As the wedding season advances in India, we take a look at the three most gorgeous, and innovative, collections according to us this year
By: LF Correspondent
Posted on: September 15, 2015
Bridal fashion in India has always been vibrant. No where in the world bridal wear is more colourful, more rejoicing, and more dramatic.
While trends keep changing every year, we think 2015 has been particularly ground breaking when it comes to traditional wear for the wedding and festive season. And three designers, in particular, have won us over with their unique work.
The designer duo Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla made the Indian bride more modern, while Ritu Kumar gave a new interpretation to Benarasi weaves. And Tarun Tahiliani, on the other hand, presents a collection with which he aims to please the quick generation of today.
Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla
Opening this year's BMW India Bridal Fashion Week Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla paid homage to Varanasi, one of the oldest cities in the world. A city steeped in legend, mythology, culture and history, it is built on the banks of the river Ganga, and therefore, is a city with an exalted, awe-inspiring status. It is also the birthplace and home of ancient crafts of India. Whether it is the making of exquisite carpets or weaving of some of the most glamorous fashions on the ramp today, Varanasi is where heritage meets modern.
The duo’s collection too melded the old with contemporary, through a collection that will appeal to one and all. It is divided into five ranges. Vrindavan is essayed on georgette and khadi, using resham and zardozi, with its motifs including cows, palm trees, parrots, and flora fauna inspired by Krishna and his gopis.
The Ghats of Banaras is a range of bold, floral ghaghras, on khadi silks paired with banarasi dupattas. Each ghaghra is lavishly embroidered with gota, gold beads and sequins.
The Aisha collection in Banarasi net and organza introduces horse hair for the first time, accented with resham, bugle beads, crystals and sequins. The silhouettes include western inspired ensembles, going from beads and stone to pure silk thread and raffia.
India's national bloom, Lotus, has its own range, executed on khadi and banarasi net using faux leather and abla appliqué work. The Pashu (animal) range is an ode to Shiva, the Divine Protector of Animals. This is the main bridal range essayed in georgettes and nets, using deep jewel colours with brighter silk appliqués. With gold, silver, zardozi and vasli embroidery, each kali has a distinct Indian animal as a highlight, including an ornate elephant, horses, lions and parrots.
Fashionista Sonam Kapoor was the showstopper for the duo, and though she began the show with a black multi-panelled net flared gown detailed in three dimensional lotuses embellished with Swarovski crystals, metallic gold sequins and beads, it was her ending garment that made us fall in love with the designers’ contemporary interpretation of bridal wear! It was a ruby red 10 kali net ghagra embroidered with gold metallic beads and Swarovski crystals, teamed with a blouse to match, highlighted with three dimensional metallic gold beads, stylised with a simple dupatta edged with a gold koran lace border on the head.
The colour palette of the collection ranged from pristine whites that symbolise purity and renunciation to yellows, saffron and oranges and then onto a riot of hues ending with vermilion, India's signature bridal hue.
Pure lusciousness dripped from each garment as they glittered with meticulously placed elements and just enough embellishment to make them stunning!
Fashion designer Ritu Kumar presented ‘Varanasi Weaves’ at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2015. The collection was in continuation with her revivalist projects that centre around traditional crafts and textiles of India. And this one also gave homage to the holy city of Varanasi. It was brilliant!
Woven in four parts, the collection began with the gossamer White on White line, highlighted with gold, in sheer and opaque threads woven in the main fabric, requiring meticulous cut work by women of the region. The next part was of saris rewoven to make them soft as butter, clinging and more sensuous than what has come from the looms of Benaras after a long time.
The subtle gold and moga thread weaving makes the saris wearable and attractive for the young, thus, enticing the new generation to own one such sari as part of their wardrobe.
The last part of the show, was conceived and executed with weaves developed as part of the CSR programme by Ms Kumar’s team, to reintroduce Benaras weaves, helping produce highly glamorous looks.
Very smartly, Ms Kumar made the traditional sari a modern attire when the showstopper came out wearing the sari paired with golden pants and heels inside.
Models came out wearing lehengas that had seductive blouses, and kurtis, that though were made in Benarasi weaves, had a silhouette of a western top. The colour palette ranges from royal reds and pinks to exciting purples and subtle greens – all the shades that make up a wedding.
Creatively presenting Benarasi weaves, Ms Kumar gets applause for valuing India’s traditions, and repackaging them to suit today’s generation. At least, the crafts will continue…
Adding innovation to beauty, designer Tarun Tahiliani’s Couture and Bridal 2015 collection, ‘Our Eclectic New World,’ explores the possibility of a wearable lightness of being. How many of us have struggled with lehengas that are beautiful with miles and miles of precious work, and therefore, heavy to even stand up in? This collection, however, layers light-weight clothes that fit like a glove. Not compromising on regal volumes and designs, the clothes glide effortlessly still.
Taken over a year to conceptualise and create, this collection is influenced from the imperial splendour of ancient Indian artistry and the immediacy of today’s “Instagram-conscious, hashtag-obsessed generation” according to Mr Tahiliani.
He worked with a varied colour palette which includes gold, ivory, jade, red, cobalt, soft blush, powder blue and black. Many hours have been devoted to perfecting silk French knots, and jaali-work that push the warp and weft of every vein. Tiny pearls and minuscule Swarovski crystals in a plethora of colours have been soldered on to fabrics, making them dazzle with pure exquisiteness.
A coral and fuchsia lehenga with fine gota and zardozi embroidery, encrusted with Swarovski crystals, is teamed with a bodacious off-the shoulder shimmering blouse with an aari-worked multi-panelled veil. A delicate chiffon and organza in a resham embroidered tulle lehenga is paired with a silk corset with French knots.
Giving a high focus on the menswear range, Mr Tahiliani emphasises on sharp tailoring and strong silhouettes, making the menswear collection as innovative as the womenswear. A range of mens’ garments have been conceptualized by his studio and executed by Whitcomb & Shaftesbury, the Savile Row based bespoke tailors with whom the company ventured into collaboration in 2014. The grey mohair sleeveless sherwani with charmeuse satin pleated collar and silver buttons; the single button cotton velvet bundi; the classic mohair double layered bundi with satin printed lining are some examples of this unison of western tailoring and Indian draping. Charmingly pleated (and embroidered) cummerbunds are visible all through the collection.
Various versions of sherwanis were presented on stage – in chikan with resham embroidered buttas, in velvet with zardozi embroidered collars, in zardozi with pearl embroidered on kimkhab brocade, and in satin. The pre-draped Kanjeevaram dhotis stole quite a bit of attention. The shoes in Kanjeevaram, cotton brocade, zardozi and embroidered velvet reminded one of traditional Indian juttis and Turkish sabahs.