BOBO: The Macaron Masters

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Former journalist Dora M. has always had a passion for baking, ever since childhood, but it wasn’t until 2010 that she finally had the idea to set up her own business. Bourgeois Boheme (BOBO) is a company which specialises in creating an array of ingeniously flavoured macarons, Dora experiments with flavours that cross borders and cultures, from the traditional French, Middle Eastern and North African, to Indian.

BOBO has done something quite unique, for years now it’s been an unspoken truth that the macaron was pretty much untouchable, in respect that there is simply no more flavours to explore, but Dora has smashed convention and created a wealth of flavours that seriously excite the tastebuds.

Taste, quality & style Macarons, desserts, French tea time by BOurgeois BOhème

If you’re looking for a bit of Middle Eastern flare, why not try some aromatic Turkish coffee with cardamom, some jasmine tea or perhaps some sweet pistachio and rosewater flavoured macarons. For those longing for a taste of India, you can try mango and kewra or dark chocolate and ginger or good old fashion saffron.

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When Dora launched BOBO back in 2010, she quickly caught the attention of London’s trendy cafe’s and hotels, becoming one of their favourite suppliers. Speaking to Dora about opening up a business such as this in the UK, she said “There’s always been a great love for French culture in England, particularly where anything culinary is concerned, so London was the ideal place to set up BOBO. People have really fallen in love with the variety of flavours I offer”.

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Dora uses a number of traditional methods in making her macarons, that was taught to her by her mother. It’s these methods which make her macarons so distinctive in falvour and texture. With the mixture of cultures involved in the flavours, Dora recently launched a beautiful box of macarons for Eid, the Baraka box, an exquisite collection indeed.

Along with supplying numerous cool and high-end cafes, hotels etc, BOBO also caters for weddings, baptisms and a range of other family functions, for these Dora and her team truly get creative, such as recently when an eye catching bird cage was creating, using blue macarons and flowers for a christening.

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As part of Meet the Makers, until August 7th you can find BOBO at London’s Selfridges.

Photos courtesy of Bobo

BMW India Bridal Fashion Week 2014

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The sixth edition of BMW India Bridal Fashion Week (IBFW) 2014 will be held at Dlf Emporio from Aug 7 to Aug 10.

Leading Designers such as Suneet Varma, Tarun Tahiliani, JJ Valaya, Raghavendra Rathore and Falguni and Shane Peacock, will all be taking part!

Vijay Singh, Founder & MD, Fashion One International said, “It gives me immense pleasure to announce the 6th edition of BMW India Bridal Fashion Week 2014 in association with AZVA in the fashion capital of India. BMW IBFW is synonymous with luxury and for presenting the latest trends & designs in bridal couture by the most acclaimed designers of the country. We are proud to associate with BMW and World Gold Council as Title & Associate Sponsors to the event.”

Harpers’ Bazaar Bride

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Here at Think Shaadi we were amazed at the July cover of Harpers’ Bazaar Bride. Featuring the ethereal Jacqueline Fernandez, who is currently starring in Sajid Nadiadwala‘s action comedy ‘Kick’, alongside Salman Khan and Randeep Hooda. Fernandez sparkles in a kaleidoscopic creation by India’s king of all things sartorially adventurous Manish Arora.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 08.35.25This was an edgy shift away from Harpers’ Bazaar Bride’s usual themes, which often embrace the formal. The photographer behind it is Prasad Naik, one of the industries most sought after creatives. His photography truly pushes the boundaries, Naik weaves the young, the beautiful and the bold effortlessly.

After completing art school in 1996, Naik launched himself into the world of professional photography, and his since worked on numerous editorials with some of the most prestigious publications, including ELLE India, L’Officiel, Vogue, Marie Claire India, Flim Fare et al.

We got the opportunity to have a quick chat with Naik about his shoot for Harpers’ Bazaar Bride. “I had been working with Harper’s Bazaar for years and know the Editor and the whole team” says Naik “Some of them have now joined Harper’s Bazaar Bride and called me for the cover and cover story shoot.

On the preperation behind the shoot, Naik says “We treated all the shots like a goodpicture and then took a unanimous decision on which is the best and suitable for the cover. It was quite unique as this was the first time I shot for a bridal magazine. The shoot went on for approximately 5 hours and we did about 4 to 5 changes.

