Fashion designer Neeta Lulla is popular among celebs, the celebrity fashion designer is now entering the cost effective wedding wear segment with a “budget friendly wedding” line.
Her new label ‘N Bride’, is a fine balance between haute couture and Prêt à porter for consumers who are focused on fashion aesthetics.
The USP of the brand is its ability to fuse western and ethnic silhouettes, prints and designs catering to varied tastes. This line is aimed at a budget-friendly wedding.
Lulla says it is important to cater to the big middle class, which is going to be the next big consumer of luxury.
Couture needs to be democratic and the vision is to make every garment a limited edition piece.
Priced between Rs 30,000 to Rs 1 lakh, the collection will be available at fashion stores like Aza, Ensemble, Angasutra, Label24 Dubai, Vesimi Dubai, Bibi in London and Pernia’s Pop Up as well as the flagship The House Of Neeta Lulla store in Juhu, Mumbai.
The balle-balle land has quite a lot to offer with regards to shopping. Punjab is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of handlooms and handicrafts. Everything available here carries a stamp of its rich culture.
Almost all tourist places in Punjab, from Amritsar to Ludhiana and Chandigarh, provide shopping opportunities and have a lot to offer in terms of traditional and rich crafted ware.
The kind of stuff you get here is colourful, authentic and traditional.
Footwear with beautiful embroidery and impressive patterns using a wide range of fancy materials, like beads, pearls, coloured threads, small mirrors and seashells, are a must-buy in Punjab.
A form of craft in which artistic embroidery embellishes a shawl, saree, dupatta or the entire dress, generally used for special occasions like weddings and other festivities. A special kind of thread is used for phulkari, which is called ‘pat.’ The designs used are varied.
Parandis are attractive hair ornaments, worn at the end of a braid. These parandis are woven out of attractive silk threads, clustered together artistically, in a variety of designs and patterns.
Mentioned above are just a few things traditional to Punjab and can be used for wedding trousseau, placed on the shagun thali or just give a piece of handcrafted stuff from Punjab as Wedding Favours!
So next time you are there, be sure to check these out! 🙂
Anita Dongre started her journey in high fashion in 1998, and her unique, sincere designs have made her a strong presence within the Indian fashion circuit, especially when it comes to wedding and bridal couture. Her signature style represents the modern Indian woman who is stylish, yet true to her roots. This shows in the contemporary-cum-traditional craftsmanship of her designs. Her lehengas and anarkalis are to die for, so let’s take a look at this craftsman’s creations from 2013-2014.
The year that was: 2013
Anita’s designs are strongly inspired by her native roots, and this was quite apparent in her exquisite collection for the Lakme Fashion Week 2013 Winter/Festive, titled ‘The Jaipur Bride’. It showcased the modern Indian bride in a chic, yet traditional avatar. The theme of the collection was the use of authentic, intricate Jaipuri ‘gotta patti’ embroidery, which adorned the regal anarkalis, exquisite lehengas, and even the chic cocktail gowns. There were ensembles in white and gold, pastel greens, neon pinks and oranges, vibrant blues, and they were all blended into this one collection symbolic of Anita’s interpretation of the modern Indian wedding, which is colourful, yet classy and tasteful. Palazzo pants, stylized lungi pants and loosely draped maxi dresses provided a fun element and are sure to be eye-catchers in the coming wedding seasons.
Another highlight of the show was the music by artist Sona Mahapatra. Her beautiful renditions of thumri, sufi and other folk music fused with a rock, contemporary edge complimented the theme of the show perfectly. This one truly was a crowd pleaser.
Looking ahead: 2014
Anita’s brand is expanding on a global level everyday, and she has surely kept busy this 2014 as well. Her Spring/Summer collection keeps true to what is normally relatable to the summer, such as pastels; whites; loose, flowy lines; and so forth.Celebrating the season, her ‘Sonnets of Spring’ collection is characterised by gorgeous digital and geometric prints in soft, pastel hues. You will also find kaftans, anarkalis, tunics, shift dresses, fitted trousers and elegant eveningwear in this collection, in summer-friendly fabrics such as mal, georgette, chiffon, linen and cotton. Along with this, she has also come up with a line of menswear, which includes classic linen shirts, shirts with digital prints, bandis, deconstructed and half-lined linen blazers, casual linen jodhpuris dipped in hues of aqua, coral, light pink, white and blue. So you can look forward to some clean cuts, patterns and colours for a truly spectacular summer/spring wedding.
