Posts tagged ‘brides and grooms’

September 16, 2014

Stylin’ Part Three : Gautam Kalra 

We wrapped up our stay at The Treasury of Trousseau with a fun chat with Gautam Kalra, the third and final stylist we interviewed at the event. Gautam started out with an advertising agency from where he moved on to open a conceptual fine dining restaurant cum store called Grasshopper. He has been the official stylist for Wills Fashion Week for four years and has worked with the top fashion designers and photographers of the country – creating unforgettable campaigns and photo shoots over the years.

Rohit-Bal-Gautam-Kalra With Rohit Bal. via

A&K – Do you feel like the brides you’ve met at this event are very specific about what they want? 

 GK-  It’s been mixed, I’ve met two brides who knew exactly what they wanted. On the other hand, I don’t know if it’s like a play on the stylists psyche or what it is, but they definitely know what they ‘don’t’ want.
For example, styling my friend would be easy, but, these are people I don’t personally know! I definitely feel like it helps to really spend time with people and try to understand them so that you can figure out what they ‘do’ want.
I’ve also had cases where the whole family has come in and been really overpowering and influential in the decision making process so, it’s not always up to the bride to choose what she’d like to wear. I’ve also met people who have no clue what they want – sometimes, from a stylists perspective, those kind of clients are the most fun. I sit with them, ask them questions – which is the only way, really, to figure out what will be the best fit for them 
 
 
 A&K – What is your styling process? 
 
GK- I’ve been to all the stores and taken photographs of a lot of key pieces and divided it up into lists like traditional, modern etc. So, as I ask questions and  begin to get a feel of what kind of look a person is after, then it’s easier to match them with an outfit because honestly, there’s so much out there and a lot of factors influence the decision to eventually buy the outfit. Factors like, price point, of course, and the name, the versatility of the garment, the location of the event, day event or night, season – all these come into play. Of course, I have my own personal style. However, I have to be very careful not to impose that on someone else and really try to find out what the person is all about. 
Sometimes, the reputation of the designer can be a hindrance in a way. People see a Tarun Tahiliani or Manish Arora store, and they are scared to walk in because they expect exorbitant price points! Actually, they’ll be surprised to know that a lot of famous designers have pieces which are very affordable. It might not be the lehenga you’ll wear to your wedding but you could definitely find quality pieces for your trousseau. In fact, a lot of the previous seasons outfits are now marked down to sixty or seventy thousand which isn’t bad at all. 
 
 
 A&K – Have a majority of brides been coming to you for assistance with all the wedding events or just the wedding? 
 
GK- Well, some people have come for just the engagement, or just the wedding. You see, selecting clothes is not only a very big decision, it’s also very tiring. After two or three hours of looking at clothes, you’re experiencing sensory overload, we’re all tired – so it’s best to spread the shopping out over a couple of days in order to keep your mind fresh and make the best decisions. Thats why we have a lot of brides coming back on day four and day five. 
At the beginning of the meeting, we decide exactly which event we are planning for – for example, for a sangeet, people are very open to the idea of something unconventional like a piece from Manish Arora, but for the actual wedding they tend to stick to more traditional styles. 
 A&K – What do you feel is the most common mistake that you see Indian brides making?
 
GK- Thats easy – christmas cake; it’s just way too much. I mean, I understand it’s your special day and you want to stand out but sometimes, simplicity is the most elegant option. Our mothers wore Kanjeevaram and Banarasi sarees and minimal jewellery and I think they looked fabulous! 
I think that’s why a lot of people like Sabyasachi because he’s understated and slowly this sensibility is catching on. 
When I meet brides I tell them, I know you’ll want to wear a lehenga for the wedding but if that is heavy, perhaps the blouse and dupatta, hair and make up can be a bit more toned down. That way one can maintain a balance and not look over the top. A simple trick is to divide your body in half, if your lehenga is heavily embellished, and you are definitely going to wear heavy jewellery, then let those things balance each other out and go easy on the veil and blouse. 
Minimal make up is a much better alternative to caking layers and layers of matching glittery elements on to your face. 
 
 
A&K – What do you think is the strongest influence on Indian brides? 
 
GK- Definitely Bollywood, whether you like it or not. And now that Bollywood is becoming less flashy and more elegant, that effect is trickling down to brides and the masses in general as well. If you look at pictures of actresses of the 90’s and look at the ones at present there is a marked difference in style and that’s a really good thing. 
 
A&K – Do you think people hire stylists for their weddings on a regular basis?
 
