Talking Trousseau

WELCOME TO the new age - an age of designer opulence in almost in everything we see. Weddings and trousseau are no exception. In terms of grandeur, they perhaps, beat everything else. With the tribe of designers and couturiers increasing by the day, weddings today are a grand, planned affair by them. The main component is the attire, which has undergone a sea change. Gone are the days when only the bride and the groom dressed up in their magnificent best. Thanks to designers now the whole family has a `coordinated' look.

The diva of design Ritu Kumar who is perhaps still the numero uno in wedding wear (for the bride) morphed the whole concept of the trousseau. And today wedding wear is on the agenda of every designer.

It was trousseau time at Origins Fine Line (one of the top line boutiques in the city) recently. Vivek Khurana, the owner had suggested this theme to four designers namely Ayan and Preetika Sarkar (from Kolkata), Seema Gujral (New Delhi) and Priya and Chintan (Mumbai) who showcased their limited edition works of art recently. Bride and groom couture was at its creative resplendence - new colours and embellishments.

The exposure and awareness of fashion and trends among the GenX is higher than before. Budgets are higher, scale of expenditure has gone up by leaps and bounds in the effort to look good. So it is hay time for the designers. "The wedding was the grandest occasion and people always made it one to remember but today's younger generation ensures the whole family goes all out - particularly in terms of clothes," says Seema Gujral.

Preeta, Seema Gujral, Chintan and Ayaan. Photos: K. Gajendran.

Preeta, Seema Gujral, Chintan and Ayaan. Photos: K. Gajendran.  

Today, designer wear is not so high-end as it is assumed. "When people come to me with a certain budget in mind, I do not refuse. I try to do what I can. Recently a family comprising six men and six women came to me with a budget of Rs. 12 lakhs for garments for the wedding and other ceremonies. I had to make about 36 pieces. Even normal people can afford it. I can make it clear what I can I do," says Chintan.

Lehngas and sherwanis are now almost `pan-Indian'. Except for the main ceremony where the bride and groom are dressed in their traditional clothes in conventional colours they are willing to wear something different for the other functions. "In fact some hep and happening people, the rich exposed to Western culture are willing to experiment. They may want a trumpet skirt or an A-line skirt instead of a lehnga," says Chintan.

"Trends in jewellery too these days influence the wedding wear. Earlier it was not so. There is so much of variety (coloured stones, white gold and much more) that generally girls prefer to get jewellery made rather than wear what has been made for years. The colours of the clothes too are matched with these," says Seema.

Colours and embellishments vary from designer to designer. Seema, Ayan and Chintan mostly choose colours on instinct. "Colours are filtering in but for other functions and it could be anything from lilac, purple to fuchsia," says Chintan. Seema adds that single tones are no more in. Ayan and Preetika's colour palette is vibrant. While Seema goes for thread work (people have recognised the value of thread work which is delicate and elegant) and coloured stones (used in motifs inspired from traditional jewellery - in fact quite a bit looks like temple jewellery of the south) Chintan uses coloured crystals (they are stitched on), kundans (he is inspired by Mughal motifs), colour zardozi along with embroidery, Ayan and Preetika use a variety of stitches from Kolkata (kantha and others). Their forte is machine texturisation - (machine ari) and interesting stitching details something like `appliqu�'. Their clothes have a variegated mosaic effect.

For the elite and the noveau riche a wedding without designers may be unimaginable. The bottom line is to look different. And each designer tries to be creatively different.

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Maintenance tips

Do not use perfume.

Fold the dress carefully after use.

Wrap in muslin cloth and then put in plastic zipped case.

When the garment has to be dry-cleaned ensure you get to the best dry cleaner and don't mind spending money.

In case there is a stain, immediately rub the area with water. Do not use soap or anything else. Then get it dry-cleaned.

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