Here comes the (Anti-Trend Cocktail) bride

Debarati Palit Singh
Monday, 30 July 2018

Designers Shantanu and Nikhil, who are showcasing their collection at Vogue Wedding Show 2018, talk about their inspiration behind designing for unconventional brides and the secret behind the successful collaboration.

How would one define designer brothers Shantanu and Nikhil’s bride? She is edgy, stylish and someone who doesn’t follow any rules. The designers, set to showcase their latest Autumn Winter ’18 collection at Vogue Wedding Show, say that the dynamic demography of our land inspired them to create some of the most exquisitely hand-crafted ensembles that represent the inimitable heritage textiles of India.   

Vogue Wedding Show 2018 will be held between August 3-5 at Taj Palace, New Delhi. The fashion event, which is in its sixth year, will have Kangana Ranaut as the face of the edition. The three-day event will also have clothing and jewellery designers like Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi, Tarun Tahiliani, Anita Dongre, Gaurav Gupta, Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas, Farah Khan Fine Jewellery, Hazoorilal by Sandeep Narang and others showcasing their collections. 


Your collection is about the Anti-Trend Cocktail Brides. How would the two of you describe this bride?
Shantanu: The millennial Anti-Trend Cocktail bride does not want to follow the set bridal trends. Our brides want edgy silhouettes, voluminous drapes and contemporary Indian values being exhibited through our ensembles. They are defiant and do not follow stereotypical notions of the bridal curriculum. They are real, modern and want unconventional hues and designs that are earthy yet classic, effeminate yet eclectic and contemporary yet deep rooted with nostalgia.

When it comes to designing for unconventional brides, what are some of your inspirations? 
Nikhil: This year, the dynamic demography of our land inspired us to create some of the most exquisitely hand-crafted ensembles, that represent the inimitable heritage textiles of India. Aristocracy of the princely states amalgamated with the panache of pre-Independent India. Our creations sing a ballad of true Indian couture in its most contemporary and modern avatar.

What are some of dos and don’ts that Indian brides need to follow while going for the perfect look?
Shantanu: The bride must usually go for voluminous drapes as they emblemise celebration and tradition at the same time. Following minimalism is the key to outshine the bride’s persona on her big day as it aids in amplifying the sartorial nature of the ensemble.
Nikhil: There can never be pre-constructed ideas for the collation of one’s trousseau, however the bride must always mix her take on fashion with contemporary ideation. There must be a mix of couture and occasion wear since millennials want different takes on traditional ensembles, neo drape sarees, drape kurtas with structured jackets, and minimalistic cocktail gowns that would always help create a grand trousseau. Bright colours are now being replaced with decadent hues and they replicate the art of fashion very aptly today. 

What are some of the trends that we can look forward to in Autumn Winter’ 18, both for brides and grooms?
Nikhil: Today, brides and grooms are taking key interest in looking understated and more eccentric. They relate more with contemporary styles, structures and fits with innovative colour palettes and minimal surface details, asymmetrical drapes and cuts. 
Brides are more willing now than ever to experiment with silhouettes and fits, softer shapes and cleaner lines without falling into this clotheshorse trap. There is an expected role reversal as the focus will strongly be on the wearer from now on and not the designer as has always been the case in Indian bridal couture...unconventional light weight silhouettes with the right fit and structure, interwoven with smart play of minimalism and modernity will keep the occasion and the wearer sartorially simple yet sexy.  
Shantanu: Structured trench coat-inspired bandhgalas and long sherwanis with cape-inspired sleeves teamed with angular sharp cut kurtas which have detailed epaulets and collars, vintage coin buttons, and unconventional pockets styled with rustic medallion brooch, gives a new identity to the cocktail perfect groom.

What has been the secret behind the successful collaboration between the two of you?
Shantanu: As a brand, we have always reiterated our vision of belonging to something that is bigger than ourselves and its underlying spirit that symbolises progressivism and distinctiveness. We don’t wish to preach or dictate, we believe that the clothes create the dialogue. 
Nikhil: It is a brand for strong men and women who represent a mentality of fighting for what they believe in, a sentiment which is relevant to both India and the world. We believe that ours is the best combination of art and commerce in the creative world of fashion. This mindset is what prompted us to ally our respective backgrounds into something that could withstand the pressure of the ultra-dynamic and the accelerating fashion industry.

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