Asiana Bridal Show 2013: styles up and down the catwalk
Published 23 February 2013
Engagement party done and dusted, and probably a glittering diamond ring in hand, the announcements made and feelings of joy and excitement at what the future holds for your relationship. The next step? Planning the wedding, and what better way to prepare you than by attending a wedding show. The Asiana Bridal Show, being the most well-known and popular showcase in the Asian bridal industry was the obvious wedding show of choice to visit for my ‘bride-to-be’ friend.
On a windy Sunday 27th January we made our way to the Park Plaza Riverbank, located on the South Bank of the River Thames, which was a quick 10 minute walk from Vauxhall station. Reaching the hotel we were greeted by friendly staff who helped locate our tickets and handed us free mini-showguides for the event. After a few quick directions from the staff at the front desk regarding where the exhibitions stalls were and where the catwalk was to be held, we were free to roam.
The show-goers who had only bought tickets for the exhibition could upgrade their tickets at a booth near the entrance to see the catwalk for an additional £10, subject to availability.
The Asiana Bridal Show, hosted by Asiana and Madhu’s, is particularly aimed at those that are intending to have an Asian theme to their wedding, whether the couple are looking to have an all-out traditional South Asian marriage ceremony or whether they just want to have an element of authentic Eastern flavouring to their day. The Asiana bridal magazines have been a popular place for Asian brides to get inspiration from and Sarwar Ahmed, publisher of the magazine, beautifully describes this showcase as the event that brings the “Asiana Wedding magazine to life”. Co-host Madhu’s is described as a market leader in Asian catering industry and has even catered for Prince Charles at Windsor Palace!
I would not be able to do the review justice without first describing the catwalk show which is what the bridal show is really famous for. It is the most highly anticipated part of the event and what most potential brides come to see.
We had booked tickets to see the first catwalk show, at one o’clock. Although we were not told while making the booking, the tickets did advise arriving at the exhibition at least an hour before the allocated catwalk show and with good reason as the fashion show was extremely busy.
The show started with a quick introduction by the host Anushka Arora from the BBC Asian Network and then a solitary Kyles Collection model came onto the catwalk alongside beautiful harp playing. Both the BBC Asian Network and Kyles Collections were sponsors of the show.
RDC (by Rashid Malik) Opening:
The RDC collection designed by Rashid Malik was the first to showcase on the catwalk; they started the show with a fun display of energetic Indian-style dancing from their models. RDC had the privilege of both opening and closing the fashion show. In their first collection I saw a lot of shades of pinks and reds teamed with deep purple and indigo shades, with long dress-style jackets and wide skirts. Borders at the bottom of the outfits along with gold embroidered patterns were very ‘in’ too. The outfits were absolutely beautiful. In the men’s range, softer muted colours such as off-whites and creams seemed popular but with no less embellishments. Check out the video of their catwalk show below:
Kyles Collection (Jewellery):
Kyles Collection specialises in Asian and Indian style jewellery and they provided a lot of the jewellery on display on the catwalk. I found the look and feel of this particular showcase breath-taking: the way the stylish plain black outfits contrasted with the sparkling white winter wonderland background of the catwalk, the jewellery sparkled strikingly against the clothing making it the centre of attention. The long poses held by the models contrasted with the quick tabla playing, giving the performance a dramatic air. The jewellery itself ranged from more traditional bridal sets with the addition of pearls in some, to more unconventional pieces such as crystal-covered brooches and belts for men.
With a collection all the way from New Delhi, Frontier Raas showed off a number of differently styled outfits. There were the floor length dresses in maroon and varying shades of champagne (suitable for the registration day), the traditional red and gold outfits (for the marriage ceremony), and dark coloured outfits teamed with gold (for the reception party). Again, long embroidered jackets over wide bordered skirts were popular. Also showcased were sheer blouses and jackets.
