadi presented their latest collections from the three esteemed designers. It was the first time that these three luxury brands exhibited their collections at the same venue in London. Suneet Varma and Tarun Tahiliani were also both there in person and Mrs. Sangeeta Assomull represented Judith Leiber.
Suneet Varma exhibited his SS15 collection, titled ‘Decorative Arts of India‘ which drew its inspiration from traditional motifs and embroideries of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and the Southern states of India. His collection spoke of romance, femininity and flirtatiousness, where traditional Indian mets with a modern twist; gorgeous gulaal and fuchsia pinks from rose to deep magenta lie within his collection.
The collection features two-piece sarees with embellished corset blouses with delicate antique zardosi, long anarkali kurtas with mirrorwork and thread embroidered all over jaal, short tunics with color-on-color thread and Swarovski crystals with draped dhoti salwars, Angrakha style kalidar kurtas which have short cropped jackets with draped collars and delicate bead embroidery. The key fabrics used with these are silk chiffon, georgette, silk jacquard and jewel-toned rich velvets. Suneet used stark white and ivory with color-on-color aari embroidery, dark navy and cobalt blue with antique, burnt gold and copper thread embellish these stunning lehengas, and also mirror work embellishment with large borders in thread embroidery; perfect for an evening wedding function. Sheer chiffon sarees decked with gold aari and thread embroidery in large floral motifs reminiscent of Punjab royalty also features in the collection. There are a mix of traditional Indian textiles in bright colors combined with the sensibility of the regal costumes of India.
The collection’s highlights also include sheer sarees with velvet jackets, lightweight silk skirts and tunics with nostalgic antique embroideries, block printed ensembles in many shades of blue, Persian blue, turquoise, and navy teamed with dull gold. The sheer tulle sarees had grey and oyster pearls encrusted with stunning Swarovski crystals with intricate embroideries. and long kalidar kurtas in black, teal, ivory and red used thread embroidery in topkapi motifs. I admire how he has placed thought into every slight detail of each piece, may it be the use of nostalgic antique embroideries or the use of a variety of luscious fabrics. His collection in-fact does have a characterful piece to suit any occasion for the bride or even the bride’s immediate family members. Haven spoken to Suneet Varma, he thoroughly enjoyed the showcased and being no stranger to London he is a fan of the city!
Judith Leiber Couture exclusively unveiled The Gold Rose bag at the Think Shaadi boutique event, which is in-fact one in five in the world! This bag literally had a persona of it’s own, where it’s three tones of golden crystal encrusted extraordinaire of a bag mesmerized me. The bespoke additions to Judith Leiber Couture were the radiant Jelly Bean Collection and The Slide Lock personalized monogram minauideres.
The Jelly Bean Collection featuring three classic silhouettes in sixteen vibrant shades. This bold take on timeless glamour creates a kaleidoscope of brilliant color. The bespoke personalized monogram minauideres were also showcased at the event. This timeless classics are available in various color options with limitless combinations monogrammed with up to three initials. This is the perfect personalised gift for the bride, which would definitely make her feel special.
Within the spectrum of color are three of their most popular styles; the Slide Lock minaudière, the Ritz Fizz soft crystal clutch and a signature crocodile box. The palate includes a range of hues from light rose to hyacinth, to capri blue, to sunflower and peony. Without a doubt the Jelly Bean Collection offers a worthy indulgence and so the beautiful colors in the Judith Leiber metallic snakeskin clutch, the Samantha with silvertone hardware are paved with Austrian crystal envelope flap-top.
Judith Leiber Couture’s collections really had something for everyone, where it be a fun pop of colour clutch from their Jelly Bean Collection or a sophisticated yet statement piece with their metallic snakeskin clutch. I look forward to what Judith Leiber Couture has more in store in the near future.
