Since centuries, lehenga is considered as the most beautiful and authentic bridal wear in Indian weddings. Previously, it was a custom among very few communities in India to use lehenga for brides but nowadays, it is being flaunted in almost all communities especially in northern India. Lehenga crept into the Indian culture with the entrance of Mughals. The lehengas made during that medieval period under the Mughal Empire were offered a strikingly gorgeous and elegant look to match the status of people in that era. With time, lehengas have undergone major modifications according to the changing trends, choice, and taste of people.
Designer lehengas these days are becoming extremely popular among the masses because they feature unique designs and beautiful craftsmanship. The upper part of this ethnic wear is called ‘blouse’ while the lower part, which resembles a long skirt, is generally fitted at the waist. Lehengas are incomplete without a dupatta – the overall exquisiteness of a lehenga depends a lot on the design of its dupatta. Previously, since synthetic materials were not available, lehengas were made out of pure silk, satin, and cotton but today, different types of materials such as net and synthetic silks are used extensively in lehengas. In olden days, the purity of the fabric and its texture would provide this dress a wonderful and unique appearance. Today, the designs are more intricate and beautiful and synthetic materials are chosen based on how well they augment these designs in a lehenga.
Popular Styles of Designer Lehengas in India:
The various styles of designer lehengas available today include A-line lehengas, full-flair lehengas, fish tail lehengas, straight cut lehengas, circular lehengas, panelled lehengas, mermaid lehengas, and kali ghagra lehengas.
The ghagra choli style has been a traditional dress in Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan for centuries. Women in olden days dressed up in ghagra cholis made of cotton and adorned with beautiful mirror work and embroidery. Some Indian fashion designers have given a contemporary twist to this age-old attire by combining its primary features of mirror work, detailed patchwork, and vibrant colours with some innovative designs and colour combinations. For example, bridal designer lehengas in this category often feature a brocade blouse with elegant embroidery to offer it a royal touch. In fact, the blouse selected for such lehengas is sometimes gold or silver in colour and embellished with expensive studs. While the traditional ghagra choli reached the knees or ankles, new designer ghagra touch the floor and appear extremely lavish with every single movement of the bride.
On the other hand, in the south, while sarees are still the first choice as bridal wear, young girls prefer lehenga cholis in weddings. These lehenga cholis feature a simplistic design but appear extremely elegant since they are made using silk fabric with broad borders on the edges. The style of these lehenga cholis is usually A-line or straight cut without much flare. The same pattern is used in designer lehengas that have evolved from traditional Maharashtrian lehenga choli design. A classic Maharashtrian lehenga comes with a long top with no or minimal embroidery. These characteristics have been retained by fashion designers; here, they have chosen to experiment a little with the colours here and there to give a Maharashtrian lehenga a completely new and designer look. In states of Maharashtra and further south, fabrics such as cotton and silk have been the main material used in the manufacture of most dresses since decades. However, today, people in these states have gradually started opting for designer lehengas available in slightly distinctive styles and made out of net or other synthetic material.
In other parts of India, golden or silver thread work with lots of stone and zardosi work is used even on simple lehengas. The price of a lehenga depends on the work that it carries. In recent times, computer work on designer lehengas is the new craze since this considerably brings down the overall cost of a lehenga. They look as beautiful and stunning as other lehengas are cheaper on the pocket, and lighter in weight. Since such advancements in technology have made designer lehengas affordable to common people, many women are able to fulfill their dream of flaunting an exclusive lehenga on their big day.