Thursday 10 December 2015

Meet India's Top Designers at The Aashni & Co Wedding Show

The Aashni & Co Wedding Show is back for 2016 and on the 10th January 2016, some of India's top designers will be showcasing their collections at the Dorchester in London.

The line up is full of celebrity favourites and this year also includes a Pakistani designer - Faraz Manan.

This is the full line up and a look at some of their outfits:

Anamika Khanna
Think capes and drapes!

Sunday 29 November 2015

Fabric of India Exhibition and Conference at the V&A London

Earlier this month, I visited the Victoria & Albert Museum in London to see their Fabric of India exhibition. This event had been on my radar since the start of the year and I'd been following updates from the exhbition's curator Divia Patel on Twitter and the V&A blog.

Whilst general entry to the V&A is free, this is a special exhibition so you need to purchase tickets separately, and it's definitely worth it!

Photo Credit: V&A Facebook

My main interest was the fashion fabrics but I found myself in awe and amazement at the other historical fabrics, including Tipu Sultan's tent from the 18th Century:

Photo Credit: V&A Facebook

Other key pieces in the exhibition include this Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla mirror work outfit worn by Madhuri Dixit in the film Devdas. The outfit was so heavy that it only ended up being worn in promo shots for the film!

Another of the more modern indian outfits on display at the exhibition is this bride and groom's wedding ensemble designed by Sabyasachi, if you think these look good in the photos, I can tell you they look even more amazing in person!

From traditional indian outfits like bridal lenghas and saris, the exhibition also showcases designers who are using traditional techniques in an ultra-modern way, with the most notable example being Manish Arora.

Manish Arora’s Studio from Victoria and Albert Museum on Vimeo.

I was lucky enough to get a ticket to a conference all about the Fabric of India exhibition with talks from the curators and guest speakers, including Manish Arora himself! He talked through the inspiration behind some of his collections and how he works with his garment makers to turn his vision into reality.

I came away feeling inspired, not just by Manish Arora (although I was very tempted to run to Selfridges and buy something by Manish Arora - incidently, they have a small collection available to buy online, check it out here)

The Fabric of India exhibition is on until 10th January 2016 and is well worth a visit, as is the V&A in general! Find out more info about booking tickets and opening times here.

Photo Credit: V&A Facebook

Thursday 26 November 2015

First Look: Asiana Bridal Show Birmingham 2015

Last weekend I visted Edgbaston Stadium in Birmingham for the 2015 Asiana Bridal Show.

Here's a first look from the catwalk and exhibition!

One of my favourites from the catwalk was the collection from Soltee by Sulakshana Monga. I loved the orange colour theme and even from a distance you can see the rich textures and print designs on their outfits.

Tuesday 17 November 2015

How to survive and Asian Bridal Exhibition

This weekend, I'll be attending the Asiana Bridal Show in Birmingham. It's been some time since I last attended one of Asiana's bridal shows, so I'm looking forward to seeing what's new!

For anyone that hasn't been to this type of event before, it can be a bit daunting. Here are my top tips for "surviving" and getting the most out of the day!

Get there early

These events can get really busy and hectic, with big crowds in small spaces and it can sometimes feel like you're fighting your way through to see what's on offer from the exhibitors. Get there early and you'll hopefully have a more relaxed browse - be aware though, if you're super early some of the exhibitors might not be fully set up yet!

Make appointments in advance

Do your research on which suppliers are going to be at the event. Most companies will be talking about exhibiting on their social media channels well in advance. If there's a particular fashion designer, catering company, or wedding planner you're considering booking, why not contact them in advance and see if you can make an appointment on the day?

Make notes as you go

You could see and speak to numerous suppliers, some offering very similar services. The last thing you want is to get home with a bag full of leaflets and flyers and wonder which cake maker had that cake you liked, or what was the name of that MUA who had availability on your dates? Make notes as you talk to people (use your phone, or go old skool with a good old pen and paper if you prefer) so you'll be able to contact your favourites when you get home.

