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!

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