Weddings in India, where do we even start? Because there is nothing more beautiful than her at an Indian wedding, let's start with the bride.
Ask any bride-to-be what she wants to wear on her big day, and she'll put a lehenga straight from the fashion runway on top of her wishlist. All right, let's just say it: A wedding lehenga is the most important piece of clothing a woman will buy, which makes picking one so much trickier! You know what they say, the lehenga should accentuate the bride's figure, complement her skin tone, bring out her feminine grace, and what not.
Fortunately, with the help of small-time designers and a quick flow of images on the internet, getting the lehenga of your dream is no longer a nightmare. But when selecting the colour and textile, consider its style too. There are some new cuts brewing, perfect for both the old school bride who wants to stick to tradition, and the bold fashionist who wants to take risks.
So worry not, if you've exhausted all the boutiques and wedding stores out there. We've rounded up the best lehengas cuts for you: From vintage-inspired designs to more playful, contemporary styles, there is something to suit every taste, body and shape here.
Here we go!
A Niki Mahajan creation at a fashion week (left); a Suneet Varma creation at BMW India Bridal Fashion Week 2014
1 A-line lehenga
This lehenga champions a classic bridal look, with its beautiful A-line skirt, filled with exquisite details. Mumbai-based fashion designer Nicky Mahajan says these are going to be in trend in 2014-15. “This season, it makes perfect fashion sense to add cheer to your wedding with this lehenga cut, as A-line is big the world over,” she says.
The A-line cut, as the name suggests, has the lehenga skirt going in an A-line i.e. the cut broadens with the increase in the length of the skirt. "Elegant and sexy, these are the go-to cuts for a fashionable bride. This cut can be both modern and conservative, depending on your choice of textile and work," says Mahajan.
It suits women with pear-shaped bodies as it has a minimalistic flare.
Style it right: It can be paired with lovely cholis and blouses with puffy sleeves that are designed to accentuate the upper part of the body.
A creation by Jaipur-based bridal designer Parnika Jain (left); an Ashima-Leena creation at BMW India Bridal Fashion Week 2014
2 Straight-cut lehenga
One of the most-preferred bridal lehengas, this style nails vintage glamour: Complete with intricate detailing all over, it is totally worth you and that money. “The lehenga falls parallel to your legs. It has a very neat and graceful feel to it,” says fashion designer Agnimitra Paul.
This lehenga, which looks like a wraparound, falls straight from the waist to the hemline with slits on the sides.
This one flatters all body types.
Style it right: It looks best paired with a choli which falls beneath the collarbone, giving a long and enhanced look to the body.
Photos courtesy Craftsvilla
3 Mermaid or fish-cut style
If you're keen to buck tradition, this is a choice option. “This cut is a new take on classic bridal lehengas. Here, the skirt has a lot of pleats around the waist. It is very heavy, but looks extremely beautiful,” says fashion designer Abhishek Dutta.
If you want to give a contemporary spin to your wedding, it’s a great idea to go for this cut. This cut accentuates those curves like no other cut – it fits snugly till the knees and it flares out gracefully.
Fish-cut lehenga suits women who have an hourglass figure or a straight body. But one tip: Stay away from this lehenga, if you are bottom-heavy, as it accentuates the hips.
Style it right: Now that you’re taking risks, why not go all the way and pair it with a gorgeous corset or a daring halter-neck style choli?
An Ashima-Leena creation at BMW India Bridal Fashion Week 2014 (right)
4 Panel length or flared lehenga
This one is everything we hoped a bridal lehenga would be: feminine, breathtaking and over-the-top. Yes, it’s big on the last one. “Being on the heavier side doesn’t mean you can’t disguise those curves and work them to your advantage. This lehenga has so much going on and it draws all the attention at the right places,” says fashion designer Ashwaq Ahmed, who runs a bridal boutique in Shahpur Jat, Delhi.
This lehenga creates the required amount of flare and offers a slimming effect. It is made of numerous panels stitched together which are of similar fabrics or different kinds of fabrics, print and colour.
Those who are bottom-heavy can wear brighter colours on top, and slim down their bottom by wearing a slightly muted colour, suggests Ahmed. If you are heavy busted, wear subtler hue on the top and bold colours below the waist, he adds.
Style it right: This lehenga looks even better with a long choli which hides any extra flab and creates the perfect slim silhouette.
A JJ Valaya creation (left); a Tarun Tahiliani creation at Bridal Fashion Week 2013
5 Circular lehenga
You'll fall in love with this lehenga instantly. It makes the dress of wedding day dreams. “This lehenga is complete with its beautiful broad flare and great volume. Starting with numerous pleats near the waist, it should be selected in smooth, long and silky flowing fabrics to get the best look,” says Mohamman Dildar or Pakeeza, who owns a bridal boutique in Chandni Chowk, Delhi.
This lehenga looks good on women with cone-shaded bodies.
Style it right: It should be worn with a choli or fitted kurti which is elegant and subtle in its design and fabric.