Category: Highlight

Community Highlight: Matt Maurice

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Planning and production are the keys that make DJ Matt Maurice one of the most refreshing and original DJ’s in the world today. His years of experience, which include supporting the 90’s dance legends the Prodigy, have turned him into a quintessential master of creating a great party.
Working with a range of genres, from Acid House, Soul and Funk to Balearic and dozens of sub-genres, he’s continually kept a close eye on emerging trends, making sure he’s always at the forefront of his profession.

When asked why he became a DJ, in a recent interview, he said “I just fell into it really. I can’t honestly remember never playing music on a deck. I played music to people from around aged 10 at a youth club and I had my first professional gig at the age of 14.” For Matt, music is an essential part of his life, ever since he was a teenager; it’s the foundation of what makes him such a dedicated DJ.


Home House With Niemierko. Pics By Nikole Ramsey (11)


Matt has played a diverse range of venues, from small pubs and clubs, warehouses to 5 star hotel and other luxury venues. It’s the luxury venues that Matt plays now however, along with this he’s supported and worked with the crème of the music industry, including The Rolling Stones, Fat Boy Slim, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, The Clash and many, many others.

He’s been showered with accolades, such as for his work with Welsh rock band Feeder and Katie Melua when he was awarded several gold discs by the British Phonographic Industry. Now heading his own events company, Matt and his team run a tight ship, and push the boundaries of creating unique events, that are rich in musical diversity.

We at Think Shaadi are very excited to have Matt as one of our Marquee DJ’s. Let’s face it who wouldn’t be excited to be associated with such a creative tour-du-force.

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Community Highlight: Rob Van Helden


The love affair which Dutch artists have with flowers goes back to the Flemish Golden Era, when painters like Ambrosius Bosschaert and Balthasar van der Ast used floral displays as a tool to represent life, birth, death etc. Today, Rob Van Helden is creating magic with flowers; his designs encompass the grand and the small, his style is fashioned from a deep love for design, nature and colour.

Over his 24 year career Rob Van Helden has been courted by a wealth of famous faces from Elton John to Pierce Brosnan. Aside from the celebrity attention, Rob has designed for royal weddings, charity events, society parties etc, in the UK, Continental Europe and beyond, such as in the beautiful palaces of Rajasthan. His distinctive style is what captures people’s attention first and foremost, but the careful attention he pays to each client’s needs is what cements their love for him.


When it comes to his aesthetic approach, Rob tends to work with one specific type of flower, as he says “this is the way in which flowers tend to grow in the wild.” Whereas some florists create with a dizzying mixture of flowers, Rob likes to stick to the way nature intended, and then elaborate from that.

Like all good florists, Rob uses flowers to frame a celebration, whether it is a wedding, party or even the changing seasons. It’s all about delighting the eye and triggering the pleasure senses. We are very happy to have Rob Van Helden part of our Community xx

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Below is Mark Niemierko’s interview with Rob. Mark is a leading luxury wedding planner, based in London and this video shows Niemierko Wedding Academy students visit Rob’s studio, along with a tour of Covent Garden Flower Market in October 2011, for an insight into the creative element of floral design when it comes to weddings and events.


Community Highlight: Suneet Varma

Fashion’s Great Magician


Grandeur, it’s a word that conjures up many thoughts, in art you might think of the Baroque, the Neo-Classical etc, in architecture you might think of the Palace of Versailles, and in fashion you’re more than likely to think of Suneet Varma. Suneet, one of India’s leading women’s and bridal wear designers launched his career back in the late 1980’s, when the Indian fashion industry, as we know it today, was in its genesis. It was a time when designers were breaking free from the traditional structures and beginning to embrace new design methods.

Going back to grandeur, it’s Suneet who has spearheaded an aesthetic that is forever structured around the grand, something that is fantastical and dreamlike, pristine fabrics that delicately layer over one another and elaborate embroidery that finely compliments every facet of a design, it’s pure theatre. Suneet’s inspiration is typically diverse, from art, books and film, to design, photography and nature, his creativity is continually spurred on by the world around him, and like a magician Suneet takes these varied inspirations and conjures together designs that encapsulate beauty in all its artistic forms.

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It’s hard and indeed impossible to place Suneet Varma in any specific box. He creates fashions that are as if lifted from a fairytale, designs that celebrate tradition and modernity in equal amounts. A specific factor that cements Suneet as a designer of merit is his understanding of the female form, and femininity as a whole, each one of his collections has embraced femininity, from the shaping and stitching to style and execution. So many designers try to incorporate grandeur into their creations, yet often fall flat, diluting beauty in favour of ephemeral attention, but Suneet has always mastered the alchemy of grandeur, showing us that to be grand doesn’t always mean turning fashion into an exaggerated circus.

The Making of a Master

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25 years ago, fresh from the London School of Fashion and an internship at Yves Saint Laurent, Suneet began climbing the ladder as a designer, but would quickly be recognised as one of the great artisans of Indian fashion, an artist who was confident in his abilities but astute and humble enough to continue learning from others.

