Asian women today are not sticking with traditional colours
Growing up every little girl wants to be a Princess one day. To have her Prince Charming look at her on their wedding day and fall in love all over again. All guests to gasp upon her grand entrance that she (the bride) is the most beautiful bride in the world.
Traditional Asian bridal fashion has come a long way from the simplistic suit look to the most lush and expensive garments designed for the special day today. Many would see this is a direct influence of the changes in British Asian society and women taking more control of their lives and dreams.
Thirty years back, Asian brides would dress in a simple Indian/Pakistani suit, and probably the first time they ever wore any make up. Twenty years back, brides would dress up in a traditional red sari and adorned with Indian gold. The more gold the bride wore would indicate the family status.
Normally, the bride’s mother would choose the sari and the bride would wear this on their big day. But this has all changed now. Young Asian women are taking more control on what they want to wear from their registry office wedding to the traditional Asian wedding. Everything carefully chosen down to the very last detail.
Ten years back the fashion of bridal wear was normally a heavy Lengha either red, burgundy or dark pink. The skirt would be long with not much shape and a tunic top. The Chunni would be very heavy. But now the theme, shades, styles, patterns are dictated and styled by the brides themselves.
Brides to be will visit many of the Asian Wedding Exhibitions up and down the country to physically see what is in this season. Everything from venues, clothes, makeup down to bindis. Some brides work with designers in the UK or even take that trip to India and Pakistan to find their perfect outfit.
Online retailers from UK, USA and India are exhibiting their collections, giving a bride more choice for her to decide on what she wants to wear for her special day.
Dependent upon the theme and colours chosen for the venue, the bride to be would make sure that her wedding outfit would also reflect this in its full glory.
Brides are also going for the traditional white and creams for their registry office weddings, with a hint of the west in the shape and style of the outfits. The lenghas will have a train, and the skirt of the lengha will be shaped to the bride’s body shape. Most popular is the fish tail cut.
The wedding outfits themselves are very glamorous, with sexy cut blouses to match the lengha skirt. At present the tops are very short and the lengha skirt worn just under the belly button. Similar to the new collection of saris that have graced the Bollywood screens.
To combine the two there is the trend of the Bridal Lengha Sari which combines the classiness of the lengha with the elegance of the sari. This give you the choice of wearing the two as one outfit.
For those who are not too comfortable to show off their tummy’s strapless corset tops, off shoulder, halter necks with a slim lined skirt is just as sexy and chic.
Asian women today are not sticking with traditional colours such as deep reds and pinks for their bridal gowns. It’s a whole selection of colours; solid colours such as megenta, purple, brown, mustard and pastels such as violet, blues and greens. Infusions of colours are used such as cerise and peach are also observed in bridal fashion.
Designs are intricate with beading, crystals and threading with semi-precious gemstones which are hand-crafted. Net-based pallus, jari and resham embroidery, shiny sequin borders and paisley design motifs are examples of the hand-crafted work on the wedding attire. Some outfits have a touch of Alexandra McQueen and Vera Wang ruffles, layers and train.
To complete your important look do not put the jewellery second place. The wrong jewellery can either make or break an outfit.
Gone are the days to wearing heavy Indian gold. The jewellery that brides choose today is matched in great detail with the outfits themselves. Majority of the time this is designed with the outfit which gives an authentic look and a one-off piece.
Another trend which has taken off in British Asian Weddings is the matching of outfits of the bridesmaids and the bride’s mother.
Based on the colour and theme, Asian brides want their bridesmaids and their mothers to wear a similar colour or a particular colour on the wedding day. The bride’s mother, if wearing a similar colour to the bride, would wear a much more simple design.
The bridesmaids can either wear the same colour or a colour selected by the bride to complement her outfit. Many are choosing contrasting colours such as blue for the bridesmaids and pink for the bride. The bridesmaids can wear saris identical to each other, and when the bride walks into the venue for the ceremony, the bride leads in her stunning identical bridesmaids who follow her. A heavy influence of the West, but works just a brilliant and an amazing moment for guests to witness.
For the men there is also the trend of using ‘groomsmen’ who are not just a single ‘sarwala’ but a group of men wearing complimenting sherwanis to the groom’s sherwani and colours.
Here are some tips to help the Asian bride on her big day:
- Do go to some of the Asian Bridal shows. All very well looking in ‘Bridal Magazines’, but to see what is out there physically will help with what you want to wear, makeup, jewellery, and it’s always worth asking some of the experts for their advice.
- Work with the designers/suppliers of Asian wedding gowns and bridal wear. It’s YOUR BIG DAY, you should be happy with your bridal outfit.
- If you are getting your outfit especially made then make sure measurements and fitting is done physically rather than giving another outfit to use as a guide. Especially, if you are getting it made abroad.
- If you are buying a ready-made outfit and it needs adjusting, make sure you use a reputable tailor. You don’t want to ruin your outfit by cheap craftsmanship.
- Co-ordinate your accessories from shoes, handbags to the colour of your eyeshadow so that it all ‘connects’ as a well thought out theme.
- Look at outfit colours that you like and feel comfortable with because you are the one who is going to wear it on the day! Keeping in with traditional colours can give you scope for adding other colours to your theme; since the reds, pinks and cerise colours all give a wonderful heritage feel to your outfit should you want that look.
- DO go for make-up bridal trials. Take all if not part of your outfit. The last thing you want is your makeup not matching your fabulous outfit you have taken time, effort and cost on.
- Very important to go for pre-wedding shoots. You can co-ordinate your make up trial the same day. At least you can see what you will look like with the make-up used by your chosen make-up artist. Also you and your partner can bond with the photographer. This will help on the big day. Pictures will not look ‘too stiff’ and will be more natural and artistic.
- If you are having brides maids and groomsmen, co-ordinate the colour of the outfits for both sides and make sure that they do not clash with both your outfit or your partner’s attire (same can be said about the bride and groom’s mother’s outfits).
- Flowers (if used as centre pieces on the tables ) table cloths, chairs, should also be co-ordinated with the main colours of the bride and grooms outfit. Hence, you create a magnificent colour theme for your special day.
Asian women of today are taking more control of what they want on their BIG day. Carefully planning this production from start till end and perfecting every detail. And your outfit is the pinnacle of the event as everyone will want to see you dressed like a Princess for the Day because the momentous day shall always be a true memory of a lifetime.
Which outfit would you wear for the big day?
- Lengha (60%)
- Western Dress (11%)
- Sari (11%)
- Lengha and Sari Combo (10%)
- Traditional Suit (6%)
- Other (3%)