Countdown to Christmas: The Definitive Stationery Guide for Christmas & the Winter Season

Yes, we know we’ve only just got passed Halloween and all that. But, that also means that the party season is upon us, as is Christmas. Whatever winter wonderland you may visit, or Christmas cocktail parties you may throw, you need to start planning now. Here at Ananya HQ we have inspiring invites, elegant stationery, festive fun and more. Read on for our definitively divine survival guide for the winter season…

Your first party invite for Christmas has dropped through the letter box. What next? 

First of all, celebrate the fact that you’ve got great friends who take the time to send you a proper invite! Now, if they’re really on the ball, your host will have included an RSVP card with the invite. No? Don’t worry. Just send them an RSVP card of your own. A handwritten note to accept or decline will do just fine. It’s extra special when written on beautiful quality writing paper. Want to push the boat out a little? Invest in bespoke RSVP cards that you can use for any occasion.

You’re throwing a winter cocktail party for friends and colleagues:

For a perfect start to your celebrations, how about a bespoke cocktail party invite? Great Gatsby themes are always popular for cocktail parties.

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Or, if you want something less ‘shiny’, how about a more restrained 30’s theme in cool tones of cream and black? 

At Ananya HQ we love colour! Our favourite for something a little different is a rich deep red for ‘a night to remember’...

You’re a guest at a formal dinner party and want to be remembered for all the right reasons:

It’s easy these days to swap details over smartphones. But, how about investing in a personal card? We’re not talking your corporate business card here, but something altogether more elegant. Reminiscent of a more refined age, a simple embossed card says everything. With just your name and contact details, express your personality through font and colour.

You’re going to treat yourself to the perfect gift from you to you. What will it be? 

Start a trend amongst friends to use ink rather than e-mail! Indulge in a fine set of monogrammed, personalised stationery. Choose from fine paper and simple envelopes. Or maybe opt for personal notecards and envelopes lined in your favourite colour.

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Maybe you want to channel your inner artist?

Our Colour Me range of cards to 'colour in' is just perfect. Ranging from hello to thank you, they’re light-hearted and fun.

And what do we think at Ananya HQ are the colours for the Christmas season?

Whilst the classic elements of gold, silver and white remain, its natural elements that dominate this season, whether it's a winter wedding invitation or party invite. With earthy organic colours and textures, think deep green, sage and plum. Highlights come from accents of copper bound together with organic textures. Think of the warmth of wool, wood and velvet.

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Feeling inspired? Let’s create something special. Contact us today on +44 (0)20 7242 1877 or info@ananyacards.com to discuss your design ideas. Winter and Christmas never looked so good!

Until next time,

Vaishali x

 

 

Pretty In Paisley

The paisley pattern, known as mankolam in India, or mango pattern, stands out as one of the most easily recognisable motifs in the world. It was created in the 1500s in Persia (now known as Iran) and used to decorate royal regalia. The intricate tear shaped pattern made its way to Europe thanks to the East India Trading Company as they imported products from India. The design gained its English name from the town of Paisley, Scotland, where, in the 1800s, weavers became the primary producers of paisley patterned shawls. In the 1960s and 70s paisley made a comeback as it represented the Bohemian culture of the time. John Lennon even had his Rolls Royce custom painted in a paisley pattern!

Once again, paisley has come roaring back into fashion, with many of the major fashion designers showcasing an array of paisley themed pieces in their autumn/winter collections, such as in the Etro ready to wear collection. Paisley is set to continue through spring and summer, with many designers gaining their inspiration from the 70s, creating whimsical, bohemian inspired pieces. Anna Sui’s spring collection included multicoloured paisley patterned dresses and leggings, while Emilio Pucci has mixed paisley prints with beautiful psychedelic colours and chiffon materials to create light, floaty dresses perfect for the summer.

Pretty In Paisley
Pretty In Paisley

Paisley really is a very versatile design, so it is no surprise that it has lent brilliantly to many of the bespoke wedding stationery we create at ananya. We have found that the paisley motif is not only an elegant and vintage design but that it is also rich in spiritual significance. In Indian culture, the paisley signifies the time of harvest and prosperity. In Oriental traditions, the two paisleys represent the yin-yang symbol, a sign of equilibrium and balance. The flow of the two polar energies, Yin (Female) and Yang (Male), seek balance in the natural flow of the universe, constantly replacing each other and eventually, becoming each other. The paisley thus makes a wonderful motif to symbolise the union of two individuals in a marriage!

Until next time...Namaste and enjoy ananya life!

Let's Hear It For New York!

ananya is heading to the Big Apple! We’re very excited to announce that we will be exhibiting our wedding stationery in New York City at the Wedding Channel Couture Show, which is the premier bridal industry trade show in the city. It is a biennial event, where designers, press and retailers of the bridal world meet and announce the latest wedding trends and fashions. It is a chance for us, and several other British companies, to introduce ourselves to the New York wedding market. The show is taking place in the InterContinental Hotel New York Barclay, in Midtown, Manhattan from the 9th of April, during International Bridal week, and we are absolutely thrilled to be taking part. There will be a special 'Royal Britannia' showcase arranged by our fabulous PR company, Propose PR, which will involve an exhibition of wedding necessities inspired by the Royal Wedding, including favours, evening wear and shoes, as well as ananya’s stationery!

