|Image: Taken from Avaaya's Instagram account|
I'm not normally awake and getting ready for work at 5am, but The Asiana Bridal Show is one of the occasions I'll happily get out of bed for. It was my fifth year working at this annual bridal fashion show in London and my third year presenting the official video for the event. My task involved capturing on camera, all the backstage gossip from the models getting ready in hair and make-up, to a sneak preview of the fashion show, interviewing the designers and organisers and recording the essence of the event.
Never one to shy away from dressing up, I was looking forward to getting glammed up for the occasion. Trouble was I really, really struggled with my outfit. Having worked the three weekends leading up to the show and the day before it, I had little time to prep/try on ideas. The night before I had it down to three outfits but in the morning none of them worked so minutes before my cab was due to arrive I put this ensemble together. Thankfully it worked! So with that sorted it was then over to the Nina Ubhi Hair & Beauty Institute to ensure I looked the part - Nina did my make-up while her head hair stylist Zaheer (pictured) looked after my locks.
This year the catwalk was once again designed by Maz Events and it turned out to be one of the most original fashion show runways I've ever seen. Bridal events normally involve pretty, floral, dainty catwalks but this one took inspiration from the streets of Mumbai. Depicting a classic street scene it was comprised of authentic props with nods to the infamous slums. In fact when I interviewed Rita from Maz she said one of the main inspirations was the film Slumdog Millionaire and the idea of juxtaposing high couture fashion with the hustle and bustle of every day life. Here are some more close ups of the staging...
The models walked out from both of the doorways, I couldn't resist getting up on stage for a pic!
I couldn't wait to get my hands on the corner shop either! It was filled with real stock!
There were three fashion shows during the day featuring 10 designers and boutiques. I'm not posting any pics from the catwalk this year asI was too busy to take any but do a search and you'll find pics on - try Asian Fashion Blog as a starting point, catwalk trend reports will be posted on Asiana.TV soon too.
For the video we spent a lot of time backstage capturing the atmosphere of what it's like working at a fashion show - everyone taking selfies, last minute spritz of hairspray, styling jewellery and accessories, steaming garments, make-up touch-ups, food (interesting the models like their chicken and chips!) and general fun and messing around - indeed I couldn't help have a giggle with these sword bearing gents modelling Ahsan's Bespoke Menswear.
There was also a chance to get a closer inspection of all the catwalk outfits...
Aside from the three fashion shows is the rest of the Asiana Bridal Show which is essentially a giant wedding expo - filled with exhibitors to help out on every aspect of your wedding planning from food and decor to entertainment and cakes (I even spied a Batman cake!) The new Spring issue of Asiana Wedding Magazine was also launched at the show and here I am with my Editorial team Zahra and Fariha.
Asians are known for having massively excessive weddings and whatever one thinks of that, there really is no other culture that does weddings so beautifully with so much detail. Every single stand at the show is stunning, most blew my mind - but every year the 100 companies that exhibit really go to town. It's worth going to the show if you have an appreciation of creativity and design as much as it is if you're getting married. I particularly liked this one by Zara's Catering:
|I so wanted this tuk tuk! It's actually a mobile photobooth by Mobile Moments|
The biggest talking point of the event was the unveiling of the most expensive Asian wedding outfit ever made in the UK worth £100,000. How can an outfit be worth so much? Well it was encrusted with real diamonds. A collaboration between Birmingham based designer Sati and Dhir Diamond Jewellers, it was kept inside a glass box and attracted masses of media attention (BBC, ITV, national and local papers and this segment on the BBC Asian Network)...an unknown fact that I am allowed to share on my blog is that I wrote the press release that got everyone interested in the dress...the second time in a row press releases I have written have been successful - I am not planning on becoming a PR any time soon, but I guess if I ever do decide to change direction I have developed some good work experience in the field!
The official is coming soon, can't wait to share it - the edit has been left in the hands of Richard on right, he was my cameraman too alongside assistant Deban from Epic Media. It was a bit of an experimental film but lots of fun to make. Will post the link here when it's up!
Here it is! WATCH NOW.