The wedding season is just around the corner and there’s more reason to celebrate; in its fourth year, the Vogue Wedding Show 2016, a 3-day luxurious wedding exhibition kicked off in the best style ever at Taj Palace, Delhi. Between 5th to 7th August, this ‘by invitation only’ luxury event brought together the most prominent wedding planners, couture designers, trousseau creators, celebrity make-up artists, jewellers, and wedding makers under one roof. India’s most exclusive bridal extravaganza, the show felt exactly like walking down the streets of Europe where all of the best vendors of the wedding industry are lined up one after the other. It’s no wonder this event attracts numerous NRIs, foreigners, and Indians to make their trousseau shopping choices at one place.
We at Think Shaadi were on the ground, getting our hands on all of the amazing designs, masterclasses, and conversations on offer. Accompanying us for photography and cinematography were the best in the business: Mohamed and Tanushree from Stories by Joseph Radhik.
Taj Palace was transformed into a giant luxury fair with stadium like proportions. Always praised for being the most “breathable” of wedding fairs, whereas others feel cramped and thrown together, Vogue makes sure to plan the event with military precision, giving spacial awareness a priority. This year was no different, with each area given its own enclave. We saw each artisan look at ease, as they presided over their own unique space.
Day 1 at Vogue Wedding Show
For Day 1, Avan Contractor spoke about the latest hair trends highlighting the essentials of personal and professional hair care, complete with an on-stage demonstration. There was also a masterclass held by the Master Chef of Taj Palace who gave insights on designing classic menus that will have guests gushing for days to come. The session held by Sabyasachi introduced his collection Zanyah in collaboration with Forevermark Diamonds.
Day 2 at Vogue Wedding Show
Day 2 showcased with over 50 weddings experts from a variety of fields coming together, our goal was to see as many as possible. We were spoiled for choice from the world of high-end fashion with the likes of Falguni & Shane Peacock, Sabsyachi, Anita Dongre, Manish Malhotra, Payal Singhal, Jade by Monika & Karishma, Shantanu & Nikhil, Tarun Tahiliani, Varun Bahl, Gaurav Gupta, Indian by Manish Arora, Gaurang and more.
Weddings are incomplete without jewellery and the Vogue Wedding show had handpicked some of the finest jewellers in India to showcase some spectacular wedding jewellery, namely Amrapali, Anjali Bhimrajka Fine Jewels, Bespoke Vintage Jewels, Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas, Diacolor – Fine Contemporary Jewels, Hazoorilal by Sandeep Narang, Hazoorilal Legacy – South Extension, House of Surana By Pankaj Surana, Khanna Jewellers, Kishandas & Co. for Sabyasachi, Mehta & Sons by Narendra S.M., Moksh – Fine Unseen Jewels, Raj Mahtani Couture Jewels, Rare Heritage and Sunita Shekhawat Jaipur, among many others. Also, a dedicated space housed a Sari Pavilion, comprising saris from different regions of the country, exhibited by names like Latha Puttanna, Myra by Anju Narain, Naina Jain, Ratanshi Kheraj, Vani Anand, among others.
For gifting ideas and wedding related facilities, invitees had finest brand choices like Ahujasons, BVLGARI, ISHARYA, Johnson Watch Co., Noritake, Nupurh J Silverware by Nupurh and Nidhi Jain, RAVISH KAPOOR Innovative Invitations, Shingora and Tea Culture of the World.
To take care of every fine detail of any wedding, leading décor experts and wedding planners like the Wedding Design Company and Wedniksha, along with many others were found at the show.
We attended two separate masterclass sessions by celebrity make-up artist Namrata Soni, on ideal make-up looks for different functions. Furthermore, we saw renowned wedding planner Vandana Mohan who shared invaluable insights on how to plan a dream wedding in India and abroad.
Day 3 at Vogue Wedding Show
On Day 3 of the Vogue Wedding Show 2016, the masterclass by skin-care specialist Dr. Harshna Bijlani included tips and techniques to achieve a flawless, glowing skin. Celebrity nutritionist Kinita Kadakia Patel shared tips for brides-to-be on how to look and feel their best through wellness and nutrition. Furthermore, invitees also had an opportunity to interact with USL-Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, North India, Daniel Jones.
Over the course of the three days we also had one-on-one sessions with fashion designers and jewelers who showcased at the show.
Falguni and Shane Peacock showcased designs that are symbolic and meaningful, capturing traditional elements tweaked with French cultural aesthetics. They showed signature gowns, bespoke lehengas (with foil appliqué), anarkali gowns and saris (with light crystals), as well as fusion crop tops and digital skirts that are on-trend and ideal for destination weddings.
