Well-known designers from Mumbai Neeta Lulla and Narendra Kumar and New Delhi-based Gaurav Gupta will showcase their latest couture collections at The Hindu Bridal Mantra 2013 on August 30. At a fashion show that will launch the third edition of the annual wedding shopping extravaganza at The Leela Palace, the designers will display collections that will bring to the fore their distinct sensibilities and reflect emerging trends in bridal fashion.

From shimmering Kancheepuram silks that speak the language of tradition and delicate new-age fabrics to the multi-yard mystique of the sari and silhouettes that are experimental, the ramp event will display a range of textiles and styles. Here’s a sneak peek at the designers’ work…

Music, the muse

Narendra Kumar has been designing for the swish set of Mumbai for over two decades. For Bridal Mantra, he brings a collection that’s rooted in classical ballet traditions. “As far as the aesthetic goes, it’s romantic and youthful with a modern twist,” says the designer, who was inspired by the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff while putting together the collection. “What I’ve created are modern heirloom pieces in fabrics such as silks, velvets, georgettes, soft satins and rich organza.” Voluminous lehengas, embellished saris, tailored jackets, elegant kurtas, and opulent ball gowns make up the collection. The colour schemes are interesting and the couture detailing sets the collection apart. Appliqué-embroidery, quilting, colour-blocking, layering and panelling add value to the collection. “Having witnessed brides struggle with the restrictions of choosing from standard heavily embroidered wedding ensembles, I believe this collection will provide a fresh and new creative option. The Narendra Kumar bride is a globe-trotting woman who exudes confidence. She has an individualistic sense of style and understands couture quality. She values tradition, yet seeks to be modern. She wants to have fun and dance at her wedding!”

Tradition redefined

For Neeta Lulla, trousseau is about tradition. The celebrity designer uses traditional weaves such as Kancheepuram and uses Kalamkari to perk up her line for Bridal Mantra. “It’s my way of paying tribute to the rich textile crafts of the South,” says the designer. The line is about drape. So the fabrics used are soft and appealing. Both Kancheepuram weaves and Kalamkari craft forms offer tremendous opportunities to designers to experiment and reinvent. By mixing these crafts and textiles with contemporary fabrics, Lulla makes them more appealing to today’s bride who is keen on lightweight, fuss-free silhouettes for the many functions that come with weddings. The casual silhouettes and wispy saris come in a palette that ranges from hot pinks to deep blues.

Let there be light

This season Gaurav Gupta embarks on a creative journey inspired by light. “When light travels, life unravels,” says the designer who gets philosophical and poetic about light in this collection of contemporary red-carpet-worthy gowns and his own spin on saris and lehengas. “Light on the fabric, beneath it… luminescence interests me and it is at the core of this line.” The palette spans from grey and ecru to gold dust and pop tones. Since it’s a line based on light, the creations are iridescent. As for the workmanship, Gupta has used multi-dimensional surface ornamentation with organza and lace flowers and fabric-like lace, jersey, georgette and soft mesh. Another highlight is the juxtaposition of antique embroidery techniques with pitta, nakshee, zari etc.

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