New-age brides go vintage

Amrita Prasad
Wednesday, 5 December 2018

If you are one of those brides who wish to reinvent and upcycle the dress that your mother or grandmother wore at their own wedding, here are a few ideas

You must be drooling over Deepika Padukone’s resplendent sarees and lehengas created by Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla for her grand wedding. Priyanka Chopra’s wedding outfits too are to die for! 

Favourite celebrities and their wedding attires created by ace designers do make brides wonder, ‘What if I too could have a wedding dress like hers?’ Well, there’s nothing stopping you! But if you are someone who would like to wear an heirloom piece on your wedding, like the saree, ghagra or sharara that your mother or grandmother wore at their own wedding, you can totally go for it. Many new-age brides are reinventing their family’s heirloom pieces for their special day.

Shivani Jain of label Tisharth says that today’s brides are experimenting with their looks in a big way and one of the latest trends is to reinvent their ancestor’s wedding dress and make it their own. “It’s a wonderful way to connect with your roots as well as Indian traditional costumes. The traditional sarees of Kheemkhap, Patolas, Paithanis have been converted into gowns and lehengas and being paired with crop tops and sexy blouses. The old lehengas of mothers, dadis and nanis have also been restored to make new-age lehengas for brides. There are a lot of feelings attached to these outfits as they are passed down from one generation to another with a lot of care and emotions,” says Jain.
Delhi-based designer Reeti Arneja, who owns Reeti Arneja label and recently showcased her festive collection Apricity at The Wedding Junction Show, says, “Many brides choose to do so as they want to add the vintage charm and a special touch to their wedding outfit.”
Although it is always a special feeling to wear an ancestral piece on your D-Day, it can often get a little tricky and can go wrong if it doesn’t look fresh and new. “Rather than picking up the entire attire, choose the pieces you love the most and design your wedding outfit around it. For example, the dupatta can be a beautiful memory around which a new lehenga can be designed. Once you have decided to use that vintage saree, you can choose a trendy blouse, that’s in sync with the current trends. Make sure the vintage lehenga is re-tweaked and well fitted with added pouf and crisp borders for your special day,” suggests Arneja.
Apart from the emotional attachment, the reason why brides are opting for their grandmothers and great grandmothers’ wedding outfits is because ‘vintage is cool’.  Aiana Dhillon, style coach and fashion blogger, says, “Wearing your mom or granny’s old sarees, lehengas or shararas ensures that you stand out from the crowd. The quality of embroidery, fabrics and even a few patterns are almost impossible to find nowadays.”
While you can go for the vintage look, you can always add a modern touch to spice things up. Dhillon suggests that lehengas and sarees can be teamed up with a shirt instead of a choli. You can also wear boots for comfort. “It adds an element of grunge to the whole look. Adding a belt over the saree or a lehenga also adds a touch of modernity,” says Dhillon. 

Apart from the heirloom clothes, you can combine vintage ancestral jewellery on your wedding day. “Add family heirloom pieces and layer up if you aren’t going for a statement neckpiece. Gold, diamonds or kundan are highly recommended. Big earrings and statement bangles add to the charm of the bridal look. A big nose ring always adds that dash of femininity to the entire look. Also, flowers make for a beautiful accessory for the bride,” says Dhillon. 
When wearing vintage clothes, try to keep the make-up as natural as possible. “Do not cover that pretty face with cakey make-up and jarring lip colours. Focus on your best features and highlight them,” suggests Arneja. 

If you like the less is more look, you can go for brown smokey eyes and nude toned lips. “Don’t feel the pressure to be any kind of bride instead be an extension of yourself because it’s all about you and it’s your big day,” says Dhillon.


Nishit Gupta, director, Kalki Fashion, shares a few simple tips and tricks that will work their sartorial magic:

It’s time to bring out those 25-year-old sarees and use your creative juices to turn them into a breathtaking flowy Anarkali. Ask your designers to tweak it and turn this timeless wonder into a brand new D-Day outfit. Ensure you redo the zari and other intricate embroideries to give it a new lustre. 

Change the borders, use the patchwork, redo the zari; it’s all about taking bits and pieces. Borrow some from your mums and borrow the remaining from your grandmoms to make an outfit which can be looked up to for generations to come.

Take out bits and pieces from your dadiji’s D-Day outfit to have it stitched into yours. Or better yet, go ahead and turn them into cholis or dupattas, and 3/4th of your outfit will be pretty much sorted. 

In the mood to don your mom’s 20-year-old blouse with a modern spin? Time to put your thinking cap on and tweak this blouse into the latest design! From backless to cutouts, to off-shoulders, there is a plethora of designs to choose from. The only thing you need to ensure is that you fit into the blouse. 

You can bring out your grandmom’s brocade wedding sarees and turn into a flared wide-legged pant. Team it up with a long kurta at one of your wedding festivities. 

All you need is your mom’s wedding dupatta and style into a veil, as you walk down towards the mandap. Who said this has to be difficult?

Why splurge on your mehendi lehenga when you can use your ancestral brocade one-of-a-kind saree to turn it into your dreamy and fun lehenga. Trust us, this may take a little effort but it’ll be completely worth it. Put forth a modern spin to it by accessorising it with your trendy regal chokers, to enjoy the best of both worlds.

You may not be a huge fan of your antique gold jewelry. Well, you can give your grandmom’s or mom’s 24k ancestral gold property a fancy update. Ask your jeweller to attach a modern pendant or just encrust it with pearls to give it a modern spin and a new lease of life.

Nothing makes a bride happier than a statement piece of jewellery passed down from generations.  Take this piece of art and layer it with something modern. Or opt for a timeless choker and pair it with millennial favourite danglers.

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