Indians are no strangers to bespoke tailoring. From designer ateliers to neighbourhood tailors, customising (more than) a few ensembles during the course of your life is a norm in the country, rather than the exception. It could have been the lehenga you wore to the very first wedding you attended as a toddler, or that elaborate anarkali you conceptualised from scratch with your favourite designer—getting your clothes designed for any special occasions can easily be denoted as a cultural tradition here.
Now while there is no denying the charm of wearing fresh off-the-runway styles, the merits of customising your traditional wear are aplenty too—especially when it comes to the lehenga. A festive season MVP, the lehenga is as appropriate for a Diwali cards party as it is for your brother’s sangeet ceremony. And if you’re invested in curating a wardrobe that’s in tune with your personality, a mannequin-ready look may not always work for you. You may want to switch up the colours, tone down the embroidery or change the blouse to accentuate your body type. Luckily, off-the-rack is not the only way to go. We round up some of the coolest designers on the block who will save the day with a timely stitch.
Best for: Coordinated bridesmaid lehengas in the designer’s signature prints and embellishments, as well as her modern take on the ethnic wardrobe staple.
Best for: A contemporary mix of mirror work, prints and breezy silhouettes that are exceedingly mehandi-ready, whether you’re the bride or part of her inner circle.
Best for: Voluminous lehengas with uber cool, unconventional blouses that are tailor-made to dance the night away in at a sangeet or reception.
Best for: Her exquisite Benarasi weaves, scalloped hemlines and peplum blouses—a fitting choice for the bride’s sister to wear to the pheras.
Best for: Giving old-world inspirations a decidedly millennial update. Their contemporary creations are just what a serial wedding attendee’s wardrobe needs.
Best for: Marrying kaleidoscopic colours with mirror and gota work for low-key princess vibes, apt for the bride to sport on her mehandi or sangeet.
Best for: Lehengas that are equal parts traditional and modern. The bonus? Thakur’s sets can be easily reused as separates too. Add them to your trousseau for pieces that you will be using long after your wedding.
Best for: A pastel colour palette, delicate embroideries and overall vintage appeal, which work beautifully for an intimate roka or engagement ceremony.
Koëcsh By Krésha Bajaj
Best for: Bajaj’s signature love story lehengas and sexy corset blouses are what a bride ought to wear for her reception party.
Best for: Floral prints accentuated with traditional craft techniques and free-flowing capes, the sister of the groom ought to choose Shah’s silhouettes for the wedding welcome dinner.