Saturday 31 December 2011

Asian Fashion Blog Review of 2011 - my year in asian fashion!

2011 started as it always does, with a rush of asian wedding exhibitions across the country. This time though, I wasn't just attending out of interest and for blog articles, I had a year packed full of close family weddings to think about too!

January - the Asiana Bridal Show 2011 in London
Ekta Solanki Collection as seen at Asiana Bridal Show 2011
I had the pleasure of a front row seat for the all-important fashion show at this event so I got a great view of all the outfits. Ekta Solanki and Ziggi Studio were my two favourites from this event, read my review of the event here: Asiana Bridal Show London 2011 - first look.

February - The bride with the designer gowns
The first wedding of the year for me was my cousin's. She was every bit the designer bride, from her Jimmy Choo shoes and matching bag to her red and gold bridal outfit by Mehdi and her pastel-shaded Maria B walima outfit.

For privacy reasons I can't share her pictures with you, but this was the Maria B bridal she chose:

Now onto what I wore! Well my outfits weren't anything special really, not like the outfits I blog about, however I did make an extra special effort with my styling and I'm a firm believer that the right hair and make-up can turn an average outfit into an amazing outfit! So here's a little montage of the looks I rocked for this wedding, including the "necklace in hair" look (which personally I think is a little bit overdone right now). Credits go to my hair and make-up artists, Make up by Mus for the green outfit, and Huda Ahmed for the other two looks.
All three outfits were purchased from Southall, London and my necklace/hair piece was from Kyles Collection.

March - Asian Fashion Blog makes its TV debut
Following the success of the tv show "big fat gypsy weddings", BBC Northwest decided to do a feature on asian weddings. The research team at the BBC found my blog, approached me, and the next thing you know I was walking and talking round Manchester's Asian Wedding Exhibition whilst being filmed.

There's no online version of the full show available, but instead here's a link the section of the show which features make-up artist Lubna Rafiq...and for any blog readers who are curious to see what my wedding outfit was like, see if you can spot a blink-and-you-miss-it clip from my wedding video in there too (by the way, Lubna Rafiq didn't do my bridal make-up but they used my clip as an example!)

April - Satya Paul's "Jewels of the Sea" at Lakme Fashion Week
I blogged about a few of the collections at the Summer/Resort 2011 Lakme Fashion Week in India, and my favourite was this collection by Satya Paul.
Perhaps not to everyone's taste, and some of them seemed a tad unwearable, but I loved the theme and the colour inspirations. View more photos from this collection here.

April was also the month the Royal Wedding took place. As sad as this may sound, I was glued to my TV from very early on that morning, keen to see what all the guests, famous and non-famous, would be wearing. I even spotted a few asian outfits at the royal wedding!

May - Asian Fashion Inspiration on US TV Show 90210
When US TV show 90210 featured an Indian wedding in their season finale my eyes were on the fashion. One outfit in particular caught everyone's attention, and even now, months after the show was aired in the UK and even longer before that in the US, I still get hits from people typing variations of "90210 naomi sari dress" into google.
View more outfits from that episode, including the bride, here: An Indian Wedding in 90210.

June - Pakistan Fashion Extravaganza in London
The 2011 Pakistan Fashion Extravaganza took place in London again this year and featured collections from a range of top Pakistani designers including Nickie Nina, HSY, Faiza Samee, Asim Jofa and Maria B. There were over 150 outfits on show so it's almost impossible to choose just one favourite, but looking back at the photos, this gold and blue HSY outfit still makes me think "wow" even after all this time!
View all the collections from this show here: Pakistan Fashion Extravaganza 2011

July - all about the maxi dress
July brought with it two more weddings, both close friends this time. I had a maxi dress in my wardrobe which I'd been saving up for a summer wedding and this was a perfect opportunity to give it a debut.
I actually bought the dress in October 2010 on a random visit to Birmingham. I don't usually make impulse purchases like this, but I saw it, I liked it, it fit without needing any alterations (a rare thing for me!) and I happened to have a spare £250 in my bank account at the time!
Dress from Zoya, hair and make-up by Huda Ahmed.

September - Another family wedding, and a chance to wear my very own Satya Paul sari
September felt like a month-long wedding! There were four separate events, two in London, two in Manchester all spread out from the first to the last weekend in that month.
Earlier on in the year I had purchased my very own Satya Paul sari from the store Phulkari in London, and this event was the perfect opportunity to wear it. I was very pleased with how it looked and I'm so in love with the print.

Photography and Videography for this wedding was provided by Amir Shah, he's created this trailer for the full video which amongst other things, features a little bit of me wearing red at the mehndi!

Gohar & Nishat from Amir Shah on Vimeo.

