"Our Unique Selling Point is affordable couture”
London welcomed glamourous Desi couture at the Asian Summer Trunk Show 2016, which took place on June 9, 2016, at The Danubius Hotel in Regents Park.
The pop-up exhibition showcased a selection of upcoming fashion and jewellery designers from India and Pakistan, making their debut to UK audiences.
Established by Jasmine Kotecha, Nikaza is a West London fashion house that brings different fashion designers who bring on trend, versatile and eye catching collections under one roof. Speaking about her collaboration with Deepa for the Asian Summer Trunk Show, Jasmine explains:
“We wanted to bring all of the various designers together and have something that is vibrant, versatile and contemporary. But most of all, something that can go out of the shelves without breaking the bank. Our Unique Selling Point is affordable couture.”
Deepa, founder of Prints and Motifs, also emphasised that what makes them different from other pop up events is their price ranges: “People appreciate that when they come and how you can spend as less as £100 for a piece of jewellery and a jumpsuit.”
Deepa’s own company, Prints and Motifs, have set up many previous pop up events, showcasing designers from all over the world: “We bring new designers that are fresh and contemporary from India, Dubai, London and Pakistan.”
Of course, with so many designers on one platform, the biggest challenge of organising the event was to ensure every designer has the opportunity to showcase their incredible work and that ‘each collection is different from each other’.
The fashion designers included Amna Usman for Shibori, Asma Gulzar presents Aida Couture, Fiza Osman, Hema Thakorlal, Jyoti Chandhok, Parul Goel, Priyanka Jha, Roshni Chopra, Waseem Noor and Zainab & Noor.
The jewellery designers include 101 creations by Heena Gandhi, Ra Abta by Rahul Luthra and Nino’s creations. The accessory designers included Aarsim, Dheevara Jewels and Dimps Sanghani.
From speaking to several designers and browsing through the collections, it became apparent that the trunk show revealed a fusion of summer trends to look out for.
Floral patterns and soft pastel colours all seem to be the latest look for summer weddings and occasions. Hema Thakorlal, an exhibiting designer, says:
“Blues and greens aren’t as popular as they used to be – people are now preferring the pinks, ivory and corals for weddings.”
Lace and mirror work were also popular, alongside items such as drapes, ready to wear saris and dhotis. Jasmine described dhotis as being: “Multipurpose, where you can wear it to parties and casually as well.”
Roshni Chopra Designs’ collection saw a symbolic use of embroidery, blending structured silhouettes and drapes with fine fabric. Over the last year, the label has grown rapidly, retailing in five countries and various online websites.
Deeya Chopra, one of the founders of the popular label, said that the brand had received a ‘heartwarming’ response in London:
“We have brought our Summer/Spring 2016 Collection, Folk Tales, and our Fall/Winter 2015 collection, Urban Tribe. Folktales uses mirror and thread work with hues of blue as our inspiration, where Urban Tribe has saris, crop tops, dhoti tops, embellishments for the festive season.”
Parul Goel has the motto of ‘Be your Own Kind of Beautiful’ for her label. In her first time showcasing in London, Parul brought a collection filled with colourful yet contemporary lehengas and Indo western outfits. She described her collection, as ‘filled with bright colours, wearable and cost effective’.
Hema Thakorlal has been designing outfits for 25 years at her North West London based studio, where she also customises outfits for her customers. Hema brought an array of classic, flirty, romantic looks with a keen eye for high quality fabrics and detailed embroideries.
Hema says: “I brought a very classic collection of well cut, pure fabrics including Benarasi and Georgette. I use a mixture of zardozi, chicken work, pearls and thread work.”
It wasn’t just the fashion-savvy public who enjoyed the vibrant displays, the models who were dressed in the outfits from the exhibition also thoroughly enjoyed the event.
Vanessa Sandhu said that her favourite brand showcased was Nikaza: “Because it has a lot of different pieces which are all comfortable and easy to wear.”
Amber Joseph, who was wearing Asma Gulzar’s pink and gold outfit, said that Asma’s collection was her favourite.
Also wearing an Asma Gulzar gown was organiser Jasmine, who adds: “It’s very flattering and allows you to move around without carrying the weight of the garment.”
Asma Gulzar has won many awards for her elegant collection of gowns, including the ‘Savvy Women’s Honour Award’ in India.
Both Jasmine and Deepa add that there are plans for the Asian Trunk Show to grace London again. Deepa says: “We try to do pop up every 6 months but looking at the response, we might even be doing it by Diwali. I feel that people prefer pop up events now because of getting the opportunity to meet the designers and getting orders custom made.”
The Asian Summer Trunk Show 2016 was a great success and it certainly met the needs of the contemporary youth looking for creativity, versatility and personality in their ethnic fashion choices.
DESIblitz looks forward to next instalment of the Asian Trunk Show.