Delhi’s ‘luxury mall’, recently came alive to the DLF Emporio Couture Wedding, with a preview show and curated stylist sessions with handpicked clients. Tanya Ghavri, stylist to the stars and the person behind Dhoom Dham, a wedding trunk show held in Mumbai last year, helped young women and their families with the sometimes-overwhelming shopping experience. Then, she broke it down for us too.
Understand who you are and what you want. Start with what colour you want and go on to what style you’d like. Ghavri has just been with a to-be bride who has shortlisted an Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla multi-coloured lehenga with a hot pink blouse and midnight-blue dupatta and a Surekha Jain outfit in similar hues. Ask yourself what kind of person you are, what kind of wedding you’d like (formal/informal), what the location is (garden/beach/hotel), how warm it’ll be. Put these all together and include anyone else’s take you want on it. Ghavri sees brides choosing contemporary pastels (lavender, pista) and threadwork rather than gota-patti or stones, in light fabrics (net, georgette, chanderi). “Designers are using work tactfully. Anamika Khanna does threadwork on the whole lehenga , while Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla will always have something in chikankari.” Many brides are also choosing single can-cans, to sustain themselves through the night. “It’s all personal preference, really — if you feel like this is your moment and you want to stand out, then you may be alright with feeling slightly uncomfortable, just as long as the pictures look great!” says Ghavri.
Write it down. If you’re unsure of what you want, you may know what you don’t want. “My sister was clear she did not want red, so she chose a blue ombre outfit, with a cape, going from sky to dark. The cape was convenient and had the effect of a dupatta,” says Ghavri. Avoid short-listing more than five or six designers, or you may have a problem choosing. Keeping a list also helps you focus on the various occasions and what you’re looking at for each. Hold the piece in front of you and ask the store if you can take a picture (some stores don’t allow it). Ideally, you should be done with about three visits: a recce, a shortlist and the final purchase.
Freeze on numbers. Make that budget sheet and then look at what your main events are – most brides lock down on 5 outfits. “Some people like wearing a sari for the main ceremony, which may be traditional or restored or even a modern take, like the stitched ones Gaurav Gupta does. For the cocktail party, people like to go abroad and buy from Alexander McQueen, Jenny Packham, Stella McCartney. Elie Saab is very popular as are the Lebanese designers Zuhair Murad and Ziad Nakad,” she says. For a brunch you may consider focussing on a statement piece of jewellery, such as an heirloom piece or the ones from Suhani Pittie, Eina Ahluwalia or Outhouse, with a Payal Khandwala outfit or a simple jumpsuit, for instance. “Young desi designers are doing a lot of colour-blocking – say a drape skirts or pants in red and a cape jacket in blue.”
Take along one trusted person. Someone who will tell you what looks good and what doesn’t, someone who can point out whether long sleeves or three-quarter looks better. Also someone who may give you a few ideas if you don’t have access to a stylist: like wearing a kamarbund over a sari and teaming temple jewellery with a contemporary Raw Mango sari. “I always advise brides to have open necks and show off collar bones, or their waists,” says Ghavri, drawing attention to fit-and-flare styles that do just that.
Celebrity stylist services start at ₹2 lakh for an event and include garment selection, discussions with the designer and store visits