4 Couture Designers On the Perfect Summer Outfit

Brides Today presents insider advice on how to invest in timeless and weather-appropriate pieces.

As the wedding season resumes with a fresh sense of hope, the summer festivities take on a brighter and more festive avatar this year. Think amaltas blooms as nature’s delightful backdrop, intimate evening functions, and chilled, champagne-filled flutes clinking over a sundowner with the setting sun… an image of perfection.

When it comes to the outfits that the bride can consider for her big day, especially as temperatures soar, the choice of fabrics and styles becomes imperative. In contrast to the heavy drapes of winter, lightweight and breathable designs are her best friends here, in colours that are soothing and refreshing. Besides these, there are a few things that the recent years have taught us: the wedding trousseau is now, more than ever, focused on versatility. The bridal outfit you invest in should double up as a style essential for the many events you will eventually attend as newlyweds. To help you choose the perfect ensemble for the wedding, Brides Today spoke with four leading couturiers to share expert advice on putting together a timeless, summer wedding trousseau.

THE SAHIL KOCHHAR BRIDE

Sahil Kochhar’s label specialises in feminine and flirty ensembles with a distinct old-world charm. He uses traditional craftsmanship to create beautiful landscapes replete with flora and fauna, rendered in a modern, abstract style.

Colours: “The weddings of Summer 2021 marked the return of festivities after a hard year. This is a time for new beginnings and celebrating life once again with loved ones. With an emotion pinned on so much hope, how can the wedding colour palette be dull? Shades like fresh lime, ash lilac, sage green, and aqua are perfect for the season. The bridal red gets a fresh twist with multicoloured embroidery making a comeback. Millennial brides don’t need to conform to sartorial stereotypes—personal style reigns supreme, as well as the things that bring joy.”

Silhouettes and fabrics: “With the Indian bridal market going through a major trend of ‘bridalisation’, it is very important for the bride to stand out. A perfect blend of heritage and contemporary aesthetics is what will set you apart. Breezy organza, summer silk, and tulle are here to stay.”

Accessories: “Balance the look by not going overboard with the jewellery and accessories. If the outfit is light, you could match it with a heavier dupatta. If the outfit itself is ornate, then it is advisable to keep the accessories simple. Consider interesting blouse designs, statement dupattas, and lightweight lehengas. Try a layered jewellery look instead of picking one single piece: team the neckpiece with simple chains and chokers.”

Hair and make-up: “A pretty braid, sleek ponytail, or free-flowing curls can be considered for the pre-wedding festivities. Try to keep the makeup natural and fresh. Create a balance when it comes to the intensity of your makeup: pair a statement eye with nude lips, or bold lips with simpler eyes.”

Expert advice: “Summer weddings are all about experimental silhouettes and happy hues.”

THE PAYAL SINGHAL BRIDE

Her bohemian-gipsy collections have struck a chord with the free-spirited bride, who is well-travelled and experimental with her style, while also being rooted in tradition and culture. Modern, minimalist, and effortlessly chic are words that encompass Payal Singhal’s aesthetic and collections.

Colours: “Light hues are ideal for summer weddings, and one can never go wrong with pastel colours. Blush pink,
pale blue, and yellow are my picks for the season. While selecting her outfit, one of the most important things a bride should keep in mind is that the garment should resonate with who she is. Don't jump on a trend or only consider a designer who is popular...go with what suits you.”

Silhouettes and fabrics: “Pick fun and light silhouettes like mul lehengas, dhoti saris, or shararas for a summer
celebration. Lightweight fabrics like chiffon, georgette, tulle, and mul work well for summer celebrations.”

Accessories: “The bride should pick pieces that work with her personal style. From hair accessories to jewellery and footwear, invest in pieces that compliment the occasion and ceremonies. Be mindful of not over-styling your look; it’s nice to keep things elegant.”

Hair and make-up: “Consider loose curls or a low chignon with natural, glossy, light make-up.”

Expert advice: “Kitsch and quirky are the way to go if you want something fun, versus a traditional bridal look. Wear an embroidered belt to add a distinct edge to the wedding outfit.”

THE RAHUL MISHRA BRIDE

A headliner at Paris Haute Couture Week, couturier Rahul Mishra is noted for his pieces that have been compared to wearable art. He uses opulent embroideries and architectural elements to create picturesque landscapes on clothes. And while they are intricately embroidered, the garments are surprisingly lightweight and easy to wear with fabrics such as chiffon, crepe, organza, and silk.

Colours: “This year, we are celebrating light, pastel hues such as blush-pink, butter-yellow, ice-blue, lilac, peach, and even pastel grey. I am a firm believer that the bride should have fun at her wedding and suggest that she selects pieces that she finds comfortable. The colours of the outfits should complement her personality, instead of overpowering it”.

Silhouettes and fabrics: “Keeping in mind the heat and humidity of Indian summers, I recommend that one selects airy and comfortable silhouettes, such as cropped tops and short lehengas. You could also consider a tiered, flowy skirt in tulle, silk organza, or handloom textiles. Diaphanous, light fabrics drape well and are ideal for the season. You can also replace the dupatta with an embellished jacket or cape. ”

Accessories: “Jewellery is very personal to the bride and her family. Many times, brides choose to wear their family heirlooms or invest in pieces that may become heirlooms for the generations to come, which is a wonderful thought. Jewellery should be styled in such a way that it doesn’t look overwhelming: dainty pearls, light pieces in gold, and designs with crystals are good options. Coordinate your outfit with a clutch or potli, and if you are at a beach wedding, wear flats or go bare feet!”

Hair and make-up: “The bride should focus on having fun, and her hair and makeup should reflect that. The hair can be tied in a slightly messy top bun or left down in casual beach waves. The make-up should be natural, dewy, and light with hues of peach and pink.”

Expert advice: “Mixing and matching complementing shades is a playful way to upgrade your wedding outfit. Consider styling the sari with a pair of sequinned pants or wear a bustier gown instead of a lehenga...the possibilities are endless.”

THE ARPITA MEHTA BRIDE

Known for her signature ruffled saris and Indianwear, Arpita Mehta’s designs feature delicate embroidery and mirror work. Traditional yet modern, her creations have curried favour with many Bollywood celebrities.

Colours: “I am currently crushing on sandy and coconut shades, colours of the seashore, bright poppy mango, and flaming red. I would love to see a bride in a whimsical, sand colour lehenga for her summer wedding—unconventional yet truly fashionable.”

Silhouettes and fabrics: “Soft silk and organza would be ideal for the lehenga. This could be accompanied by soft chiffon for the dupatta and silk linen for the blouse. All of these fabrics work well for summer since they are breathable, comfortable, and easy to move around in.”

Accessories: “A bride should style her outfit with pearls and Polki jewellery, along with pink tourmalines, to accentuate the influences of summer and offset a vibrant outfit in an elegant manner. Jewellery and accessories should be subtle, and the outfit must be allowed to speak for itself.”

Hair and make-up: “For hair, I would suggest a messy bun, with fresh natural-looking make-up. The idea is to highlight a ‘summer glow’.”

Expert advice: “For the experimental bride, consider colourful, metallic colour bangles. Think unicorn-like shades to create a unique look.” 

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