As the dust settles from the pandemic, it is time to acknowledge that we are no longer the same as before. Priorities have changed, mindsets have shifted and there’s an added sense of consciousness in all aspects of life. Unsurprisingly, the spectacle of the big fat Indian wedding hasn’t been immune either. With mindfulness seeping into the approach, what does the revised landscape of bridalwear look like in India? We asked the leading designers of the country, and here’s what we learned:
The Ultimate Guide for Bridalwear in 2022
“Brides have become more conscious of the quality of their wedding ensemble—they would rather spend on one beautiful stunning piece than three average ones,” muses designer Arpita Mehta. The mindful approach to luxury is being echoed by other designers as well. Monica Shah of JADE by Monica and Karishma says, “Brides have now become much more mindful about what they want out of their bridal ensembles. Brides of today seek mindful luxury, something modern yet rooted in heritage, so they can start and carry forward their own unique traditions. It’s no longer about what’s trending, but more about what represents the bride’s personality and her story.”
So, what is the modern-day bride asking of her wedding wardrobe? Here are the trends that will shape bridalwear for the year:
Ivory Over Reds
Mehta says, “We have seen a big shift in brides choosing ivory over reds. While red is a beautiful colour, it’s also very bold and something it could also be overwhelming. On the other hand, ivory can be glamourous, heavily embroidered and yet look elegant and understated. For a contemporary bride, ivory is the ideal bridal lehenga.”
Designer Punit Balana seconds the sentiment, and shares, “Ivory is a neutral and versatile colour. You can style the outfit again in the future in so many ways—you can either wear it solo, pair it with a solid hue in the dupatta or a well-tailored jacket or add a pop of colour with accessories.”
From Priyanka Chopra Jonas choosing to have a few meaningful words embroidered on her wedding gown to Alia Bhatt adding in the date of her wedding on the dupatta, personalised details are increasingly finding favour. Balana explains, “The modern bride of 2022 loves personalisation, and it goes beyond the colour and silhouette. Brides are now opting for personalised embroidery and adding a special touch to the most special outfit of their lives. From depicting their love story on the lehenga to adding special symbols, sayings and numbers to their dupattas or veils, brides are leaving no stone unturned to make the outfit unique and one-of-a-kind.”
While Mehta believes that the bridal lehenga should be chosen with the sole intention of looking your best on the wedding day, she affirms that there is scope for versatility when looking at the outfits for the rest of the wedding ceremonies. “There are endless ways of styling one look, whether in the form of a jacket over a sharara or a sari or lehengas and skirts being paired with on-trend crop tops,” she shares.
Modern brides are mindful of their culture and tradition but don’t mind going down the traditional route with a touch of their own modernity. “Many brides today re-imagine their ancestral wedding attires by giving them a modern upgrade. Modern brides also favour outfits in their wedding wardrobe that can be reworn or styled differently in the future to add to its longevity,” says Balana. As a consequence, repeat wearing, pre-loved fashion and upcycled elements are finding favour, such as Bhatt’s mehendi lehenga which was constructed with 180 textile patches by couturier Manish Malhotra.
After two years of sequestering indoors, the maximalist trend is here to stay, confirms Balana. “Everyone loves a little OTT touch which will let them have their own Met Gala moment. Whether it is an exaggerated tulle ballgown or a dramatic trail, a maximalist silhouette with rich fabrics exudes that highly-coveted ballgown effect,” he concludes.