Saturday, September 24, 2011: 09:18:19 PM

Retailing Trend

Modern brides seek comfortable bridal wear

Bridal wear is fast becoming both stylish and comfortable, catching not only the fancy of the modern Indian bride but also emerging as a clothing line on the ramp

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Over the years, bridal wear has emerged as a new line of fashion. Attractive as it is, this line of elaborate ethnic wear is often a designer’s imagination woven into reality. Gone are the days of the heavy lehengas and cholis with sitaras. Ornate embroidery and appealing embellishment is in now. “Deep colours such as maroon, bottle green and wine colours are in,” said Rahul Jahnani, managing director of Jashn, a reputed women’s wear brand to a Retailing360 correspondent. “This line of clothing is experiencing a huge amalgamation of fabric with zardosi, net and velvet clothing catching the modern day brides’ fancy,” he added.

What awaits brides
Contrary to this, the traditional motifs are taking a backseat this bridal season. Peacock and kairi are no longer gathering liking. Besides old designs fading away into disuse, this line is exposed to yet another concern, that of the buyer not getting enough occasions to flaunt such delicate artistry. But with the Indian wedding ceremonies spanning well over 2 days and frequent other traditional ceremonies cropping up every now and then, such strain of thought can as well be eliminated.
Today bridal wear is expected to be comfortable, easy to handle and that which can be worn on other occasions, besides one’s marriage. This is precisely why designers these days are frequently seen showcasing it on the ramps. Since, designs for such costumes are different for different parts of the country, any designer has to first see whether his/her unique style is being appreciated by a sample population of a region. It is only after this that he/she can proceed with the range.
While sarees still dominate as the top choice of the bride, lehengas and cholis are at the next most preferred attire for brides. The younger generation is going for ethnic wear that can pass off as a style statement on gatherings. While desi designers are busy converting the modern Indian brides’ wants into reality, the European bride now has designers concentrating on her comfort. Recently, a Paris foot wear label, Vouelle’s bridal sneakers has amassed great liking there. The brand’s CEO Regan de Vogele explained that these sneakers are meant to be worn on the morning of the wedding to provide comfort to the bride-to-be, while she is doing her hair and make up wearing sweat pants.      
Designers doing the customer count
Meanwhile, Indian designers have experienced a slowing of exports. “A sluggish European economy and a volatile US dollar have imparted quite a lot of resistance to exports, but an optimistic Couture fraternity is now looking to smaller towns and cities all over India for customers,” said Ravindra Shah, director of Rinky Fashions Pvt Ltd, a bridal wear exporter based in Surat, Gujarat.
Fashion designer Tarun Tahiliani revealed that exports have dipped by 25% in the past 3 months and are expected to go down another 10%. This is one of the reasons why he is looking to open a store in Hyderabad, an addition to his Delhi store, so as to expand his customer base by enhancing his retail business.
Designers are increasingly recognising the recessionary behaviour in the western market but amidst all this the Indian market is expected to do fairly well. The soon to be luxury hub, India, is now experiencing a growing number of brand conscious middle class. Designers might want to ride high on this wave of desire.
Debarati Bose

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