Bridal Asia 2009 came up with some interesting ideas for brides-to-be

After two evenings of ramp shows and three days of stall footfall, Bridal Asia ’09 wrapped up on Monday. While a few in-trends – like nude/beige, transparency, layering, lamé, animal prints and one-shouldered – were applied and experimented with by some, most played it safe.

Rina Dhaka, who opened the show on the opening day, put out a collection that primarily consisted of breezy chiffons that were worked upon. “My fabrics are light and comfortable. At the same time, I’d like to give them some tradition,” said the designer at the end of the show.

Colours ranged from fuchsia, turquoise and sorbet shades to usual suspect red. Wool-embroidered blouses stood out against floaty georgettes. Gaurav Gupta, the Central Saint Martins graduate, continued his affection for the multi-layered with a line that chiefly consisted of flouncy, sundae-esque skirts.

Self-embroidered silk combined with gauze, silk brasso saris with silver embroidery, red skirts with sequinned peacock motifs and chiffon blouses with twisted straps featured prominently. Said Gupta, “I’ve used a lot of new embroidery, lamé, lace and real 3-D metal flowers. All embroidery is developed in-house. From the outside they might just look like a lot of layers, but a lot of work has gone in underneath.”

Study in contrast

Corset tops found good use in Falguni and Shane Peacock’s line, paired alternatively with heavy lehengas and chiffon saris. The corset blouse in Union Jack colours combined with a grey chiffon sari with floral motifs made an interesting study in contrast. Animal prints, Peacock’s signature, made an appearance on velvet belts strapped on pleated blouses. Strategically placed plumage on see-through blouses provided yet another twist.

Ritu Beri, however, unleashed herself on her bridal line. Un-bridal prints – animal and camouflage – lent novelty to the show. The wedding band that played was as much a surprise as the tiger stripes peeping from beneath golden embroidery on red saris, zebra stripes leading to more traditional panels on embroidered skirts, or camouflage velvet jacket with sequin work. These, combined with Kanjeevaram silk from the house of Deepam, provided a fitting finale to the first day.

Jewellery by Nemichand Bamalwa and Sons accompanied most shows.

Eagerly-anticipated Sabyasachi stood out. By embellishing printed chiffon saris, the designer sought to recreate Mughal and Awadhi royalty and paintings of Raja Ravi Varma. Colours used were conspicuously darker than one expects in bridal lines, with black and jewel tones like emerald and ruby used in various permutations and combinations. Saris, kurtas, lehengas, kalidar kurtas and angarakhas were embellished with aari, tepchi, patola and gara work. A no-bling collection for the “dignified” bride, in Sabyasachi’s words.

Bhairavai Jaikishan opened with pistachio-green chiffon salwar-kameez suits and included red-and-gold saris. The clothes were accessorised by jewellery by Vandana Munjal. Pallavi Jaikishan’s line, comprising georgette orange saris with her trademark embroidery, was provided relief by printed chiffon saris embroidered at the pleats and borders.

Embroidered fans

Honey Waqar from Pakistan sent our models fanning themselves with giant embroidered fans. Her line was high on surface embellishment in the form of crystals and embroidery. Black angarakhas with delicate embroidery and beadwork, paired with velvet black skirts underneath, stood out, as did the nude jackets and dresses in satin and velvet. Shararas completed the collection.

The Bridal Asia exhibition, held at The Ashok from September 19 to 21 had everything – clothes, jewellery, accessories and other wedding need.