If there is something we Indians pride ourselves over, it undoubtedly has to be our weddings. The Big Fat Indian wedding is an opportunity to steep ourselves in customs, bedeck ourselves in the finest garb and feed over 1000 guests and engage in revelry. From exotic palaces or destination weddings, everything is larger than life. Throw in a couple of performances by Bollywood stars and you know it’s going to be the talk of the town. It’s no wonder then that the Business of Fashion, one of the definitive voices in the fashion industry have pegged the Indian Bridal market at a staggering 38$ billion industry. Yep, you read that right. A big player in the overall market is undoubtedly bridal wear and there are some designers who have made it their bread and butter to make women feel like a princess (and a million bucks). It’s no wonder that Harper’s Bazaar launched its sister publication Harper’s Bazaar Bride here in India. Recently, Christian Louboutin unveiled his first ever wedding suite just for Indian brides at his Mumbai flagship. Acclaimed shoe designer Aruna Seth, known for her bridal shoes had a series of trunk shows to launch her label here. If you are a bride-to-be and looking out for something exquisite, here are some of the biggest names in the business. Bookmark this page STAT!
Kolkata based designer Sabyasachi has become one of the biggest players in the market, after he made a conscious decision to move away from pret lines and focus solely on couture like creations with bespoke bridal wear. Aside from that, he’s also a regular on the NDTV Good Times shoe, Band Baaja Bride where he designs a special look for the bride or groom for the particular episode.
Indian Fashion’s enfant terrible – Rohit Bal is known for his intricate Kashmiri embroidery and extensive use of the lotus motif; a hark back to his Kashmiri heritage. He’s collaborated with BIBA for a lower price line that has got women scrambling for a piece of Bal from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. In fact, he is known to be one of the costliest designers in the country.
There’s no introduction needed for Tarun Tahiliani. A Wharton grad, he switched gears and has become one of the biggest players in the Indian Bridal market. Along with his sister Tina Tahiliani Parekh, they launched Ensemble – India’s first multi-designer store. Known for his signature draping, he’s found fans in everyone from Lady GaGa to Kareena Kapoor Khan (the former choosing to wear one of his outfits at a concert for her performance at the Formula 1 concert in Delhi).
Anita Dongre is a force to be reckoned with. She has diversified her brand into various lines such as AND, Global Desi and her bridal line Jaipur Bride that is a nod to her Marwadi heritage. She blends silhouettes and embroideries – that caters to every ceremony of the wedding.
The grand dame of Indian fashion, Ritu Kumar is known for her tireless efforts on reviving the craft of ancient Indian textiles and embroideries. In fact, Kareena Kapoor Khan chose Kumar to restore one of the royal ceremonial outfits for her wedding to Nawab Saif Ali Khan. Her work is timeless and intricate.
He might be Bollywood’s go-to costumer but Manish Malhotra’s blingy outfits are also a hit with the masses. His collection is tailored to keep what the bride wants – whether it is plenty of sequins or velvet. His clothes are extremely wearable, often introducing sharara pants, kurtis and anarkalis to his collections.
Pix: Surbhi Seth & Viral Bhayani for MissMalini