‘Funky Asian (Anjali’s Boutique) opened in Glasgow in 2008 carrying on a family tradition of being in the fashion business for 40 years. My family started the Alankar brand which had shops in London and Manchester and opened one of the UK’s very first sari shops in Leicester. Over the last decade we have won an award, been featured on Scottish television and continued to thrive. The brand aims to mix Indian and British cultures and we have conscientiously strived to create an environment where people from all walks of life, culture and backgrounds can come and experience the wonders of Asian Fashion. In store we stock high-end couture for men and women. Outfits are available as made-to-measure Asian bridalwear and our designers also create wedding lenghas, gharara cholis, sarees, gowns, shalwar kameez, embroidered suit fabrics, churidars, anarkalis, sherwanis and Indo Western outfits. We use only the finest fabrics with a choice of over 300 colours and hundreds of different types of silks, satins and chiffons. All of our garments are made in India and we promote ethical fair trade policies.
One of the reasons I opened the boutique was because I wanted to make Asian fashion appeal to younger girls, to show them the beauty of heritage clothing. So when Asiana asked me to dress fellow Scot Vanity Femme for her makeover, I was really excited. Mariyah embodies the contemporary British Asian woman perfectly; she’s a strong, independent person with drive and ambition who happens to love looking good.
For the shoot, I carefully chose some of my new collection party pieces that are lighter than typical bridalwear, but look just as effective. The mint lengha was a winner all round with its delicate shade, tulle underskirt and Swarovski pearl and dhabka embroidery, Mariyah wore it with such panache. It was also great to dress her in a sari and the deep blue gown with pink embellishing suits her perfectly. She was worried about wearing bright colours but she pulls it off with perfection. The finished looks are phenomenal and I love how the jewellery brings the outfits to life even more, alongside Anisha Siddique’s gorgeous make-up.’