Jubilations with JJ Valaya

Jubilations with JJ Valaya

“I don’t believe in trends. My personal opinion is that trends don’t work. Just wear something, stand in front of the mirror and just be honest to yourself. If it works for you, it’s trendy enough.” – JJ Valaya

Known for combining the old with the new, the subtle with the bold, the ordinary with the distinct, and the offbeat with the mainstream, JJ Valaya is the true sardar of Indian fashion. His artistic skill, taste and design are different from any other Indian designer—he’s been doing this longer than most of them too. His masterful blend of modern and traditional is ideal for both bride and groom. So, if you want to stand out from the crowd at your wedding in a truly unique way, be sure to pick this fashion guru’s latest designs from 2013-2014.

The year that was: 2013

Fondly bestowed with the titles of the ‘czar’ and ‘maharaja’ of bridal couture, JJ Valaya wowed the crowd with yet a new set of masterpieces at the India Bridal Fashion Week 2013 in Delhi. He chose to exhibit the the heritage of Iberian fabric—artfully playing with the mural concepts, naval inventory and matador costumes of Spain—and successfully fuse it with Indian handicrafts and motifs. The focus of the theme was the classic, Spanish red rose, which was artfully included in the lehenga borders, daintily adorning the hairdos of the models, and peeping out from the shoulders of the creative choli jackets. This event truly reiterated Valaya’s role as a trendsetter in the bridal fashion industry.

 

Wedding Reception Dresses by J J Valaya.Blog by The Wedding Co.

 

 

Looking ahead: 2014

 

The Delhi Couture Week saw the return of the Ottoman Empire in JJ Valaya’s royal collection, ‘The Azrak’. Grand props, a regal setting and a heavy dose of embroidery and delicate motifs in metal work, zardozi, badla and semiprecious stones upheld the theme.

From saris, achkans, lehangas to anarkalis, there was every design an Indian bride could desire. Even the menswear had some interesting designs in the form of sherwanis and jodhpuris in classy colours, cuts and prints. An innovative mix of belts and jackets on saris was the highlight of the event.

 

After a great start to the year and many accolades later, we wish Mr. Valaya much more success in 2014!

 

Achievements

JJ Valaya is one of the founding members of Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI). The fashion label, “House of Valaya”, that was established in 1992 embodies the very essence of his style. He was also the first global brand ambassador of the crystal giant Swarovski. JJ Valaya’s couture label—JJ Valaya—comprising his trousseau line, was launched in 1993 and has been growing from strength to strength ever since. He has showcased his designs at countless Indian and international fashion weeks. His other accomplishments include the following:

  • He was the first Indian student to win The Prixd’ Incitation at the Young Designers International Competition held in Paris
  • He won the Elyxa Award at The NIFT Graduation Show, New Delhi (1991)
  • He won the Thapar Dupont Medal at The NIFT Graduation Show, New Delhi for the most innovative use of fabric (1991)
  • He won the first prize at the KLM-NIFT Alumni competition held in Mumbai, India (1992)
  • He was the first Indian designer to showcase his designs along with an American designer (Todd Oldham) in New York at the Plaza Hotel, 5th Avenue in a unique fundraiser (1998)

After reading this long ode to his talent, skill, capability, and mastery, we realise that JJ Valaya’s achievements leave very little to imagination. He remains one of the biggest names in the bridal trousseau market in India, and is truly a force to be reckoned with.

 

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Make a Mark with Manish Malhotra

Make a Mark with Manish Malhotra

Manish Malhotra, i.e. the superstar of Indian fashion. Enough said? Well, we’re just getting started. Not only does he look like a movie star, but Manish Malhotra is one of the most prized assets of the Indian film industry. A self-taught designer, Manish’s career story from working for a Mumbai-based boutique to becoming one of the most sought-after designers in India is awe-inspiring. A bridal outfit by this fashion guru is sure to add a posh flavour to your big fat Indian wedding. So, let’s have a look at his breathtaking designs of 2013-2014.