Khushboo’s by Chand:
Khushboo’s by Chand went all out in order to impress the crowd. They began their collection with a belly-dancer performing with a live snake which I thought was a real adventurous touch. Some were not as enthusiastic about the snake and I saw a few faces squirming in the crowd. The same performer then came out on the catwalk to do fire dancing. The outfits were stunning, traditional Pakistani-style bejewelled outfits with heavy embroidery. There were a lot of creams, whites, reds and pinks on the catwalk. I really admired the bravery and execution of the performance, but wasn’t sure that it completely fitted in with the look of the collection. That aside, this range was definitely one of my personal favourites and one of the most exciting! Check out the video of their catwalk show below:
Charmi Creations added a Spanish touch to the catwalk with their chosen music and dance style; the models had flowers in their hair, and held fans in their hand to add to the Spanish look. The collection attempted to incorporate a contemporary European element to typical Indian bridal wear, especially noticeable in the dresses and trailing skirts. The grooms wear consisted of mostly cream outfits with a splash of bright red in order to complement the bridal wear.
I found Nicky B’s bridal collection to be one of the most unique on the catwalk. It really challenged my ideas of what an Asian bride should look like. The collection contained a lot of bright multi-coloured outfits, lots of emeralds, magentas and buttercup yellows. The outfits were mostly made up of short cropped tops with floor length skirts.
It was back to more traditional colours with Yuvna Kim’s collection, models wearing elegant white and pale pink registry gowns gracefully danced accompanied by music from a violinist. Also featured in the collection were red and white Asian-styled outfits with long sheer jackets.
Harkiran’s and Ziggi Studio:
Harkiran’s exclusively designed womenswear and Ziggi Studio exclusively designed menswear made sense for the two Birmingham-based designers to showcase alongside each other. The showcase opened with the arrival of an Indian classical Kathak dancer. Kathak dancing is a classical form of dance originating from North India which aims to tell a story through movement. The dancer was shortly followed by two female drummers. The classical dancing gave a feeling of being taken back to a time gone by, immersed in a culturally rich historic period of India, yet the addition of the drumming gave it a contemporary twist.
Harkiran’s collection went for timeless Indian classical look but using modern cuts and fabrics. There was a mixture of traditional colours as well as brighter, more unconventional colour themes in this collection. I really liked how cream and maroon had been teamed together in one particular outfit.
Ziggi Studio believes men should feel like kings on their wedding day, and the collection clearly showed it. Regal looking models came onto the catwalk carrying golden sheathed swords wearing Mughal-inspired outfits of maroons, terracottas and golds with bold print patterns. I thought these outfits really made a statement, and it was nice to see something a little different for the men to wear. For those men that do prefer softer colours though, the hugely popular cream also featured in the collection.
Frontier Bazar’s showcase started off on a humorous note, with two smartly dressed gentlemen vying for the attention of a prettily dressed model; they quickly resolved their problem by deciding they could both accompany her across the catwalk. The model at the centre of the love triangle was dressed in a long indigo jacket-style top with hot pink embroidery over a wide indigo skirt. The rest of the collection consisted of lots of fun shades of pinks and floor length ball gowns.
There was a surprise appearance from the music producer Rishi Rich (also the music producer for this show) and his beautiful wife Manrina. Manrina was wearing a sky blue gown with silver sequins and embroidery from Mongas’ collection. Monga’s 2013 collection showed that traditional the red and white colour scheme was still going strong, whether for a registry dress or for a traditional lengha, although dark pink colours were also becoming very popular. The grooms wear was based on sharp whites and pale pinks.
RDC by Rashid Malik closed the show, and had definitely saved the more heavily embroidered bridal outfits until the end. There were blues and greens displayed on the catwalk but the style was the same as the earlier collection showcased by RDC. The fashion show ended on a fiery note with another performance from another fire dancer, following which all the models gathered on the catwalk and the credits rolled at the sides: Aamir Naveed was the official hair stylist and Ambreen the official make-up artist for the Asiana Bridal Catwalk Show 2013.
There’s been a “highlights” video produced on Youtube that shows a bit from every show:
I knew my friend had been really excited for the last few days in the build up to the Asiana fashion show but what did she make of it once she had actually experienced it? What was her verdict on the 12th Asiana Bridal Show Catwalk?
“I really enjoyed the catwalk; the live performances were really good. I got to see the latest fashion and colour trends from well known designers which is what I wanted. I’ve now got quite a clear idea of what style I like and what I’m looking for in my bridal outfit.”
Based on that I would say the catwalk show was very successful.
More photographs from the catwalk show can be viewed on the Asiana website: www.asiana.tv