It’s been super to get some background info on how this amazing cover came to be. We’re waiting to see another colaboration between Naik and Hapers’ Bazaar Bride very soon! X

Profile Image Curtsey: Prasad Naik

The Vogue Wedding Show 2014

With the Vogue Wedding Show just over a week away, taking place at  Taj Palace, New Delhi. We thought we’d cast our luxury loving eyes over some of the designers, handpicked by the Vogue team, to take part this year. As we have mentioned before, this year sees a wealth of talent, known for their creative zeal and meticulous attention to detail, ranging from couture to jewellery.

So, what makes the designers this year so special? Well let’s take a look at a handful of them. Firstly, there’s a common connection that binds all of them, whether it be the fashion designers or the jewellery designers. They each and every one possesses a pioneer spirit, a spirit which is deeply rooted in an age old sense of creativity.

Sabyasachi is the quintessential Indian designer; his inspirations are drawn from the rich and colourful history of Indian textiles, art, architecture and literature. His creations are always bathed in an historical flare, all encompassing patterns that dance across the fabric, yet forever with a lyrical sense of symmetry.

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Manish Malhotra’s infectious joie de vivre for both women’s and menswear has always made him standout from the crowd, there’s no mistaking a Manish Malhotra design, the cuts, shapes, styles and embroidery are easy to spot, and of course easy to fall in love with. His bridal collections alone never fail to create a new feeling of wonder and awe with every season that goes by, typifying Bollywood decadence.

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Well, what to say about Tarun Tahiliani. He is the man who encapsulates the Delhi glitterati, a playful and eternally curious creative sensibility. Tarun is a designer who continually shifts and morphs his style, melding together the traditional to the contemporary seamlessly.

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Gaurav Gupta is a man who takes the words sexy and sultry to an entirely new level. Much like Manish, Gaurav has been a star of the Indian fashion industry since he first emerged into the spotlight, a tour de force, taking his female muse and turns them into princesses.


JJ Valaya brings power, unfettered power we should say, to his designs. It’s all about larger-than-life glamour, statement pieces which meld luxury and effortless grace together, in a magnificent bejewelled cocktail.

Shantanu & Nikhil’s design approach has attitude, flare and an unmistakeable panache, which is impossible to ignore. With creations that proudly mix together Indian culture with Western mores, It’s no surprise that they are the favourites, not just in South Asia, but across the world.

If you want feminine charm, look no further than Anita Dongre, her unmistakeable technique of balancing the beauty of the old, with the functionality of the new, is something so many designers find impossible to do. Anita is fast becoming the queen in her field, and it’s easy to see why.

Moving on to the jewellery designers, this year sees a number of big names, for example, Begani Jewels make for the perfect wedding accessories, with a finely tuned approach to design, Begani’s foundation is simplicity, and their pieces can go two ways, sticking with the simple, maximising minimalist beauty, to embracing the ornate and ostentatious.

Amrapali has created a language all of their own, a simplistic yet creatively virulent process, which merges ethnic styling with contemporary zeal, that crossed the cultural divides.

Vacheron Constantin is renowned the world over for producing aesthetically pleasing and vibrant time pieces, they have an age old technique which draws upon the exquisite and the divine. They are the masters of luxury.

Nirav Modi is all about classical design, with an emphasis on the sensual and delicate. His inspiration moves from culture to culture, whether it is Medieval Dutch art or French turn of the century Art Nouveau. Nirav is all about conjuring up the beauty of the world in jewellery form.

Decadence is the word du jour when it comes to Rose, founded by Biren Vaidya, when you look at his designs, images of age old glamour and distinction come to mind. Biren’s aesthetic is all about embracing the colour, the beauty of life.

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It’s not just fashion and jewellery designers who will feature in the show, there’s also graphic designers such as Vivek Sahni, who has singlehandedly transformed the business of wedding invitations into an art form all of its own. Vivek’s designs are intricately made, miniature masterpieces that capture the personal feelings of love and excitement.

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Then there is Vandana Mohan of The Wedding Design Company, Vandana goes way beyond the ordinary, staging weddings which are like fantastical dreams come to life. Her raison d’être is events, and over the years she has worked on some of the most inspiring and luxurious weddings in the world.