 

Wedding Dresses by Manish Malhotra. Blog by The Wedding Co.

 

The year that was: 2013

The Delhi Couture Week 2013 was the talk of the town, where Manish stole the show with his gorgeous bridal collection of lehengas and anarkalis. Inspired by the princely states of the 1930s, Manish’s outlines and embroideries showcased the revival of a long-forgotten Indo-European relationship. The theme of the evening was definitely navy blue, where Deepika Padukone stole the show in a navy blue Manish Malhotra lehenga adorned with silver embroidery and crystals. He also showcased some other breathtaking designs for brides and grooms in bold oranges and reds and subtler beiges.

 

Deepika Padukone in a Manish Malhotra Wedding Dress. Blog by The Wedding Co.

 

When asked about his inspiration behind this theme, the UK-born fashion demigod stated that, ‘In the 1930s, India was a country trying to find her voice. It was the age of opulence, and of affluence. Even as viceroys conducted matters of state, kings, queens, princes and princesses ruled over their own domains. The cross-cultural ties created a very unique genre of fashion and culture, which I am very inspired by. Whether in the fabrics, royalty and the ruling class favoured, and the silhouettes they wore, or in the architecture, and the art, there was cross-pollination at work. While designing this collection, I could imagine a Maharani, dressed in a layered lehenga ensemble, embellished with antique gold, walking down a corridor with her entourage, to meet the Viceroy in his regalia. Their conversations, conducted through a screen, echoed in my mind.’

 

Wedding Couture by Manish Malhotra. Blog by The Wedding Co.

 

 

Shahrukh Khan, Manish Malhotra and Deepika Padukone at the India Bridal Fashion Week 2013. Blog by The Wedding Co.

 

Looking ahead: 2014

Lakme Fashion Week is incomplete without Manish Malhotra. Just as he wowed the crowd with his unique theme and designs in 2013, his 2014 collection promised bridal prints that would leave the beholder pining for more. His ‘Summer Affair’ collection was the most anticipated show of the year, and as usual, Manish did not disappoint. He opened LFW with Sonakshi Sinha on his arm, who wore a trailing, navy blue (surprise surprise!) kurta with bold white embroidery to set the mood for an ethereal collection of grey, powder blue, ivory, beige and floral, floor-hugging outlines, deep backs, and flowing sheers, coupled with bold, standout embroidery. The men were done up in signature Manish Malhotra jodhpuris, shirt kurtas and skinny churidar pants, yet loyal to the midsummer ethereal theme. In short, LFW was commenced with a bang!

 

 

Wedding Fashion by Manish Malhotra. Blog by The Wedding Co.

 

It’ll be much fun to see what else this king of bridal couture has in store for us this 2014.

The Bollywood connection

Manish Malhotra is an unrivalled brand name that has ruled Bollywood for over two decades now. He has designed for the likes of Sridevi and Kajol as well as Alia Bhatt. He has won innumerable accolades and awards for his outfits in movies ranging from ‘Rangeela’ to ‘Chennai Express’.

At LFW 2013, he paid tribute to 100 years of Indian cinema, where the belles and beaus of B-town graced the ramp in signature MM designs that honoured the different eras of Bollywood, from the black and white age of the 40s and 50s, to the hippy era of the 70s, and the chiffon sarees of the 90s. Though many stars shone on the ramp that evening, it was the duo of Kajol, in a sexy lace blouse and neon saree, and Karisma Kapoor, in a white anarkali with a quirky orange border, that stole the show. In fact, ace designer Christian Louboutin, who was present at the show, was so taken up with the classy clothier that he expressed a wish to collaborate with him in future.

 

Manish Malhotra with Kajol and Karishma Kapoor. Blog by The Wedding Co.