Keep calm and stay courteous

As I mentioned before, these events can get extremely busy. You'll probably find yourself in a queue at some point in the day, whether it's for food, the fashion show or even just to get in! You may come across people who want to push in, push past you, or just be rude, whatever you do - don't join them!
A little patience goes a long way, so keep your calm, don't let anyone else ruin your day and try your best not to ruin someone else's.

Don't expect a great seat at the fashion show

For a lot of people (myself included!) the highlight of an asian wedding exhibition is the fashion show. Unfortunately though, front-row seats are limited and in my experience I've found the best seats usually end up being taken by sponsors, VIPS, friends of the show organisers...and sometimes bloggers!

So try not to be too don't be disappointed if you're sat somewhere at the back with a view of just the top half of the catwalk. My tip is to pick an aisle seat if you can't get near the front, at least then you have a bit of space to try and see something.

These shows always have a host of official photographers and the organisers will *usually* publish photos from the catwalk anyway, either on their website or in their magazine and there'll be plenty posted on social media too. So don't worry too much about taking photos of everything, instead focus on what you like about each outfit and use the fashion show for styling ideas and to help you decide what kind of bridal look you want for yourself.

Be open minded and don't say no straight away

You might go in with a really clear idea of what you want for your big day, but keep an open mind, talk to as many suppliers as you can, because even if a company isn't exactly what you're looking for, they might be able to recommend a perfect supplier for you. Most people in the asian wedding industry know each other and speak to each other so ask them for their suggestions!

If you're attending the show this Sunday look out for me and definitely come and say hi!

Sunday 30 August 2015

Meet Manish Malhotra at Aashni & Co in London

Fashion fans in London and the rest of the UK, here's a date for your diaries: On the 25th September, Indian designerwear store Aashni & Co are hosting a "Designer's Day" with Indian designer (and friend to many of Bollywood's leading ladies and heroes) Manish Malhotra.

Monday 24 August 2015

Phone Photography Class with Three and Samsung

Last weekend I was invited by the mobile network Three to join a photography class they were holding in Manchester City Centre. Myself and a group of other local bloggers were each given a Samsung Galaxy S6 for the day and our tutor Aidan O'Rourke showed us how to make the most of a phone camera's settings.

Read on to see more of my photos from the day and the tips I took away to hopefully improve my photos for Asian Fashion Blog!

Saturday 22 August 2015

Floral Hairband Hairstyle Inspired by Rohit Bahl at AICW2015

For the final event of my cousin's wedding, I decided to take some hair styling inspiration from Rohit Bal's Amazon India Couture Week 2015 collection.

The models wore these huge floral-looking textured hair pieces which covered almost half the side of their heads in some cases!

I didn't have anything as big as their hair pieces, but I did have a small floral headband which I tried to style in a similar way. Here's my take on the look...
A photo posted by Nazma (@nazma_afb) on

Sunday 16 August 2015

Disco Sequin and Print Sari for a Mehndi

This month has been filled with the wedding events from another close family member. We had 5 different events, all within the space of two weeks!

I re-wore a lot of outfits I already had, but for one of the mehndi events I wore a new sari and paired it with a fitted sequin crop top. Read on to see where my crop top was from and how I put together the whole look.

Tuesday 7 July 2015

Eid 2015 Inspiration from Pernia's Pop Up Shop

My favourite online store for window shopping, Pernia's Pop Up Shop, has created this Eid 2015 fashion inspiration guide, featured in their latest online magazine.

I personally don't know anyone that gets this dressed up for Eid, but I loved these images so just had to share them!

Monday 29 June 2015

AFB Family Wedding - The Walima

My final "AFB Family Wedding" post (for this wedding at least!) is what I wore to the Walima.

I purchased this sari way back in February, from Alankar Sarees in Manchester, and was drawn to the pop of neon pink, the sequins and that black and white houndstooth print!

