I love weddings. Since the age of ten, my sister and I religiously collected wedding magazines and eagerly flipped through the glossy pages, picking out our favorite outrageously expensive designer gowns. You can imagine my absolute delight when my mother allowed me to get a YouTube account; I was free to watch hours upon hours of bridal shows. From Vera Wang to Reem Acra I knew every bridal designer like the back of my hand. But these were American designers: their royal blue prom dresses were stunning and intricate, but it was difficult to make a dress stand out when your only color option is white. That was when I stumbled upon Bridal Asia, Asia’s largest exposition for all bridal finery, apparel and products. Since its successful inception in 1999, Bridal Asia has been a ground breaking concept, introducing celebrated designers from around the world to the Indian audience and bringing various parts of trousseau shopping under one roof, Bridal Asia is undoubtedly the category innovator and undisputed leader in the area of wedding exhibitions. This year, Bridal Asia took place October 1st-3rd and showcased spectacular designers such as Shubhika (Papa Don’t Preach,) Rahul (Ra Abta,) and Tisha Saksena (Tisha.) I was greatly looking forward to this year’s Bridal Asia, and I am happy to say the exhibition did not disappoint! So without further ado, here are the best designs of Bridal Asia 2016.
For South Asian bridal jewelry, the year 2016 has been all about pearls. Raishma released a stunning beaded ivory lace gown with precious pearls, Swarovski diamonds and Parisian lace. Rashid Malik of RDC London stated that ”[At Bridal Asia] we saw a lot of vintage, a lot of long pearl necklaces with small decals.” The antique look of pearls went very well with this year’s color trend of ivory, peaches, creams, and gold. In my opinion, the designer that used pearls best was Nisha Dadi of Kyles Jewelry. Two jewelry designs stood out to me, their design for the hijab bride being the most prominent. The hijab bride is the most modest of the South Asian brides, and in a exhibition concentrating mainly on Indian brides, they are the least represented.
Kyles Jewelry created a stunning gold and pearl wrap with exotic red stones and pearl drops, a look that kept the hijab bride's modesty, but beautifully framed her face and allowed her to brilliantly stand out. In response to the look, Nisha Dadi stated that ”The creativity goes to show that there is no boundary, there are no limits. It is vision that can create whatever the bride needs.” The next look Kyles brought forward was a Cleopatra necklace with cascading pearls that wrapped around the torso.
It was a visionary piece; the way the pearls elegantly framed the body was something I had never seen before. The necklace was bold, but it did not draw away from the model's face thanks to the gorgeous gold headpiece. The two prominent pieces framed the model's face, revealing how one can have large statement pieces and still be the shining star of their wedding.
Soltee is the next bridal company I’d like to discuss. Designed by Sulakshana Monga, Soltee is well known for its intricate hand-embroidered lehengas, the traditional skirt for Indian women. One of my personal favorites was a beautiful dark olive and moss green lehenga that was worn with a sparkling royal marine jacket. The piece stood out from the other deep orange colored outfits and was a pleasing change from the typical red and orange color scheme present at the exhibition. The regal look Soltee had claimed to be working on for this season was very present in their runway looks.
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