GK- There is a really big market for that actually, but, also, everyone is a stylist nowadays. I’ve heard of a lot of wedding planners who also offer styling services. However, I don’t think that’s a very effective approach. For example, at fashion shows, we all have our roles cut out. If I am not a choreographer, I’m not going to interfere with the choreography – it’s just not my job! 
Similarly, the hair and make up artists, the set designer, the models all have their own roles and we’ll all talk to each other so that we can put on a good show but, if we fight amongst ourselves it will be visible in the final production – everything has to be in sync right down to the music. I don’t know how wedding planners work – whether they make stylists a part of their package or whether people actually think of hiring stylists but, they should. From what I’ve heard, the wedding planners are the ones taking the couples shopping and suggesting designers and that’s all very well but every designer will want you to wear his or her creation whereas a stylist will give you an unbiased opinion on what suits you and the occasion. 
 
 
A&K – What are the essential things every bride should include in their trousseau which they might neglect to think of?
 
GK- The time period that I’m talking of, where these things will be of use, is right after the wedding – the endless parties and dinners. A really comfortable pair of gold or copper shoes because they go with everything – maybe not stilettos, but wedges instead, because they are more comfortable.
The same applies to a nice clutch which is gold or nude. 
Every woman should have one beautiful traditional saree, a Kanjeevaram, a Banarasi or even a Bengali cotton and some contrasting elegant blouses to go with them because one can’t always be in an ornate lehenga.
As far as jewellery is concerned, a nice pair of uncut diamond earrings, jhumkis or baalis, no coloured stones, just one beautiful piece which can match everything.
 
A&K – How do you think grooms can make their outfits more interesting?
GK – The kind of clothes grooms usually pick, with a lot of gold zardozi work and embellishment – I’d suggest they go with a nice pintucked sherwani instead, which they can use even after the wedding is over. Maybe play around with the colour of the churidaar? Perhaps a pink or turquoise churidaar and contrasting scarf. The material and the texture of it, in my opinion, should be given weightage over embellishment. So many menswear designers are doing nice sherwanis which are elegant and classy – there are a lot of options out there. 
 
 
A&K – Do you think the bride and groom should match each other or offset each other?
GK – I wouldn’t suggest matching outfits but yes, one or two elements in the grooms accessories that match the bride make for a pretty picture. 
 
A&K – Are you for or against the new concept of the bride matching the decor?
GK – Against! She shouldn’t blend into the decor, she should stand out. If your decor is maroon and you are also wearing maroon you’ll be invisible! 
 
A&K – What is the thing that you feel is missing from the modern brides’ wedding trousseau which was present in generations past?
GK – Tradition. When it comes to Indian wear, nothing like raiding your moms closet. If you look at style icons of the past,for example, like Waheeda Rahman or Meena Kumaari,  you’ll notice a certain balance there which is missing in todays generation. 
Whether you look at their hair and make up or jewellery – they had it all right – it was much cleaner. Somewhere along the line, in came swarovski and killed everything. It’s everywhere and it really needs to be toned down. 
 
A&K – Why do you think wedding lehengas are so heavy?
GK – I think the minute the work on the lehenga goes beyond gota and zardozi, once pearls and beads and crystals come into play – that’s when the piece becomes really heavy with the weight of embellishment. A lot of people are starting to think more practically and don’t want to be weighed down and designers are responding to it. Most designers now offer light as well as heavy lehengas as far as the weight is concerned, and even the light lehengas look very rich. 
It’s probably the brides who usually want heavy lehengas because they want more and more of everything or maybe they feel like they’re not getting their moneys worth. I’m not sure what it is but, I think that trend is changing with time. 
 
So there you have it folks! Advice, tips and tricks from the best in the field! I think we can safely deduce from all these conversations that less is sometimes, much much more. Happy wedding season planning! 
September 4, 2014

Getting bloggy with it!

(Be warned!! This post is LONG !!) 

There comes a time in every blogs life where they must decide how to deal with it- go commercial or keep it real? I think it’s evident the direction we have swayed towards. I will not lie though- there have been many times we have thought it’s time to monetise this- make it full time but then there is no denying the truth- other things are full time- this has always been our ‘fun thing’. Trying to make it something else would mean taking the joy out of it .

So many blogs have appeared now and are doing things we wanted to do , had planned to do and are doing it better than we would ever do. That helps in our decision to stay the way we are. We may only post once in a blue moon but that’s only because that is the best we can do. We can’t keep up with this intense blog race but we don’t want to NOT be a part of it . We have made so many friends along the way and have received so much love that we cannot separate from the unreal bride and this little world we have going on here! We very rarely have thought about the numbers behind it all and when we are asked about them, don’t be surprised if you get a shrug of our shoulders as a reply. We appreciate all the people who read our posts and keep coming back-we want to hold on to YOU guys!

