The Aamby Valley India Bridal Week 2012 in Mumbai showcased the union of time honoured Indian traditions with an elegant air of modernity. After all, nothing defines couture better than wedding attire in India. We spell out our favourite four designers from the show!
By: Karishma Suri
Posted on: October 13, 2012
Weddings are magical – the outfits, the magnanimous paraphernalia, the entire kin’s joy as you pledge to cherish the love of your life always. Getting married can be a daunting prospect, and more so for the bride! You have the feeling that everybody is watching you, you are the centre of attention, and well, it's a feeling with substance because you are!
But the stress of finding the right outfit always leaves you exhausted, changing the pleasure of shopping for the big day into a task. To make it simpler, we give you four (yes, only four) must-visit designers, who wowed us, and will appeal to you too, as you coordinate the perfect look to take your vows! The third edition of Aamby Valley India Bridal Week 2012 dazzled and lay down the rules for brides-to-be for the next 12 months. The innovative U-shaped 70 ft ramp was used to every designer’s advantage (and fantasy) ranging from a virtual Garden of Eden, to a live opera and Hindustani singer, or even a ‘romantic renaissance’.
Meera and Muzaffar Ali
The Kotwara label by Meera and Muzaffar Ali presented one of the most stunning bridal collections at Aamby Valley India Bridal Fashion Week 2012. Called ‘Jamazeb’, the pair brought in all the glitz, glamour, craft and culture into their beautiful creations. Staying true to traditional heritage, the duo added innovations to the fabulous embroidery from Awadh and experimented with chikankari by adding some techniques like zardozi, aari, appliqués and kamdani. To everyone’s joy, especially the brides, their choice of fabrics was as rich as the embroideries with velvets and nets blended beautifully to create lacy textures.
Brides to be, watch out for the brocades and sheer chiffons along with georgettes and appliqués, which were replete with minute detailing. What caught our eye? The all-black long net kurtas with gorgeous velvet cutwork bodice and a velvet edged net kurta with sheer sleeves that glittered with beadwork. If experimenting is your style, check out their cutwork jackets over a georgette sari, a shimmering silver embroidered long sleeve sheer coat over a sari, and a diaphanous shaded black and white gown with a net cover and a corset bodice. Adding a western touch, they also have velvet embellished kurtas with slim skirts or the sexy glittering mini with embroidered long sleeve mini coats. As for colours, the duo did not fall short as they played with reds, yellows, oranges and rusts for shaded, ankle length, net halter kurtas, georgette saris with gold embroidery while gold corsets were part of a flowing panelled creation worn with loose gold ijars.
Sadly, their menswear is restrained with just quilted jackets, waistcoats, bundies, five button mandarin collar coats or velvet quilted sherwanis in masculine tones. Secretly wishing they had more for the men, the men’s collection leaves you wanting for more. But for traditional bridal wear that speaks a beautiful language of craft and style, the collection offers the perfect choices.
Falguni & Shane Peacock
Combining the beauty of the past with a contemporary look and moving into fast forward fashion, Falguni and Shane Peacock’s collection, called ‘The Peacock Bride in Paris’, was a line of glamourous bridal creations. From dramatic drapes to sleek silhouettes and innovative embellishments, the look was pure fascination all the way. When it comes to making a strong entry, this duo sure knows the rule book from cover to cover. Brides-to-be can watch out for the bold styling, mélange of diamonds, crystals and feathers along with colours like red, green, pistachio, nude, gold and ivory.
The fabrics are a collection of net, chiffon, georgette, satin, rich velvet, delicate lace and gold sheeting that are moulded to give perfect western silhouettes with fabulous embroidery. From evening and bridal gowns, full ghagras, anarkalis, farshi pajamas and graceful kalidaar saris, the brand attempted to showcase myriad options for brides-to-be. Hard to miss were the floral motifs on bordered peach saris and tantalizing tassels on corsets. Rouching, ruffles, patchwork and pleating gave the collection a wonderful feminine and ultra-glam feel.
The models stood out with their ‘peacock’ make up and dramatic eyes that made heads turn. Opulence was the buzz word for the creations, which Falguni and Shane Peacock presented with great drama and stylish elegance.
When it comes to a perfect amalgamation of trends, traditions, textiles and styles, Ashima-Leena are one of the top brands. Their collection sparkled on the catwalk with pure luxury as the creations had that exquisite stroke of skill and style. With hand-crafted delicate workmanship inspired by the country's rich culture, the pair adds subtle, elegant touches to eye-catching creations. Calling their collection ‘Raag Rattan’ the designers had invited popular Sufi singer, Zila Khan, whose voice enchanted the audience.
Brides-to-be will love this collection which is a perfect balance of colours and textures. Always a safe bet, lovers of white can choose from their brocade and net lehengas with intricate pearl embroidery or the lamé blouses with body jewellery for the bare backs or even the cutaway halter cholis. Need good options for lighter functions? The collection houses a net sari with a crystal encrusted blouse and even an asymmetric bias cut kurta with gold appliqué and net palazzos.
A hit for any occasion, the gentle pinks with 3D silver and sequin embroidery for a mix of net and silk sari, the designers even added peach brocade for a long panelled skirt with a midi kurta which looked impressive. The silk multi-layered kurtis, the saris in net with brocade borders and the bare shouldered blouses matched with swirling net and short, silk full-circle skirts were magical. A wonderful option for the wedding, check out their silver and shocking pink zardosi cutwork lehenga and corset with net dupatta. We assume your wedding outfit hunt will end here. For bridal wear that will be the talk of the town for days to come, Ashima-Leena's collection had all the magnificent touches for that Big Day.
Shantanu & Nikhil
Bringing together the rich touches of vintage inspirations with contemporary ethnic sensibilities, the bridal collection by Shantanu and Nikhil was a feast for the eyes. They showcased refined luxurious fashion as monochromatic tones spoke a creative bridal language. From pristine whites to rich gorgeous heritage colours, the designers played with fabrics and textures and added intricate embellishments to produce a fabulous line.
Bridegrooms can clap in glee as their menswear creations have a variety of options. Consider the deep blue kurta jacket, brocade Jodhpuri coat, purple high neck velvet jacket with tiny green embroidery, wine/gold sherwani and a printed orange/black velvet jacket. For the slightly more experimental, the trousers are kept fitted in vibrant tones of red, orange, green, blue or rust. Printed silk scarves added a touch of stylish adventure to men’s creations.
The ethnic bridal wear for women included a glittering array of lehengas, cholis and dupattas in tulle, French Chantilly lace, silk, satin and brocade. Bias cut panelled lehengas swirled down the ramp in jewel tones of red, wine, gold, bright green, electric blue, pink, fuchsia, white, nude or peach. Most definitely striking was a dull green/wine gypsy style embroidered lehenga with a lace blouse. If the nine yards is your style, the duo’s saris were in lace, satin, net, shimmering with beaten gold embellishments or had a blend of satin and net for an innovative touch. For truly glamorous creations that have superb fusion lines, the ‘Romantic Renaissance’ collection, as it is called, was a breathtaking offering of vintage fashion with contemporary touches and was truly a joy to behold on the catwalk.
This bridal season seems to be dominated by creative fashion duos. A small attempt at simplifying the tedious chore of wedding trousseau and function shopping, Aamby Valley India Bridal Fashion Week 2012 served as a platform in at least giving brides and bridegrooms the guidance that can help in the cluttered maze of wedding wear today!