Mask and match the desi way.
By Aiden Jewelle Gonzales
SEQUINS (pictured above)
An easy way to add glamour, sequins can make your mask look like an extension of your outfit instead of just an add-on. Here’s where you can mirror your lehenga’s mirror work, get custom-made patterns that complement your blouse, or even opt for the increasingly popular sequin designs that emulate the nose ring that you won’t be able to show off under your mask.
MATCHING MATERIALS, COLOURS, AND PRINTS
The age-old question: net or velvet? Once you’ve figured out whether you’ll be attending a summer or winter event, go the simple but sophisticated route and get a monochrome mask in the same fabric type, whether it’s silk, velvet, or chiffon. Despite its minimalism, high-quality fabric is easy to spot and can elevate any look. Better yet, have a custom mask made in the exact same print and fabric as your blouse for a look that is sure to turn heads.
EMBROIDERY AND FINE NEEDLEWORK
Embroidery or the kind of work done on a sari can often make or break an outfit, so make sure that your mask has the same attention to detail to complete the look. Some masks will have sowed-on flowers if you want to take it a step further, or you can even opt for Dabka work (done with a thin coiled wire) or Gotta Patti (using metallic appliques) for an extra ornate finish.
Sometimes, golden doesn’t always mean olden, and you can’t go wrong with a gold or silver mask to match the jewellery you’re wearing with your outfit. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different textures, either, for a more expensive look.
If you want a quick way to make any of your plain masks match your outfits, simply focus on the borders instead of re-working the entire mask. Add a matching print if you have spare fabric from your outfits, a bold but complementary colour, or if you’re willing to be courageous and maybe ruffle a few feathers, add ruffles or a fringe.
You’ve just bought your designer sari and don’t want to ruin the look with a no-name mask? Worry not, a range of Indian couture wedding designers have also entered the mask market, from Anita Dongre, to Rahul Mishra and Manish Malhotra, all of whom have collaborated in Condé Nast India’s ‘Behind The Mask’ campaign. You’ll also be able to support local artisans with this initiative.
Unsure where to get any of the above? Check out the following sites for ideas or options you may want to purchase:
www.houseofblouse.com: for matching masks and blouses
www.banudesigns.com/collections/masks: for a variety of bridal masks
www.myntra.com: for the designer ‘Behind the Mask’ collection