Last month, the newspaper headlines screamed .... the price of Gold has plummeted !! .... and while the whole world and its brother were selling or offloading their gold investments .... what do you think we Indians were doing ? ... We were buying of course !! ... hahahaha ... Indians love gold ... period !! ... and we like our gold only as 22 carat or more thank you ... And we can never have enough gold !! ... In fact .... collectively, per capita, we own as much gold as the Federal Reserve Bank and the Bank of England !!! .... You gotta give it to us ... we know real money when we see it .... and our dearest acquisitions are always a 22 carat yellow metal that we have been taught to hoard and pass down the generations ... since our birth :) .... The worst financial debacle for an Indian household is selling the family gold .... and the best celebration and insurance is without a doubt increasing the family gold hoarding heheh .... With wedding season around the corner ....  Azva by World Gold Council showcased a new range of 22kt gold bridal jewellery at the India Bridal Fashion Week 2013 ...... With designs meant to capture the imagination and fancy of the contemporary Indian bride, the new Azva collection featured perfect couture gold jewellery crafted by some of the best craftsmen in the country ....  Donning a flowing gold gown, Alia Bhatt sizzled on the ramp in a stunning Azva neck piece, bracelet and earrings as the showstopper .... Do check out the stunning pictures and press release :)

Zoya Afroz, Azva by World Gold Council, India Bridal Fashion Week 2013

Fashion Designer Rohit Bal presented his bridal collection on the ramp for the first time in the ongoing Aamby Valley India Bridal Fashion Week 2013 !! ... although he has done many couture shows in the past .... but this was something else altogether ... from the awesome set design by immensely talented Scenographer, Sumant Jayakrishnan .... to the cleverly compiled runway music of vintage sensual bollywood blockbuster tracks ... that infused the models with such languidness and feminity .... to the perfect choice of opener Noyonika Chatterjee (24 years plus in the fashion industry and still rocks and how) .... to the most stylish Indian actress currently, Sonam Kapoor, who stunned as showstopper ... Rohit Bal aka Gudda clearly outshone the opening show and all the shows till date (today is the last day) ... and i have a feeling Tarun Tahiliani's finale has to be beyond all expectations to even compare to Gudda's presentation !! ... 'The Mulmul Masquerade' on day 4 of India Bridal Fashion Week ... stunned right from the clever use of fabrics ... mulmul, voiles, chanderi, velvet .... to his beloved paisleys and signature Kasab embroidery from Kashmir ... to Shibori tie n dye techniques ... to his combination of gold and shimmer sequins ... to his colour palette of black, red, off white, champage beige ... to the Shakespearean Elizabethan muslin collars and ribbons snaking down the sleeves ... to the Sufi dervish pants for men ... to his signature stunning peacock, parrot, leaf, lotus and creeper motifs .... each look gathered applause from the crowd .... It was such a pleasure to see the brilliant designer standing in the media pit amongst the press people to observe the execution of his spectacular show, very unlike other designers who are mostly hiding in the green rooms till the final bow :) .... We present you a visual treat from the imagination of Rohit Bal !! ... Words are clearly a surplus here as you can see :)

Rohit Bal Sonam Kapoor India Bridal Fashion Week 2013
Rohit Bal with showstopper Sonam Kapoor India Bridal Fashion Week 2013

