Wedding season is around the corner and couples are scouting for that perfect out… What’s in and what’s out this season? What should the bride and groom be looking at? Designers Shantanu and Nikhil in conversation with Sinduri Vuppala give us a glimpse of the latest trends on the horizon and talk about their two-decade journey in the fashion world.
- You have completed over 20 years in the industry, how would you describe your journey so far?
Over the last few years, we have restlessly toiled around the idea of a new world, a world more progressive and inclusive, a world without any biases and boundaries. In this past decade on our journey, we have paved the way to reach a newer and bigger audience, making us more accessible, and thereby fulfilling our dream to see our brand on every global Indian. With the phenomena of the corporatization of fashion, it has given a free rein to designers to explore more and reach out to their audience in multiple ways.
We experienced intense emotions in 2020 when Maison Shantanu Nikhil marked 20 years as a brand. In addition, as the world recoiled to a new definition of normal, we brought in the 20th year with a new chapter in our journey – S&N by Shantanu Nikhil, a celebratory narrative where Indian heritage is enlivened by millennial spunk. By launching the Bridge-to-Luxury brand, we show our commitment to serving our customers better than ever.
- Your recent collection ‘Nomad’ was all about streetwear fashion, what collection are you currently working on and what’s next?
2022 was a big year for us where we experimented with our own wide range of aesthetics. In March, we showcased Nomad, which was our anti-trend take on street couture. In October, we showcased Capella, which was a revisit to a Shantanu Nikhil bride and depicted the opulence an S&N bride holds. This season we are working towards an elaborate range, which stems from Capella aesthetics with inspiration from European architecture.
- How do you manage to keep reinventing yourselves as a brand and as designers?
The deep-rooted emotion of being ‘Anti-trend’ within our brand gives us a sense of elasticity to continuously reinvent. Being trend-centric is market-driven, but our view is that being anti-trend is about pushing the market. We believe that disruption and innovation are the only two pillars that we as a brand stand on- from revolutionizing the millennial ceremonial wardrobe and to now carving out a new repertoire- S&N by Shantanu & Nikhil; we continue to put constant effort to stay ahead of ourselves and showcase brand resiliency.
- What are the three bridal trends to watch out for this 2023?
Opulence with Immaculate embroideries and rich fabrics, all decadence and rich hues of teals, blues and emeralds with deep metallic.
- What are the top trends for the grooms this season?
Today’s grooms are daring in their choices as they move away from the obvious darker colours associated with men’s clothing and toward pastel colours that were traditionally associated with women. Layered & transformative ensembles that go from a regal look to a more relaxed one are popular grooms wear. For instance, styling the Sherwani with a dupatta and a Kamar-bandh over an embellished drape kurta for the wedding processions and later switching to just the kurta for an eased-out after-party is something that grooms are looking at right now. Men aren’t far behind in donning jewels underneath their ensemble these days, and we feel like the trend is here to stay. The choice of opulent gems and brooches worn by millennial grooms reflects their willingness to take chances.
- Important tips to plan an entire wedding trousseau?
The bridal trousseau is such a sentimental item that, when used again, evokes so many memories. It should be filled with pieces that you can go back to and relive your memories in. Remember the importance of classics and pay close attention to the details. The classics you purchase today will become family heirlooms in the future.
- What are the common mistakes people make while picking their wedding outfits?
People need to cater to their own likes and dislikes without letting the trends with Wedding outfit stay forever, and they should be something they can value throughout.
- What is a definite no-no and must-have in a bridal wardrobe this season?
Every bride must have a decadent gown, which can be worn on numerous occasions with slight styling tweaks. Men should delve more into signature Bandhgala and kurta, and the accessories around them.
- The perfect outfit/ style for a pre-wedding ceremony?
Fitted gowns for women and draped sherwani for men.
- The popular colours this season?
European pastels with metallic tonality.
- Fabrics and materials that are trending?
Innovations in woollen and silk blends especially for menswear. Huge upsurge in the Indian loom industry considering the technology we have now.
- Finally, how to pick the right jewellery to complete the ensemble
Compliment the tonality of the ensemble with jewellery.
- Which fashion trend do you think is overused or passé?
Less is more. Upcoming seasons will be all about grander couture. India and couture were always a maximalist story, and the upcoming season will be a testimony to that.
- If you could, what would you change about the fashion industry?
The way designers showcase at fashion week. We feel there should be a more experimental outlook on the ramp and commercialization should be kept at par. The ramp is where, we as designers can show the world what we do best, and it should be treated that way.