Wedding trousseau goes retro

HAVE YOU checked out your mother's wedding pictures? She would have been in rich traditional silk sari with perfectly co-ordinated hairstyle, heavy jewellery, and more, and more.

She must have felt weighed down by her attire and all the tedious rituals; though poised. Sure, you want to look as gorgeous as her on your wedding day. But, you might want to be adventurous in selecting your dress and make a fashion statement, even as you keep the dress and accessories light and comfortable. It is possible today as the fabric, colours, and styles that dominated the yesteryear are back with a bang, but with a touch of the contemporary.

Gone are the days when one would wear wedding jewellery passed on from one generation to the other.

"Earlier, brides would come in with their traditional jewellery and ask us to make some outfit to match it. Today, they get the outfit made first and then get jewellery to match their clothes," observes Seema Sheriff, who designs exclusive bridal wears with her mother, Jemila Malhotra.

Even the market beckons the would-be brides with a wide array of coloured stones besides rubies, and emeralds.

Wedding trousseau goes retro

Diamonds, in fact, are the order of the day. Kundan, minakari, and jadau are also in vogue. The millennium bride finds it a "waste" to spend lavishly on that one wedding, jewellery she would hardly use after the ceremony.

Instead, she goes in for imitation jewellery on the day while her trousseau is brimming with light and delicate sets.

Trousseaus also have undergone a great sea change. Saris and salwar suits have given way to Indo-western designs. Most designers, who take orders for the entire trousseau, ensure they give their clientele a number of mix 'n' match outfits, such as kurtis that team up with a ghagra, trousers, or even a capri. These are matched with stoles, scarves, sequinned and embroidered handbags, and shoes.

Ghagras have invaded traditional South Indian weddings too.

Venkat Lakshmi Jagmohan , says: "Earlier, South Indian brides wore saris in the typical combinations of red, green, and yellow. Today, they wear the traditional sari for the muhurtam and choose brighter and dressier ghagras for the reception."

The ghagras no longer have a canned look about them, but are trendy and come in various styles such as the mermaid cut, fish tail cut, or simply a straight cut, which are designed to flaunt the silhouette, and can be teamed up with pants or chudidars.

But saris still hold a special place in a bride's heart. And today bride prefers light fabric for saris, instead of heavy silks. She also has options other than the traditional ones now. If she does not mind spending a few extra bucks, she could go in for unconventional saris created by designers such as Tarun Tahiliani and Shaina N.C.

In the good old days it was primary and secondary colours for saris. But today, pastels are in and reds are out. And the saris in light fabric come with some exquisite embroidery. Niti says: "In terms of embroidery, zardosi, sequins, kundan, antique, and mirrorwork are in."

Ms. Sheriff observes that coloured sequins, gota, and coloured crystals, which lend a typically Mughal look, are preferred over the typical red and gold work.

Whether it's a sari or a ghagra, the choli is something that has become the show-stealer. From short-sleeved, round-necked, longer cholis, brides have now moved on to backless ones, with plunging necklines and just a strap holding them up.

This garment is clearly being designed to stand out, with shorter and body-fitting cholis being the order of the day.

Fluid fabrics such as georgette, chiffon, tissue, satin, lace, net, and crepe are the most popular fabrics around. Not to forget that these were in things even during grandma's days, but the varied embroidery that the designers can turn out makes all the difference.

Light fabrics are for summer weddings while the silks in dark shades rule the roost for a winter wedding.

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