So, these are just some of the many designers and artisans at this year’s Vogue Wedding Show. It will be one of the most hottest and luxurious shows in the fashion calendar.

With only one week left, register now to get invited to the year’s most exclusive bridal extravaganza The Vogue Wedding Show 2014.

Images credit : Vogue Wedding Show on behalf of the participating brands.

An Interview with Elizabeth Solaru

Elizabeth Solaru has fast become one of the most sought after cake designers in the business. Her artistry is outstanding and her attention to detail is perfect. She founded Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium in 2006, after a few years working in Biomedical Science and head hunting.

If we were to sum up Elizabeth’s cakes it would be visual splendour matched with exhilarating taste. Her splendid designs go beyond the ordinary and are simply the pinnacle of beauty. Ranging from traditional designs to those with more avant-garde motifs, such as those inspired by jewellery.

Elizabeth and her team’s talents have been recognised by many of the top publications across the world, including Conde Nast Brides, Wedding Magazine, and OK! et al.

With her business riding high on a wave of enthusiastic attention, Elizabeth is also the three times winner of The Great Cake Bake on Sky TV, a member of the international panel of Wedding Industry Experts, and competition judge and host of The Cake and Bake Show.

Think Shaadi sat down with Elizabeth to have an indepth chat about her career and current projects.

First and foremost, what was it about cake design that inspired you to pursue a career in it?
I’ve always made cakes since I was a child but as I was very good at science, and being from a family that valued academic achievement I became a scientist. Several career changes later, I started making cakes again to relieve stress when I was working as a head-hunter. One of my bosses encouraged me to do something about my cake making skills and I enrolled in a few classes in the UK and abroad. I started making cakes full time a few years later as there was such demand for what we do.

What do you think sets you apart from other cake designers?

This is an interesting question and I think the best way to answer this is to tell you what clients and other people say. At Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium, every cake is bespoke and we try not to repeat the same cake. There is a willingness to experiment with different shapes, techniques and styles (I often attract brides who want bold ‘statement cakes’ tastefully done) and another thing we get great feedback on is the taste of our cakes and our willingness to do bespoke flavours which range from traditional triple chocolate, Vanilla, Luscious Lemon to more flavours like Chocolate Bailey’s, Wasabi and White Chocolate and White Chocolate with Passion Fruit.

Where do you find inspiration?
I take my inspiration from many sources, including nature, flowers, fabrics, jewellery, stationery and I am fascinated with shapes. Clients ideas are also a great source of inspiration and it’s a real delight to see an idea become reality.

Out of everything you’ve created, what has been your most favourite design?

This is a tough one as every new cake becomes a favourite of mine! Judging by the number of likes and shares, our pearl beaded pillow cake, our radiant orchid Marie Antoinette cake and our Chandelier cake seem to be our most liked and pinned.

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If you were approached to design a cake for an Asian wedding, where would you look for inspiration?

I love, love, love making cakes for Asian weddings! The intricate designs and beading on fabrics, rich gold jewellery, vibrant colours, henna designs, scrolls, rich traditions, peacocks and Bollywood cinematography have been wonderful sources of inspiration. The cakes we’ve done for such weddings range from vintage designs, modern geometrics to highly embellished. What they tend to have in common is that they are often show stopping centrepieces.

Since launching your business, what have been the most memorable moments?

There have been so many but getting a call from royalty to make a cake has been up there. Also, seeing our cakes published in magazines such as BRIDES, Hello, OK and specialist cake magazines is always such a thrill.

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What’s next for you?

We are expanding quite rapidly and we have a number of projects in the pipeline, some of which I can’t talk about. There are a number of collaborations due to be announced soon which is very exciting. Again, thanks for the opportunity and as one of the first supporters of Think Shaadi, I am thrilled at your success and it’s a pleasure to be featured on your blog.

All unattributed photos the property of Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium.

