The journey of a bridal dress begins with a dream. Every young girl who attended a wedding imagines herself on that stage one day. On that perfect day, she sees herself wearing the perfect wedding dress, adorned head to toe in stunning jewellery, intricate red henna designs on her hands, all eyes on her, especially her fiancé’s and her face lights up in a sincere, heart-warming smile.
Most brides who come to me, come with such a magnificent vision, a similar dream. One such gushing bride met me recently. She wanted a stunning wedding dress, that respected her traditions while accentuating her true self. I spoke to her to understand the colours she loved, the designs that she favoured, and why. From these conversations, I was able to glean that she wanted a traditional red wedding dress, yet something that looked stylish. She was fascinated by paisleys – the teardrop-shaped ambi or koyari design. After discussions, I was able to picture her in an ambi-embellished Kalli pattern lehenga and designer blouse.
The first step is to sketch this image on a piece of paper. The sketch helps everyone get a clear visual picture of the concept or idea.
The sketching of the lehenga needs patience and understanding of the fabric. A design on paper may not translate well into fabric without this fundamental knowledge of the behaviour or various types of materials, embellishments, patterns and stitches.
At this time of sketching, I keep the body structure of the bride in perspective, as every design, fabric and pattern must compliment her body. I prefer to set expectations by helping make the right choices at the beginning of the process, to prevent fashion mishaps or disappointments later.
I share the sketch with the bride for her final approval. At this point, any minor modifications or suggestions get incorporated in the overall design. Our master pattern artist makes the khakha based on the drawings.
The Khakha sets the tone for further work, allowing us to figure out the various adornments required for the design. After Khakha, we move to the sampling phase, where we embellish the fabric with patterns, an intensive task done with hands (see below).
We prepare the final sampling, which offers the first glimpse of the Ambi design on the red bridal fabric.
After finalizing the pattern, we begin the preparation of Kalli for the lehenga. A single Kalli sketched with graphite on white khakha, slowly transforms into something resembling a bridal fabric.
The bridal-wear is still far from ready. Once a single Kalli is ready, it gets replicated. Replication is hard work too. Every Kalli is sewn and embroidered by hand.
While the lehenga is taking shape, another team begins work on the blouse, beginning with sketches followed by sample on fabric. The blouse sampling incorporates the embroidered design, helping us visualize the various elements of the patterns.
Our artists then devote themselves to completing the blouse work, ensuring each pattern and design gets the loving attention that it requires.
By the time the Kallis are ready, and our tailors begins stitching.
The lehenga starts taking shape in front of our eyes. Once the blouse is ready, we see the first version of the dress. It is a special moment for all of us. We cannot help but take a moment first to admire the craftwork of the entire team before we continue to work on the dress.
We don the blouse and lehenga on a form-model/mannequin and pay close attention to the overall finishing. Any thread, out-of-place embroidery or sequin are corrected; every embellishment is checked and double-checked for precision. The form and fitting get unwavering attention.
I spend time with the dress until I am confident that it is ready to be shown to the bride. I invite the bride over for a showing.
This visit allows us to make any minor adjustments with regards to fitting or any small modifications, though this is very rare. We take pride in stitching the best-fit dresses that rarely if ever require any alterations.
All of us are always keenly watching the bride and her first reaction. That smile on her face, the glow and the happiness, is a reflection of that dream she had seen growing up. My team and I never get tired looking at that happy face. It motivates and inspires us to continue designing and stitching the most memorable dresses for the deserving brides who place their faith in us.
If you are looking for your dream bridal dress, book an appointment with us today.