Shantanu and Nikhil's collection “To Die For” in India Bridal Fashion Week, 2013 truly lives up to its name ..... When we first saw the preview during the press meet, modeled by Zoya Afroz ..... we were a tad dissappointed .... because the gown looked like it belonged to their collection from their last showing at Aamby Valley couture week ...... But were we in for a big surprise !! ...... This collection was all about feminity, grace, elegance, sophistication and a new age Bride who likes to be contemporary and chic and yet is love, emotion and heartbeats ... drumming an eternal song in gold !! ..... Of course, both brothers are reknowned for their ethereal layering of chantilly and tulle, and it was present in wispy whisperings and flounces throughout their collection ..... but the fluidity and grace on the ramp was so beautiful this time .... that we had goosebumps at the poetry in motion !!
"Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned."
The above quote from the song of Solomon truly describes the era of romantic renaissance in Rome and Paris, which Shantanu and Nikhil ended up contemporizing so well .... The collection reminded me of the Uffizi Gallery, the most popular museums of Florence and its famous art works by many of Italy’s Renaissance Masters ..... As they say, Love is patient, love is kind ..... It does not envy, it does not boast ..... It is not proud, It is not rude, it is not self-seeking .... It is not easily angered ..... how cunningly the duo ended up selecting the color palette to evoke the above mentioned emotions with the shades of camel, chocolate, beige .... and presenting gold the way gold has never been presented before ..... To keep the emotions moving .... they gradually segued into red, black , grey and olive .... but all with that subtle dash of gold ..... It was very Rococo in the way they made it luxe, ornate and with strong emphasis on silhouette and shape .... in creamy, pastel-like colours, gold leaf booti embellishments, and even the curving hathphools seen on both men and women in gold !!! .... The themes were definitely love and gaiety .... and were reflected in the flattering silhouettes with elements of nature, curving lines, asymmetry and also on the beautiful dewy fresh make up which we so loved .... As their press release stated .... "This collection focussed on the soft and beautiful bride who always embraces everything feminine and dotes on chic and contemporary fashion." .... Without much ado .... ladies and gentlemen .... a collection to die for :)

Shantanu and Nikhil India Bridal Fashion Week 2013

JJ Valaya opened Aamby Valley India Bridal Fashion Week 2013 in typical Indian late lateef style .... the show scheduled for 8 pm started at 1030 pm .... the venue at The Grand, Vasant Kunj was way too small to accommodate "the invited" and the press .... "the invited" were seated much before the media and therefore we had a first time experience of watching a couture show seated on each others lap ... or standing on each others toes .... but then we are Indians .... and we are used to travelling on a single cycle with the entire family, and its a shame if you can't fit at least 15 family members into one Maruti 800 .... maybe that is why a lady from Valaya's seating team literally threw a fit because she didnot know where to throw the press people away .... all the poor mite did is shout and shake in her lovely beige Valaya outfit as she commanded us press types to climb onto each other and not cross the holy rope that separated "the invited" from "the barely tolerated", aka the media ..... if i were Valaya, i would have done off with her head of course .... because i am sure JJ, the genial, sweet Sardarji knows the worth of publicity from the same media types, which all his celeb guests put together cannot ensure .... as a true blue Punju he knows that at the end of the day after all the "shoshabaji" and "hello jis" are done, the impressed "invited" will still look at pictures that people like us put up and get their outfits done from Diwan Saheb (since this is couture, i will not mention the local darzis lol) .... the few that will come to his atelier will want bespoke and none of those clothes already worn by models on the ramp seen by every nukkad in the country (kya karen ? those good old days of exclusivity are over, now even "gaonwallas" with crores of "khandaani khet" are internet savvy) .... so the purpose of a couture showing is to showcase a design house's innovation, craftsmanship and creativity .... and the dissemination of a couture house's design aesthete can only be done through the media ..... and i am not foolish enough to presume team Valaya do not think it relevant that the media be seated for his show !! ..... Anyhow, the most striking experience of JJ's show was no doubt the set design of scenographer, designer and installation artist Sumant Jayakrishnan .... it was such a stunning masterpiece, with boats, royal arches, cupolas .... a veritable royal court fit for the collection theme called "The Maharaja of Madrid" .... I cannot comment much on the garments .... all looked nice and royal .... i could barely see them through the armpit arches of the fellow standing in front of me .... but looking through the photographs of my camera person .... few things stood out ..... For whatever it is worth, here is my opinion .... can we leave Spain alone ? .... is the Spanish government secretly trying to ensure all things spanish should show up in every fashion show across the world ? .... Suneet Varma already did Spanish this year .... Georgina Chapman did it with Marchesa too .... and Anita Delgado meets Kapurthala is a stale story really ..... and off with the Turbans too .... i know i know its a Maharaja story JJ was selling .... the only turban that looked good was on Kabir Bedi .... now that man is a bonafide Maharaja .... turban or no turban ..... we already "ooh aahed" enough when Manish Arora showed turbans on the ramp in Paris and Wills India Fashion Week, Delhi this year .... now only a bland "oh" of observation remains ..... and what is with the curtain tassels hanging around the men's neck ? .... looking at the pics, you would say what lovely clothes !! .... and the clothes are lovely no doubt .... but hey this is Valaya .... he is one of our most revered couturiers .... he can do jamawar paisleys, gota, brigade with both his eyes shut ..... Of course i appreciate his excellent craftmanship, but why is he forever dressing the Maharajas of Mandwa, Kapurthala, Timbuktu whatever ..... For all the pedal pushing of Maharaja themes in Indian couture, look at what our actual erstwhile royals are wearing !!! ..... Simple chiffons and elegant pearls .... Very Jaqueline Kennedy still .... And the contemporary business Maharajas are into contemporary bespoke .... As in yes we are Indian, and extremely proud of our heritage and culture, we will always wear, gota, zardozi, and an inordinate amount of jewellery ..... But we also want a global touch to go with our Indian couture ..... and this idea of a Spanish Maharaja is a Grandee with too many layers and embellishment with the stinking armpits of an Indian summer .... But then what do i know ? .... Many peeps must be wanting this only .... Here have a look .... And just for the record, because so many peeps thinks fash bloggers maynot be able to afford couture and therefore the opinions are suspect .... I can but i won't .... But if you are wearing Valaya couture, i will still clap for you, because i know how much these creations cost, and thereby how much you need a validation of your financial worth ... So i shall clap :)

