The wedding season looms ahead. So not surprisingly, brides and their families can be spotted at all the best wedding-wear showrooms, frenziedly sourcing the most unique lehengas for this once-in-a-lifetime milestone.
For those who are confused over what to buy, Vandy Mehra, director of bridal atelier WBJ (Women By Janak), helps you get familiar with the trending bridal styles and looks for the upcoming festive and wedding months.
The recent star weddings of Kiara Advani Malhotra, Alia Bhatt and Parineeti Chopra cued us into what was trending for beautiful brides. These celebrity brides sported no fuss make-up yet looked stunning simply because they let their outfits and jewellery make a statement without overpowering the bridal glow.
The hues of pink and ivory opted for by these actors were highlighted with intricate hand-detailed embroideries, and personalised by adding custom elements of kaleeras, veils and floral embellishments.
So, when it comes to looking and dressing at your beautiful best, it is all about adding your personal touch for your special day yet keeping the look grand and ethereal.
According to Vandy, brides are currently preferring lehengas over sarees. These opulent and often spectacular hand-worked creations are becoming a favourite staple for their wedding ceremonies as they give them the ease of movement and comfort in wearing while at the same time giving a more grandiose and regal appearance than sarees.
“The first element that every bride wants to lock in first [in a lehenga] is the colour palette. The bridal trend for this year is all about going pastel but with a generous amount of bling in tonal colours. Dark, non-bridal colours are a no-no especially among brides in the north. There is generous use of Swarovski, cut-glass, pearls and silk threads in the embroideries and they blend into the colour palette of the ensemble,” says Vandy.
However, traditional families often go for red or tones of red, the preferred colour for a bride over the ages, she says.
“There are the classic reds and tones of orange, fuchsia and pinks that can never go wrong and they are highlighted with traditional embroidery techniques like zardozi and hand embroideries,” adds Vandy.
“Again, the use of colour for embroideries is mostly tonal and it blends beautifully with the ensemble. One of the favourite colour tones this year is hues of pink, and Bollywood weddings are a huge inspiration there. Bright pinks to subtle tones of this beautiful colour can be seen in our collections. Colour block dupattas instead of monotones are rising rapidly on trend charts.”
When it comes to the overall appearance, the trend is for a luxurious and resplendent look, so the classic flared silhouette rules for the bridal lehenga.
But what is definitely new is the veil that adds an ethereal touch to the outfit. Customised veils or embroideries, like what we saw on Parineeti Chopra is a raging trend among brides.
For the mehendi ceremony, comfort is the key; so a delicate kameez tunic suit or a sharara ensemble works very well.
For the engagement or reception, shine, shimmer and sparkle are preferred, so a flared skirt or gown silhouette works most of the time.
Fabric for the brides
“Silk, net and organza are the favoured fabrics this year. One of the key trends is the use of chikankari or hand-crafted fabrics that form the soul of traditional craftsmanship finding its way into the bridal closet — both for the main wedding and other ceremonies,” she says.
Vandy adds that jewellery is demanding a lot of attention this season. Traditional designs of chokers, heavy neckpieces, chaandbaalis, nose rings and mattha-patti are becoming a must for a bride and jewellery choices are closely coordinated with the outfit for every occasion.
As a final tip, Vandy advises to keep the make-up simple and minimalist since the no make-up look is the trend.
The clean dew-eyed look is what brings a surreal look to the bride. Open hair vis-a-vis the low bun on the nape of the neck is a style that is definitely catching up.
Vandy’s bridal couture WBJ is an extension of the family’s luxury retail brand ‘Study By Janak’, which is a complete one-stop destination for weddings catering to the entire wedding wardrobe.
Vandy, who spearheads the women’s couture explains, “I have always had a tremendous feel for the pulse of the consumer. So I can always predict trends and take garments to the next level, thus making it easy for brides to make a selection. They, of course, want something that is unique and ahead of the fashion curve.”
Vandy also heads marketing initiatives of the brand and constantly works around turning consumer needs into reality. She has given a new dimension to bridal attire by offering couture ensembles at prices that are suited to a wide range of pockets.
Her keen interest and passion for fashion business paved her way to becoming an entrepreneur. Vandy credits her success to her husband, Manoj Mehra, who has not just been her soul-mate, but also a supporter and a mentor in the couture business.
The fashion forward couple has just launched the new avatar ‘WBJ for Study By Janak’, South Extension. With a legacy harking back to the 80s, the store has positioned itself as a bridge between premium & luxury segment.
The communication, merchandise as well as the service standards of the brand is at par with the global luxury brands. Everything that is being designed and manufactured by the brand is defined by innovation.
Vandy adds, “That way we can set the trend instead of following it.”