India Couture Week 2014 - Top Picks for Bridal Wear

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Simmi Singh

Simmi Singh

Founder & CEO at The Crimson Bride. As I planned my own wedding not long ago, I really enjoyed the creative process of putting together a wedding that would be true to who I am and our story. I loved discovering amazing designers and wedding professionals and found myself spending countless hours being inspired by their incredible work. I began sharing my musings on a humble blog titled called The Crimson Bride, and the rest is history. Well, actually you can read more about it here.

The Crimson Bride is also my creative outlet and an opportunity for me to share my love and admiration for all things Indian - art, craft, culture, film and fashion. I am also a bit of a film geek and may have a mild crush on Ryan Gosling. I love travelling, spending quality time with family and friends.

The Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) presented its coveted annual fashion event, 'India Couture Week 2014' (#ICW2014) presented by Shree Raj Mahal Jewellers in New Delhi a few weeks ago. The six day fashion event is synonymous with luxury and invites the country's top couture designers to present their collections. Sabyasachi presented his exquisite 'Opium' collection at this event last year (previously called Delhi Couture Week) so this really is the bridal fashion event of the year to look out for.

This year each of the 10 designers raised the bar higher, presenting breathtaking collections - each inspiring, unique, innovative and pushing the boundaries on what is possible in Indian couture. There were beautiful fabrics, gorgeous silhouettes and stunning colour palettes that will see a step change in Indian bridal wear. 

With so many trends to note, we will be discussing our top picks in Bridal Wear, Groomn Wear, Jewellery and Makeup in a four-part series - starting with Bridal Wear in this article. Along with our notes, we have aso included excerpts from Harpers Bazaar India Bride June 2014 issue. They did a lovely piece on each of these designers' new bridal collections and where they drew inspiration from. Knowing the creative process behind bringing a collection to life makes it infintely more enjoyable as a work of art. Enjoy!

 

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Key Trends in Bridal Wear

Before we dive into our favourite looks from India Couture Week 2014, it's worth noting some emerging themes in Indian bridal wear:

  • Understated elegance
  • Vintage, old world glamour
  • Long sleeve structured blouses
  • Peplum blouses
  • Mirror detailing
  • Detailed threadwork embroidery
  • Antique gold embroidery work
  • Rich earthy rustic colour tones - ruby, berry, sand, lots of dark blues and emerald greens, dusty pinks
  • Pastel colours in pinks, peaches and greens
  • Ivory and gold
  • Innovative use of fabrics

Sabyasachi Mukherjee - 'Ferozabad'

As always, Sabyasachi did not disappoint with his stunning Ferozabad collection. Continuing the understated looks from last year's 'Opium' collection, Ferozabad epitomizes old world luxury. The collection features lots of sheer layering, fine thread-work, and hand printed details with a soft colour palette, sophisticated designs and high-waisted flowing lehengas. The designer draws inspiration from "images of beautiful floral oil paintings, colossal chandeliers, vintage dressing tables, canvas keds". View the full collection here.

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Our favourite pieces

We love this beautiful soft pink lehenga. The overall look is understated and elegant despite the heavy embroidery. Also love the dupatta / sash - partly printed, partly net with emroidery weaved through a belt.

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The black and white simplicity is enhanced with a heavy lehenga and a simple crop top blouse.

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Another standout piece from the collection, this piece is modern and fresh.

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A closer look at the beautiful pieces, the gorgous fabric, the intricacy of the zardozi work.

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Anju Modi - 'Manikarnika'

Another favorite from the show. Anju Modi takes us back with her Manikarnika collection, "narrating the tale of a woman born in the present but with a style ethos rooted in the past". Rustic, old world charm but from a different time. The collection draws inspiration from "the Ajanta-Ellora caves and the sculptures of Khajuraho".

The colour palette ranges between "earthy sepia tones of sand and old rose to a more vibrant jewelled one of burgundy, ruby, and emerald, giving the collection a touch of old-world luxury". View the full collection here.

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Our favourite pieces

Seeing lots of shades of blue in this year's collection, particularly in the darker tones. Love this shade of light blue contrasting with the dark blue against the gold adding a touch of luxury.

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Dhoti pants are trending and this piece is just to die for. Anju Modi also featured similar styles in pink and ivory and blue and gold colours.

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Another emerging colour trend is that old rose red paired with dusty pinks. So feminine and romantic. We are also loving the jacket style blouse for a structured look. You can certainly see the Ajanta cave inspiration in this piece.

