Author: Divya N
The Indian Fashion market is booming with bridal fashion trends as brides choose to spend anywhere from Rs.35,000 upto 4 Lakhs for every single outfit for the weddings. Bridal fashion can be divided into three – Prewedding, Wedding and Post wedding where each segment has its own unique trends.
Typical pre-wedding silhouettes include flowing lehenghas in chiffon, georgette or net with zardosi or aari embroidery and stone or pearl work on the higher end and machine embroidery with kundan work on the lower end, cotton full circular ghaghras with gotta patti work and anarkali churidars with embroidery for the more casual look.
Pre-wedding occasions include rituals like Haldi, Nalungu, Mehendi, Sangeet, Engagement, Rokha and parties like Cocktails and Bachelorettes. The ensembles are more casual, relaxed, fusion oriented and more experimental. As the focus here is on (re)usuability after the wedding, the garments are more wearable.
Fusion silhouettes include lehenghas with long kurtas with slits or crop tops or embroidered waistcoats and anarkali dresses. These tops can also be paired with palazzo pants and dhotis pants for poolside Mehendi parties and Bachelorettes. Floor length dress, particularly ball gowns look stunning for engagement parties and evening sangeet performances.Though yellow saree is traditionally worn for haldi or pithi, modern brides are experimenting sarees and ghagras in colors like orange, pink, red, green and gold. Apart from these bright colors, pastels like light pink, teal, mint and beige are popular day wear options. Dark and deep jewel tones like maroon, navy, violet, rust, dark green, black, scarlet and wine are preferred for evening dos.
Current trend highlights:
- Cotton ghaghras with gota work,
- Floral lehengha with net dupatta
- Crop top with flowy skirts
- Leheriya dupattas
- Happy colors like orange, pink, bright green and red
- Mirror work or pearl embroidery
- Substitute vintage floral prints with Ombre dyed fabrics for a soft look.
- Use brocade fabric instead of embroidery or velvet with embroidered instead of brocade.
Fig 1: Flared floral ghagra in green, pink, with silver sequin, mirror and gota work on cotton or silk fabric. To be paired with a brocade fabric Blouse and chiffon or fine cotton leheriya Dupatta.
Colours - green, pink, and silver; Alternate colours – yellow and pink, pink and orange, turquoise and pink, yellow and green.
Fig 2: Panelled or pleated Lehengha in printed silk (or polyester satin) with vintage rose motifs with sequin fabric border and thread embroidery with pearl bead work. Blouse in sequined fabric with embroidered 3/4th chiffon sleeves. Net Dupatta with pearl work.
Colours - teal, pink, and peach; Alternate colours – beige pink and orange or red, orange and pink with green accents, white with honeysuckle (pinkish orange) or lavander.
As most South and central Indian brides wear Kanchivaram, Benares or Paithani saree on their wedding day, ghagras and lehengha are limited to the North Indian Brides.
Though Colors like red, maroon, scarlet and orange rule the roost, Rani pink and both light and dark blue, beige, and dull gold are emerging as major contenders. Use of two or more colors in an outfit (like orange and pink, green and red, blue and pink, orange and navy) is gaining popularity.
The silhouettes are tent like and stiff due to the heavy work on the borders and the ensembles are grand with brocade fabric or chiffon or georgette with heavy embroidery.
However with thematic and destination weddings on the rise, the colors and silhouettes are dictated by the theme, for instance floral embroidered lehengha for a spring wedding or kancheevarm silk ghagra for a mixed region culture wedding.
Post Wedding – Reception
Post wedding, as the mood turns lighter, the garments get trendier and more glamourous with a fusion of ideas. Unlike the Pre-wedding events, where the fashion trends are undeviating throughout India, reception fashion is different with dark colors like navy, dark green, wine and even black being chosen in the north while pastel pinks, oranges and chalky blues are preferred in the south.
In terms of silhouettes, the latest trends include Princess gowns and ball gowns (similar to the prewedding cocktail fashion), draped dupatta blouses or kurtas and crop tops with lehenghas. Jacket style tops, coats, blouses with sleeve variations are in. While plain silks and stiff brocades are favoured for the skirts, velvet and embroidered silks are the material of choice for the blouses or tops.
Fig 3: Gathered brocade Lehengha with thick gold border and both color accents to match the puff sleeve crop top cleeve blouse with aari embroidery and pearl work. The Net dupatta is stitched on the blouse making it a draped dupatta blouse.
Colours – navy blue, bronze and silver; Alternate colours – black or dark green with gold, rust and gold, navy and copper, off-white and gold.
Fig 4: Flouncy floor length dress (Disney Princess ball gown style) with embroidered textured velvet bodice for a Indo-Western look. The gown hem has confetti style pearl work (can be substituted with sequin work).
Colours - wine; Alternate colours – navy, purple, maroon, chocolate brown, beige, offwhite, peach.
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