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Desi brides blend the Western veil into their traditional wedding-day looks

by Mahmood Hossain

The tale behind the veil for desi brides is a beautiful one.

By Mahmood Hossain

Leading designers such as Manish Malhotra, Tarun Tahiliani, and Sabyasachi are no strangers to setting the standard in couture bridalwear, and their latest approach to the veil for desi brides is making its rounds with other designers in the same space. The outstanding artistry behind this matrimonial curtain is unsurprisingly enticing, something brides throughout 2023 have shown by donning statement bridal veils with their breathtaking lehengas, saris, and other traditional wedding dresses.

While the veil serves as an extension of the dupatta, there have been a few different ways it has gracefully positioned itself into desi bridalwear. What sets one bride aside from the next, however, is the unique and personalised details on their chosen veils, harmoniously integrating both Western and South Asian bridal elements.

Take a look at celebrities such as Shibani Dandekar, now married to filmmaker Farhan Akhtar,
who took the dream wedding dress to a whole different level, which also happens to be a personal favourite of mine. Designers Monica Shah and Karishma Swali put their brilliant minds together to drape Shibani with a custom-designed JADE by Monica and Karishma – a bridal-vermillion lehenga with luxe tulle and French Chantilly lace embroidery, mimicking a stunning contemporary wedding gown. It also featured a light pink base with a mermaid silhouette, a corset like blouse and, you guessed it, a trailing red veil.

Farhan Akhtar and Shibani Dandekar

We take a look at a few others in the veil mix, adding their own flair for the dramatics, and hoping to become an inspiration to future brides aiming to incorporate unique veils to their wedding-day looks.

Sabyasachi Couture

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Sabyasachi has already indulged in 2023’s biggest bridal trend. The tulle sari is complemented by an embroidered veil, dazzling in paillettes and crystals. Here is a selection for brides looking to wear something timeless and glamourous with a nonchalant attitude.

Facebook: @sabyaofficial

Gaurav Gupta

From providing the opening look for Beyoncé in her Renaissance World Tour, to his collection’s appearance in India Couture Week, Gaurav Gupta took to the cosmic tides, aiming to incorporate creations of the universe and breathing life into his Hiranyagarbha Collection. This wedding day look splashed with ‘moondust’, and its veil, is worthy of any bride wanting to channel the ethereal.

Facebook: @GauravGuptaStudio

Tarun Tahiliani

Maybe it’s the soft touch and sensuality of the silhouettes or perhaps the balanced embellished form-fitting lehengas, but Tarun Tahiliani has completed his bridal couture looks with a drape and veil that are crafted with resham thread work, Swarovski diamonds, and scattered pearls. The overall aesthetics are inspired by Chikankari and Kasheedakari style embroidery, Byzantium art, Egyptian Jaalis, and Persian motifs.

Facebook: @TarunTahiliani

Manish Malhotra

We are more than familiar with Manish Malhotra’s firm hold on India’s film fraternity, and his creative genius extends further still. In his Bridal Couture 2023/24 collection, the designer took unconventional silhouettes and added his signature pearls to his new pieces, such as this brilliant ivory pantsuit. Alongside the hand-embroidered mastery, the veil becomes an enchanting companion.

Facebook: @mmalhotraworld

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