JJ Valaya India Bridal Fashion Week 2013

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, daughter of an ex Air Hostess, wife to Prince William, mother of Britain's future regent just gave birth to a baby boy. The new royal will be His Royal Highness, Prince of Cambridge .... and as England starts with a royal blue celebration .... the rest of the world media can heave a sigh of relief .... every newswire for the last few days have been talking about nothing but the arrival of the royal baby .... Twitter was the worst .... my entire newsfeed from the western part of the world was about the same topic .... Well ... now that the current most famous baby in the world is born .... lets look back at the sartorial choice of Kate for her pregnancy .... because for us in this part of the world .... her dressing sense is more of an interest to us than an antiquated monarchy !! .... And as England's new mums wait for an announcement of the baby's name, to name their own un named babies  .... (lol, there was a news feature on the same even by our TV news) ... we bring to you Kate's excellent choice of maternity wear which no one can fault for their classic, sophisticated, chic appeal :)

The top looks of Kate Middleton's pregnancy

Kate in a Mulberry coat in Mint green

Fashion One International announced the fourth edition of Aamby Valley India Bridal Fashion Week (AVIBFW) 2013 ..... India Bridal Fashion Week will host its first edition in Delhi, which was previously held in Mumbai .... ( it was also announced that IBFW will be showcased in London too from 2014 onwards) .... 12 acclaimed fashion designers will showcase the finest bridal couture collection from the 23rd of July till the 28th of July 2013 .... and during the Press Meet on 10th July, at The Grand, Vasant Kunj, the 12 designers gave us a preview of their upcoming collection .... Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez is the ambassador for the event ... wearing a Jyotsna Tiwari outfit and will be seen during the Fashion Week .... We at Delhi Style Blog bring you an exclusive preview of the designers participating and their collections .... So what is new for the Indian Bride ? .... Is she going to channel Queen Elizabeth 1 in a desi avatar as Rohit Bal intends .... or a Roman princess from the times of Pompeii as showcased by Suneet Varma .... or she will be a Royal Begum from the famed Mughal Miniature paintings as shown by Ashima and Leena .... or maybe she will be a story unveiled .... like the curious print of Calla lilies and American Indian, headdress feather war bonnet, that we spied on opening show Couturier JJ Valaya's bride ..... have a look further on :)

India Bridal Fashion Week 2013 show schedule Delhi Style Blog

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