Friday 26 June 2015

Imani Studio's New Manchester Store

Last week I was invited to the launch of the new Imani Studio store on Wilsmlow Road in Manchester.
Fans of Pakistani fashion in the UK will no doubt already be familiar with Imani Studio, which was established in 2005 and was the store that offered me my first chance to try on collections from Pakistan's top designers!

Here's a closer look at their new store and details from their launch event!

Tuesday 23 June 2015

Fashion Parade London 2015 - What I Wore and Best of the Rest

A few weeks ago I received an invitation to the 2015 Fashion Parade at the Saatchi Gallery in London. The event promised to be a "grand fashion show celebrating the finest fashion from South Asia", with collections from the likes of Pakistani designer Ali Xeeshan and Indian designer Anamika Khanna to name but a few!

I'll be posting my favourite looks from the catwalk soon, but first, here's what I wore to the event and some of my favourite looks from the very glamourous guests in attendance!

Friday 19 June 2015

Beauty Focus - Natasha Salon in Karachi

I recently joined Instagram (I'm late to the party I know, but if you want to follow me here, you can do so here - nazma_afb) and one of the hair and beauty accounts which has caught my attention is Natasha Salon, a make-up studio/salon based in Karachi Pakistan run by Hina, Natasha and Sabrina.

Here are some of my favourite images of their work, including real brides and editorial looks for some of Pakistan's top designers.

1960s look with a twist

Sana Ansari and Meera Ansari - a sixties look with a twist for the Farah Talib Aziz Eid 2015 editorial.

I love a bit of retro, and so this softer take on a 60's look with winged liner really appeals! The Natasha Salon team have provided a break-down of the make-up for this look here for anyone that wants to try their hand at this style.

Tuesday 16 June 2015

Raishma at East Shopping Centre

Last week I finally visited East Shopping Centre, on Green Street in London, a retail space dedicated to South Asian fashion retailers. My first stop was to AFB favourite Raishma's new store.

The new store has more of a focus on Raishma's ready-to-wear line, but still has a wide selection of her bridal collection on display too.

I had a good browse in store and with it being such a warm day I gravitated towards the looser fitting kaftans, rather than the bodycon dresses and churidar suits.

Tuesday 9 June 2015

A look back: Anita Dongre Festive 2014 Campaign

I came across the photoshoot for Anita Dongre's 2014 Festive campaign in August last year when The Indian Wedding Site posted these images. The gold dress above immediately caught my eye and I added it to one of my (many) Pinterest boards.
Judging by the number of re-pins this image has had, and still receiving even now, it looks like there's a lot of love for this dress! So I just had to do a post about the rest of this campaign.

Tuesday 2 June 2015

AFB Family Wedding: Groom's choice, kidswear and my sister's outfit

In my last post, I wrote about the beautiful geometric print black, white and gold anarakali dress I wore to a close family wedding, now I wanted to share some of the other outfits from the wedding, starting with the groom!

What the groom wore

The groom's green sherwani was from AFB favourite Ziggi Menswear and as much as I'd like to have said I had a hand in choosing this sherwani, I really didn't! The choice was down to the groom and of course the advice and styling from Ziggi and Taff.

Sunday 3 May 2015

Pernia's Pop Up Shop Review and my new SVA Anarkali Dress

Regular readers of Asian Fashion Blog, and anyone that's ever spoken to me about Asian fashion will know that I love love browsing the online store Pernia's Pop Up Shop and have been itching to buy something from there for ages!

This family wedding was the perfect opportunity to make my first purchase and setting myself a budget of £300 I spent hours on the site deciding on what to order when I finally settled on the geometric print collection by SVA which I first blogged about in September last year.

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Family Wedding 2015 Day One Outfit - The Mehndi

The first event of this close family wedding was the bride's mehndi. We were from the groom's side and travelled from Manchester to Nottingham for the event.

For this event, I decided to wear a lengha and had the perfect outfit stored away in my wardrobe waiting for just the right occasion!

Wednesday 22 April 2015

An AFB Family Wedding

Last year I blogged about what I wore to a close family engagement party (check out the post here)and for the last two months I've been in family wedding mode - we're just a few days away from the first event.