 

Tarun Tahiliani: Bridal Couture Exposition

As we trundle along towards Vogues carnival of bridal dreams, the Wedding Show, let’s take some time out to focus on those Kings and Queens of fashion who will be taking part. Recently, that fine master of the evocative and the ethereal Tarun Tahiliani, brought all his power and prestige together at his Bridal Exposition. It was the sixth edition of Tahiliani’s now legendary expositions, which was staged at The Four Seasons Hotel in the vibrant capital of fashion Mumbai, before it heads to Delhi in August. This time around Tahiliani has collaborated with World Gold Council, for Azva, Forevermark, Swarovski and Diageo – Johnnie Walker Platinum Label 18.’ It was a grand affair to stimulate the senses of the fashion conscious, carefully put together, with attention paid to detail which was reminiscent of a coronation ceremony; it defined luxury and sartorial innovation. The mannequins, which were festooned with his designs, were painted in gold, we certainly wouldn’t expect anything less, the beautiful male and female models were obviously angelic and the exhibition room was distinctly regal. For this collection Tahiliani titled it ‘The Modern Mughals’ a most apt title it has to be said, because Tahiliani singlehandedly brought those well known sartorial attributes, so emblematic of the Mughal age straight into the 21st century, an era when potential brides and grooms are so desperate for that mix of the traditional and the functional. The transcendent designs flow like honey, glistening with charm and sweetness. Don’t be mistaken though, sweet and charming they may be, but there is also Tahiliani’s trademark power intertwined between the stitching. These are statement pieces, each one possessing certain individual qualities from the last. The colours are if taken from a panoramic sunset in the countryside, deep oranges, reds, bronze, gold, silver and sun kissed greens etc. They conjure up a vision of a queen at her summer palace, essentially rural splendour at its best. As is stated, the inspirations and influences come from the Mughals, but not just from fashion, but from their jewellery, art, architecture, literature etc, and every facet of civilisation that the Mughals, with their mixture of Indian and Persian aesthetics, sensibilities and mores came up with. Going back to the modern Mughal though, for this collection modernity sits neatly and harmoniously alongside these historic influences, this is prominently seen in the fact that each design has so much accessibility and above all breathability. The bridegroom’s were certainly not left out either, the shift from all out traditionalism to exciting modern twists had their place here too, with pre-stitched dhotis and jodhpurs etc, that were not in the usual muted colour schemes, but were instead in bright and celebratory hues, not forgetting the careful stitching and embroidery. Tarun Tahiliani continues his journey as a creative master mind, surprising and delighting us all, each and every time.   Images courtsey of  Tarun Tahiliani.

Gianvito Rossi at the Italian Embassy

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Luxury was taken to a new level earlier this week, as Gianvito Rossi, the Italian maverick of shoe design, was given the ultimate accolade, having the Italian Ambassador, in Paris, host a dinner in his honour, which was also to partly celebrate the union of Gianvito with the German luxury online store mytheresa.com. It was an evening of unparalleled sensuality and beauty, the ornate surroundings of the embassy were the perfect surroundings to honour a man who has achieved what his late father Sergio Rossi did. Which is to design some of the most enviable and eye catching shoes in the history womens wear.

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Top: Rickie de Sole, Gianvito Rossi Bottom: Gianvito Rossi, Jared Leto and Justin O’Shea.

The event, although fairly small scale in comparison with other Gianvito Rossi events, had its share of big name stars in attendance, such as Hollywood heartthrob Jared Leto, along with some other familiar faces from the world of fashion and design, including Anya Ziorova, Elena Perminova and Maria Bogdanovich, not forgetting to mention royalty of course, with Saudi Arabia’s Princess Deena al-Juhani Abdulaziz also in attendance.

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Top: Gianvito Rossi, Italian Ambassador Giandomenico Magliano Bottom: Anya Ziourova, Maria Bogdanovich, Gianvito Rossi & Inga Rubenstein.

Gianvito Rossi learned and perfected his craft for shoe design working under the tutelage of his father, who grew his brand up from nothing. The quintessentially Italian trait of superb fashion design courses through his veins, and he was quick to understand the craft and the method. Gianvito has now become synonymous with creating shoes that really work for women, as well as being detailed and easy on the eye, as this example, from his Autumn collection, shows.

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Top: Veronika Heilbrunner, Serge Biasin Bottom: Princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz.

