The Gentleman's Life: The Essentials of Style

When it comes to living the life of a gentleman there are many men that we can take inspiration from. Be it ‘old world’ icon like Cary Grant or US based style icon Christopher Corey, who mixes ‘old world gentleman’ with the hustle of a modern entrepreneur.

 ‘Anyone can be heroic from time to time, but a gentleman is something you have to be all the time’.

-          Luigi Pirandello

At Ananya HQ we’ve scoured city, country and coast to bring you the essentials to living the life of a gentleman, from gentlemen that we love and adore.

 Over and above being kind, courteous, and thoughtful and worthy, we know that living the life of a gentleman should always involve style. And no, this doesn’t mean just having a designer suit – it goes way beyond that. Style and gentlemanly behaviour aren’t mutually exclusive to having lots of money! Whatever your budget, whatever your circumstances you can live a life of a stylish gentleman.  

 ‘It isn’t only money that determines how well a man dresses - its personal taste.’

-          Cary Grant

Suited and Booted (well, shoes actually…)

You don’t have to be well dressed to be a gentleman. Says Vaishali, our MD “One of the most courteous and gentlemanly men I know is my builder whose ‘uniform’ is jeans and polo shirt. But, at Ananya HQ we do love a well-cut suit.  Cut an elegant figure in a well-tailored suit in dark grey or navy. Team with a crisp tailored shirt, a waistcoat and double Windsor knot tie to complete the look. One of our favourite gentlemen is actor Stanley Tucci who wears this look with a grace and style that could give Cary Grant a run for his money!

 To emulate the style of a ‘gentleman about town’ our advice is to leave the novelty tie at home and concentrate on colour and texture.

And shoes? Shoes should hold their own in city or country. Ultimately they need to allow you to walk in comfort and style whatever gentlemanly efforts you are involved in.

Signature Style

Image credit:  Hello Magazine

Image credit: Hello Magazine

A gentleman always has a signature style. You might have your suits tailored in Savile Row, or maybe express your personality through your collection of exquisite silk pocket squares.

The art of being a gentleman is finding your own style whatever that may be.

We love the contemporary style of Indian royal, Rai Sinh Jadeja of Maliya (Nino), and the black tie style of writer, producer and director, Mozez Singh.

Time it Right

A good watch is an essential for any gentleman. But, a gentleman doesn’t have to ‘shout’ with his timepiece. Think Robert Redford in his Rolex Submariner Date Ref 1680. Ultimately a gentleman is a guardian of his watch. A gentleman’s timepiece will mark time elegantly and quietly waiting to pass to a worthy son, nephew, godson or grandson.

Perfect Penmanship

Image credit:  Montblanc

Image credit: Montblanc

Our regulars will know that at Ananya we are dedicated to the art of writing. A gentleman knows the value of things such as handwritten thank you notes. He also always has a pen to hand. Invest in the best that you can afford. Whether it’s a plain ballpoint, a fountain pen from Cross or an investment piece from Montblanc or Montegrappa, having a pen and sleek notebook to hand is the mark of a stylish gentleman.

Personalised stationery by Ananya

Personalised stationery by Ananya

And the final touches…

Image credit:  Frederic Malle

Image credit: Frederic Malle

There’s no point investing in style, and developing your signature look if it isn’t completed with the essential final touches.

We’ll take you head to toe with a collection of what we consider are some of the best ‘essentials’ available.

A subtle hint of fragrance is always appreciated. Emphasis on the word subtle please! We love Frederic Malle for men. It’s a deliciously good fragrance exuding warmth and citrus notes. 

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Good grooming is a must, whatever your style. We love Pankhurst Barbers, where the chairs are made from Bentley motors leather and the whole place gives the feel of a gentleman’s club with a frisson of ‘edgy’ from its ‘speak easy’ vibe.

Once you’re dressed and ready it’s time to add those absolute final touches. Whether it’s a family heirloom such as a monogram signet ring, or discreet cuff links, these are the final ‘bits and pieces’ before you put on your classic design sunglasses and step out into the world.

Do contact us to discuss any of your stationery requirements, whether that is a bespoke monogram design or personalised stationery and invitations.

 

Stationery for the Seasons

At Ananya, we love working with our clients to incorporate the time of year of their celebration into their designs, as subtly or as vividly as they wish – whether it’s with colours, motifs, or wording, there’s lots of ways to let your stationery echo the season. We always ask our clients questions about the season and location of their event, and together brainstorm ideas for stylish and sophisticated nods to their surroundings.

Spring

Spring is a return of warmth, and a time for renewal, hope, and colour. Nature awakens and flower gardens take on a new life, while greenery becomes lush and rich with new scents. Our suites for Spring celebrations will often embrace all the new pastel colours of the countryside, the botanical revival, and the world in bloom – with lots of florals all round. Pink remains a firm favourite for the season, in both its dusty and more vivid shades. We love working with organic, wild, delicate visuals that echo nature itself, as more of our couples and clients choose al fresco celebrations under the stars.