I will be blogging my outfits for all 3 events in detail, but in the meantime here's a preview!

1) Outfit number one is for the mehndi event and it was originally a salwar suit, from the days when short kameezes were in! I had an orange lengha made up so I could re-wear this. Check out my two other short kameez suits which I had lenghas made with here and here.

2) Outfit number two is the one I'm the most excited about wearing, it's for the main wedding event and I splashed out on my first purchase from Pernia's Pop Up Shop. It's a geometric print anarkali dress by the designer SVA by Sonam and Paras Modi. At the moment I'm really loving prints, and patterns, especially geometric patterns. I blogged about how much I loved this collection last year (check out the post here) so to be able to say I own something from this collection makes me very happy!

3) For the final event, the walima, I picked up this silvery-grey houndstooth detail sari from Alankar Sarees in Manchester.

I'll also be wearing jewellery from my trusty favourites Kyles Collection and Bees.

For outfit updates as they happen, follow me on Instagram (I'm an instagram newbie! very late to the party I know!) and Twitter - nazma_afb.

Wish us luck and when it's all done with, hopefully I'll get back to more regular blog updates!

Monday 30 March 2015

Scarlet Bindi Presents: The Collections

Online asian fashion retailer Scarlet Bindi are hosting a shopping event on Saturday 4th April in London. In addition to being a chance to see and try on Spring/Summer 2015 collections by the likes of up-and-coming brands Almari, Kanika Kritika, Mani Jassal, Paarull Goel, Puneet Bhandal & The Little Black Bow, they'll also be taking orders on made-to-measure outfits too.

Here's a closer look at some of my favourites from their online store right now!

Thursday 26 March 2015

Trying on Capes by Maheen Karim at the Stitch Three Trunk Show

Stitch Three, formerly known as Faisana (and the team behind the Faisana Fashion Weekend catwalk shows from 2014), hosted a trunk show at The Athenaeum Hotel in London earlier this month. I happened to be spending that weekend in London and stopped by to visit the exhibition and browse the collections by the three headline designers - Malini Ramani, Misha Lakhani and Maheen Kareem.

Visitors to the show were treated to a welcome including champagne, teas, coffees, cupcakes, chocolates and tasty at the treats looked, I was more excited to browse the clothing and jewellery collections!

I had a good browse through all the clothes and went round the room twice before stopping at a rail of outfits by Pakistani designer Maheen Karim. Two outfits in particular caught my eye - both capes! The first was in midnight blue with orange trousers and an undershirt and the other was in a very vibrant hot pink with lime green undershirt.

I couldn't resist trying one on, and decided to give the hot pink cape a try...

I tried it on with my jeans so you don't quite get the feel of how the full outfit should look, but overall I really liked the look and I'm really glad I tried this on!

Here's a close up of the trousers and of the detail on the cape itself:

Here's a close up of the trousers and the price of this outfits...I think that's a "4" and not a "9"!

Here are some of Maheen Karim's other collections on the day:

Photo Credit Stitch Three Studio Facebook

My visit to the show was quite a short one - I was visiting with my 6-year-old niece and she hasn't quite develeoped her passion for fashion just yet! But one of my other favourite bloggers Safeera from Habibi Lifestyle got the chance to interview the Stitch Three Team and take some more pictures at the event, read her interview and check out her photos here: Success for Stitch Three's Fashion Day Out.

If you love capes as much as I do, check out this Pinterest board of my favourite caped asian outfits here:
Follow Asian Fashion Blog's board Cape Styles on Pinterest.

Saturday 21 March 2015

First Look at Asian Bride Live Birmingham 2015

Last weekend, The ICC in Birmingham held host to Asian Bride Live! I didn't attend in person, but was following updates from the show on twitter and looking at photos from the catwalk. By all accounts it sounds like it was a great event!