Anita’s fashion brands, AND and Global Desi, are two of the most popular ones currently trending the nation. The brands aim at striking a balance between designer wear that is priced exorbitantly and mass market produce that is cheap and commonplace, and creating good-quality, high-fashion clothes that are affordable, yet stylish and unique. This concept has been so well received that expansion plans for her brands are already underway. She successfully launched Global Desi in Mauritius just last year. Well, we hope she launches many more stores this 2014 and wows the rest of the world with her designs as well!
Along with being an ace designer, Anita is also a conscious and responsible public figure. She has contributed to different areas of Indian society with her influence and reach. She is a vegan and an active member of PETA, where she has been in the forefront in the fight for animal rights.
Women empowerment is a cause she truly believes in and has done a great deal for. She is known for employing artisans in Rajasthan to create handcrafted materials for her creations, which is helping to revive and preserve several dying art forms in India. This is also helping to generate employment for a sector that has been fading out since the Industrial revolution. Mijwan is a village in UP that specializes in Chikankari; in association with actor Shabana Azmi, Anita supports the women of this village by commissioning Chikankari work from them, which she uses in her designs. She also contributes to a social organization run by Mana Shetty that provides livelihood to economically backward women with the help of the waste material provided by fashion designers.
While all these achievements are already medals on her chest, Anita was also presented with an award for ‘Excellence in Fashion Design’ by The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Ladies Organization, Bombay Chapter in 2013. We could go on about the honors and recognitions that she has received, but what is remarkable is that in whichever contribution she has made to Indian society, be it through her designs, charity or philanthropy, it’s her heart and sincerity that really shine through. We applaud this maestro and look forward to her innovations in future as well.
Shantanu & Nikhil may look like uppity business tycoons, but when they set out to do what they do best—couture—there are few who can match their impeccable contemporary taste. Having launched their label, ‘Shantanu & Nikhil’, in 1999, this brother duo has become a brand name to be reckoned with. The brand’s focus is on creating clothing that is trendy and chic, yet conservative, which speaks of an old-world Indianness and class that is lacking in the designs of many modern-day designers today. Let’s have a look at the designs these fashion greats gave us in 2013-2014.
The year that was: 2013
Day 4 of The India Bridal Fashion Week 2013 was all glitz and glamour as the fashion world saw beautiful brides and dashing grooms walk the ramp wearing Shantanu & Nikhil’s ‘To Die For’ collection for the Winter Fall 2013. The scintillating Sania Mirza even walked the ramp for this distinguished duo. As their style is principally contemporary, this showcase was no different. The theme of the collection was dedicated to the modern bride, who was adorned in A-line and fishtail silhouettes, and her leading man in bold-print, classy sherwanis, which left the audience with a renaissance-like hangover. Crisp outlines were defined to enhance the female form, and the pristine whites and subtle gold leaf and booti patterns—a refreshing change from the traditional reds and prints usually associated with Indian weddings—showcased a softer side to the Indian bride.
‘Gold in its different shades will be the new black’, is the duet’s opinion. ‘We’re talking color restraint, while still reinforcing the message of vintage decadence.’
Looking ahead: 2014
Staying true to their vintage, yet contemporary style, Shantanu & Nikhil showcased their ‘The Shadows Within’ collection at the Lakme Fashion Week 2014. This collection was almost like an aftermath to the gold leaf theme and sharp silhouettes of the IBFW display, but there was an addition of soft pink and peach tones, sober beiges and clean reds as well. Inspired by their mythical, mystical, muse, Vanessa, the collection was a beautiful mix in colours, textures and forms. Light, sheer fabrics such as organza and raw silk were perfectly balanced with rayon blends and poly jerseys. The embellishments were very delicate laces, which were highlighted with embroidery. The little something for the grooms was also reminiscent of the IBFW as looped hem kurtas were teamed with a variety of bundies in textures, weaves and colours. Sherwanis appeared in quick succession with embroidered cuffs/collars, balanced with super weaves. In other words, the duo sure has kept itself busy since the start of this year.
As an added bonus, the brothers also showcased a vintage collection for the Vogue Wedding Show 2014 with largely Victorian influences—think voluminous gowns, new age lehenga skirts and sari gowns. Vogue’s response to this collection was, ‘Our bride is a storyteller who is extremely well travelled, understated, intelligent and confident. Their ensembles present femininity draped in lush classicism. Shilpa Shetty, Ahana Deol and Avantika Malik are some of their happy, chic brides.’ Well, we wish this artistic duo all the luck for the rest of 2014!
Shantanu & Nikhil have a list of credits to their name. Shantanu boasts an MBA from the University of Toledo, Ohio, whereas Nikhil is a product of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, California. Nikhil has been awarded with some of the most prestigious awards and scholarships. He was invited to design a collection for a prestigious store “Georgio Beverly Hills” in Los Angeles, and he was even featured in L. A. Times to be the only Indian designer to have displayed his designs in a show in Universal Studios, Hollywood.