Photography by  Rupa Photography

Photography by Rupa Photography

Photography by  Fiona Kelly Photography

For example, our tulip themed suite, inspired by the film ‘Tulip Fever’, featured delft blue and white tulips, and was paired with Perspex décor and a canopy of crisp white tulips. With a crisp colour palette in centre stage, the effect was fresh, clean, and perfect for Spring.

Summer

Summer is a time for dancing in the streets, pool parties, outdoor festivals, fruity cocktails, and lots of sunshine. We love working with tropical vibes and bright colours, and patterns inspired by the rise in temperature. Shades of yellow, green, orange, and fuchsia are some of our favourites, often as watercolours or vibrant contrasts. Fresh fruit, beachy looks, and destination weddings become the words du jour, with more of our couples and clients taking their guests on fantastic experiences abroad. This is a perfect time of year for including playful descriptions of the dress code, like ‘beach chic’, ‘summer chic’, ‘summertime soirée’.

For example, our ‘Trio of Life’ suite features a palette of ochre, hot pink, and turquoise, one for each of our three animals – the parrot, the elephant and the fish, often found in Indian wedding stationery. For this suite we created complementary save the dates, invites, menus, table numbers, coasters, advice for the newly-weds cards, thank you cards, and favour tags.

Ananya_pink parrot wedding invitation.jpg
Tropical

Autumn

The leaves change, and colour palettes get darker and moodier in the beautiful season of Autumn. With Halloween and Thanksgiving, and the lead up to Christmas, this festive season is all about family, friends, and fun in the crisper, cooler air. Earthier, dustier colours like golden beige, caramel, rich maple, copper, auburn, amber, chestnut brown, and shades of green and turquoise take over our design studio – and we love it! Visuals like falling leaves, pumpkins, terracotta, and rustic woodlands are favourites for this time of year, with our clients embracing all things cosy. As this season is all about the trees and changing leaves, why not replace paper with some natural props, like creating place cards out of pine cones or leaves with some beautiful calligraphy? If your venue has an outdoor section, or you plan to serve your guests some drinks or canapés outside, think about giving them a heads up to bring a shawl or coverup against the chilly wind – or, even better, why not provide them with some beautiful embroidered blankets or white pashminas?

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 For example, for our Autumn Wreath suite we chose to print directly onto kraft paper to give it a rustic, earthy look perfect for the colder seasons. For the floral wreath illustration, we used muted burgundy, dark green, and navy, all natural colours inspired by the leaves of Autumn.

Winter

Winter is a time for resolutions and new starts – a time for hot coffee, winter jackets, wool socks, and spicy peppers. Winter celebrations will often use monochrome palettes paired alongside striking metallics, with imagery of snowflakes and snow, fairy lights, pine cones, shimmering branches, berries, and leafless trees. Hand-finished touches like wax seals, crystals, and metallic foil are perfect for this time of year, as the glitz and glamour of Christmas and New Year’s parties spreads the festive cheer. We also love how wintery colours like shades of black, rich burgundies, midnight blues, and sultry indigos start making an appearance, and how liberally sequins and sparkles embellish the season. We also have lots of clients escaping the cold for some winter warmth, lighting up their guests’ mailboxes with bright, sunny palettes inviting them to a holiday in the sun!

Winter_Wedding Invitation1.jpg

For our Snowflake suites, we used a winter wonderland inspired design with silver or gold metallic foil twinkling on backdrops of midnight blue or deep black, perfect for those darkening evenings.

Do you have a favourite time of year for your special celebration? Please share with us how you incorporate elements of the season into the celebration.

Launching the latest addition to our wedding range: The Mandala Love Collection

Ananya's alluring Mandala Love range featuring an eye-catching combination of intricate detail and rich, vibrant colours creates spectacular stationery to wow your wedding guests.

blue and gold mandala inspired wedding stationery

The word mandala literally means circle in the ancient Indian scripture, Sanskrit. It is a symbol of the universe derived from ancient Hindu and Buddhist culture. Mandalas represent harmony, peace and union, which is why they are perfectly suited to weddings - a joyful occasion when the ultimate union is formed.

The mandala pattern can be found in the natural world around us ­– in snowflakes, dandelions and sunflowers, spiders’ webs and the solar system itself; incorporating this iconic motif into your wedding day stationery, is a way of connecting with nature. The mandala motif is also found in Western architecture – most predominantly in stained glass windows.

The Mandala Love collection is at the forefront with the growing design trend for statement, geometric patterns. It bridges the gap between the old and the new, thereby appealing to both traditional and modern weddings. Whether you are a multicultural couple with a love for Asian design or you simply want a wedding invite that exudes charisma, the Mandala Love collection is the one for you.

pink gold lime mandala inspired wedding stationery suite

The stunning design in blue is hand printed using a silk screen, which is a process of great technical precision. Ananya’s skilled craftsmen print each emblem four times, layering the colours as they go. The mandalas must be perfectly aligned to prevent any overlap or gaps and keep a clean, crisp edge. By using silk screen printing, the Ananya team can ensure the work they produce is of optimum vibrancy – creating incredible stationery with prints that pop from the paper. The bold colours not only provide the promise of summer, but also the promise of a fun-filled, lively wedding day.

mint green save the date mandala inspired wedding stationery

Have you noticed any mandala patterns in nature? Which design from the collection is your favourite?