 

In conclusion, Manish Malhotra’s achievements are endless, and we could ramble on about why his designs would be the perfect wedding present that you’ll give yourself. However, the most important reason is that his designs are truly evergreen. They will never run out of style. As they say, who you are reflects in your actions and in the work you do. Well, ladies and gents, Manish Malhotra is sheer class all the way.

Look Radiant with Ritu Kumar

Look Radiant with Ritu Kumar

One of the most seasoned front-runners of the fashion world, Ritu Kumar, is the perfect blend of classic and contemporary. Her clothes are largely inspired by Indian tradition and culture, and the intricate embroidery, bold prints, and rich material of her clothes characterize her signature designs. In fact, Ritu Kumar lehengas and saris are made for magnificence and festivity, and a perfect wedding ensemble by this designer may just be the key to completing your wedding day fairytale. So, let’s have a look at the brilliant new innovations by this messiah of wedding fashion in 2013-2014.

The year that was: 2013

2013 was quite a fruitful and satisfying year for Ritu Kumar and her fans. She was bestowed with the highest civilian honour, the Padma Shri award, for her contribution to the Indian fashion industry over the last 40 years. Yet another notch in the belt for the fashion godmother.

 

Indian Bridal Fashion by Ritu Kumar. Blog by The Wedding Co.

 

Another highlight of the year was the Rajasthan Fashion Week, where the “queen” of high fashion enchanted, yet again, with her bridal designs. Ritu Kumar’s bridal designs, as we know, are largely inspired from Rajasthan’s heritage, so it was only fitting that the princess of Jodhpur walked the ramp for her. The display of anarkalis, lehengas and saris at the show was a tribute well paid. Every single outfit was a masterpiece that showcased an array of fabrics, such as raw silk, georgette, brocade, chiffon, crepe and velvet, coupled with intricate weaving techniques, such as gota, zardozi, zari and such. However, apart from traditional designs, Ritu also showcased some new-world, edgy ideas, such as short, embroidered jackets that can be worn with lehengas. In short, there was a little something for everyone to rejoice about.

 

Indian Wedding Fashion by Ritu Kumar. Blog by The Wedding Co.

 

Looking ahead: 2014

With the start of 2014, Mrs. Kumar has continued to move from milestone to milestone. As if to reiterate the fact that she truly is the first lady of Indian fashion, Everstone—a private equity firm—has announced that they will invest 100 crore in the Ritu Kumar enterprise to increase the reach of her designs and showcase Indian craft and heritage to the world. We can’t wait to see what other excitement is in store for wedding lovers this year! (PS: Mrs. Kumar has already begun work on her bridal collection for 2014.)

Dazzling among the stars: The Bollywood connection

Ritu Kumar has not only been designing the wardrobes for Femina Miss India and other international beauty pageants for over two decades now, but she’s also a household name in the Indian film industry. Her list of eminent clients include Aishwarya Rai, Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, and Dia Mirza, to name a few, and international celebrities, such as the late Princess Diana, Mischa Barton, and Anoushka Shankar. She pioneered the concept of the “boutique” culture in India and cemented her name among the who’s who of the fashion and film industries.

 

Wedding Reception Dresses by Ritu Kumar. Blog by The Wedding Co.

 

Every bride deserves that her wedding day feel like a fantasy, and the way she is dressed directly reflects the way she feels. So to make this experience unforgettable for the bride, several individuals with intricate skills work very hard to turn a design or concept into a masterpiece. In Ritu Kumar’s words,

“Fashion is just one story—turning fabric into garments that are then shown on the ramp. But there are many smaller human stories that lead up to it. We have nearly 16 million people working in this industry right from the grassroots level, and they are the ones we should be proud of.”

Well, all we can say to this, Mrs. Kumar, is that Indian brides can rest assured that their wedding happiness is in great hands. Have an excellent week, ladies!