A quote from Seth Godin comes to mind-‘Quality is now a given. Quality alone is not remarkable.Surprise and delight and connection are remarkable.’  We want to be that surprise, delight and connection in your lives and our own!

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Having said that ( I hope you all survived that long speech), we had such a wonderful week meeting all sorts of people- from bloggers, to stylists, designers and to women entrepreneurs who were all so inspiring -seriously! Some of these ladies are doing such fantastic stuff that I don’t think the word ‘inspiring’ cuts it!

Let me try and sum up the few days we had in New Delhi with a few words and a  pictures!

We began our trip by meeting up with the lovely founders of  POPxo , Priyanka and Namrata. They had organised a blogger meet up at The Lodhi in Delhi and there we met up with Akanksha Redhu, Shalini of Stylish By Nature, Style Coquettes and Ms.Coco Queen.

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 presetThanks Akanksha for the good ol’selfie!

 We went on to going to DLF Emporio which was one of the bigger reasons we were in Delhi- to see what was happening at the Treasury of Trousseau- an uber luxurious wedding extravaganza! What was this show about, you ask? Basically, brides and grooms had access to three awesome stylists (with a prior appointment obviously!) who help them put together the perfect trousseau! The three stylists were Aki Narula, Niharika Khan and Gautam Kalra.

Since it was at the Emporio Mall where loads of designers have their stores, the stylists had access to the latest bridal couture collections by the  designers in India post Couture Fashion Week and Indian Bridal Fashion week.The DLF Emporio Bride in Tarun Tahiliani Couture

A pretty neat idea and I am pretty sure a lot of brides (and grooms) had their wardrobe dilemmas solved over those five days while the show was on. Who wouldn’t want a professional stylist to help them with their wedding outfit woes? Honestly,I think that might be the next big thing for weddings-hiring stylists! We got to chat with the three stylists who despite having chocobloc full days (this is hard work!), took some time to talk to us.Wait for those posts-they will be up in the next day or so. And thank you to The Communication Council for calling us over!

Apart from chatting with the stylists, we wandered around the stores picking our favourite outfits and once our eyes had adjusted to the over the top blingity bling stuff, there were some real beauties in there. It’s hard to pick favourites but I think we really loved A LOT of stuff at Rohit Bals, one particular lehenga at Manish Arora’s really caught our eye , Varun Bahl’s stuff and of course Anita Dongre! Her shop is like stepping in to a Rajasthani fortress and the clothes just add to the entire feel- wanted to try everything in there(and run away whilst wearing them).

Our (very long) day ended with a party thrown by the Pink Post-it girls- Sharnamli and Mitali. They started Pink Post-it as a platform for  fresh and  young talent from all over India  to showcase their innovative designs through a series of tailor-made shopping experiences. And they are doing a fab fab job! I missed their show in Chandigarh but April played a huge part in it and we hope to see them in Chandigarh again! pink post it

We also bumped in to some Bene-babes at the Pink Post-it event who were dying to get my brows in order! (They have a new Brow bar in Delhi!).

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Thank you Shriya for the photo!

Of course each step of the way, we found  a Chandigarh connection. You can take out the girl from Chandigarh, but you can’t take Chandigarh out of the girl! Speaking of which, you must check out Needledust, another venture started by a friend, Shirin , who we bumped in to as well ! needledust (1)

That was JUST our first day out of four in Delhi. Now you know what I mean about being surrounded by super inspiring women the entire time. It is so great to know that so much is happening out there and that people are really putting their heart and souls in to what they are doing !

Talk about one LONG post- I am going to stop now but watch out for the stylist’s interviews we did at the Treasury of Trousseau. We promise you some fun tips and serious advice from them!

March 23, 2014

What did you wear?

Wedding season has come and gone but not without some amazing designs and clothes to check out. Before you (we) know it, wedding season will be back again-well at least the planning part of it! Maybe the Unreal Bride will be a bit more proactive. We can only hope.

What were you all wearing this season?

