I finally had the chance to “open-mindedly” style myself for my cousins’ wedding which took place in February this year in Gujarat and boy was I looking forward to trying out some different looks!
I travelled to Mumbai with no idea about the colours and style I wanted to go for - so in a sense was totally open to everything that was been shown to me.
My main focus was to find outfits for 4 functions - an evening welcome dinner, an afternoon engagement/ mendhi, the sangeet and finally for the wedding day. Since each event was a day apart I really wanted to make sure that the looks were as different as possible. And as you will see I think I succeeded - yay!
What I also was looking forward to was enhancing each look with jewellery...simple and heavy. And one thing I was prepared with for this wedding was a few designs that I had been working on in January that had finally come through from our workshop just in time for me to show them off.
Before we go into the final looks I wanted to share my shopping experiences in Mumbai. I would probably say that the biggest mission when shopping in Mumbai is the traffic! I had to plan the day in advance to get most out of my time there - it literally takes 2 hours to travel from mid-Bombay to south. It was only after spending many hours visiting numerous shops and boutiques that I finally found outfits that clicked for me. And coincidently would match very well with my jewels. My main places for shopping were in downtown Mumbai on Queens Road – a shop called ‘Queens’, in Santa Cruz – ‘Seasons’ and one of my all-time favs ‘Nalli Sarees’ in Matunga.
So here’s what I found for each of the functions: starting with the welcome dinner for a beautiful palace venue in Gujarat. I opted for a long anarkali in royal blue and black combined with antique gold with hints of light colorado topaz crystals. The colours worked perfectly with the theme of the function and I completed the look with my very own designed jewellery that surprisingly matched the designs and motifs on the dress. Since it was long sleeves I opted for just a hand punja on my right hand, and a round standoff ring on my left. The dress also had a high neck and was perfect for me to wear my oversized jhumkar earrings! I loved how the jhumkas set off the whole look beautifully.
The following day I had to get ready for the engagement followed by mendhi party. I wore a Nalli Saree – a beautiful mustard yellow/ orange silk saree with a long sleeved hot pink blouse. I loved the simplicity of this saree and it gave me ample opportunity to go heavy on the jewellery. The three line antique necklace with a matching belt was a ‘go to’ for this outfit – I just had to do it! And I’m happy to say I loved how modern, yet traditional elements of the jewellery gave oomph to the whole look and also appreciated how the belt kept the saree in place for the whole function. The bangles added a bit of glamour to my wrists but I still kept it simple enough for them not to take the show away from the belt and the neck piece!
After a great night of music and dancing I ran a little late for the following day’s morning rituals and haldi ceremony…(but was glad to see that I was not the only one!) For this traditional ceremony I opted for a hand-me-down vintage saree that my mum wore on her own engagement. This look was probably my most prized look simply because I had the chance to wear and adorn one of my mum’s saree. The colour, the material and the ornate embroidery of the saree made me reach to one of my most treasured pieces of jewellery – a choker style kundan necklace with fresh water pearls. I paired the necklace with a couple of kundan kadas that i wore on my wedding - just enough to set this look apart and made me feel beautiful that fine sunny day… Thanks Mum!
For another night of more dancing I chose an elegant choli lengha from Season’s Mumbai – a perfect colour combination of red and fuchia pink with a golden sequinced border and then set off with a stunning “mirror” themed blouse - needless to say I felt very Bollywood in this outfit! I decided to keep my jewellery to a real minimum to emphasise the details in the outfits. A lovely neck piece with small jhumki earrings completed my look and a simple red bindi just added a bit of a final zest to the outfit. I decided to wrap the edge of my beautiful dupatta around my left wrist but still wore a small set of bangles with pearls to compliment my necklace and on my right wrist an overstated ring with a pearl in the centre.
For the wedding day I wore a silk saree from Nalli’s Mumbai – a gorgeous blend of pastel green and rose pink with gold thread detailing embroidery. This particular saree was so apt for the lovely sunny weather that day and the colours just shone through making the outfit seem richer even though it was so simple. I decided to reuse a particular kundan based necklace set that I wore at another wedding last year. It’s one of those timeless pieces which I felt was so appropriate for the wedding and my wedding kadas mixed with a few coloured diamante bangles and pearl bangles gave emphasis to the necklace. I love wearing full sets of bangles on both hands for weddings especially when dancing in the baraat!
Anarkali dress – Queens, Mumbai
Saree – Nalli Saree, Mumbai
Jewellery – Bees
Photography - Sushil