Here's a first look from the exhibition, catwalk and some backstage moments thanks to photographers Rooful from Aliway Photography and Jennifer Bedlow

Wednesday 18 March 2015

High-Low Hemline suits by Payal Singhal and Faika Karim

This style of high-low hemlines first came to my attention during Payal Singhal's Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2014 collection and again at their Spring Summer 2015 Wills India Fashion Week Show.

Here's some of the different styles by Payal Singhal, on the catwalk, on celebrities and in photoshoots:

More recently I spotted the trend on the catwalk in Pakistan in a collection by Faika Karim. She had two outfits on show at the 2015 Telenor Fashion Weekend:

I paid a recent visit to Faika Karim's flagship store in Bradford a few weeks ago and got to try both of these outfits on for myself. I went on a Saturday and the small shop was quite busy; in addition to Faika Karim's own label, they also stock a number of other designers too.

This collection, the "Lahore Pret" collection was displayed in the window and at the front of the shop and after browsing everything else in store, this was the collection I liked the most.

The crowd cleared and I asked to try both outfits on. I was ushered into the fitting room, which was a tiny claustrophobic space underneath a staircase! I assume there's a nicer fitting room for trying on bridal outfits, as I did see staff disappearing behind a curtain towards the back of the store.

Anyway, I tried the plainer black outfit on first, with the pair of dark skinny jeans I had on and really liked how it looked. The dress had a large diamond-shaped cutout at the back which I would probably have filled in, but aside from that I was sold! The store sample size was a good fit and I liked the little details like the pearls on the sleeves and the quality/finish overall.

I tried the slightly heavier and more expensive black and gold jamawar design on next, and whilst it looked nice, personally for my style I felt the fit was a bit too stiff and formal - I liked the looser, more laid back feel of the first one.

I can't remember the exact prices, but I think the price quoted for these was around £150 - £200, which for something quite casual, was a bit too expensive for me.

The other thing that put me off making a purchase was the general feeling I got from the people working in the store. I know the shop was busy, but even after most of the other customers had left, the assistants didn't seem to show a lot of interest in making a sale. They were helpful and informative to a point, but it was minimal and it left me feeling like I'd rather spend my money elsewhere!

I still love the style though and hope to have something like this in my wardrobe soon!

Tuesday 3 March 2015

Preview: Asian Bride Live Birmingham 2015

Asian Bride Live is coming to Birmingham later this month, on the 15th March, with an exhibition at the The ICC.

I attended the show last year (check out my posts from the show here), and the catwalk show provided plenty of inspiration.

For 2015, fashion exhibitors confirmed include:

- Bibi London
- Sharon's Couture
- Sindoor Boutique
- Faika Karim
- LaVelle
- Ahsan's
- Noor Bridal House
- Soltee by Sulakshana Monga
- Diya's
- Julien Trivedi

To give you an idea of what to expect from the catwalk show, here are some of the looks from the London Asian Bride Live fashion show!

Bibi London

In among all the bridals, Bibi London's segment at the show also had some super cute kids!

Kajal's Couture

A favourite of mine from the 2014 show, I got the chance to speak to the design team, I liked a lot of what they showcased this year too!



As well as showcasing Raishma's ready-to-wear gowns and dresses from her online store, styled as bridesmaids dresses, this show also marked the return of Raishma's bridal line. 

If her showstopper bridal dress wasn't striking enough, this collection made a huge impact thanks to the bold "vintage rose" look chosen for her model. Read more about how this look was created over on Raishma's blog here.


Soltee by Sulakshana Monga

Another standout from last year's show, I like the cut-out details and textures in the collections from Soltee...all the outfits aren't something I'd wear personally, but they definitely stand out for the right reasons!

Tickets for Asian Bride Live Birmingham are available to buy online here. The exhibition is open from 10.30am - 7.30pm with tickets costing £3 per person. To attend the exhibition and fashion show, tickets are £5, with the fashion show times set for 1pm, 3pm and 5pm - hurry though as the at present the 1pm and 3pm shows are fully booked, with limited availability for the 5pm show!

A huge thanks to Aliway for these photos.

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