“As she sits in her room alone, she wishes she could sleep another night in the ocean of fabrics flooding her room from floor to armour. Her mehndi would get ruined so she puts on her robe to get ready. As she pauses for a moment, she reads a letter; unopened and marked with her name. The sun begins to set and she pulls out her grandmother's haar (necklace); an heirloom. A relic binding three generations and souls…”
BRIDAL DIARY: I was brought in to adorn Mashiat for her third Bridal Henna experience (well first diary) but third mehndi application. Her husband Tadmir had booked their honeymoon trip to Greece and she wanted to feel like a Bride again. This touched my heart and I was overjoyed that she had asked for a platinum diary for her vacation. We had consulted over face time and her details were highlighted by her enthusiasm on screen.
A henna diary versed her years of true love, Bengali quotes, a dulhan, enchanted florals, MT monogram, his name and a lace composition on her exterior hands and feet. Seen below is her digital diary which was first hand rendered to include all her details. No bride should ever be forced to have mehndi on her hands especially of those lines that are not her own. A henna diary is the journey of the bride, which includes her reflection through family, desires and love story.
I believe that a Bride’s henna moments should not only reflect the cultural associations of henna but who she is as a woman. These stills were captured to express the importance of time and transitional periods. After adorning many brides and hearing their stories, the application of Mehndi is a much needed period of cleanse;so often forgotten or packed away with wardrobe of ones youth and history during wedding season.
Adorned the beautiful Mashiat who recently got married in Bengladesh. This diary was a PLATINUM B Diary which was rendered beautifully with her love story and personal details. She is wearing a printed tulip saree from Chandan Fashion, denim of her own and a vintage blouse from Chosen Vintage.
One Bride had mentioned that she was financing her wedding as her father had long passed and her mother was her sole supporter. She did not want to burden her mother as she had no savings and had worked a half day before we had met. As my fingers wrapped around arm, the warmth of my fingers transferred into my other non-dominant hand and she felt a sense of comfort. I have been told to possess powers of healing or comfort but this was something we both shared. This was a moment she needed and I was glad to be there. You need to be healthy and happy but not everyone has a support system or can ask for one. Every bride walks a different journey and for that reason, her diary should be her own.
I believe that this moment of clarity is needed and having a bridal stylist for your special day provides our communities with a deeper understanding of marriage. Our families need to understand that a bride is a whole of her own kind; her view on the world is one of multiple lenses and so sees culture through colour first and not with meaning.As the time of marriage is within hours, the process in planning a blissful marriage can be slow and steady. This style shoot is for the working woman, the woman providing for her family, the woman who begins her day with free spirit, the woman who may be a mother, the woman who has a second chance in marriage, a woman who is accepting of change and diversity within marriage.
My advice to the bride of today, take some time to meditate with the ones you love, a few fingers in counting.As you near your special day, turmeric blended with oils and yoghurt will be used to exfoliate your skin, enjoy it. As you bathe in milk or a luminous mixture of oils and water, allow it rejuvenate your skin for a new path; a journey involving another whole world. As you have prepared your look through pins and screenshots for your sangeet or mehndi, allow others to adorn you whom you trusted or hired. Family and friends will rejoice alongside the bellies of drums and dancing glasses filled with lassi and refreshing cocktails, take part.
Meraya Studios Mashiat Breath of Henna The Sai Lens Chandan Fashion Chosen Vintage
For Bridal Styling and personal stories, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NOW SEEN IN PRINT Must Be Kismet Magazine 2018 Photography - Divine Method Photo
'As an art director and stylist in Toronto, transitioning moods is more than just contrasting colours and cultures..' - Sarah Hussain.
Inspired by the love for culture, I had the pleasure of working with a team of industry professionals to create a love for narrative through travel and textile. Through pattern and texture; embroidery and prints, this editorial embraces a woman with dignity and elegance. Featuring Chandan Fashion, a Toronto brand that not only has an updated taste for Indian Bridal fashion but a youthful, inviting atmosphere.
This editorial is one that was inspired by the emotions woven into the garments for South Asian women. Particularly into their armoire of sensitivity during their ruksati (the third stage of a Bride).
Growing up in a household filled with the scent of cardamom, fried onions and mixed spices wasn't always comforting when walking out of your home. I never noticed the scent of my mother's cooking until I was fond of the dishes. Being raised in Ontario in the 80s, I found myself wearing patterns that coloured my world, similar to the medley of ingredients seen in a festering pot of bhiryani. As I grew older, my wardrobe aged with reason to style and I didn't simply purchase items because I wanted to; trends did not exist. My wardrobe began to weigh with responsibility and I no longer idealized a world of freedom of expression. My culture expressed my faith and style, which endlessly curated my family's respect towards me. My selections of lawn prints and saree fittings granted others a more than intimate gaze into my world because I was entirely confident.