Gianvito creates shoes which are statement pieces, bold and artistically vibrant, yet demure and feminine at the same time. It’s a magnificent combination that only he can master properly. It’s hard to find anyone else who works with this formula in such a intriguing way.

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Top: Gianvito Rossi & Christiane Arp Bottom: Daniela Agnelli & Justin O’Shea.

Gianvito’s designs are especially versatile, with collections that range from perfect office wear to evening wear, but of course we at Think Shaadi have a particular love for the perfect wedding shoes, and Gianvito is the Crown Prince when it comes to this. We’re particularly taken with these precious designs, from his Spring/Summer collection.

The first is a gorgeous pair of plexi jewel tone pumps and the second is an exuberant pair of Ellipsis metallic pumps.

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All photos belong to Gianvito Rossi

Vogue Wedding Show: Tarun Tahiliani and Manish Malhotra

As the Vogue Wedding Show fast approaches, we at Think Shaadi thought we’d take some time out to focus on two of the major designers, who will be showcasing their designs at this year’s show –  Tarun Tahiliani and Manish Malhotra. Now, they’re two men who really know their craft, each it is safe to say are the reigning kings of their field, but how do these two giants of fashion differ, in creative output?

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Tarun Tahiliani is renowned for his sweet and sensual creations, which are rich in classicism and elegant allure, this is especially the case when it comes to his bridal wear designs. However, in his recent collections, and particularly for his latest bridal collection, his creative eye has shifted, one has to say, shifted dramatically.

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In a recent Vogue India interview, which he did in preparation for his sixth couture exposition (taking place in Bombay July 11th, then Delhi August 2nd) he made one of the biggest statements we’ve heard in the world of Indian fashion “brides aren’t happy with richly embroidered sacks anymore.”

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The interview was an eye opener for sure, and he reiterated some of his comments for a recent Bridal Studio session, in Chennai. Curious fashionistas got the chance to savour a taste of his new found creative zeal, first hand.

It’s clear to see that Tarun is really breaking the mould, his latest bridal collection is a refreshing fusion of traditional Mughal inspirations and contemporary desires, he has long spoke of a need to incorporate the ability for brides to move about more, in respect to dancing and that general desire for formality yet relaxation at the same time.

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A sensual play with pastels and more muted, sunset colours, offset with crystal brocades have been the forumla here, the designs are more reserved, yet still keep the hypnotic air of tradition and don’t stray too far from beautiful convention. In a recent interview Tarun related his thoughts on bridal wear inspiration, saying “the wedding is the one time every woman looks readiant and beautiful – if she doesn’t go the extreme way in styling. Indian miniatures always inspire me. Historically too, all the women admired for their sense of style have had a strong identity, one that’s true to who they are. Think Gayatri Devi, Elizabeth Taylor, Rekha etc.”

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Tarun’s creatively capricious mindset is typical of Delhi sensibilites, with its long history of creatives who ferociously explore the hinterland of design, and of course keep alive that desire to experience the new, in all its forms.

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Manish Malhotra, on the other hand, has always taken and reshaped the old to fit with the new. When it comes to his bridal collections, the themes have always been broad, plentiful and sensual, all at the same time. He is quintessentially Bombay, his fusions of differeng cultural styles aptly fit the famous port city, which has seen the world cross through its gates.

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It’s easy to see Manish’ mentality during an interview, again at a Bridal Studio session, this time in Hyderabad. He possesses this ability to tap into the desires of the brides and families he works with.

Manish, much like Tarun has had a few metamorphosis’ in his creative approach. When he started out, tradition sprinkled with a few magical ounces of modernity were his trademark, but over the seasons, his bridal collections have changed and found, what one would describe as a complete regeneration. Simplistic elegance, coupled with intricacy of detailing is the current essence of Manish Malhotra.

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He recently mused on his creative process, saying “my signature work is amalgamation of various art forms like chikankari craftsmanship from Mijwan, intricate Kasmiri work and real zari work in classic silhouttes, creating vintage elegance along with opulent old world charm.”

The fairytale approach has never left Manish, he’s a designer who has always maintained that steadfast degree of creative enthusiasm, throughout all of his collections. The same applies to his latest bridal collection, which playfully mixes a neon palette, with the more muted and subtle. In shape and form however, it has to be said that the modern is one step ahead of the traditional.