November - Manish Malhotra collection in Studio 8 Dubai
With all my weddings for the year over, I finally had a little bit of time to take a holiday! My holiday included a short stopover in Dubai and I took this opportunity to visit an asian designerwear store called Studio 8. The highlight of my visit was seeing and touching some of the beautiful outfits by Manish Malhotra. You can read my full review of the visit here: Studio 8 Dubai Shop Review
Outfits from Manish Malhotra at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011

December - Chanel does Indian style
The fashion show in Paris for Chanel's pre-fall 2012 collection caught the eye of fashion bloggers all over the world, and even more so for asian fashion bloggers like myself who loved the fact that such an iconic brand took inspiration from asian fashion.
View more of my favourites from the show here.

What I'm looking forward to in 2012
My 2012 is going to start, like 2011 did, with asian wedding exhibitions! I'll be attending The Asian Bride Show and the Asiana Bridal Show, both taking place in London over the same weekend - very convenient for asian brides-to-be and fashion fans who don't live in London!

As well as all the fashion shows and fashion weeks, I'm looking forward to trying out some of many online asian fashion retailers who have appeared recently. I've already tried out, and look out for reviews of asian childrenswear store and make-up store Pure Halal Beauty.

Tuesday 27 December 2011

IAFA - International Asian Fashion Awards 2011

The International Asian Fashion Awards (or IAFA) returned to London for the second year running last month. The main aim of this event was to "honour success in style, reflecting the unique elegance in Asian fashion".

I didn't attend in person, but from what I've seen it looked like a lavish event - as well it should with standard tickets at £100 each and "VIP" tickets at £150 each!

There were 10 awards in total on the night and businesses involved in the asian fashion industry were invited to submit their own nominations. These nominations were judged by a panel which included Indian designer Neeta Lulla, Pakistani designer HSY, make-up artist Lubna Rafiq, Sultan Asi - owner of Imani Studio, Onita Prasada Vashish - owner of O'nitaa, and Jyotika Oberoi from India Today magazine.

Here's a list of the winners from the night:

Best Male Fashion Designer
Ziggi Studio, who also won this award at the 2010 IAFA event.

Best Female Fashion Designer

Best Make-Up Artist
Kaniz Ali

Best Newcomer in Fashion Design
Saran Kohli

Best Designer Brand

Best Wedding Collection Designer and Collection of the Year

Etka Solanki, who won "collection of the year" at last year's IAFA event.

Outstanding Contribution to the Fashion Industry
Satya Paul

Now onto the fashion show photos! The show was put together by someone who's work I truly admire - Naseeba Sacranie and her team. Amongst other things Naseeba and the Ooops team produced the 2008 Asiana Bridal Shows which, as a bride-to-be at the time, served as a huge inspiration to me (you can view videos from that catwalk show here).
The collections on display at this year's IAFA event were from a range of the nominees and winners.


Charmi Creations

Ekta Solanki
Double winner Ekta Solanki showcased a lot of the same outfits which were seen on the catwalk at the 2011 Asiana Bridal Show in London and indeed in her magazine ads. The outfit in this pic though, I don't think I've seen before.

Gul's Style
As with Ekta Solanki, a lot of the outfits Gul's Style had on the catwalk I had seen and blogged about before, view their collection from the 2011 Asiana Bridal Show here.



Safa Couture

Saran Kohli

Variety Silk House

Congratulations to all the winners and a special thank you to Rafyl Photography for these photos.

Wednesday 21 December 2011

The Asian Bride Show 2012 in London - book your tickets now!

23rd January 2012 Update - I have been informed that this event has now been cancelled. Chillitickets have issued a statement saying that anybody who purchased tickets through them will be issued with a refund. Personally I think it's a real shame and I was really looking forward to attending. All is not lost though, there's another asian wedding show taking place in central London this coming weekend on Sunday 29th January courtesy of Asiana Magazine. Visit for further information

Brides-to-be and fashion fans take note - the 2012 Asian Bride Show is taking place in London over the weekend of 28th and 29th January.

Supported by the team behind Asian Bride and Asian Woman Magazine, this event promises to be "THE UK'S BIGGEST AND BEST ASIAN BRIDAL SHOW".

Now I must admit, in recent years I haven't attended any of the previous Asian Bride shows run by this company, so I'm really looking forward to seeing what the show has to offer and all the beautiful asian fashion.

Here are the details:

Date: Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th January 2012
Venue: The Bobby Moore Suite, Wembley Stadium, Empire Way, London, HA9 0WS
Opening times: Saturdat 10:30am - 8:30pm / Sunday 10:30am - 6:00pm
Catwalk times: to be confirmed
Ticket price: £10 per adult and £5 per child (a child ticket is classed as age 6 - 12, under 6s get in free!)

The big draw for me will of course be the fashion show, held twice each day, the catwalk show is open for all visitors to view - there's no additional fee to watch.

Here are some of the models on the catwalk at the 2011 Asian Bride Show

Tickets are available to book now from and for more updates on the event, check out the Asian Bride Show facebook page.