Tarun Tahiliani exhibited his Bridal Couture and Spring/Summer ’15 collections. The Spring Summer‘15 collection is inspired by the beautiful works of art done by the Singh Twins, artists who are based in the U.K. Their miniature style of paintings translates beautifully to printed clothing in the ready-to-wear range. The bridal and couture line that reflects the global Indian today is a fusion of Indian craftsmanship, perfected over generations with the fit, finish and functionality of western clothing. Tarun Tahiliani is best known for his classic drapes. His characteristic style and distinctive signature is visible in his creations which are a unique blend of traditional Indian sensibility, yet relevant to a contemporary environment. Works by The Singh Twins,acclaimed artists from the UK, play muse to this collection. In the unique genre of Past Modern, as opposed to Post Modern, The Singh Twins are two artists, twin sisters working as one, in tandem. Reviving the technique of miniature painting and juxtaposing it with modern iconography, they create vibrant and detailed work that questions the conventional notion of the arts.
The miniature style of painting translates beautifully to digitally printed clothing in the ready-to-wear range. The illustrative style of the padhsahnama makes them look like they belong in the gilded age of the past but you will find the modern, social commentary if you look for it. Selectively chosen elements from different paintings ensure that the wit is not lost in translation. The colour inspirations are so unexpected that it could only exist in nature. The blue orange hue of a macaw, the reds and yellows of the rising sun – the palette pays homage to the Indian identity that celebrates colour with gusto, in a bohemian or a sophisticated setting. Not restricted to a pre-designed ensemble, the separates enable experimentation. The dhoti skirts and the lungi skirts are one-of-a-kind pieces in light fabric that fit effortlessly for the day. Jewel Tees can be transformative for the evening with jewel tones combining hand painted gold kalis giving it the grandeur and aplomb of a Klimt painting.
The bridal and couture line reflects the global Indian today, who is making choices which help him embrace his cultural inheritance as well as straddle the diaspora of identities that is modern living. A mélange of Indian craftsmanship perfected over generations with the fit, finish and functionality of western clothing. With the use of modern fabric like sheer silks, reshams and tullé; the ensemble becomes lighter, giving ease of movement. Drape and Structure – the definitive of a Tarun Tahiliani creation perfected over the years is permeating to its Couture sensibilities. Using stitched-in pleats and belted saris gives a contemporary element to traditional style and is added comfort, keeping everything in place. The colour scheme stretches to include blushes of light pink, jade and mauve reminiscent of American realist painter Edward Hopper. Light resham on ivory in soft shades create a pastoral fantasy as the light bounces off the sheer tulle. Muted tones and breezy layers of the anarkali kurta are as light as a summer’s day.
From draped drama the collection moves into the realm of intricate zari, and resham embroideries, chanderi cutwork and Lucknawi chikankari with its range of occasion wear. Shades of twinkling champagne, playful pinks, rich gold and passionate reds encompasses silhouettes that range from regal and festive to feminine and youthful. Lehengas, lehenga saris, saris, anarkalis and kurtas sheathed in splendour, create an aura around the adorned as if she “walks in beauty”. The regal jamawar bodice gets counter balanced by a stoic obi belt. Plentiful kalis of the anarkali frolic next to an airy mukaish dupatta. Lightness and comfort work in tandem with style and heritage to create a balance and traditional wear steps out of its cave and evolves into a fun, unencumbered experience.
Think Shaadi was ably assisted by florist Nikki Tibbles of Wild at Heart, famed for her luxurious and opulent floral arrangements. Caterers Tamarind Collection, who operate four restaurants in London and LA, part of Tamarind Events Catering and have a Michelin Star under their belt arranged the delectable food. Haslem Productions who offer technical design and installation for events across London and the UK. Finally, Admiral Crichton, London based party planners and caterer to HRH The Prince of Wales, who helped realise the event.
Think Shaadi’s first boutique event was a fine showcase from a few of the most talented extraordinaires within luxury fashion fraternity and was a great success with an immensity of positive response. I look forward to this hopefully being one of many to come.
Written by Victoria Das
Victoria is a London based blogger. She has a passion for fashion and food, with a speciality in contemporary Asian fashion. Victoria runs the blog London Ki Ladki. Here’s where you can find her around the web – Facebook: London Ki Ladki – Instagram: London Ki Ladki – Twitter: London Ki Ladki