While the past year has seen a significant shift in wedding trends due to the COVID-19 pandemic – such as the rise of intimate weddings– what it has also seen is a change in bridal fashion trends. The over-the-top gowns (we’re looking at you, Pee Cee) silhouettes are being ditched for versatile, refined ones, fun layers, and traditional accessories to complement.
Will this continue in the upcoming winter wedding season? From colours that will rule to Indo-western styles that will pique the interest of brides, read on as India’s leading celebrity fashion stylist Eshaa Amiin who has styled fashion divas such as Karisma Kapoor, Chitrangada Singh, Lara Dutta Bhupathi, and musician Ananya Birla shares the top trends in bridal looks for what’s remaining of 2021.,
The Boho fever continues
“With the guest list becoming more intimate, brides are gravitating towards outfits that are comfortable yet chic and look effortless. For functions like mehndi and haldi, they are choosing Bohemian-fusion clothing that allows them to feel happy, comfortable, and free,” points out Eshaa, listing Bohemian fashion as a top trend in Indian bridal wear.
In Bohemian bridal fashion, which has been a global fashion trend for decades, vibrant and warm hues, floral or retro prints, and free-flowing silhouettes take the centre stage, and these are often paired with statement accessories. Here, practicality and comfort are given more importance than adornment. Payal Khandwala, Anamika Khanna and Nupur Chinoy are a few of the designers that are creating Boho chic outfits, Eshaa mentions.
While the conventional bold reds, pinks, and greens continue to be a popular choice among brides, outfits in pastel hues such as peach, pale green, baby blue, and lavender (to name a few), have carved a niche for themselves too. Even, ivory has seen a lot of new fans in recent years. Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma was one of the first few brides, who made a striking impression in a custom Sabyasachi hand-embroidered lehenga, in blush pink hues that perfectly completed the dreamy setting in Tuscany for her wedding with cricketer Virat Kohli. Recently, fashion stylist and multi-hyphenate Rhea Kapoor, who is the creative mind behind several iconic looks of her sister Sonam Kapoor, also opted for an unexpected classic white sari for her intimate at-home wedding with her partner Karan Boolani. Designed by fashion designer Anamika Khanna, her white bridal tone-on-tone sari stood out with a long cape in tones of ivory and gold and a pearl dupatta.
Fusion, no confusion
Another trend that refuses to go out of fashion for wedding functions is Indo-western. Here, ethnic attired is enhanced with western elements. Eshaa elaborates, “There is no dearth of fusion looks where blouses are being ditched for crop tops, jackets, bomber jackets, blazers, and even shirts. These are accompanied by a statement choker as a neckpiece.”
In keeping with the needs and style sensibilities of the modern bride, designer Payal Singhal showcased her new collection at the Fashion Design Council of India x Lakme Fashion Week 2021. Titled ‘Kismet’, it was a line of Indian athleisure designed for the modern Indian women, and it featured sets of kurta and joggers; sports bra, lehenga, and bomber jackets, and fun co-ord sets.
The classic Indian bride
According to Eshaa, the traditional Indian bride look is still intact. “Think saris and lehengas that are rich in heritage, defined by traditional weaves, beads, and embroidery. And this is finished off with heirloom or classic Indian jewellery,” explains the fashionista, who chose a similar look for her own wedding that happened in 2020 amid the pandemic.
A glimpse of this trend was witnessed at two of the most talked-about weddings of Bollywood in 2021 – Yami Gautam and Aditya Dhar, and Dia Mirza and Vaibhav Rekhi. While Yami wore a reddish-maroon sari with a traditional Himachali nath and maang tikka, Dia went for a beautiful Raw Mango red Banarasi silk sari.
Keeping it versatile
According to Eshaa, who has styled the likes of Karisma Kapoor and Janhvi Kapoor, the pandemic has brought a shift in thinking, wherein brides want to invest in versatile and value for money clothing. “What I mean is, they want to invest in a lehenga or an outfit that they can re-use to create another look at a later stage. For instance, pair the lehenga with a shirt and its blouse with a sari. And maybe, pull off the dupatta with a plain Anarkali or salwar suit,” she explains.
Here's Eshaa pairing a sari with a shirt and pants.
1. Don’t ignore footwear. Avoid heels and go for a pair of wedges because they help your posture and result in better pictures. A pair of juttis is a great option too.
2. Choose jewellery, especially maang tikka and earrings, according to your face cut. For example, if you have a round face, pick an oval maang tikka, and vice versa. For those with a long face, a broad and long pair of earrings look good, while round-faced women can pick a thin and long pair of earrings.
3. While it is great to follow fashion trends, it’s important to prioritise what makes you happy and what suits you.
4. Keep in mind the wedding venue, the season it is happening in and the time of the day before choosing your outfit.