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Thinking of the traditional bridal fashion vocabulary in India, lehengas imagery is the first that emerges. And it’s safe to say that over the years, ace couturiers have rolled out stunning renditions of the quintessential bridal finery. But often what goes ignored is the humble dupatta. Worn over one’s head like a veil, draped around your shoulders like a shawl, or even tied around one’s waist like a belt – a dupatta is more than just (sometimes unwelcomed) addition to look.

Adorned by brides all over India, it is goes by the names of chunni, odhani, and dushala, signifying each region’s cultural compliance to the practice of covering a bride’s head and shoulders.

However, the Gen-Z brides are now adding a twist to this age-old trousseau essential, and here is some more inspiration for dupatta draping styles.

Belt your veil

Image: Courtesy Tarun Tahiliani Instagram
Image: Courtesy Tarun Tahiliani Instagram

Want to loop in some tradition and keep it chic? How about wearing your dupatta like a veil and belting it. Needless to say, the market is full of exquisite options for a belt; studded with crystals, rhinestones, even leather might work. This beautiful tulle dupatta paired with a Tarun Tahiliani lehenga in raw silk is a winning look.

The classic single shoulder fall

Image: Courtesy Falguni and Shane Peacock Instagram
Image: Courtesy Falguni and Shane Peacock Instagram

Sometimes veering away from the drama is cool. The classic, one-shoulder fall, which allows your dupatta to graze on the floor is not a bad idea. Yami Gautam in this Falguni Shane Peacock ensemble is a vision.

The evergeen Mughal drape

Image: Courtesy Abhinav Mishra Instagram
Image: Courtesy Abhinav Mishra Instagram

We are very sure art enthusiasts might have come across, those old-school Mughal paintings. Inspired from the same is this drape that casually lets your dupatta be a veil too. We love the way it falls till the waist level and elevates the complete look.

Over the shoulders

Image: Courtesy Shyamal Bhumika Instagram
Image: Courtesy Shyamal Bhumika Instagram

When nothing works, go old school and opt for a sober look. Do not take it to be boring, opt for striking colours and simply wear that dupatta over your shoulders, and you are good to go. Inspiration courtesy, Shyamal Bhumika.

Waterfall drape

Image: Courtesy Jayanti Reddy Instagram
Image: Courtesy Jayanti Reddy Instagram

Looking for one of those statement-making dupatta draping styles? Let your dupatta do the talking. Just in case if you are opting for something simple and understated, go for a dramatic dupatta drape like this waterfall look. The scalloped borders and intricately done embroidery helps the dupatta standout.

Triangle drape 

Image: Courtesy Anushree Reddy Instagram

Just in case you are on a lookout for something truly unconventional and fun, this triangle drape might be your answer. However, one word of caution, this needs to be neat and precise, once achieved, you are good to go. Also, just in case you want to drape a dupatta that has exquisite artwork our embroidery over it, you can easily showcase it with the help of this drape.

Drape it like a shawl

Image: Courtesy Karan Torani Instagram
Image: Courtesy Karan Torani Instagram

We’d say this is more of a seasonal look. If you are a winter bride and want to opt for a heavy velvet dupatta, a clean drape around the shoulders won’t harm. How dramatic you want to keep it might depend on the length of it. We love this Karan Torani creation and the simplicity of the drape.

The two-shoulder fall

Image: Courtesy Anita Dongre Instagram
Image: Courtesy Anita Dongre Instagram

Sometimes classic looks work. We understand the old-school two-shoulder fall might conjure up a tad boring look, but once again it depends on the colour and the exquisite lehenga you are pairing it with. Anita Dongre surely knows how to create drama while staying simple, and this rani pink ensemble proves it.

Double dupatta

Image: Courtesy Rimple and Harpreet Instagram
Image: Courtesy Rimple and Harpreet Instagram

Why go for one, when you can opt for two. A light, dupatta for veil and a heavy traditional velvet dushala with intricate embroidery all over make for a perfect pairing. Just in case you are looking out for something decadent, this is the look to go for.

Pre-draped finery

Image: Courtesy Tarun Tahiliani Instagram
Image: Courtesy Tarun Tahiliani Instagram

Just in case you are a fan of Tarun Tahiliani’s concept saris, the idea of pre-draped might not be new for you. Now his pre-draped dupattas are all the rage. Neatly done with clean pleats, this tulle, see-through dupatta looks like a delicate yet necessary addition to the look.

Tie-it up

Image: Courtesy Ekaya
Image: Courtesy Ekaya

Remember those Burberry belted ponchos by Christopher Bailey, this drape exudes a similar sartorial vibe. Besides being dramatic and chic at the same time, we love how beautifully the dupattas falls after being cinched at the waist. Just in case you want to avoid the rope, you can opt for a beautiful fabric piece to belt it up. Out of all the dupatta draping styles, this one needs some courage.

Tuck one-end in

Image: Courtesy Manish Malhotra
Image: Courtesy Manish Malhotra

One of the most traditional, Bollywood-approved, festive look is a dupatta, tucked-in at one end, and falling over the other shoulder. Not to mention this look is perfect for a bridesmaid equally who wants to make a statement. Think of dupatta draping styles, and this one stands out as the most graceful one.

Staff writer