When it comes to bridal fashion ‘traditional or contemporary?’ is a question every modern bride-to-be must ask herself. Culture and religion play a big role in this decision. Imagine the dilemma when you are culturally hybrid (like me). Do I go for a Western style, all white wedding gown? or opt for a colorful Indian ensemble? Just last week an idea popped into my head…how about a white, Indian style gown? Best of both worlds? Thankfully I am not getting married next week, I still have plenty of time to decide whether I am calling Tarun Tahiliani or Rami Kadi to design my wedding gown (I wish!). With BMW India Bridal Week 2014 kicking off today and Shree Raj Mahal Jewellers India Couture Week 2014 still fresh in our memories, there is enough designer wear for brides-to-be to choose from (or draw inspiration from). Although it won’t be the easiest task, to choose your perfect wedding gown from all the different styles available these days.
Did you know that in India every different region has its very own bridal fashion style? Same goes for the different religions. A Muslim bride would opt for a modest gown to respect her faith. A Hindu bride would like a red wedding gown, as color plays a very important role in her religion and culture. In the West most brides go for a white gown, which would also be the choice of an Indian bride practicing Christian faith. In India there are also many different styles of embroidery, jewelry, makeup, accessories and other traditions that show where a bride is from and what religion she is practicing. It is like every little detail a bride wears, has a (cultural) background story!
Today (for Indians and Diaspora) it is all about the neo-bride on couture catwalks. A neo-bride is a bride who embraces modernity but also values tradition. A perfect mix between contemporary and traditional. Regional differences become less visible. As all of you know I am a fan of hybrid fashion and love neo-bridal looks, but it remains interesting to know more about all the cultural influences. Which is why I added four bridal looks from different regions for you to admire in the gallery. Do you notice any differences? Which look is your favorite? Check out the extravagant Kundan jewels the Rajasthani bride (image 1) is wearing: chunky pieces, bold colors and the traditional Rajasthani ivory bangles around her wrists. Or the Punjabi bridal look (image 4): she is wearing a paranda braid (hair).
You can see more looks on www.yourdreamshaadi.co.uk
Images from left to right – Rajasthani bride (Kajals Couture), Bengali bride (Trousseau Couture), Gujarati bride (Charmi Creations, jewellery by Deeya), Punjabi bride (Exclusively M Couture).
Photography by Casey MacKenzie Johnson