Suneet’s interview with Headlines Today

Year after year, each collection has superseded the last; the fashion establishment along with the public have become ever more entranced by his creations. For Suneet the goal was, and still remains, to highlight the sumptuous, the ethereal and essentially to make fashion tell a story.

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Always keen to collaborate, Suneet has been courted by a wealth of luxury brands from across the world, such as Armani Junior, Donna Karan, luxury hotel Dusit Devarana et al. In 2011, Suneet’s collaboration with designer Juith Lieber, famed for her luxury clutches and minaudieres, marked a greater exploration into accessory design, creating an autumn collection that fused together his playful and poetical creative approach, with Lieber’s sophisticated and synergistic approach, the outcome was a bejewelled extravaganza that celebrated nature and traditional Indian patterns. A spokeswoman for Judith Lieber said of the collaboration “Suneet Varma was our first and only choice as a design partner; he is the perfect designer for our creative aesthetic.”

Suneet Varma and Judieth Lieber

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More recently, the luxury motor giant BMW approached Suneet to collaborate, which included designing interiors for their 7 series, unveiled in the spring of 2013. The “Auto-Couture” launch was held at the Dusit Devarana hotel, and featured fashions inspired by motorcar culture, from the 1930’s to the present day.

In 2013 his career was celebrated in a photographic retrospective, simply titled Suneet Varma, published by Niyogi Books. It was a humbling moment for a designer that has changed the face of Indian fashion, catapulting it onto the global stage. A man who has always wished to tell stories through fashion, with influences that cross Asia and Europe, Suneet Varma’s own story as a designer is the most fascinating of all.

Suneet Varma at Nobu London

This week on May 8th and 9th, at London’s prestigious Nobu restaurant, Suneet, along with Judith Leiber and Dubai based jewellery designer Kajal Assomull, will be showcasing his latest collection, which includes some of his collaborations with Judith Leiber. It will be a luxurious affair that brings together three designers who are never shy of celebrating the beautiful aesthetic.

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We at Think Shaadi highly recommend you RSVP and for personal Bridal appointments email:

Images courtesy: Suneet Varma & Harper’s Bazaar Bride

Community Highlight: Asma Khan

The Empress of Supper Clubs

Asma Khan

We are reluctant to start this post with a line from the musical ‘Oliver’, but it has to be said – food, glorious food is what Asma Khan does best, that and of course a warm and welcoming atmosphere. There’s been a wave of “supper clubs” that have sprung up over the last few years, offering people a unique way of dining out, usually in the comfort of someone’s home. The city of London in particularly is awash with them, so it can be difficult to stand out.


However, Asma has no trouble, her perfect blending of finely cooked Indian and other cuisines, natural prowess as a hostess and inviting Kensington home has Darjeeling Express (Asma’s supper club) head-and-shoulders above the rest. She’s come a long way from, in her own words, not even being able to boil an egg and spending her first 2 years in the UK eating salads and her husband’s chicken curry. Asma decided to spend some time back in India, basically getting a crash course in traditional cooking, and since then her passion for preparing and sharing tasty dishes has continued to grow.

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Darjeeling Express offers food lovers a wide selection of mouth watering meals, from Bengali to Mughal cooking, not forgetting of course a creative variety of themes that range from Bollywood to Indian winter feasts. Asma has garnered much acclaim amongst good food connoisseurs, Darjeeling Express recently made it into Suitcase Magazine’s “Top 5 International Supper Clubs in London” which is quite an achievement. We hope Asma conjures up some more supper club evenings very soon.

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Community Highlight: Ashish N. Soni

A Sartorial Pioneer

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Working towards what he calls “a simple aesthetic” Ashish N Soni is a designer who has been breaking the mould since 1992, when he launched his eponymous label, international acclaim would come when he launched a label through Selfridges. Throughout Soni’s career he’s reached many milestones, from being one of the first Indian designers to present a runway show at New York Fashion Week in 2005, to being handpicked by the Government of India to contribute to the Millennium celebrations of Khajuraho.


Essentially it’s Soni’s unique sense of design ethics that keep the interest of the industry and public alike burning bright. His contours, shapes and styles range from minimalist and streamlined to , fanciful frills are not part of the Soni aesthetic. He regularly uses a palate of subtle pastel shades, along with electric and bolder colours. An Ashish Soni collection, both women’s and menswear, is always a cosmopolitan affair and never sticks to tried and tested conventions.


If you were to sum up Ashish Soni as a designer, it would be international, because his influences come from far and wide, whether it’s the youngsters of Delhi, the dandy’s of Milan or historic Indian art and design. He brings these influences together in collections that epitomise sartorial beauty. Soni is all about being playful with fashion; even his formal wear has an element of non-conformity.


His recent collections have had several flavours, from the Mediterranean, very much embracing the cultures of Milan, Barcelona and Madrid, with sun kissed colours and bohemian shapes, to the traditional, sharp blazers with intricate stitching and embroidery, sherwani’s with beautifully regal floral embellishments etc. It’s easy to see why Ashish Soni is gaining more global attention as the years go by.

