Model and actress Danielle Bux embraces her Indian roots in an exclusive photoshoot for Asiana Wedding Magazine
At some point in everyone’s life you start thinking about your past. Identity is such a personal thing and for me, now my daughter is growing up I feel that I have a responsibility to re-connect with my roots.’ Danielle Bux is no ordinary celebrity. The wife of ex-footballer turned sports commentator Gary Lineker, is a successful actress, ambassador for a wildlife charity, mother to daughter Ella and step-mother to Gary’s four sons. In amongst her hectic schedule of family, star-studded engagements and preparing for her first major movie release (Kicking Off releasing this year), Danielle is learning more about her past, and the history that shaped who she is.
Danielle’s grandfather was born in Bengal and he served as an officer for the Indian army during which time he was ship-wrecked and imprisoned in Japan for five years. After the war he got a job as a merchant sailor and ended up in Wales where he met Danielle’s grandmother. She admits: ‘He couldn’t speak a word of English but they fell in love and that’s how my Indo-Welsh roots were born.’
Jewellery: BIBI London Bindi: RP Diva
Although her grandfather passed away a year before she was born, Danielle became educated in Indian culture through her grandmother who she would sit and watch classic movies with. Her grandmother also continued the tradition of cooking Indian food so spices were always on the menu while Danielle was growing up, like they still are today. She confesses: ‘Gary was brought up in Leicester so he loves Indian food! My favourite dish is bhuna – one of my best friends is a professional Indian cook and she’s always giving me recipes and spices to try out!’
Gary and Danielle wed in 2009, at an intimate and romantic gathering in Italy. Reminiscing about the day, Danielle admits, it was everything she wanted her dream day to be. ‘My mum is Italian and we also got engaged in Italy. We kept our wedding small and low-key, just 70 guests sat around a huge long table. I wore two dresses designed by Suzanne Neville, a classic Italian lace dress and a traditional bridal gown.’
Cuff/jummer: BIBI London Choker: Lotus London Earrings/nose ring: Juzba
While Danielle embraces the sophistication of her Italian side, it’s her Indian heritage that has captured her imagination in recent months, having just returned from a visit to Pench National Park with wildlife charity Born Free Foundation where she is an ambassador. The role has given her the opportunity to spend time in India, allowing her to experience life in her ancestral home; something she has appreciated every minute of. ‘As soon as you land in India you are happy. The people are incredible: the warmest, friendliest people I’ve ever met anywhere in the world. In India all my senses were awakened; from the smell, to the taste, to the sound: its just one of those special places.’
Passionate to go back and explore more about the country, Danielle is now keen to see whether her acting career, which is already taking off in the UK, could inspire her next visit there. She’s even got her eye on potential Bollywood co-stars. ‘I would like to work with Amitabh Bachchan, he is an international legend but also icons like Salman Khan. I’m also really inspired by British actresses who have gone to India and proved themselves like Katrina Kaif and Amy Jackson. Like them I would learn the language and adapt; it’s such an exciting industry, I would love to be part of it, and now I’ve had a taste of the gorgeous beauty and glamorous outfits thanks to my Asiana makeover, I can happily confirm, I could get used to dressing like this for a movie set everyday!’
‘When Danielle told me about her extraordinary links to South Asia and her desire for it to become part of her life, I immediately wanted to dress her in the most beautiful clothing I could design that would suit her amazing personality. We decided on two very different looks so she could enjoy two different aspects of our culture – the modesty of a traditional bride and the glamour of a Bollywood icon. Red and gold are timeless colours and also suit Danielle’s timeless ‘English Rose’ beauty with its unique Eastern and Italian twists!’
Rashid Malik, RDC London, Designer
‘Danielle has a very warm personality which feeds through to her skin, giving it a natural healthy glow. This made applying the make-up so much more pleasurable. I began by using Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation; Danielle has very good skin and this foundation provides a very sheer coverage. I then applied Benefit Erase Paste concealer for a brightening effect under the eyes and further enhanced the dewy finish by using NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush. Danielle has got an olive complexion so I didn’t need to use any bronzing products. For her eyes I used various colours from the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette, to smoke them out then lined them using Estée Lauder gel eyeliner. The finishing touch was a pretty lipgloss.'
Annie Shah, Make-up Artist
‘It was such a genuine pleasure working with Danielle Bux, the wife of Gary Lineker on this glamorous Bollywood makeover. Danielle was able to embrace her Indian roots so naturally, she pulled off each look with ease and looked amazing, whether it was for the traditional Pakistani bridal theme or as the contemporary Bollywood siren. Danielle has fine hair but lots of it. I wanted to create a style that was full of body and movement so I applied a generous amount of Philip Kingsley Preen Cream, a blow drying lotion, then blow dried her locks with a medium round brush. This lifted the roots giving it body. The final touches were small heated rollers to add glamour and a spritz of L’Oreal Professionnel hair spray to make the sexy style last.’
Dar, Hair Stylist
‘I loved the transformation but also felt overwhelmed. It was really quite an emotional experience to look so traditional. My grandparents would have been proud of me embracing this part of my heritage, I certainly felt like an Indian princess. Dar gave me new ideas for my hair while Annie enhanced my natural Indian features to look like an authentic bride.The outfits by RDC London were equally as gorgeous as one another and are as fashionable as any of the dresses and gowns I normally wear for social functions. In fact I enjoyed my makeover so much, I’m thinking of taking it on as my next red carpet look!’
Danielle is Ambassador for charity Born Free Foundation and she recently visited India where she saw the vital conservation work they do to save tigers and had a chance to meet with the locals.
Outfits: RDC London
Make-up: Annie Shah
Styling: Anisha Vasani
Interview: Momtaz Begum-Hossain
Photography: Alan Strutt
This feature appears in the Spring 2015 issue of Asiana Wedding Magazine, on sale now. Buy a copy here.