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?

Autumn kraft wedding invitation_ananyacards.com.jpg

 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.

Ananya 2006 to 2016: Celebrating a decade of stylish stationery

Ananya is excited to be celebrating our tenth anniversary this year. Our award-winning stationery design business was established in 2006 by Vaishali Shah. The word Ananya comes from the ancient Indian language, Sanskrit, and means ‘without equal’ or ‘unparalleled’. It was the inspiration behind Vaishali’s vision to create stationery that was distinct, unique and a fusion of Asian and British styles that appeal to the modern British taste. The Ananya brand has always been synonymous with luxurious quality. 

Suite of wedding stationery

Suite of wedding stationery

Keeping up with the latest trends, over the 10 years we have designed a wide range of elegant greeting cards as well as bespoke wedding and event stationery. Ananya has gone from strength to strength innovating, researching authentic techniques and representing cultures in a way that is genuine and relevant to today’s world. Our cards are eco-friendly, with paper from sustainably managed forests.

During the 10 years Ananya has received praise not just from the couples we have designed wedding stationery for, but also from wedding planners, and have been published in leading wedding media in the UK and further afield, including Brides, Hello, Wedding, Perfect Wedding, Wedding Ideas, Asiana Wedding, and Asian Bride.

Ananya has been the recipient of various awards, including Best Invitation UK, and Best Invitation Worldwide in the Wedding Industry Experts Awards.

Vaishali is considered an expert in the industry, having truly established Ananya’s credibility, and has been asked to contribute in two books. In the recently published book Planning the Perfect Asian Wedding (by Venture Publishing International), Vaishali has contributed designs and advice in an entire chapter where she answers a range of questions related to weddings that couples may not readily find answers to. The book Celebration Graphics Sourcebook (published by RotoVision) features a selection of Ananya’s wedding stationery and greeting cards.

Retailers who have stocked Ananya stationery have included Harrods, Cards Galore, Paperchase, The Jewish Museum, Waterstones and the Museum of Islamic Art. Clients have included Michelin star chef Atul Kochhar of restaurant Benares in Mayfair.

Logo celebrating 10 years of stylish stationery

Logo celebrating 10 years of stylish stationery

Having reached this important milestone, we commissioned our sister design agency Creative ID to design a logo to reflect our ten successful years in the luxury stationery business. The new logo retains the lotus flower; its petals are now in a single burgundy colour, outlined in white, giving it a fresh and crisp look. The one colour logo is more contemporary and allows for brand evolution. In the centre of the flower, the number 10 stands proudly as a reminder of our achievements.

 

 

 

 

Seasonal Stationery

At Ananya, we think any time of year can be wedding season. That’s why we design stationery to fit the mood, colours and themes of all four seasons. Once you set a date, let the season be the inspiration for your wedding preparations. Remember, your stationery is the first glimpse your guests will have of your wedding. Therefore, make sure to decide on your seasonal theme early and continue the designs throughout all the other aspects of your big day.

Spring Forward

Spring is a great time of year to get married. New flowers are blooming, the sun is shining again and everyone is in better spirits after the long, wet winter. Just have back-up plans at the ready for unpredictable weather and outside ceremonies! We think spring can be full of inspiration for the colour and designs of your wedding stationery. Light and cheerful colours taken from nature such as pink, yellow and peach would work well for your stationery. Designs incorporating flowers or butterflies will also set the tone for a bright and joyous celebration. We’ve infused  these spring elements into our Floral Fantasy and Butterfly Beauty designs.

floral fancy_wedding invitation4_from -ú4_ananyacards.com
butterfly beauty_wedding invitation3_from -ú4_ananyacards.com

Summer Lovin’

Summer is arguably the most popular time of year to get hitched. The warm weather and relaxed atmosphere makes it the perfect time to celebrate with family and friends. Whether you are having a formal affair or a small gathering in your garden, the summer theme can be incorporated into your stationery in many different ways. Floral prints such as daisies and dandelions will be a hit with garden celebrations. Choose summertime colours such as a bold pink, sky blue, sunny yellow or grassy green. Lace is always a popular design that works well for both formal and casual settings as it can be dressed-up or down based on the colour you use. We’ve used different summer characteristics to create our Summer Meadow and Lace Love designs.

Summer Meadow_invitation4_from -ú3.50_ananyacards.com
Lace Love

Autumn Appeal

Autumn can also be a wonderful time of year for a season-inspired wedding. The weather is cooling down, the leaves are changing colours and everything feels fresh and new. Natural and rustic designs such as trees and leaves would help to set the theme in your stationery. Choose cosy and comforting colours such as burnt oranges, warm reds, light browns and caramels. Halloween is becoming increasingly more popular as an autumn wedding theme. Fun couples throwing a monster mash of a wedding can incorporate haunting designs of eerie animals into their spooky stationery. Your favourite vampires, ghosts and zombies will love receiving your bewitching invitation! We’ve incorporated these elements into our Autumn Allure and Halloween Harmony designs.

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Halloween Harmony_wedding invitation2_from £4_ananyacards.com

Winter Wonderland

Last, but certainly not least, winter is a magical time of year for a wedding. There’s a chill in the air, but with a sense of excitement and holiday cheer. Some brides dream of snow for a truly white wedding, while others will have the space heaters blazing in their white tents. Either way, snowflakes make the perfect design for your stationery. No two snowflakes are alike just as no two weddings are the same. Christmas and New Year celebrations can also inspire your theme. Choose traditional reds and greens for cheery Christmas celebrations or black and white combinations for fancy, formal New Year affairs. We’ve created our Winter Wedding and Gatsby Glamour designs to suit either occasion.

winter wedding_green and red_from -ú4_ananyacards.com
Gatsby1a

As you can see, it’s easy to incorporate seasonal designs, colours and themes into your stationery and throughout your wedding. No matter what time of year you choose to get married, remember to have fun with your stationery and make sure it truly represents you and your partner as a couple. Your stationery might suit the whole season, but you only get one big day!