Community Highlight – Pavan Ahluwalia

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Mixing Cutting-Edge Style with Ancient Beauty

Henna design is an ancient art form, with a rich history that is filled with numerous spiritual and artistic symbolisms. It takes someone with a truly creative eye and talent to gain the respect of their peers within the henna design world. Pavan Ahluwalia has achieved that respect, recognised by the esteemed Guinness World Records, as the fastest henna artist, which was granted to Pavan after she painted a mammoth 511 armband in 60 minutes, each with specifically different designs.

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Despite Henna designs ancient methods and aesthetic requirements, there is always room for adding a modern twist, and Pavan does this, and then some. She’s become much sort after across the globe, with brides desperate for her to create a unique and visionary design. Basically, ephemeral beauty has never looked so good.

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In the last 20 years Henna design has shifted from its traditional place, as a staple of South Asian weddings, to be incorporated into other cultures and other important moments in our lives. It’s thanks to designers like Pavan that the traditional and spiritual aspects have not been lost, as its popularity grows outwards, but also its people like Pavan who are pushing the boundaries where design innovation is concerned, entwining history and modernity together, thus breathing new life into this age old craft.

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Pavan has been courted by big names like the BBC, Harrods, Selfridges and Sky TV, along with celebrities, to work her magic over panoply of projects, which incorporate many differing tools, from diamante and glitter to full scale body paint and food colouring. Entirely self-taught, Pavan is the epitome of an artist, someone whose creativity never falters and someone who can find inspiration from the most obscure things.

To learn more about Pavan and her beautiful work, head over to her website:

Community Highlight – Varun Bahl

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Varun Bahl graduated from the prestigious National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), New Delhi and started his label in 2001 and within three years the brand received both international acclaim and commercial success when he showcased his Spring/Summer 2004 collection in Italy. It was there, with a tough jury of the top 10 design stores in Italy such as Tessabit, Sugar, Penelope, and Luisa Via Roma that Varun Bahl’s collection was awarded the ‘Best of the Season’ award competing with designers from across the world.

Varun is a designer who works intuitively; he knows what men and women with active lives and individual style want. He is passionate about both the design process and the ultimate product and is fuelled by his artistic sensibility and discerning eye for detail. His brand is well known for looking beyond the current trends and his customer is someone who wants elegant and non-conformist design. This is what makes his bridal couture very unique.

The brand itself excels at blending vintage with contemporary, antique with new, and manages, every time, to come up with another new and original pattern. Varun  is also known for his innovative use of fabrics that he creates especially for his collections. His palette resembles that of an artist – replete with nuanced colour, texture and form.

It is absolutely impossible not to feel like a princess on your big day when you wear one Varun Bahl’s creations!

The following are some of our favorites from PCJ Delhi Couture Week 2013

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Community Highlight – Gaurav Gupta

We are proud to introduce our Community Member Gaurav Gupta.

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Gaurav is one of the leading fashion designers in the world. Putting modern Indian couture on the global map, his collections have been spotted at various red carpet events such as the Emmys and Golden Globes – worn by celebrities such as Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Nicole Scherzinger, Deepika Padukone, Kalki Koechelin, Kelly Rowland,  Sonam Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Katrina Kaif, & Priyanka Chopra. He is frequently featured in publications like – Vogue, L’offcial, ELLE Magazine & Marie Claire.

Alumnus of both Central Saint Martins College of Art (London) and the Design and National Institute of Fashion Technology (Delhi), he was given the ‘Future of Couture’ award from the Mayor of Rome at the Altaroma Altamoda. Prior to starting his own label, Gaurav worked with illustrious designers including Hussein Chalayan, Tristan Webber and Stella McCartney.

Gaurav’s creativity and innovation is visible through his work with the lines and motion of fabric. His unmistakable take on three-dimensional embroidery and volume have created a distinctive style. His brand is truly for the modern and discerning bride!


Below are some of our favourites from PCJ Delhi Couture week 2013

Community Highlight – Fiona Cairns


We are excited to introduce our Community Member Fiona Cairns.  For those of you who haven’t heard of Fiona, she is one of the leading cake makers in the world. Over the last 25 years Fiona Cairns has consistently created custom cakes for some of the biggest events and weddings. She has created pastries for celebrities such as Bono, Sir Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd. Her most famous commission came via the Royal Palace, Fiona and her team created an exotic, brandy-soaked fruit cake for The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton!


The following are few of our favourites!

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Community Highlight – Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

At Think Shaadi we are committed to working with the best and most exclusive wedding venues in London.  One of our favourites is the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.

This breathtaking venue, located in the heart of Knightsbridge with stunning views of the Royal Park, is a spectacular location to host your big day.  It doesn’t matter if your event is royal in scale or more intimate, choosing the Mandarin by Hyde Park is guaranteed to make your wedding special.

In addition to providing a wonderful space to host your event, the Mandarin also has a wide range of services to ease the hectic process of planning a wedding.  For example, each couple who book the Mandarin Oriental are provided with a Wedding Planning Specialist to help with the event.

We would also like to thank one of our photography partners, the spectacular Paul Johnson of Paul Johnson Photography, for providing the photos below.

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