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Designer Anjul Bhandari's latest collection is what bridal dreams are made of

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: September 15, 2019  | 13:42 IST

New Delhi, Sep 15 (PTI) The present day bride no longer wants to be the coy woman in the room. She wants to let her hair down, shake a leg, and she will not let her bridal trousseau come in the way of having fun on her wedding day. It is this fun-loving 21st century bride that turned muse for celebrity designer Anjul Bhandari's latest bridal collection that features a range of silhouettes including Jama, Peshwa, Gharara and Dagla alongside lehenga sets, saris and anarkalis. Dipped in the old-world elegance and vintage charm of the Mughal art of chikankari, an embroidery Bhandari is best known for, the collection is what bridal dreams are made of. Although adorned with intricately embroidered motifs, the pieces are unconventional in style, incredibly lightweight, and definitely not red. They are, as Bhandari said, statement heirloom pieces that the brides can cherish forever, and even pass on to their next generations. "The 21st century bride wants a look she can cherish forever. Something she can pull out of her closet and wear whenever she wants. "She doesn't want to be burdened under inexplicable weight, but something she can move around in and enjoy her wedding festivities. Some also want to experiment with colours and want to do away with the traditional reds, with some even opting to wear ivory on their big day," the designer told PTI. Bhandari's daughter-in-law, for instance, donned an ivory saree for her wedding reception. The inspiration for her new collection stems from the origin of Chikankari itself. The traditional Mughal art originated in the Nawabi city of Lucknow, and Bhandari has used motifs from the city's architecture, art and literature to capture its essence through her pieces. This has then been elevated with her signature use of mukaish work to create never-seen-before jaals (lattice work) in unique patterns. "I get inspired by my karigars. When I sit down to print my pieces, it's usually the mood of the master craftsmen which inspires me to do something different," the designer who has styled B-town celebrities like Kajol, Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit, said. Bhandari's atelier comprises of 1,500 artisans, who are fourth-generation master craftsmen belonging to families that enjoyed the patronage of the royal court of the last Nawab of Lucknow. She generously makes use of the meticulous "ek" and "do taar" technique to create unique bridal couture pieces that can never be replicated. "Our signature ek taar work takes around 1,500 hours, that is, two years to make, owing to the high level of skill and complex embroidery involved," she said. This is further complemented by pearl, sequin and baby mirror embroidery in a palette of ivory, and white, as well as pastel hues like hydro, blush pink, old rose, baby blue, mint and sage green to create timeless ensembles that will stand the test of time. "This time we have used more intricate jaals and bootas, and have embellished them with Japanese coloured pearls in pastel colours which has completely changed the whole vibe of the ensemble," she said. Bhandari's fabrics of choice are determined by their simplicity to bring out the embroideries effectively, and their light weight to ensure that the outfit does not weigh the bride down on her special day. The designer mostly embroiders on georgette, chiffon, pashmina, organza, chanderi or muslin. "These fabrics meet the requirements of our customers from day to evening and then going into very festive. They also reflect the embroideries at their finest. "We try to focus on our embroideries and keep the kind of fabrics we use simple," she said. The bridal collection, which is an extension of PURE, her latest foray into what will now be a mainstay of the brand where Bhandari will further reinstate and educate fashion connoisseurs on the craft of Chikankari, comprises of 25 statement pieces. PTI TRS MAH MAH

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