Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Bees Eid Sale - now on in store and online

My visit to London last week too me to another jewellery store - Bees.

The staff at Bees were preparing for the launch of their Eid sale (which is now on in store and online here: Bees 2012 Eid Sale), but they kindly took some time to meet with me and help me pick out some jewellery.

I ended up picking things that were all full price, but I think Bees jewellery is good value for money and there isn't a store comparable to this in Manchester so I didn't hesitate to buy what caught my eye!

These were my sister's choices - the Night Queen Necklace and Earring set and another pair of earrings.

My first pick was these earrings. I know Bees is popular for the wide range of colours available, but these stood out to me as a pair of earrings I could wear with almost anything to jazz up an outfit.

My next choice was this small sparkly pair of earrings. I don't wear earrings all the time but I could see myself wearing these for everyday wear.

 My final pick were these big statement earrings in a colour which would go with most of my asian outfits.

Overall the total bill cames to well under £100 and we took advantage of Bees' current Facebook "check in" offer where if you like the Bees Facebook page, check in and show it to the assistant you'll get a free jewellery box!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Kyles Collection - behind the scenes

Last week I visited popular asian bridal jewellery store Kyles Collection in London for a "behind the scenes" tour.

I've visited and shopped at Kyles a few times, including purchasing my bridal jewellery from them, so I was really excited to have the opportunity to find out more and get an insight into the way Kyles operate and what happens after an order has been placed.

Me with Nisha from Kyles


Kyles Collection history and brand ideals

I met with Nisha Dadi, one of the founders of Kyles and she gave me a brief history of the company, how they're grown and what their ideals are.
One thing she said to me that really stood out was that during bridal consultations she often advises brides that less is more - Kyles want their jewellery to complement a bride rather than overpower her. It's refreshing to know that even though they're a business - it's not just about the money and making a big sale, they care about the customer experience and making a bride look her best.

Hand crafted jewellery made in the UK

I'm sure I've probably read somewhere that Kyles jewellery is hand-crafted in the UK, but it only really sank in when I saw it for myself! The metal "base" for each piece is created in the Kyles workshop which is in a short distance away from their Green Street showroom, I didn't personally visit the workshop, but I got to see stage two of the jewellery making-process, which is adding in the gems.


I don't know how long it would take to complete the bridal set in the photo above, but I was very impressed! As a consumer there's something comforting in knowing that your purchase is being made in the UK, because should there be any changes or last minute glitches, you know that there's the resource right here to get it fixed.
From a wider perspective it's also positive that Kyles products are made in the UK because they're providing jobs for people - I got the impression that working for Kyles is a bit like being part of a family and found further evidence of that on the Kyles facebook page where they have some fun-looking photos from staff parties and events.

Completed orders ready for collection!


Kyles Collection Stockists

Whilst we're talking about the "family" feeling, I wanted to find out more about Kyles Stockists which are scattered across the UK and even internationally in Mauritius, Finland, Denmark and Canada.

I was originally due to meet Rav, from the marketing team at Kyles, but he was unavailable on the day because he was conducting stockist training. I had no idea Kyles were so involved with their stockists, with some companies you get the impression that all the stockist receives is the product, but with Kyles they choose their stockists carefully and provide training to ensure the brand ideals are followed through. Nisha mentioned that a lot of stockists intentionally have the same look and feel of the main Kyles showroom, things like having the same display cabinets and lighting.

Here's a pic of Rav (far right) from his stockist training with another Asian Fashion Blog favourite - the Ziggi Studio team:

Coming soon to Kyles

As well as finding out about the jewellery making process, I also got a chance to see something which is new. Kyles Collection are trialing some shiny new bridal jewellery boxes. As you can see from the photos below, these jewellery storage (and presentation) boxes are a little different from the standard jewellery boxes. A number of lucky brides-to-be will receive their Kyles orders in these boxes.



As well as the meeting with Nisha, I couldn't resist having a good browse around the showroom itself. Lots of pieces caught my eye but I didn't have a good enough reason to treat myself. I'm definitely planning to visit again and maybe I'll take my husband along this time so he can treat me instead!


Sunday, 22 July 2012

Bombay Stores at the 2012 Manchester Asian Wedding Exhibition

Bradford's Bombay Stores showcased a catwalk collection at Manchester's Asian Wedding Exhibition which took place in February this year.

Their collection included both menswear and womenswear, starting with this very striking men's outfit:
It definitely caused a stir amongst the crowd and I don't think I've ever seen anything like this before. I don't know if a non-model groom could pull off this look, and whether this bride would let him wear an outfit which would distract from hers, but I liked that they decided to put something different out there.

As well a bridal lenghas, they also had formal/party outfits too:

Bombay Stores were also kind enough to let me take photos of the outfits at their exhibition stand:

Credits for the additional photos go to Utopia Studios.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

2012 Lux Style Awards Celebrity Fashion

The 2012 Lux Style Awards took place this week in Pakistan. I haven't really followed this awards show before, but when photos and a press release from the event landed in my inbox I couldn't resist doing a post!

I've posted a full set of photos onto the Asian Fashion Blog facebook page, but here's a selection of the outfits that caught my eye:

Shimmering metalic evening gowns

I must confess my ignorance when it comes to some of these celebrities - I only recognised a few of them - one of which was model Mehreen Syed. It's a pretty dress, but her overall look seems a bit boring, maybe I'm just too used to seeing her working crazy over the top catwalk looks.

Black dresses

What's with the black strips coming out of top of this dress? I don't like the look at all.

I'm drawn to this dress, although the hairstyling and make-up puts me off the whole look.

Light coloured and nude coloured outfits

According to the blog A Wardrobe Affair, this gown above on the right is by Shantanu & Nikhil. I like it!

Stand out red carpet (or green carpet in this case!) dresses

Whether you love these or hate them, I would have liked to have seen a few more over the top dresses like these.


For anyone's that interested in who won what, you can view a winner's list here.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

A Night of Need Charity Fashion Show

Last month, London venue Troxy held host to a charity event - A Night of Need was a fundraising dinner supporting Orphans in Need and the Great Ormond Street Hospital.

In addition musical performers and other entertainment, there was also a fashion show featuring collections from O'nitaa, RDC, Ziggi Studio, Anees Malik, Sanah Fashion Studio, Saiqa Nasar Majeed and Kyles Collection.

Here are some of my favourite outfits from the show:

O'nitaa

RDC

Saiqa Nasar Majeed

Ziggi Studio and Anees Malik

Ziggi Studio

A massive thank you to Nick Reynolds Photography for these photos, you can view more pics from the show on Nick's facebook page here.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Amina Couture at Manchester Asian Wedding Exhibition

Amina Couture was another asian fashion retailer who showcased their collection at the Asian Wedding Lifestyle and Fashion Exhibition which took place in February this year.

There was a distinct theme - "Carnvival of Rust"

I believe the collection is available to view by appointment only, you can find out more information on the Amina Couture Facebook page.

Photo credits to go Utopia Studios.