On the 27th February, in the luxurious surroundings of the world renowned Mayfair Hotel, a group of artisans, invited by Think Shaadi came together and created something truly unique. The ThinkShaadi Showcase: The Jewel of Mayfair melded the aesthetics of East and West, in a feast of fine craftsmanship, executed with angelic precision.
Stylish designs comprising of wedding gowns, cakes, floral displays and jewellery were a delectable feast for the eyes. With a coterie of 250 guests, from high-society, the luxury industry and media, ThinkShaadi Showcase: The Jewel of Mayfair was a triumphant experiment in bringing differing aspects of the luxury wedding industry to one place.
The showcase was orchestrated with four specific jewel themes – ruby, emerald, sapphire and diamond. The colours was chosen to showcase prevalent themes in weddings, but also jewels which typify luxury to the finest degree. It was a rich palette for the designers to work with, and what emerged was a hypnotic fairy tale. The event was managed by the team from Scarlet Events.
The Ruby room, situated in the Dazinger suite, evoked a certain regal quality, tinged with romance. Featuring a 50-foot long table, decorated with vintage gold ornamentation and replete with a variety of flowers, including Grand Prix Roses, burgundy tulips, red spray roses et al, along with fresh pomegranates, figs and grapes. The tables centrepiece was a magnificent six tier cake, inspired by the Baroque period, it was a dramatic explosion of sugary glory, festooned with edible roses, so intricately designed they looked real.
The cake was the work of Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium. Founded by artisan Elizabeth Solaru, who oversees each design from her London based workshop. Elizabeth’s cakes are all about pushing the boundaries of sugar craft, keeping luxury and artistic realism at the forefront. From celebration cakes to cupcakes, Elizabeth has courted the attention of such media luminaries as Vogue, Conde Nast Brides and Hello magazine amongst many others.
To encapsulate the essence of romance, place settings were styled by Whitehouse. A company that emerged from a passion to supply the finest crockery and glassware, Whitehouse have become renowned in the event industry for their unique tastes, sourcing each of their products from around the world, and supplying to a wealth of high profile clients. Their raison d’etre is to create elegance in a variety of forms.
The icing on the cake for the table design was the etched menus, fashioned in a gorgeous style and finished in gold. They were the brainchild of Intricate Creations, a company that works on the cutting edge of design, producing contemporary, laser-cut wedding and event stationary. Despite their thoroughly modern design approach, Intricate Creations gather their inspirations from a variety of sources, from nature, the arts and of course history. Their menu designs echoed strongly artistic motifs of the Baroque, which complimented the cake perfectly.
A Bespoke four course dinner, for 52 lucky people, was arranged by Cinnamon Club and celebrity chef Vivek Singh of Cinnamon Restaurants. Epitomising culinary innovation, Cinnamon Club are synonymous with mouth-watering cuisine, melding a variety of flavours and recipes from around the globe, of course always made from the finest British produce. Cinnamon Club’s reputation is cemented thanks to two things, an old fashioned love for good food and a solid work ethic grounded in creativity.
The vintage style furniture came from Great Hire. A company that devotes its energies to shunning mediocrity, and embracing elegance and masterful quality furnishings. Really paying attention to each client’s desires and delivering only the very best.
The Upper Atrium was transformed into the Sapphire room, with a distinctly Parisian feel, the theme was brought to life using predominantly blue brocade linen and French furniture. Hyacinths, forget-me-nots and hydrangeas were the dominant flowers for this setting, giving a tinge of rustic romance.
The Sapphire room was particularly relaxed and a social atmosphere prevailed, with a cocktail bar at the far end, with experimental cocktails by Drinks Fusion. Established in 2006, Drinks Fusion are all about providing thirst quenching bespoke cocktails, having worked with high profile clients in the arts, design, fashion and lifestyle sectors, to quote the team their ethos is “to bring a unique experience to our clients by providing the opportunity to taste some of the world’s finest spirits, wines and food, in a classic, contemporary and inspirational way, using only the finest ingredients.”
The bar area was illuminated perfectly, thanks to lighting by Smoking Gun Events. A company that leads the way in creating events that cater to individual tastes and needs impeccably, they are the leaders in event lighting, understanding that an event cannot shine if it isn’t properly lit.
The Sapphire Room also showcased the stylish and masculine tailoring of Paul Jheeta, whose suits encapsulate a mix of contemporary aesthetics and age old craftsmanship, rooted firmly in quality. Paul began his career back in 1997, working under the tutelage of Antony Price, he quickly stood out as a star tailor, understanding the minutiae of this very specific sartorial environment. After a number of years perfecting his craft, he launched his own label ‘Paul Jheeta’ back in 2008, since becoming a giant of Savile Row.
The mezzanine, being the first section guests encountered as they entered the event, was where the Emerald room was arrange, once again a regal, imperial essence emanated from this display. There were two very prominent colours, which complimented one another, green and gold.