The Peacock bride is…
“A non-conformist diva, who allows her personality to take centre stage. Her intelligence, elegance, fashion-forward approach to dressing, and regal choices make her an ideal muse.”
Sabyasachi’s collection is high-quality traditional Indian wedding wear. Since reception cocktails and sangeet are an integral part of weddings, the showcase integrated ensembles that are perfect for destination weddings and will present three strong stories. The first, whimsical, artsy and bohemian; second, a collection influenced by European glamour; and finally, a traditional Indian wedding line with the finest hand embroidery and rich Indian textiles.
Kishandas & Company for Sabyasachi is distinctively Indian and focused on high quality jadau. The collaborative effort also has a line of diamond and rose-cut jewellery influenced by European art and fashion saloons of the 1920s and ’30s.
The Sabyasachi bride is…
“Self-aware. She is in touch with her heritage and embraces heirlooms with panache.”
The Sabyasachi groom is…
“Someone who prefers understated elegant wedding wear with high quality fabric, finish and embroidery.”
Jewellery was in abundance and we caught a gorgeous display with Tarang Arora of Amrapali. Their collection comprises of all wedding needs for the bride, groom, bridesmaids, families and even the attending guests. The major emphasis on earrings along with traditional Indian accessories such as armlets, anklets, rings, sherwani buttons, and brooches, kanthas (neck pieces for grooms), and Rajasthani choker neck pieces for brides. Navratna pieces, rubies – which made a comeback this year– set among diamonds and emeralds.
The Amrapali bride and groom are…
“Extremely passionate about Indian traditions, heritage, jewellery making and accessories. They take pride in India’s many bijoux offerings and feel immense pride when they adorn traditional pieces.”
Tarun Tahiliani’s bridal couture represents the highest realms of craft and fit. The Last Song Of The Courtesan is a tribute and acknowledgement of the highest bastions of culture, poetry, dance and finesse as practiced by the courtesans till a little over a century ago. Refined and seductive but never overtly erotic, this collection complements the contemporary diva.
The Tarun Tahiliani bride is…
“Someone who loves quality and fit, and knows that style is not just what one wears but how one wears it. She lives knowing her heritage and yet is modern. She is individualistic and flexible to the changing times.”
Sunita Shekhawat, Jaipur also presented her Firoza collection, a full range of turquoise-based bridal jewellery created in an innovative colour of meenakari pieces. The brand has also crafted hand harness, modern and chic version of the haath phools, headgears, and reversible necklaces with dual meena colours.
The Sunita Shekhawat bride is…
“Someone who understands art and culture, as our designs have a lot of cultural adaptation. She likes classic yet timeless jewellery with a touch of modernity.”
The Raj Mathani’s Couture collection, The Ottoman, is a look for the contemporary woman. It includes modern and wearable pieces with several influences and twists. The headgear on the turbans of caliphs are taken and made into neck pieces. Medallions are a wardrobe must-have, as they complement dresses and gowns.
The Raj Mahtani Couture Jewels bride is…
“Bold, confident and contemporary. She isn’t shy of looking beautiful and her personality helps carry off bold pieces, without letting them overpower.”
“Working under the banner of ‘progressive unification’ Shantanu & Nikhil are synonymous with—demi-couture gowns, contemporary lehengas, and concept anarkalis; and sari gowns—also embody this novel meets classic sensibility. They launched the duo’s flagship men’s store in Mumbai this year which is testimony to the fact that their contemporary take on menswear (draped kurtas, cropped bandhgalas, and neo-sherwanis) are a hit among style-conscious millennial grooms.”
Anita Dongre’s designs for the new-age bride are elegant, light and fuss-free ensembles with rich embroidery like the signature gotapatti on bright colours. For bridegrooms, it’s all about tonal embroidery and structured silhouettes with detailing.
The Anita Dongre bride is…
“A convention-defying urban woman who loves all things traditional but refuses to be weighed down by it. The designer’s bridal muse, Nayantara, is all that and more. She speaks her mind, is free-spirited and adventurous. She seeks versatility, functionality, comfort and glamour in her wedding ensembles.”
The Anita Dongre groom is…
“Open to experimenting with silhouettes, colours and looks. He has moved away from conventional wedding options and seeks versatility in wedding wear – opting instead for an ensemble that can be recycled rather than one that is restricted as a one-time wear.”
Payal Singhal showcased her Resort Bride 2016 collection, Sitara, which is inspired by the enigmatic elegancy of Indian royalty, and the designer’s take on the modern-day maharani.
