Classy and contemporary couture, coupled with a fine lineage in fashion and you have someone who can work magic on the Indian bride. With a decade into her own label and a host of fashion degrees to her credit, designer Payal Singhal surely has the style power to transform the bride into no less than a sensuous, Indian diva. In conversation with BigIndianwedding.com, Singhal reveals the style and charisma of the new age bride that never fails to make a statement.
Your collections lean more towards contemporary designs, with mostly crystal and stone embellishments and also being light on embroidery and shades. What is the inspiration behind your new bridal collection for 2010?
The bridal genre under my label is more of cocktail, sangeet and reception wear, since as you said, the designs are contemporary, young, sassy with a Victorian inspiration. As a result, the garment comes out of production looking extremely glamorous, sexy yet wearable, which is in tune with our clientele. Considering this is a niche market, which prefers a fine blend of traditional and modern silhouettes, the colours are kept in accordance to their preference such as pastels with crystal and stone embroideries.
What do you feel is the USP of your garments?
I believe the USP of my garments is the cut and drape of the silhouette, which not only makes the outfit look sensuous but also a wearable and practical piece that fits well. We don't believe in garments that are straight off the runway and have no relevance to the wearer off it. Having said that, I feel the colours and combinations used are another element distinct to my design sensibilities. Moreover, our bridal wear portrays a look of the old world era, very classy and vintage, hence the use of pastel shades. They are introduced very subtly and deftly blended with crystal embroidery, which is our trademark; they are jewellery in itself.
What's your expert advice to brides preparing their look for the big day?
I agree that no matter how confident the bride is of herself and her looks, she is bound to be overwhelmed with a too many choices thrown her way. However, I urge them to not bring along references from random websites and magazines as these are often misleading and could turn out disastrous in real life. There are three main elements to a bridal outfit that must be adhered to; colour, silhouette, embroidery. Once they have got that right, the next step would be to try, try and try. Nothing can take away from trying the different options and seeing what works best for the person. I often advice my brides to come prepared when they step out for their bridal shopping as it is extremely time consuming and energy sapping. So they must tank up on their vitamin and energy pills and only then hit the trial room!
What changes or trends have you observed over the years in India, especially in wedding wear?
I started my label 10 years back and ever since I have observed a remarkable trend with outfits becoming more westernized. Indian clothes today are an extension of who we are, very much global in its approach. However, even while I started my label a decade ago, I was doing clothes for the young generation and now see a lot of them jumping onto the band wagon. There was this 'Pant & Scarf Revolution' that came in, in place of churidar kurtas, and that is something one can still wear with a long top or kurta. In fact, it is a staple now even though churidar kurtas have come back in fashion. Moreover, a lot of different styles of cuts and drapes have been introduced during this period that has just added to the glamour quotient in Indian wear, such as backless/sleeveless cholis, tube tops, fish-cut lehengas and so on.
What are the hottest trends and colours for this wedding season; could you elaborate for all functions; cocktails, mehendi/sangeet, wedding, reception?
I believe the bridal outfits should be very wearable, something that doesn't need to be and shouldn't be stowed away once the wedding is over. This mindset has translated into designers producing practical garments and brides demanding the same. So, the garish, over-the-top costumes are definitely out and have made way for simpler, classier silhouettes. Moreover, to design something so wearable for a wedding and yet that can be repeated is a challenging task and that's what we thrive on. Therefore, garments that can be worn in 2-3 different ways, so as to maximize its benefits are very popular this season. For instance, a combination of saris and light-weight lehengas that can be underneath them, are very inventive and sassy. As for colours, blush pink and maroon is fantastic for the wedding outfit. On the other hand, shades like turquoise, purple and dark coral would look classy for functions like sangeet and cocktails.
Shop Indian Designer Bridal Wear at Strand of Silk