Modern bridal sarees transcend the usual red hues
The traditional bridal saree has undergone some changes over the past decade, and color palettes have expanded to include some unconventional colors, cuts, drapes, and embellishments, which range from semi-ethnic to avant-garde. Top designers are pulling all the stops to ensure that the modern Indian bride has a wide repertoire of bridal sarees to suit her distinct personality, and all the big names, from Anita Dongre to Shane and Falguni Peacock to Manish Arora and JJ Valaya have collections, which are sure to incite sighs of appreciation.
To say that the modern bridal saree completely ignores the traditional color palette would be a mistake; one can still find maroon, red, and pink shades among the wide range of sarees, what gives them the “modern” tag is a shift from a traditional ethnic look to one which exudes elements of modern times. Very prominently featured in the modern bridal saree category are sarees with pre-attached petticoats and pre-stitched pleats and pallus; these sarees allow a bride who is not familiar with wearing sarees to sport an ethnic look in a modern avatar. Be aware that almost all designs of modern bridal sarees can be modernized in terms of stitching, thus bridging the gap between ethnic bridal wear and someone not familiar with wearing it. In terms of colors, one can hope to find pastel shades and metallic colors, which were otherwise not part of the bridal saree color palette. The traditional obsession with adding red and gold elements to a bridal saree have reduced slightly, and other embellishments and trimmings are being used to make the saree look bridal and modern at the same time. Common trimmings include lace and delicate satin ribbon, while silver threadwork and sequined embroidery are part of the contemporary embellishment offerings. For the bride who wants a modern drape to her saree and does not mind splurging on designer wear, Anita Dongre offers some traditional and non-traditional color palettes featuring all styles of embellishment ranging from traditional zardozi work to more modern, i.e. less gold embellishments. For the modern bride who wants her saree to look modern but still wishes to incorporate a few traditional elements in it, it is a good idea to wear traditional wedding jewellery to accentuate the ethnic look. Sabyasachi Mukherjee is a name, which is synonymous with modern bridal sarees, and while his work is considerably expensive, it is worth it given the exquisite craftsmanship and haute couture aspect of the saree.
For the modern bride who wants to take her new age appeal to an unconventional level, pairing international elements and accessories with a modern bridal saree will look elegant as well as keep the ethnic appeal intact. For example, pairing a metallic green saree with a similarly shaded corset and adding simple gold elements to it will please both, your modern side and will keep the traditional side alive thanks to the inclusion of a familiar wedding color, i.e. gold. If you would prefer keeping the traditional red palette alive in your modern bridal saree, consider an ombre tone in a flowing, light fabric such as georgette.