Steal the Show with Sabyasachi

Steal the Show with Sabyasachi

When one thinks about bridal fashion, there are a few distinguished names that come to mind. One of these names is Bengali ace couturier, Sabyasachi Mukherjee. His designs epitomize glamour, elegance, grandeur, class, royalty, and modernism. So if you want to feel like a million bucks on your wedding day, Sabyasachi is a one-stop shop for both bride and groom. Let’s take a sneak peek into his latest designs and innovations of 2013-14.

The year that was: Best designs of 2013

After a 5-year-long interval, Sabyasachi finally made a comeback (and how!) at the Lakme Fashion Week in 2013. Here, he showcased his collection called ‘Absolute Royal’ that, as the name suggests, was a rich array of satin, velvet, and other expensive-looking frill. Imagine taking your wedding vows wearing one of these beautiful masterpieces in a grand palace in Rajasthan (check blog on Rajasthan for more). Enough to make you feel like purple blood!

 

Wedding Fashion by Sabyasachi Mukherjee. Blog by The Wedding Co.

 

 

Wedding Designs by Sabyasachi Mukherjee. Blog by The Wedding Co.

 

 

Wedding Fashion by Sabyasachi Mukherjee. Blog by The Wedding Co.

 

Anarkali suits are clearly the trend of the season, and Sabyasachi’s playful twist on a kurti and lehenga that gives the effect of an anarkali was the flavour of the show. This kurti-lehenga mix is an excellent design for all the demure brides out there, as it is conservative, yet chic and suits any and every body type. The grooms needn’t worry either, because Sabyasachi has a little something for everyone. Your wedding guests are sure to be spellbound when you make an entry in one of his vivacious Jodhpuri and churidar designs.

Our pick is the breathtaking ensemble worn by Netra Raghuraman and her partner on the ramp. In all it’s glory, it was the look of LFW 2013!

Looking ahead: 2014

The royal hangover has continued in 2014, and the traditional saree and anarkali continue to re-establish their status. However, the start of this year has promoted subtler, deeper tones, which is a refreshing change from the usually vibrant colours that we see in Sabyasachi outfits. Deep blues, vibrant reds and rich pinks have given way to subtle opium, golden, white, dull pink and grey tones.

In Sabyasachi’s own words, art and culture play a great role in his design sensibilities, so most his designs have an old-world, yet modernistic charm about them. His outfits have a very traditional, ethnic feel. Recently, he successful combined the splendour of the East with the swank of the West in a beautiful western wedding gown, the first ever made by the Sabyasachi brand, that he especially designed for the famous TV show ‘Band Baajaa Bride’. The intricate embroidery on the gown is a play on the traditional lehenga, but its cut and fitting provide the feel of a Vera Wang. In short, it’s the kind that will make your jaw drop!

Made for the stars

Sabyasachi’s list of clients includes the who’s who of Bollywood. Some of his regular endorsers are Madhuri Dixit Nene, Aishwariya Rai Bachchan, Kajol, Vidya Balan, Rani Mukherjee, Sridevi, Ranvir Singh, Imran Khan, and Abhishekh Bachchan, to name a few. He is known for some truly memorable creations that made waves among the stars of B-Town:

  • Aishwariya Rai Bachchan’s look in the movie, ‘Guzaarish’
  • Vidya Balan’s traditional, saree look at Cannes
  • Rani Mukherjee’s look in the movie, ‘Laaga Chunari Mein Daag’
  • Aishwariya Rai Bachchan’s outfits at Cannes
  • Rani Mukherjee at the premiere of the movie, ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’
  • Madhuri Dixit’s black saree look in ‘Jhalak Dikhlaa Ja (Dancing with the Stars)’

 

Sabyasachi is a pioneer with using Indian textiles and fabrics in a unique way. When he first started out, he had no connections, but his edgy, ethnic silhouettes, exquisite bridal wear and bold prints soon left a deep mark on the fashion industry. Today, no Bollywood wedding, award function, anniversary or occasion is complete without Sabyasachi. Pick a brilliant ensemble from his royal bridal couture to make your wedding affair one to remember. To be sure, it’ll be a match made in heaven!