NOW Radiating into my 30s
StageTWO, w i s d o m
As I revolve around the sun for another chapter, I carry my weight with these words:
a letter to myself.. 'Today the colours turn a tone closer to being a shade. My vows to the great accomplishments in life, have shortened their distance in time. My culture-clock has brought waves of challenges that I can no longer use education as an excuse for an extension. I now belong to the 30 and above class on the surveys and grants are available to me for my best words and no longer my age. Listening to my voice is like listening to a broken cassette filled with Hope that an opportunity to be 20 again will arise. Marriage is now a phase I want to pass so I can officially live my life without boundaries. Trust is an exemplary token of appreciation I hold dearly.
Turning 30 today just got me in a hurry. Living life through my creations has justified that age really is like fine cheddar. The best portion of your life is not determined by your age but by your accomplishments.
StageTHREE, p o s t u r e
Through this editorial, the images take a glance at each stage that a Bride is faced with. Challenges that may not seem challenging to the discourse that they are placed in. In societies of our own, immigrant families are given the authority to certify their daughters as quality goods for others homes. Why else are we groomed so hastily after ripening into the purest fruit?
Being bare-footed has never felt more liberating. Letting go of cultural reforms and breathing to my own rhythm has allowed me to travel through the doors of many homes. Having acknowledged that every daughter must be married and every woman must be given away, I conformed to marrying later than earlier. Similarly, I have accepted the act of marriage but willingly and to my own measures. I do not believe in the practice of perfecting a young woman as her youth allows her to mould her world into the one she wishes to have. Growth is a key element that refines the sanctity of marriage and with great conversation comes great friendship. We need to come together as a unit, an undying structure that guides our future with the culture that was implemented in our youth. Fortunately, my posture was never ideal and my mother was my backbone through my abnormalities. If we have more conversations about the yearning for sophistication in our daughters, parents will never have to see their daughters as furnishings in rooms filled with regretful family patterns.
StageFOUR, Reflect- ION
Culture does not have a geographic location, it is a mind set and a practice of values that are of most importance to one's life. A spirited individual will share their stories with you because they believe life is full of blossoming possibilities whereas someone who has been surrounded by the preachings of others may silently confront similar feelings. Stage four is for reflection on your accomplishments and prosperity. What have you done that will diversify your relationship with your significant other; your family and your foot print? We speak of changing the system that we are a part of, a social experiment that exists now more than ever due to social media and our relationships with trends and reports. I have had such a difficult time rephrasing my story to better connect with the audience that I wish to voice my concerns to. My views become redundant and my readers become engulfed in a world that quickly confuses or leaves them asking for more. Which is why I come to this point, why does it matter if the post is complete? My reflection on the idea of marriage may not be yours but I do believe that the standards expected in our demographic is far too brutal for the young women of today. We bury far too much into the first born crevices of our dimples, weighing our smiles with expectations and patterns long gone from our wardrobe. This confrontation is for you to see that there was no set of five stages for a Bride; have no expectations when it comes to marriage or leaving home. Guide yourself with your bare feet and walk the steps of a strong woman; your mother. The poem below will free your spirit and guide you to a better understanding of yourself. Follow no trend.
As every passing moment goes by, I allow another string on my heart to play a melody. A tune I connect with the earth that rattled my mother's doors as I entered her womb. The soil on the soles of my feet are from the warmer climates of the East where turmeric and sandalwood create a fine base for wisdom and social standards. My roots still watered from the weight of hair in oils scented with hibiscus and mustard seeds.
My spine overlooking the sea towards the West. With eyes as sharp as the eagle's flight. My age is marked with entitlements to knowing the finest silks and hand cut glass. Carvings of sand and wood cut creases in between the cushion of my toes as I traveled into the storms of the unknown.
Inferior to this land, I am a woman with an adventure pierced into my back. The adornments I wear are now my reflections and experiences. I forever travel light with trunks filled with certainty and liberation.
These are words from me to you to guide you in the awareness of yourself. The journey that must take place by stepping out your front door. The gaze through your windows will only take you so far, so if this written aids you in your adventure than please write it on your heart. Liberation is a part of who we are; humanity. We live to seek for the love of ourselves in others and when patience grows weak, we succumb to the voice of our surroundings. Be aware of your spirit and acknowledge its worth for she will live infinitely when she hears your voice.