SFWPhotograph by Kismet Jewell Nakai

Clothes by Nancy Bhaika (for more information, call +91 9872135578)

Model : Tara the Princess

 

December 12, 2013

When Grazia Called {Month of Media Madness}

It’s just the way things work- weeks go by with nothing happening in your life and suddenly you are so busy that you have no time to do anything! Which is exactly what happened when Grazia called to say they wanted to feature us. Pretty exciting stuff considering it’s a national (and very cool) publication  and we were going to be a part of their first ever issue of Grazia Bride. Everything seemed perfect except we wouldn’t be able to make it for the shoot in Delhi due to prior commitments . We thought we had lost this very cool opportunity . Who said or rather how many people have said nothing is impossible if you just put your mind to it? We ,along with the Grazia team , decided that April and I would just have to style and shoot our own photo for the magazine! Sounds easier than it is really. For one, we had to shoot it in the same theme as the rest of the story. Secondly, we had to style ourselves AND the set (damn those gaindas that just kept falling ) AND take the picture AND worst of all- do this all while wearing high heels. Oh, did I forget to mention that we only had a few hours to do all this before I needed to catch an evening train? Somehow we managed to do all this in a few hours and just when we were ready to go-the electricity went! And it came again. Then went again. Quite the cruel joke. We did manage to get the photo though. And if I can say so myself, we did a pretty good job. What do you think? Could you tell ??

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  Here’s us in the magazine. We were in great company as well- Vishal Punjabi of The Wedding Filmer, Joseph Radhik, The Little Food Co. and Groovy Two Shoes.

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We are pretty big fans of Sabyasachi so it was doubly exciting that he was the guest editor of the magazine. I really liked what he said so I thought I would add his article as well.

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Sabyasachi Mukherjee for Grazia

A couple of other features this month have been in An Indian Summer – a discovery entirely due to chance! We were also in the Cosmpolitan , The Wedding Times TOI, Two Brown Girls and eStylista.

While we are it- might as well go check out this awesome video made by Starving Artist Videos- he never ceases to amaze does he. Click here to see the video.

November 11, 2013

Festival of Lights

In light (pun intended?) of the fact that it was just Diwali, a thought occurred to me. Not a thought as much as a question maybe or I basically just started wondering about something!

Every Diwali, we bought candles, placed them wherever we could on the house- ledges, railings, gates, driveways and then around 7pm , we lit them .The house glowed in the magnificent radiance only candles have. Some years , the candles would last an hour and the others for four hours. The next day, we would scrape the melted wax off wherever we could and collected it in a pot which we eventually melted down to make one big candle! This was a ritual. And a super fun one at that too. That kind of defined Diwali for me. I am not a big fan of crackers or giving people presents (I don’t mind getting the presents though #justsaying) , think playing cards are a waste of time and money so this was pretty much the one thing I looked forward to each Diwali. It wasn’t just us that lit the candles and diyas, it was the entire neighbourhood twinkling away.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Then China happened. And the markets were flooded with all sorts of lights. Okay, that isn’t entirely fair because lights have been around for years at Indian Weddings. Still. Fairy lights , and those long tubey lights suddenly replaced the lovely candles. (Also it’s not like I hate fairy lights but just for this post, think candles are better!)Easier to install, longer lasting which possibly made it cheaper to have lights instead of candles? It basically nullified an entire tradition. You can sigh with me at this loss. *sigh*2013-07-18_0032.jpg

This year we lit some (really long lasting) candles and it reminded me of way back when and thats where this post is stemming from ,I suppose. One thought led to another. One Pinterest board to another and suddenly, I was staring at lots of pictures of lovely weddings where there were lots of candles being used and I thought, why don’t people use more candles at weddings?(Here is the Pinterest board that started it all- http://www.pinterest.com/avnidoshi/entertaining/). Probably because it is cumbersome and someone has to light them and take care of them but really,those are just excuses. You see so many  people doing nothing at weddings who have been employed to do something-why not delegate the duty to them?Or,light diyas which are close cousins to candles and are longer lasting and easier-ish to manage.NSR_0158 NSR_0160

Photos via The Unreal Bride

Or have clusters of them? That way you don’t have to walk the entire length and breadth of where the wedding is being held lighting candles . Which ,in the way today’s wedding are,would probably mean by the time you light the last candle, the first candle extinguished half an hour ago.

If you are having a small wedding ,then you really have no excuse. There are a gazillion things to play with lighting so just get your thinking cap on and do it!NSR_0159 SS_0079

Photos via The Unreal Bride

If you fall in to the category of super senti , want to make everything myself at the wedding or you know want to give away something homemade as favours , then why not let that thing be candles?

And since we were talking about China- how about ending the night with some Chinese Lanterns?

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cl1Unfortunately , I was unable to find the source of these photos-pinterest has become a little unreliable like that. If you know the source, do let me know!

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