It's all about the 'Kancheevaram and the Gold' for the South Indian Bride!
A lot has changed in the Bridal Shopping and Trousseau scenario over the past few years. With designer and retail stores opening up ever so often, brides to-be have a lot of variety to choose from and make a unique style statement on their wedding. However the South Indian bride continues to stay committed to her traditional attire, jewellery and simplicity of the wedding rituals.
We spoke to Bangalore based designer, Deepika Govind, who talked about the simplicity of the wedding ceremony, bridal attire and jewellery that is adorned by a South Indian Bride!
Us: What has been the traditional bridal wear for women in South India?
Deepika Govind: The Kancheevaram silk saree has been a staple for the South Indian bride. Withstanding the test of time and the changes it brings in its sweep, the Kancheevaram saree remains the key piece in a South Indian bride’s trousseau.
Us: Where do the south Indian brides shop for their D-Day outfit, is the concept of designers popular there or are there any landmark stores which are preferred choice?
Deepika Govind: Most South Indian brides shop at the regular well-known retail chains / stores that offer traditional Kancheevarams and other resplendent Southern Silks. The concept of going to a designer is definitely seeping in.
Us: Has there been an evolution in the bridal wear trend over the years, if yes, please elaborate.
Deepika Govind: There has been a clearly discernable, visible shift towards embroidered sarees. Unfortunately, the other side of the coin is that woven’s ones are forced to take a back seat, as popular choices lean towards the ornate, embellished sarees.
Look out of the window, at the women on the street below, those in sarees will in all likelihood have a dash of embroidery …and this trend goes all the way up the graph to the special wedding sarees. A clear, albeit, unfortunate development, as woven sarees are given a pass and preference falls on beading and embroidery to create a sense of grandeur.
Other notable changes: the 'lehenga' is now a must–have for the South Indian bride and fairly ornate kurtas are also considered essentials to the trousseau. While the saree will never be replaced, the choice has broadened considerably.
Us: What is the kind of jewelry that is worn with the bridal outfit?
Deepika Govind: To the South Indian, gold has always been seen as an investment and hence, the design quotient was never a predominant factor in choosing one’s bridal jewellery. Earlier, they leaned more towards gold jewellery and less towards precious stones…over time, there has been a slow but sure change in the psyche.
South Indian brides prefer antique gold finishes, more precious stones and they are definitely more design-oriented. The design element is now a key factor.
Us: Can you give us a broad price range for a bridal outfit?
Deepika Govind: Sarees : Rs 30000 – Rs 60000; Lehengas : Rs 35000 – Rs 60000; Kurtas : Rs 15000 – Rs 30000
There are average prices that cover a gamut of retail outlets – from stores to smaller boutiques to the simpler pieces available at designer studios.
Us: Any stark difference you have noticed between a south Indian and North Indian bride?
Deepika Govind: When it comes to weddings, the foundations of North Indian and South Indian culture are akin to the North and South Pole. In South Indian weddings, it was never about being fashionable. It was and still is, about investing in clothing that will last a long time to come, and jewellery that will prove of investment value.
Lavish display of wealth at the wedding ceremonies are practically nonexistent. They’re kept simple, sleek and pleasant. Instead, the bride is given things considered valuable that will help her build a new home.
The entire wedding lasts for not more than 2 – 3 days, as opposed to the week-long revelry of North Indian weddings.
The South Indian bride is not a fashion victim – she will wear what suits her – and most often, this is the saree.
The North Indian bride is definitely more fashion conscious – however, from what I've seen, being too experimental on such occasion often leads to disastrous results, and what should have been a fashion statement ends up being a fashion faux pas ….so tread carefully!
Image Courtesy : Deepika Govind
About Deepika Govind
Original. Innovative. Feisty. Spirited. These are just few words that strive to describe the creations of Bengaluru-based designer Deepika Govind. Be it garments in her prêt and couture collection, lifestyle products or accessories, Deepika’s flagship stores in New Delhi and Bangalore bear witness to the matchless originality of her designs. Her design philosophy is `Fashion for the EARTH’ (E=Elements, A=Art, R=Revolution, T=Technology and H=Human Hand.)Website