Think Indian wedding and the image of extravagant set-ups, luxurious decor and grand destinations comes to mind. On the bride and groom's big day, there is however one supporting player that you may not expect. Not their families or friends but their fabric of choice and that's brocade. The rich woven fabric features raised thread work, usually metallic toned over exquisite jewel tones for a jacquard look. From Nehru jackets for the groom and his buddies to lehengas of the bride and her girls, brocade is a fixture at traditional wedding functions.
Even the celebrities of Bollywood would agree wholeheartedly. Deepika Padukone, Soha Ali Khan and Urmila Matondkar are celebrity brides who have sported brocade in its many fabulous forms at their weddings. But it isn't only the fabric du jour for the newly-weds. Well-loved by attendees, you're certain to spot it being donned by the families and friends too.
Many Indian fashion experts use it as the canvas for their marvelous creations. Designer Shilpi Gupta is one of them. As founder and designer of the Dubai-based womenswear label Surkhab Bespoke, heritage, craftsmanship and art are foremost for her. "From Mughal eras to royalty, brocade has always been a very special fabric. It is said that when Buddha attained Nirvana, his body was wrapped in brocade which emitted dazzling rays," she says.
Weddings in India are a plush affair and brocade is a perfect accompaniment. States Shilpi, "Brocade lends a regal feel. Bright and eye-catching, it makes for brilliant wedding wear as it has a contrasting textured effect. The popularity and fascination associated with bridal wear has led to a renewed interest in this weave."
The versatility of brocade contributes greatly to its importance at Indian wedding. One can find it in muted tones of white and black with metallic pattern. If pop tones are more up your alley, purples and rani pinks are also an option. The woven pattern adds the glint and luxurious feel, whatever shade you choose it to be on. If your budget don't allow designer wear, brocade is still available at high street stores and online retailers at affordable prices.
One thing is certain. Brocade will continue to be a permanent guest at many a traditional Indian weddings. From celebrities to mere mortal, fashion trends predict that it isn't going anywhere. On asking Shilpi her favourite Bollywood bridal look in brocade, she says, "My favourite celebrity who looked stunning in brocade was Anushka Sharma. She looked ravishing on the day of her reception wrapped in a gold weave Banarasi saree. She carried it beautifully and looked like a traditional Indian bride."Comments