Shantanu & Nikhil have always been effective in producing products that have a national as well as international appeal. Their list of clients includes eminent names such as Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan, Leander Peas, Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Dia Mirza, Neha Dhupia, A.R.Rehman, Kunal Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty, Sushmita Sen and Bipasha Basu. They have two signature stores in prime locations in New Delhi and have a presence in the other metros in India, besides having a strong presence in couture stores in Dubai, Kuwait, Tokyo, Switzerland, Birmingham, London, Jeddah, New York and Vancouver.
They have many more accolades under their belt, but what drives home is the fact that Shantanu & Nikhil are both experts in their respective fields, and this marriage (pun intended) of business acumen and the knack for creating classy, urban clothing is what makes their brand the perfect model for up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
When one thinks about bridal fashion, there are a few distinguished names that come to mind. One of these names is Bengali ace couturier, Sabyasachi Mukherjee. His designs epitomize glamour, elegance, grandeur, class, royalty, and modernism. So if you want to feel like a million bucks on your wedding day, Sabyasachi is a one-stop shop for both bride and groom. Let’s take a sneak peek into his latest designs and innovations of 2013-14.
The year that was: Best designs of 2013
After a 5-year-long interval, Sabyasachi finally made a comeback (and how!) at the Lakme Fashion Week in 2013. Here, he showcased his collection called ‘Absolute Royal’ that, as the name suggests, was a rich array of satin, velvet, and other expensive-looking frill. Imagine taking your wedding vows wearing one of these beautiful masterpieces in a grand palace in Rajasthan (check blog on Rajasthan for more). Enough to make you feel like purple blood!
Anarkali suits are clearly the trend of the season, and Sabyasachi’s playful twist on a kurti and lehenga that gives the effect of an anarkali was the flavour of the show. This kurti-lehenga mix is an excellent design for all the demure brides out there, as it is conservative, yet chic and suits any and every body type. The grooms needn’t worry either, because Sabyasachi has a little something for everyone. Your wedding guests are sure to be spellbound when you make an entry in one of his vivacious Jodhpuri and churidar designs.
Our pick is the breathtaking ensemble worn by Netra Raghuraman and her partner on the ramp. In all it’s glory, it was the look of LFW 2013!
Looking ahead: 2014
The royal hangover has continued in 2014, and the traditional saree and anarkali continue to re-establish their status. However, the start of this year has promoted subtler, deeper tones, which is a refreshing change from the usually vibrant colours that we see in Sabyasachi outfits. Deep blues, vibrant reds and rich pinks have given way to subtle opium, golden, white, dull pink and grey tones.
In Sabyasachi’s own words, art and culture play a great role in his design sensibilities, so most his designs have an old-world, yet modernistic charm about them. His outfits have a very traditional, ethnic feel. Recently, he successful combined the splendour of the East with the swank of the West in a beautiful western wedding gown, the first ever made by the Sabyasachi brand, that he especially designed for the famous TV show ‘Band Baajaa Bride’. The intricate embroidery on the gown is a play on the traditional lehenga, but its cut and fitting provide the feel of a Vera Wang. In short, it’s the kind that will make your jaw drop!
Made for the stars
Sabyasachi’s list of clients includes the who’s who of Bollywood. Some of his regular endorsers are Madhuri Dixit Nene, Aishwariya Rai Bachchan, Kajol, Vidya Balan, Rani Mukherjee, Sridevi, Ranvir Singh, Imran Khan, and Abhishekh Bachchan, to name a few. He is known for some truly memorable creations that made waves among the stars of B-Town:
Aishwariya Rai Bachchan’s look in the movie, ‘Guzaarish’
Vidya Balan’s traditional, saree look at Cannes
Rani Mukherjee’s look in the movie, ‘Laaga Chunari Mein Daag’
Aishwariya Rai Bachchan’s outfits at Cannes
Rani Mukherjee at the premiere of the movie, ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’
Madhuri Dixit’s black saree look in ‘Jhalak Dikhlaa Ja (Dancing with the Stars)’
Sabyasachi is a pioneer with using Indian textiles and fabrics in a unique way. When he first started out, he had no connections, but his edgy, ethnic silhouettes, exquisite bridal wear and bold prints soon left a deep mark on the fashion industry. Today, no Bollywood wedding, award function, anniversary or occasion is complete without Sabyasachi. Pick a brilliant ensemble from his royal bridal couture to make your wedding affair one to remember. To be sure, it’ll be a match made in heaven!