Trend Alert: The Comeback of the Choli!


The second wedding season of 2013, (there are three in case you’re wondering) has just begun and we are noticing a marked increase in the beloved Bollywood style lehnga choli for bridals and wedding formals, particularly and befittingly amongst the younger fashionistas. The fitted cropped top, resembling a sari blouse with a sprawling floor length skirt, is most often associated with Indian cinema involving exotic dance performances that make mesmerizing use of the endlessly twirling fabric. But here at home we are accustomed to seeing long to mid length straight cut kurtas over lehngas and farshi ghararas for bridals, and layered anarkalis and peshwas for formals. However as the longer hemlines and flared panels fly out the window so are these silhouettes.

Misha Lakhani exquisite in a hand embroidered bridal courtesy herself on her wedding day

Feeha Jamshed wearing intrinsically traditional Kamiar Rokni ghagra choli at her Mehndi

Mahirah Khan wearing  yellow and ivory zari and zardozi Sania Maskatiya

Mahirah Khan, Anam Farooq Khan wearing luscious gold and shocking pink cape style Menahel Mehreen, and Nida Khan wearing sparkling Feeha Jamshed lehnga choli

Khadijah Shah of Elan wearing classic Indian Anju Modi with her sisters in Elan

While audiences slowly adapt to, and accept shorter, leaner silhouettes the gap is being filled by extremely graceful, classic lehnga cholis with the side swept dupatta. Designers like Misha Lakhani who created her own inspiring bridal trousseau chose the age old form, as did Feeha Jamshed who wore an attractive electric blue and yellow gold Kamiar Rokni ghagra choli for her Mehndi. Khadijah Shah of Elan opted for an ethnic Indian lehnga with a slightly elongated choli by designer Anju Modi for her own brother’s wedding as well. Mahira Khan modeled an exquisite Sania Maskatiya yellow and ivory number at Feeha’s Mehndi while Nida Khan, hair stylist at Tariq Amin wore a glittering gold ensemble designed by Feeha herself. It’s safe to say that the style gurus are dropping strong hints with regard to the trend!

A stunning textured Sania Maskatiya ensemble with glittering kaamdani and rich borders created with handcrafted embellishments on a very unique color frame

An Elan by Khadijah Shah jewel with a Hyderabadi neckline to enhance the heritage feel of this divine creation

Nida Azwer Couture shoot by Rizwanullah featuring Aamna Ilyas in a smashing contemporary spin on the form with the same intricate handwork

Sukaina Taqi at her Mehndi in a one of a kind kundan crafted Indian ensemble

The ironic part worth noting is, as we start leaning more and more towards this style, Indian fashion is simultaneously moving away from it as fewer versions of the choli were seen at the recent PCJ Delhi Couture Week. Saris and innovative couture forms with longer tops were more prominent in the collections of Sabyasachi, Satya Paul, Anamika Khanna and Gaurav Gupta to name some of the legends. The increased back and forth between Indian and Pakistani fashion has started to have a strong felt impact as the two sides swap fashion philosophies. It is a healthy progression to say the least.

 Farah Talib Aziz Bridal Couture featuring a simply gorgeous peach lehnga choli fitted with a sheer long net jacket 

Amna Arfin wearing a Farah Talib Aziz ruby red bridal with an elongated choli and kaamdani ghagra

Ayesha Somaya Bridal Couture shoot by Ayaz Anis and Raana Khan featuring Fauzia Aman showcasing the modern day lehnga choli with extensive heavy detailing on the jacket and a metallic shimmering choli.

The Runaway Bride by Shehla Chatoor featuring timeless class red and gold

A modern approach to the traditional lehnga choli shape and something that makes it easier to carry off if you don’t have a washboard stomach, is a long embellished jacket or sheer cape added on top as shown by luxury couture designers Farah Talib Aziz, Nida Azwer, and Ayesha Somaya in their latest breathtaking Fall’13 Bridal Couture collections. Pairing a cape with anything at the moment is very much in vogue, be it a jumpsuit, a lehnga, a kurta, or even a sari.
L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week is right around the corner and we suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more of this trend on the runway soon.

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