The New Age Indian Bride When it comes to the selection of bridalwear for soon-to-be Indian brides, times have changed, according to Radhika Dhawan. No longer is the bride's entourage - traditionally comprised of her mother, aunts and siblings - holding sway over purchase decisions. Instead, brides themselves are being more proactive in their shopping choices. Designers are reacting to this trend in a number of ways.
Modern Styles Most importantly, as one might expect, styles are moving away from the traditional embroidered lehenga to something far more contemporary. According to Nikhil Mehra, 'Brides come to us because of our simple and elegant look. They fall in love with the silhouettes and avant garde pieces. They appreciate our concepts, not the amount of embroidery. Indian techniques are employed but they do not overwhelm the outfit.'
Weddings Abroad Also of note is the surge of destination weddings at the moment. This too is influencing modern wedding style. According to Rixi Bhatia, partner at Attic, 'Brides don’t want to be traditional at a destination wedding. If they have a ceremony on the beach, a lot of them ask for maybe a white or colour-blocked maxi gown that they team up with a simple polka necklace or statement jewellery.'
Of course, not only are Indian weddings happening abroad, but styles from abroad are being imported into Indian weddings on the subcontinent. Gaurav Gupta - a famous Indian designer whose creations are modern artistic twists on traditional bridalwear achieved through silhouettes, colours and fabrics - describes the latest bridal fashions as 'global couture with an Indian twist.'
Practical Couture The cost associated with an Indian wedding is more often than not astronomical. Brides' families often save up for the occasion from their child's birth or even before. The fact is that the outfits worn by brides for their wedding days will likely never leave the wardrobe afterwards. The result is that brides are being more creative to save on cost.
Where traditionally, a bride might wear multiple pieces of jewellery, often consisting of large stones, today brides are opting for fewer pieces of jewellery but of a higher quality. As Rohan Begani of Begani Jewels explains, 'modern brides prefer higher quality white diamonds as they go with everything. Some also pick sets which have coloured stones, mostly rubies and emeralds because these stones are classic.'
To sum up, Manish Arora - a leading Indian designer - comments that 'brides want to be themselves on their big day. So they choose to wear something that defines them.' Brides are breaking away more and more from tradition and becoming modern, independent women in control.