Designer Ritu Kumar will showcase her collection at yet another upcoming bridal show, this time, in Hyderabad. The city of Nizams, she says, is close to her heart because she also did her Tree of Life show there a few years ago. Aware that the city is steeped in Mughal traditions, Kumar feels that bridal wear is hot property there. In fact, the opening show at the event is hers.
“We have a retail presence in Hyderabad, and it’s the first time they are going to do this show. Bridal wear is something I identify with and culturally, it’s what people wear there.”
Elaborating on the typical Hyderabadi bridal couture, she mentions kalamkari, shararas, dararas and khara dupattas. Kumar adds that her collection will primarily feature traditional Mughal and Rajasthani designs like the angrakhas and salwar-kurtas.
“We are also showing some saris. Of course, people wear lehengas, but saris are a hot item there. The dress or gown culture hasn’t seeped in yet. Hyderabad tends to be quite conservative. Young people do wear casual dresses, but won’t go all out for western wear,” she asserts.
Although Mumbai leans toward Bollywood, when it comes to fashion, Kumar opines that it’s a “different mass base” here. Most other cities like Delhi or Kolkata still take traditional wear seriously: “In fact, the sensibility of somebody like a Sabyasachi (Mukherjee) or an Anamika (Khanna) is very nice. I see them making a mark internationally.”
Ask the promoter of handicrafts why we still don’t give craftsmen, from remote corners of the country, enough credit and Kumar retorts: “I think Indian artisans are getting a lot of credit. Crafts are dead in European countries like France, but in India, our craftsmen are still an integral part of the fashion industry. In fact, as a label, we also mention their names.” According to her, the bridal line especially requires the usage of crafts.
On a parting note, Kumar mentions that among Bollywood heroines, she finds Priyanka Chopra, Sushmita Sen and Kareena Kapoor “pretty well turned out”.