This wedding season, throw out the image of the bride weighed down in a heavy red lehenga and the groom stuffed into an overly embellished sherwani. This wedding season is about keeping things classy, with a modern twist to traditional wedding wear, and showcasing your personal style. Take a look at the fashion runways and that is exactly the kind of collections you will find from India’s top designers.
“My recent wedding collection at India Couture Week showcases Indian craftsmanship combined with modern silhouettes for a stylish, young bridal entourage,” says designer to the stars, Manish Malhotra, who recently designed Anushka Sharma’s wedding look in Ae Dil He Mushkil. His collection is celebratory with statement pieces and handcrafted evening wear that scream glamour. These ensembles have something for every wedding-related festivity. “The collection includes jacket-saris, lehengas with sheer crop blouses, and draped dupattas on contemporary anarkalis, detailed long tunics worn over cigarette pants, and flowing backless gowns,” says Manish. Titled ‘The Persian Story’, the collection is inspired by Persian architecture and is filled with rich fabrics, intricate designs while keeping the cuts and fits very contemporary.
The modern Indian bride and groom know the look they want to portray at their wedding. They do their research and gravitate towards designers who share the same style sensibility. “The Manish Malhotra couple is fresh and modern, no doubt, but they also take pride in their heritage,” says Manish. So while the bride might pick a stunning backless gown for the Sangeet, the deep hues and the embroidery will be very Indian. Manish sees the fashion-forward groom wearing statement pieces in fresh colours highlighted with the right pieces of jewellery. He says, “textured velvet bandhgalas, structured squares, jewelled buttons and embroidered silk scarves are on trend for the groom.”
My recent wedding collection showcases Indian craftsmanship combined with modern silhouettes. The Manish Malhotra couple is fresh and modern, but they also take pride in their heritage.
Fusing Western silhouettes and cuts with Indian embroidery and detailing is what Tarun Tahiliani, the emperor of Indian wedding wear, is known for. He has dressed celebrities and Bollywood stars for their big day. His latest bridal couture collection, ‘The Last Dance of the Courtesan’, pays homage to the courtesans of yesteryear, who were known for their beauty and style as much as for their knowledge of poetry, music and dance. Swarovski crystals embellish the jacquards, while silks and crepes create romantic and opulent designs that manage to be functional at the same time. “With the use of modern techniques and fabrics like sheer silks, reshams and tulle, the ensembles become lighter and provide ease of movement,” says Tarun. “The outfits combine Western cuts, construct and finish but use Indian heritage and craftsmanship to create clothes that are reminiscent of the sophistication and charm of the courtesans.”
The use of gemstones like emeralds and rubies in contemporary diamond jewellry is in
Bridal couples nowadays have plenty of options, but it is important that they don’t just follow trends but pick designs that suit them. “Brides and grooms should only wear what they are confident of carrying off,” warns Tarun. “The styling shouldn’t be too overbearing, it should be personal.” The only thing that Tarun is particular about is a saree for the main event. “I’m still an advocate for sarees for the pheras, though now almost the entire country has switched to lehengas,” he says. “They probably find it easier to sit and stand up in a lehenga.” Today, most grooms take their dress and styling as seriously as the brides. “This year, grooms have moved towards a layered elegance of fine and textured embroidery layered over chikankari, structured, tailored kamarbandhs, and jewel-toned shawls, wraps and safas,” says Tarun. It is all about textures, draping and subtle jewels for the groom.
Brides and grooms should only wear what they are confident of carrying off. The styling shouldn’t be overbearing, it must be personal.
All the bridal fashion shows this season feature a fusion of masculine and feminine forms, such as cigarette pants and dhoti pants for women paired with capes and tunics—perfect for the new-age bride. These styles are seen in AP:PM’s new couture line titled ‘Zivar’. “The collection is inspired by the rich craft of Bidri,” says Priyanka Modi of AM:PM. “ We’ve created twenty unique pieces that consist of long jackets, capes, gowns, skirts, draped saris, dhotis, anarkalis and lehengas, and we have used luxurious fabrics like organza, velvet, silks and weaves laced with silver and gold threads.” The designs are ideal for brides who don’t want to conform to the norm but want to experiment. “It’s heartening to see couples breaking away from traditional silhouettes and heavy embellished pieces,” says Priyanka. Couples are showing their independence and style philosophy through their wedding wear choices.
With the marrying of Western and Eastern philosophies of design, Indian wedding wear cannot be classified one way or another and has become the perfect synthesis. This makes sense, considering the way Indian wedding celebrations have also changed. Destination weddings are regular, and cocktails and formal receptions part of the festivities. And these ensembles don’t look out of place in any of these functions or places.
The jewel box
Jewellery is integral to any bride’s wedding look. Many brides pick the jewellery first and then buy an outfit to match it. Today, rather than piling all the family jewellery on the bride, statement pieces are highlighted and layered with complementing pieces. “Apart from statement pieces, typically in diamonds, the trend of combining a choker with a layering of long necklaces, especially in gold and polki has also caught on,” says Rohan Narang of Hazoorilal Legacy.
It’s heartening to see couples breaking away from traditional silhouettes and heavy embellished pieces. Our Zivar couture line has 20 unique pieces—long jackets, capes, gowns, skirts, draped saris, dhotis, anarkalis and lehengas.
Another big trend is coloured gemstones. “The use of gemstones like emeralds and rubies in contemporary diamond jewellery has become very popular,” says Rohan. A ruby set is worn with a pista green benarasi sari, with the contrast highlighting the jewellery and the outfit. “Even though brides are picking up antique-finish gold pieces in a big way there is a massive demand for precious and eye-catching stone jewellery,” says Sanjay Jagwani, Director, Notandas Jewellers.
Of course, temple and antique jewellery never go out of style, but you will see these increasingly paired with more modern designs. And, in a twist, the traditional jewellery might be worn with the sangeet outfit rather than at the wedding—it is all about mixing things up without going over-the-top. “Mang tikkas, naaths and maatha pattis have become very popular,” says Rohan. However, the gem that Sanjay would like to see come back into style is the pearl. “Pearls are elegant and timeless but not as prominently used as other gems in weddings nowadays,” says Sanjay. “I’d like to see pearl-beaded jewellery back in vogue again.”
(Advertiser-Sponsored Feature: A Marketing Initiative)