Exclusive! A Peek Into Tarun Tahiliani's New Bridal Collection

An exclusive look into couturier Tarun Tahiliani’s Autumn/Winter 2020 bridal collection, Pieces of You, that will be showcased on Instagram for the first time ever

As couturier Tarun Tahiliani celebrates 25 illustrious years in Indian fashion this year, he is set to reinvent the wheel. In a first for the designer—and for many storied fashion houses across the world—he will showcase his Autumn/Winter 2020 bridal collection, Pieces of You, via a digital presentation on Instagram that will be showcased this evening.

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In an exclusive with Brides Today, Tarun shares the inspiration behind his collection, the future of Indian weddings, and what he considers to be the five essentials every bride should have.

Brides Today:What is the inspiration behind your bridal collection?

Tarun Tahiliani:My inspiration for this year’s collection is the emerging Indian woman who has earned her emancipation in every way! For too long have I seen brides who can barely move in their bridal outfits, and they never want to touch it again. But women, today, are very educated, refined, and see themselves as equals. I have created a new, scaled-down aesthetic with these designs that’s based on comfort.

There is also a change in bridal wear with the ongoing pandemic. I genuinely feel that everyone is going to be much more low key, much more conscious, much more cognisant of re-usability and the overall importance of a planet that has to be sustained by us because we are the ones who need it.

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The collection is artisanal and celebrates India, yet it presented in a modern way.  It is about impeccable quality and reclaiming our timeless style.

BT:How have you reimagined some of your previous, iconic designs for this range?

TT:As we are celebrating our 25th year, we took some of our most iconic designs and the different skills that we have been known for and brought them into the bridal collection. We have used our signature draping, our signature silk thread embroidery, very fine Chikankari, sprinklings of Swarovski crystal, and a modern sensibility to Indian wear.

We have also reimagined the dupattas and veils with a new lightness, very fine embroideries, and subtle blends of new colours because this is the one time everyone covers their head as a symbol of respect and reverence. In bridal collections, it is not so much about silhouettes because these are plain fabrics being draped. In fact, it is very much about embroidery, colour, artisanal detailing, dupattas, and veils.

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BT:Which is your one collection or silhouette that you keep returning to, every year?

TT:I keep returning to the concept sari, season after season. Because rather than see young women not dressing up the sari, I would rather offer them variations of it so that they can enjoy wearing it. Created as a zip-up, the possibilities for design are endless.

Today, it appears that every bride wants it in her trousseau, and certainly, every NRI wants one because of ease of managing it. With all the dancing at social gatherings, people can really let go and have fun with the same ease and freedom that they do in a western dress.

BT: Do you have a favourite piece from this range?

I am too close to the collection to know if there is a favourite piece. There are many, but among them is a plain, moss-green, draped dress with cut-outs, a Byzantine-draped sari, and of course, my new Chikan pieces. Each of these is more feminine and prettier than the other. Some can be worn to the wedding, others might be too light. There are some exquisite bridal designs in beige and red.

BT: What is mood of bridal couture this year?

TT:Well, the mood is much more sombre and subdued. Having said that, I am sure many brides are very happy that they do not have to feel pressurised to either dress or entertain in a way that may cause personal discomfort or pressure on parents and finances. In a way, this has allowed people to re-set their weddings purely on their personality, and it is going to be a much smaller and more meaningful affair, rather than a giant spectacle.

To be fair, everyone is entitled to do what they want but I think right now, because of the pandemic, there is no choice in the matter. The mood is for very small, family-oriented events; ones that will have greater sanctity because of the stillness.

The brides who are coming to us are choosing very fine quality because it is going to be seen up-close and they are not concerned with how it will look across a ballroom or a big garden. The pressure for projection is over. Most have returned to their roots.

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BT: What is the foreseeable future of Indian couture—both immediate and long term?

TT:I’m very confident about the future of Indian couture. People will always want bespoke garments for their special occasions, clothes that no one has seen or owns. Having said that, this year, budgets will be lower because we are not only in a recession, we are also in a gloomy state of mind and that does affect people’s ability or desire to spend. What might have been okay last year might not feel so this year, and we must be sensitive to that.

However, people will still want to spend on very fine quality of work because they are going to be looked at up-close. I think if you are keen on getting married, have a small simple, meaningful ceremony right now and host the big celebration later.

BT: What fabrics and embroideries have you used?

TT: There is a lot of hand-embroidery in this collection—a mix of techniques that include Chikankari andMukaish embroidery, specially woven brocades with zardozi, and embellishments of Swarovski crystals, pearls, and resham. The silhouettes include lightweight lehengas,shararas, peplum blouses, concept saris, structured drapes, anarkalis, and fusion-style jumpsuits.

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BT: What are the five things a bride must have in her trousseau?

TT: The love of her fiancé; a beautiful lehenga; flowers and jewellery to complement it;  a clear vision of the life she wants to live; and most of all her understanding that now she has two homes and not just one!

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