Posts tagged ‘sangeet’

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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May 9, 2011

{Favourite Brides} Saanya 

Sometimes you don’t need to look very far to find inspiration. We’ve come across so many beautiful brides so close to home that we felt the need to share the joy in our new column on The Unreal Bride. In Favourite Brides, we will be showcasing some of our favourite bridal looks so you may draw inspiration and get ideas or simply drool over their gorgeous outfits! The first in our very long line up of brides to be featured is Chandigarhs very own Saanya Verma (nee Goyal). You may remember Saanya and Akshay from when we featured their invitation card here At her mehendi ceremony Saanya kept it simple and wore a green and pink Manish Malhotra lehenga with natural make up and no accessories what so ever except flowers in her hair! We love, do you?

 For one of the cocktail parties she wore a Manish Malhotra Lehenga Kameez with big polki earrings and bangles to match.

For the night of the wedding, Saanya chose a gold and red Tarun Tahiliani lehenga and wore gold jewellery to match.

 At their London themed, larger than life cocktail party, Saanya went the red carpet way complete with an updo and diamonds to match her oyster coloured fairytale bride gown by Shantanu and Nikhil.

All photos by Badal Jain and Raja Jain.

What we love most about Saanyas look through her wedding is that she kept the amount of jewellery she wore to the minimum and also experimented with different hairstyles. Which is your favourite look?

We can’t decide which one is ours!

*Favourite Bride*

p.s.: We are always happy to receive submissions, so if you want to send us your own photos or even those of your friends email us at theunrealbride@gmail.com.

September 27, 2010

Real Wedding: Mini and Alan

Before we get into this post , I just wanted to say something.This may come as a shocker to most of you, but I was one of those people who’d much rather be ‘ill’ or ‘unavoidably detained’ the day(s) of a wedding (of course some of you are out there shaking your heads in disdain!). There is so much happening during a wedding, it’s like sensory overload for me- I just can’t focus! It’s the same when it comes to shopping- I just zone out.Anyway, I finally found a way to deal with it -hide behind a camera! It has so many advantages- you don’t really have to make too much conversation, you get to take some cool shots, don’t get bored and best of all, you can pretend you are hidden behind the camera! No wonder wedding photographers love their job!

So to the point now-much much before The Unreal Bride was even an idea in our litte (so we like to believe) heads, I attended a dear friends wedding which could possibly be one of the funnest I’ve been to in a while! It was here, at Mini and Alans wedding that I carried my camera with me wherever I went and took my first baby steps into the world of wedding photography. That is one of the reasons we wanted to feature them here.

The other reasons being that it was bursting at the seams with  so much happiness, joy and so much love!

It’s worth a mention that it was a ‘cross-cultural’ wedding as well,not that that’s very odd in todays ever expanding diversified world! Mini and Alan both live in London but Mini’s hometown is here in India and that’s where they decided to have the wedding. There were people from all over the world attending the wedding- Alans family (obviously),their friends and even Mini’s boss flew down from London to be a part of it! Forget cultural shock- the non-Indians surprised us by dancing longer, eating more and partying harder than any of us! Mini looked beautiful , like she always does and she had her ‘bridesmaids’ taking care of all the little details making sure that she was totally stress free !

Next time Mini and Alan are in town, they aren’t going anywhere till we get an Unreal Shoot with them!

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Text and Photographs :Kismet Jewell Nakai

Edit: April Sher Bhaika

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