We are planning on showcasing several of our wedding stationery collections at the show, including Royal Romance (our Royal wedding inspired collection), Viva Vintage, Peacock Panache and Picture Perfect, as well as some designs we have created especially for the event.

ananya's NYC wedding invitation collection
ananya's NYC wedding invitation collection

We are especially excited about the prospect of introducing ourselves to the wedding market in the United States, having worked with some American clients in the past. It is certainly an area where we would like to expand and we look forward to creating more exclusive wedding stationery for US clients.

ananya goes across the pond this week, and we cannot wait! Although we cannot be there in person to experience the city that never sleeps, our designs will be showcased and hopefully will speak for themselves...

Until next time...Namaste and enjoy ananya life!

The Lucky Lotus

The lotus is the national flower of India, and is regarded as being the most beautiful and sacred flower in Indian culture. It symbolises divinity, fertility, purity, wealth, knowledge and enlightenment as well as honour and good fortune. It therefore comes as no surprise that lotus flowers can be found everywhere, from clothing to bed linen. The flower is a simple, but beautiful and powerful motif, which can be used on any type of material for any purpose. Many designers have been using the motif in their work, including Ed Hardy, who has a range of clothing with bold tattoo styled lotus prints. Nike has also designed a pair of their “Nike Dunk” trainers with pretty pink lotus flowers.

Bags incorporating the lotus flower are easy to find, such as Amy Butler’s lotus flower clutch, which uses an elegant  yellow lotus pattern.

The Lucky Lotus
The Lucky Lotus

Lotus flowers can appear in your home, and light up any room, with Graham and Green’s striking lotus flower ball chandelier, and there are many places where you can find quilts and cushion covers with lotus patterns.

However, it is in jewellery where lotus flowers are at their most prolific. Accessorize has created a pretty turquoise ring while Swarowski recently made a collection of lotus inspired brooches, earrings and pendants. Luxury diamond jewellery company DeBeers have also made their own range of lotus designs, calling it “Enchanted Lotus”. It includes hoop earrings and a bracelet as well as a diamond wedding band, all of which integrate the lotus with a heart shape in a unique design.

Finding the lotus is easy, so why not embrace India’s most famous and auspicious symbol, whether as part of your home, or your look. At ananya we use the lotus flower as our logo because of its symbolic nature and due to its importance in Asian culture. We have also created beautiful stationery using the lotus design, which can be used for any sort of wedding – whether you are having an English or Indian wedding, or it’s taking place in summer or winter. Our lotus designs are stylish, elegant and versatile, and are suitable for any occasion, big or small.

Until next time...Namaste and enjoy ananya life!

The Peacock Revolution

The majestic peacock is the national bird of India. They are regarded as some of the most beautiful birds in the world, with their fabulous iridescent green-blue plumage and distinctive tail feathers. In India they are emblems of beauty, grace, pride and mysticism and throughout history they have appeared in Hindu myths and folklore in various illustrations with gods and goddesses. It is probably their tails which peacocks are best known for, which are made up of a mixture of large and small feathers with beautiful eye-like designs. The male peacocks lift their tails into a fan and preen their feathers to attract females in an ostentatious display of pride and beauty. It is therefore no wonder that the peacock has become a major design motif, as its plumage and colours create a perfect muse for designers. The peacock seems to be everywhere at the moment, with both high end designers and high street shops using it as inspiration for fashion, as well as for household goods, such as bed linen and china, and even iPod covers and other accessories. Peacocks have been spotted on the red carpet; with Eva Longoria wearing a short peacock feather covered dress at Cannes, and actress and Marchesa founder Georgina Chapman wore her own black dress with a gold peacock gilded design at the Oscars last year.

The Peacock Revolution
The Peacock Revolution

Last year, designer Matthew Williamson created a collection for H&M which was entirely inspired by peacocks. His own Escape spring 2010 line also featured some bohemian peacock undertones. In China, a wedding dress made of 2009 peacock feathers costing $1.5m was unveiled at a wedding expo. Meanwhile, on the high street, many shops such as Top Shop and New Look have dresses, skirts and t-shirts featuring peacock feathers and the birds themselves.

Peacocks can be seen on bags, such as a fabulous crystal clutch by Swarovski, and other accessories, such as hair pieces. However, it is in jewellery where the designers have gone peacock crazy. In Accessorize there is a whole range of necklaces and earrings (as well as bags) inspired by peacocks, such as earrings with peacock bodies and cascading teardrop charms. Many high street stores are selling earrings and brooches using real peacock feathers, while Spanish jewellery designers Carrera y Carrera have a whole collection of beautiful peacock inspired jewellery using diamonds and coloured stones. MAC Cosmetics is launching the ‘Peacocky’ Collection for Spring 2011, a makeup collection that draws colours and inspiration from the exotic bird.

At ananya, we have joined the peacock revolution by creating a range of stationery with modern looking peacock designs. Peacocks are set to become the hottest wedding trend of 2011 due to the intricacy and richness of their plumage and we believe our new line of wedding stationery reflects this. If, however, peacocks aren't your thing, ananya has a diverse range of different types of stationery.

Until next time...Namaste and enjoy ananya life!