Monday 19 December 2011

A few favourites from Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011

Preparations are already under way for the Summer/Resort 2012 Lakme Fashion Week (which is happening in March 2012), but whilst it's still winter, I thought I'd share some more of my favourites from this year's Winter/Festive 2011 collections.

Manish Malhotra - this collection was the finale show and it certainly had that wow factor!

Urban Yogini by Archana Kochhar - chic black with just a hint of colour

Metal-Morphosis by Babita Malkani - an edgy/alternative look

Azure by Harangad Singh - clothes aside, I really like the hairstyle the models are sporting.

Tasveer by JJ Valaya - the word "regal" springs to mind

Age of Innocence by Vijay Balhara - very interesting styling choice with the cupcake hair accessories!

La Tosca Du Mumbai by Nandita Thirani - love the colour palette

Bridal Fantasy by Payal Singhal - I loved the femininity and soft colours of these outfits

You can view full collections from each designer at the official Lakme Fashion Week website.

Sunday 11 December 2011

Mehdi and Gulzeb at the 2011 Rhythm of Asia Fashion Show in Manchester

Here's a selection of the outfits showcased by designers Mehdi and Gulzeb at the 2011 Rhythm of Asia fashion event which took place at the Midland hotel in Manchester.

I personally think red bridals can get a bit boring, but Mehdi's always seem to have that something a little special about them:


Photographer: Muzaffar Photography
Organiser: Vision Events
Catwalk Production: Adore Entertainment
Model Management: Zaf Shabir
Venue: Midland Hotel, Manchester
Outfit Stockist: Imani Studio

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Indian inspired fashion at Chanel's pre-fall 2012 show in Paris

It was great to see some asian-inspired fashion on the mainstream fashion blogs and newspapers today, all courtesy of Chanel and their pre-fall 2012 collection. have posted a catwalk video showing all the outfits in their glory:

Here are some of my favourites from the collection:

I love how they had asian models in this show:

If I had to pick a favourite from all of the beautiful outfits, it would probably be this one below, I can totally imagine myself wearing my dreams!
You can view all 78 outfits over at

For Bollywood fans, here's a video clip of Sonam Kapoor giving her thoughts on the show:

Monday 5 December 2011

Studio 8 Dubai - Indian and Pakistani Designerwear in the Middle East

On a recent holiday, I was lucky enough to have a stopover in Dubai. I had heard there was a store that sold asian designerwear in Dubai called Studio 8 and so I made plans to visit!

Studio 8 opened in Dubai in April 2009, and was originally a Manish Malhotra flagship store. The store now houses a comprehensive range of different Indian, Pakistani and Middle Eastern designers.

Now my Dubai geography isn't great, but Studio 8 was pretty easy to get to, it's located opposite one of the Dubai shopping malls - Mercato Mall, so all we had to do was ask our taxi driver to take us to that mall. The full address is: Villa no. 3, Jumeira Beach Road.

The store itself
As you might expect the store itself was very well presented inside. The walls were adorned with photographs of the store's owner Sarah with celebrities from the fashion world such as HSY, Manish Malhotra, to other celebrities like Paris Hilton and even Diego Maradona (mr.asianfashionblog was quite impressed with that one!)
Sarah from Studio 8 on the catwalk with Manish Malhotra
There seemed to be lots of staff, but I think we were the only customers at that time. The staff were attentive, but not too "in your face", I told I'd come all the way from England to have a look around and they left me to my browsing! Unfortunately they didn't allow me to take pictures inside, as expected from a store like this. Perhaps if I'd mentioned the fact that I blog they might be have let me take some, but I wanted to get a "genuine" customer experience so I kept schtum about my blogging!

Designer Collections
Now onto the clothes! There were a few designers whose outfits I'd seen in person before, such as Asim Jofa, but my main reason for visiting was to touch and feel and see up close the Indian designwear collections which are a bit harder to come across in the UK.

First up was Suneet Varma whose outfits really had that wow factor for me, they looked amazing and incredibly wearable at the same time.
An outfit from Suneet Varma's Fall '10/'11 Collection

Housed in a room of it's own was the Manish Malhotra collection. Considering this store used to be a MM flagship store, it's not surprising that this designer had a whole section dedicated to his work. Rails full of his outfits, from lenghas to anarkalis. I have to tell you they look just as good up close and in person as they do on the catwalk.
I had taken some spending money with me and kind of had my heart set on getting one of his outfits. However, with prices starting at 4000 Dirhams (which is approximately £700) I just couldn't justify such a purchase, especially when I don't even have a special occassion to wear it to! You don't know how much I wished there was a sale rail, but alas there wasn't.

An outfit from Manish Malhotra's Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011 Collection

Overall Impressions
Although I was just a window shopper and left empty handed, I didn't feel any snobbyness from the staff in the store and browsing all the beautiful outfits was an enjoyable experience for me.

Has anyone visited or bought anything from Studio 8 in Dubai? What were your experiences?

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