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Image credits: Vogue Wedding Show, Tarun Tahiliani  & Manish Malhotra

Meet The Meringue Girls

Now, if you haven’t heard of The Meringue Girls, then where on earth have you been! These two former chefs, Alex Hoffler and Stacey O’Gorman, gloriously reinvented as the queens of baking, are a breath of fresh air. Their two women who don’t play by the rules and generally just have the most fun possible with baking. They’ve caught a whirlwind of attention, being featured everywhere from Grazia Magazine to The Sunday Times.

They’ve garnered a wealth of big name fans too, Jamie Oliver has said of them “Naughty but very very nice.” Gizzi Erskine has said “They have taken meringues to a different stratosphere, cool is clearly in their genes.” and Daisy Lowe has called their meringues “rainbow coloured loveliness.”

After a few years studying, working for a marketing company in London, then travelling the world, taking unique cooking classes wherever she could, including such places as India, Thailand and Cambodia, Alex had her eureka moment. She decided that cooking was her raison d’etre. So, she took a years course at Leiths School of Food and Wine, ending up working at a restaurant in Hackney.

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Hailing all the way from Auckland, New Zealand, Stacey started out in the big wide world training in technology at The University of Auckland, she also achieved a diploma in Culinary Arts. Soon after she set up her own successful catering company, providing high-end canapes. One day she decided to explore the culinary world, working in various kitchens across the world. It was during Stacey’s culinary exploration that she met Alex, who was working as a sous chef at the time, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Now, how exactly they became the Meringue Girls is quite a simple story. The girls bonded over their passion for food, particularly their passion for sweet food. After a few drinks and a lot of talking, the idea of the Meringue Girls came into being, and it all went on from there.

To talk a little bit about their mouthwatering meringues. Basically, Alex and Stacey have taken these sugary little treats and turned them into little jewels, that come in a range of scintillating flavours, which include pistachio and rosewater, dark chocolate, coconut, lemongrass and ginger, and most interesting of all gin and tonic, which we at Think Shaadi are itching to try.

We have a little treat to show you below, a cooking demonstration by the girls, filmed by Think Shaadi Community Member Deneemotion.

The Meringue Girls don’t just deal in the petite, they think big, and have collaborated with Fondant Fox, to create some of the most eye catching and simply gorgeous wedding cakes you’ll ever see. Giving you 10 choices of sponge flavours and a choice of 10 meringue kisses. They really are magnificent creations, worthy of a place at the Tate Modern.

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The Meringue Girls essentially put their personality into their creations, and they’ve been rewarded for it big time. The girls have been selected to take part in Selfridges new project ‘Meet the Makers’, where they are showcassing their talents to an excited audience. You can get acquainted with the Girls at Selfridges rooftop restaurant, On The Roof with Q, from 11 to 17 August.

Finally, we are delighted to welcome the Meringue Girls to the growing Think Shaadi family xx

The Vogue Wedding Show Is Coming

In just over a month the magically evocative cavalcade of the Vogue Wedding Show, in partnership with the Taj Group, will be taking place at The Taj Palace, New Delhi, August 1 – 3. As always it will be a tour-de-force in the world of luxury Indian weddings, highlighting couture and jewellery. The show will feature some of the finest designers in Indian fashion, with sartorial giants like  Tarun Tahiliani, Suneet Varma, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Manish Malhotra et al and the leading lights of jewellery design such as Nirav Modi and Rose.

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The show will be an extravaganza of artistry, quality and unrivalled beauty. The spectacles of reverie this year range in inspiration and style, from traditional contours to sharpe modern shapes, every design will be sure to excite and intrique. The preview shows with Vogue’s Bridal Studio are now well and truly underway, giving people a sneek peek of the delights to come. The first being staged in Kolkata, with Sabyasachi. If your look for your bridal outfits and need advice, you have to watch this wonderful interview by the editor of Vogue, Priya Tanna.

You can check out all the latest info about the Vogue Wedding Show by heading to Twitter and searching for the hashtag #VogueWeddingShow. We at Think Shaadi will be doing it religiously.

Image credits: Vogue Wedding Show &  Tarun Tahiliani