Most brides would admit that between choosing a wedding lehenga and one for the mehendi, it’s the latter they have a tougher time with. Many ideas drive a wedding lehenga – the colour, cut, jewellery and matching it with the groom’s ensemble – and the specific criteria make the process easier. However, a mehendi lehenga is one that most brides experiment with – there are off-shoulder blouses, brighter colours and flattering new silhouettes for every body type. There’s another reason – one can choose from new-age designers who are pushing the limits of traditional ethnicwear. Whether you’re a bride, the sister, the best friend, or just a guest, here are five designers and labels that will make sure you stay on the right side of style.
Mishra’s eponymous label concentrates on mirror-work. Pair that with unique colours and interesting silhouettes, and the designs are nothing short of enchanting. His strength is pastel colours flowing in raw silk, and dark, bold colours across anarkalis and saris. Bridal lehengas feature intricate mirror-work combined with gota, and there are unique motifs that add a contemporary twist. His current Winter-Festive and Bridal collection, ‘Untold Story’, blends four themes – the Festive Mehendi, the Romantic Cocktail, the Spectacular Wedding and the Glorious Reception – in one go.
Lighter-than-air fabrics featuring exquisite designs – this in a nutshell is Mishru’s aesthetic. Founded by Swapna Anumolu, this label beautifully balances traditional design with modern ideas – that’s why it’s aptly called Mishru, which translates into ‘a mix or fusion of elements’. The palette is made up of muted colours that give that feeling of minimalist luxury. This season, disco is the big inspiration – think the high-shine 1970s and wearing individuality on your sleeve.
Florals in contemporary silhouettes; an anarkali with a twist; palazzos with a jacket – that’s the kind of style we find at Arpita Mehta. The label is all about minimalism in outfits that are the perfect mix of ethnic and contemporary designs, and flatter all body types. Mehta, of course, has a signature aesthetic too – look for her hand-embroidered mirror-work ensembles in eclectic colours.
Indian craftsmanship meets heritage weaves and Indian textiles at Sue Mue, where the focus is on the fabric and embroideries. There is silk threadwork, floral motifs, sequinned saris and even, harem pants; fabrics range from tussar, georgette and raw silk to sheer organza, slub cotton and mulmul. In her latest collection ‘Aafreen’, designer Mahima Gujral has taken inspiration from Persia. The result: Farsi ghazals are intricately worked into grand embroideries on traditional silhouettes.
This label is already a big hit with modern brides. Designer-duo Kavita and Priyanka Jain are known to balance heavy embroideries with softer, lighter fabrics, in colours that range from soft teals and dusty pinks to calm mints and bright yellows. On offer are, of course lehengas, alongside dhoti pants, palazzos, peplum anarkalis and Indo-western outfits are perfect for destination wedding festivities (the silhouettes are travel-friendly, light and fuss-free).
All images: Courtesy brands