Singhal had also created vintage-modern bridal lehengas especially for this show. The designs are in brocades, silks, chanderis and mul mul with vibrant prints comprising hand-painted techniques and neoclassical chintz. The palette includes delicate zardosi, mukaish and salma sitar work, on shades of marsala, pomegranate, slate grey, teal, rose quartz, iced azure and stone.
The Payal Singhal bride is…
“Someone who’s all about the swag – she wants to look effortlessly put together and feel comfortable on her big day rather than adorn a clichéd over-the-top ensemble. She’s a connoisseur of unique, and not necessarily heavy looks.”
Gaurav Gupta’s latest couture collection explores intricate zardozi embroidery and use of Swarovski crystals to reinvent the classic Indian look. Clever layering and Victorian high-waist skirts form the base of the collection- which is equal parts sexy and timeless, and apt for the modern bride looking for visual harmony. His collection called Scape Song is all about sari gowns, sari gown-lehengas, and various other silhouettes, giving modern Indian brides a new horizon to step into.
The Gaurav Gupta bride is…
“Different, explorative in life and has a beautiful madness about her. She loves a whimsical statement piece with details that set her apart from the crowd. She is the ideal combination of futuristic ideologies and primitive values.”
JADE by Monika & Karishma’s collection, Videha’s Siya, is inspired by the love story of Ram and Sita depicted in the form of Mithila art, which embodies a millennia of culture, festivities and traditions. The allurement of nature’s symbolic creations in the paintings The Crescent of the Moon, Dainty Lotuses and Majestic Peacocks – have been captured in this bridal collection. The collection is uniquely crafted in heirloom fabrics that capture the essence of cultural values – and will be an ideal heirloom itself.
The Jade bride is…
“Independent, whimsical and wears courage on her sleeve. Life is a beautiful journey for her, and she believes in doing things in her own unique way. Her admiration for vintage heirloom and heritage beautifully translates in her bridal ensembles.”
Varun Bahl showcased his couture week collection inspired by Vintage Garden at the Vogue Wedding Show with the fusion of floral hues and a nuanced colour palette. The haute couture 2016 collection consists of both non-bridal and bridal wear as he strongly believes that couture in India is not only restricted to bridal clothing, but also encompasses something for every occasion.
The Varun Bahl bride and groom are…
“Those who celebrate tradition instead of being bound by it, and are open to experimenting. The bride is one who’d pair an embroidered bomber with a couture lehenga, while the groom would opt for a tailored suit with 3D floral embroideries worn over a neoprene sweatshirt.”
Indian by Manish Arora comprises of his travels across the globe. Fusing key features from each destination and using exceptional design sensibilities, this line is inspired by Victorian and neon floral embroidery, colour blocking, iznik tapestry, mirror work, Persian rugs and Banjara artistry. Single thread silk, and gold and white pearl embroideries along with mirror work are dominant features of this bridal collection.
The Indian by Manish Arora bride is…
“Bold, experimental, independent and versatile. Sonam Kapoor, a style icon in her own right, possesses the very traits that best describe the Manish Arora bride.”
WDC as we all know are the best wedding planners year after year. Whether you’re dreaming of a royal wedding in the Umaid Bhavan Palace in Jodhpur, a surreal ceremony in Jagmandir, Udaipur; a celebrating in Hofburg Palace in Vienna, or the Villa Le Corti in Florence, WDC has done it all. The company makes sure that they add personal elements to your wedding that are quintessentially you. So, whether Swarovski, Madhubani paintings, paper flowers or block paintings are an extension of your theme, they will do all this and more.
Your wedding is transformed into an experience from start to finish. They take care of your invites, design and décor, and everything in between.
“When the families and wedding planner work as a team, the wedding is a success,” said Vandana Mohan.
We also got a chance to interview Arjun Mehra, publishing director of Conde Nast India. He shared quite an interesting story about how the show was conceptualised and how it maintains its USP year after year, as well as the planning and ideas behind it. He also disclosed the future plans of Vogue Wedding Company.
Oona Dharbar, marketing director of Conde Nast India, also disclosed some important marketing techniques and their strategy on how Vogue keeps it at pace with different touch points to reach luxury clientele. She also spoke about the Vogue Fashion Fund and how it creates opportunities for young upcoming talents in designing.
We at Think Shaadi enjoyed thoroughly for voguish eye-candy is always a pleasure! Stand by for our collection of exclusive interviews from the show.
Special thank you to Tanushree and Mohammed from Stories by Joseph Radhik and Divya and Baani from Perfect Relations for their immense support in covering the event.