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One of our favourite from this collection. Such a sophisticated, understated piece, perfect for a summer / spring wedding. That tone of pink seems to be popular among a few of the designers. 

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Also seeing a focus on blacks this year and this one stole the show. Kangna Ranaut is flawless in this stunning piece that just sums up the collection.

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Monisha Jaising - 'World Bride'

Monisha Jaising's decadent 'World Bride' collection featured innovative pieces, taking inspiration from textiles and traditions from around the world. Inspired by the Rococo inspiration for the embroideries, the collection is for a 'world bride' who "takes her marriage vows in a temple in Rajasthan, a church in Vienna or a mosque in Beirut, and concludes the celebration on a yacht... in St Tropez.".

Her pieces are inspiring for her unique take on traditional pieces and experimenting with different silhouettes and fabrics. This is definitely for the out-there bride who is experimental and bold. We can see some of the pieces being a perfect fit for an engagement or a reception look. View the full collection here.

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Our favourite pieces

Gorgeous embelishments in the saree pallu

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These saree gowns would be perfect for a reception or engagement.

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Lisa Haydon channels the rock 'n' roll bride in a leather lehenga with gold embroidery, a cropped white shirt, wedding jewellery and bangles and kaleeray. What a concept! So edgy, so cool.

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Varun Bahl - 'Indian Moderne'

What a refreshing collection! Varun Bahl presented a modern take on Indian-wear staples - lehengas, sarees and his favourite anarkalis. It was 10 years since Varun Bahl did his first show, so the collection pays tribute to his favourite shows by incorporating them into the collection: his signature rose motif, dainty appliques in velvet, intricate hand-embroideries achieved in strips of chiffon and gota, interplays between volume and structure and layered looks. The lovely collection presented his favourite colours including duck-egg blue, navy, black, ivory, silver and gold, mustard, fuchsia, and pale pink. View the full collection here

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Our favourite pieces

We love this lehenga for its simplicity, the sheer top and the mustard yellow against the blue - a gorgeous colour combination. This would be a fresh and modern piece for a mehendi or an egagement event.

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The silvers for a bid of old world glamour.

Favourite out of the black pieces.

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Rohit Bal

Veteran designer, Rohit Bal did a small media preview of his new collection. the women's colelction featured his favourite colours 'ivory and gold' in bandhgala (closed neck) anarkalis, sarees and lehengas. Such a sophisticated and understated collection - the pieces are so elegant in their simplicity! We also love the jewellery pieces too - classy and timeless. Perfect for the understated elegant bride. View the full collection here.

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Manish Malhotra - 'Portraits'

Manish Malhotra presented an exquisite collection 'Portraits', inspired by vintage Kashmiri embroidery styles. The collection features lots of mirror work, rose gold and silver embroidery against a bold palette of the jewel colours of ruby, burgundy, maroon, emerald, sapphire ad well as coral and soft pinks. The show ended with Bollywood actress, Alia Bhatt in a gorgeous coral and gold lehenga that we're sure will be a favourite for the upcoming wedding season. View the full collection here.

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Our favourite pieces

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Manish Arora - 'Kaleidoscope'

Last but not least, I had to include Manish Arora for his pure genius and visionary interpretation of the modern Indian woman. The show was held at the French Embassy which is fitting as Manish Arora has a strong connection to the French who seem to admire his boldness and craft the most. The designer is known for bold and experimental styles and this collection was no less.

Manish Arora's 'Kaleidoscope' at ICW 2014 had six segments - The Crown, inspired by crowns of monarchs from across the world; Temari, an old, aristocratic Japanese craft; The Light Fantastic, from the popular Light Festivals of Belgium and France; The Jewels, deriving from the Indian fascination for gold; The Peacock, inspired by the The Peacock Room in Castello di Sammezzano in Tuscany, Italy; and Iridescent, for sheer love of the sheer.

The show appeared to a be psychedelic feast for the eyes with fluro and glow in the dark lights and models adorning layers of gold, silver and pearl necklaces with elaborate headgear and sticker bindis used as tribal patterns on faces. So crazy but artistic at the same time. The kaleidoscope of colours ranged from bright red, coral, pink and turquoise, to soft oranges, yellows, pastel pinks and blues and black. 

Beneath it all there were certainly some trends for the experimental bride - no dupattas, pearls, big beads, striped lehengas, flared ghaghras, jackets worn over sarees. So inspiring!

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Our favourite pieces

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Up next, our Top Picks for Groom Wear from India Couture Week 2014.

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