Posts tagged ‘indian weddings’

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! 
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September 12, 2014

Stylin’ Part Two : Niharika Khan 

The second stylist we met up at the Treasury of Trousseau in DLF Emporio was Niharika Khan-a costume designer in Bollywood , and is most known for her work in Rock On!! and The Dirty Picture , for which she won the National Film Award for Best Costume Design as well as Filmfare Award for Best Costume Design. Thanks again , Wikipedia! It was a pleasure to catch up with her- unfortunately we didn’t get as much time as we would have liked. Like I mentioned, their schedules were packed  so whatever time we did get , was a bonus!

Moving on to our chat with Niharika.Niharika Khan 1

A&K- What , according to you , are the essentials a bride should have in her trousseau?

NK- A really sexy set of lingerie is a must and everyone should have it. Comfortable shoes to change in especially after the ceremony gets over, a really good looking pair of shoes apart from your wedding shoes. Pocket mirror because one should constantly be in the know of how they look. A great piece of jewellery should also be part of this that you can have forever with you. This may or may not be your wedding jewellery. A perfume is also a must -with so much happening during the wedding one must have easy access to it.

A&K- What is the most common mistake an Indian bride makes?

NK-One mistake Indian brides often make is going over board with their makeup and hair. ( Do you sense a pattern here? Seems like everyone seems to feel the same way.We sure do! Keep it minimal and simple!)

A&K- Do you have any suggestions on how grooms can make their outfits more interesting?

NK-Just stepping out of your comfort zone and by trying something new and different. But make sure you don’t go over board with it. Like I said before one should be comfortable in whatever they wear.

A&K-.And last but not least-should the bride and groom match their outfits to each other?

NK-You know the norm is that you should have similar kind of energy. Your outfits can be synced with each other rather than matching each other.

The one thing that we have picked up from our conversations is that bride’s seem to be overdoing their outfits on their wedding day- and everyone seems to agree with it! If you are wondering what we were doing talking to these different stylists , you can catch up by reading this post and this post.

vidya_balan_wallpaper_in_saree_dirty_picture_bollywood_movieThought it would be fun to add a picture of Vidya Balan, from Dirty Picture, a movie Niharika was costume designer for. Via 

May 26, 2014

Favourite Brides  Nidhi

I posted a wedding yesterday on my (other) blog –Nidhi & Prabs but I thought it deserved a mention here on The Unreal Bride as well. Mostly because Nidhi is what I would call an ‘Unreal Bride’ and also the fact that she designed her gorgeous outfit herself. I didn’t want our readers to miss out here !! Nidhi runs a studio called Blush -click here for her website and if you happen to be in Chandigarh today and tomorrow , you can stop by and see her new Summer Collection !

It is always great to work at a wedding where the bride is wearing something she has created herself. That is pretty much taking Do-it-yourself to another level!
NP_0103 NP_0106 NP_0105 NP_0104 NP_0107 NP_0108 NP_0109Nidhi got her make up done by M.A.C and her hair was done by Samir , a very talented hairstylist in Affinity Salon!

All photos are property of Kismet Jewell Nakai. Please no stealing or using without credit! Thank you!

 

May 9, 2014

Photo Booth :Yasmeen & Sidak

It has been so long since we set up an outdoor photo booth but this March, we got the opportunity again on a glorious sunny winter afternoon . Our bride was pretty clear with what she wanted and boy! did we like her idea of a minimalistic photo booth. Thanks to pinterest (as always) , we got some great ideas and references and thanks to our help from Bollywood, we got the perfect hearts for the back drop!FL_0026 FL_0032 FL_0028 FL_0030 FL_0034 FL_0035 FL_0036 FL_0037 FL_0038 FL_0039 FL_0040 FL_0041 FL_0025 FL_0042 FL_0043 FL_0044 FL_0045 FL_0046 FL_0047 FL_0048 FL_0049 FL_0050 FL_0033 FL_0051

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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