The front table was centred on a giant floral display, by the king of floristry Rob Van Helden. An unrivaled master in creating ethereal beauty, Dutch born Rob has provided some of the most awe inspiring bouquets etc. since 1986, garnering a reputation as an artist of merit.
A man who sees the potential to create artistic grandeur with flowers, he has put his Midas touch to floral designs across Europe, Asia, the Far East, the Gulf and the USA, including Princess Margaret’s 70th birthday, Elton John’s civil partnership; the Beckhams’ World Cup party; the Alfred Dunhill Cup; Pierce Brosnan’s wedding and the James Bond film premieres.
An eye popping six tier cake by Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium, decorated with gold paisley designs, along with edible gold roses acted as the perfect partner for Rob’s floral designs.
Further along, a mini-exhibition took place, with famed couture design house Oscar de la Renta displaying some of their new collection. Oscar de la Renta emerged in the swinging sixties, with an idea of creating a luxury goods company that embraced femininity and pristine aesthetics, incorporating influences from the art historical to nature and design. Despite Oscar himself passing away last year, his label dominates the bridal design scene, creating collections that brides the world over clamor for.
For the Jewel of Mayfair, Oscar de la Renta exhibited several bridal and cocktail dresses, in panoply of pastel shades, from white to yellow. The collection was also sported by graceful models, who looked every inch like seraphim’s, gliding around the exhibit.
The models hair was styled by Aamir Naveed, a man who views hairdressing as an art form, not just an ephemeral luxury. Aamir has reworked the entire concept, creating styles that compliment a woman’s personality as well as outer beauty. He is a much sought after stylist, being the lead stylist for international fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherji, amongst other things.
Make-up was by Ambreen, an innovative make-up artist who’s supplied her talents to a smorgasbord of celebrities from the UK, as well as Bollywood. What is unique about Ambreen is her ability to perfectly balance subtlety with extravagance. Like a true artist, she looks beyond the superficial, applying makeup that compliments bone structure, facial contours etc. Ambreen’s essential goal is to enrich a person’s youthful vitality.
Finally, the models were given some exceptional henna designs from H Beauty. Headed by Halimah Abubacker, H Beauty reaches back into the depths of Indian history to recreate henna designs, giving of course a hint of the contemporary. She is much in demand from the media and beauty industry.
Adding the final touch of glamour to the Emerald room was the Entertainment Design Company, who exhibited some of their simply spell bounding invitation designs. A great favourite with our guests. The Entertainment Design Company is an atelier who creates stationary unlike any other, every design, no matter whether it’s big or small, is given the same attention that Michelangelo gave his sculpture of David. Making sure that the design is precise and most importantly always individual. The Entertainment Design Company has turned the previously simple matter of stationary design into an art form of sheer magnificence.
The Diamond room was featured in the Lower Atrium, and its theme was one of ethereal and delicate intimacy, with a Perspex table and chairs, which framed the magnificent Phalaenopsis orchids, styled by Rob Van Helden, glassware by Whitehouse and of course Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium’s five tier cake, with its stunning pearl sugar peacock.
Adjacent was another mini-exhibition, which saw the Queen of accessory design Judith Leiber’s quirky and luxurious clutch bags. The American luxury brand is world famous for its ability to mix the fun and creative with the stylish. A firm favourite for celebrities to sport on the red carpet. Judith Leiber works on the belief that flawless design and minute attention to detail is what creates the beauty of the finished product.
Opposite were some immensely detailed and superbly crafted shoe designs, from the London based designer Aruna Seth. A seasoned socialite with a passion for beautiful things, Aruna Seth went about launching her own design house, which catered to women who appreciate the beauty of shoe design, just as she does.
The result of her creative endeavours is a brand that masters the art of luxury. Her designs are intensely unique, usually featuring floral and butterfly motifs. The chic shoes are crafted from the finest materials in the world, from leather, silk, ribbons and more. Both collections were exhibited on top of mirrored plinths.
The final Aladdin’s cave of the Jewel of Mayfair was the Luxury lounge. An ordinary conference room was transformed into a bastion of colour and craftsmanship. The goal was to create a boutique like experience for the guests, with £2.5 million worth of jewellery and watches.
The jewellery came from Amrapali, a brand born in the regal state of Rajasthan, the city of kings. Its two founders Rajiv Arora & Rajesh Ajmera were history lovers in every sense of the word, with such a devoted passion for the art of the past they set up about launching Amrapali. They are renowned for creating jewellery that in unapologetically grand and regal. Each piece is crafted to personify the rich heritage of India, marking them out with a contemporary twist.
The watches were from Watches of Switzerland, who source some of the finest time pieces from artisans across Europe. Watches of Switzerland are a company that pay a great deal of attention to finding wrist watches that make a man or woman stand out from the crowd. Carefully procuring designs from such luxury industry stalwarts as Cartier, Rolex and Jaeger-LeCoultre et al.
Image credits: Muse Motion Pictures