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An affair to remember

With 20,000 weddings scheduled in the city this month, designer Varija Bajaj unveils her bridal collection. SANGEETHA DEVI DUNDOO gets a sneak peek…

Photo: P.V. Sivakumar

Hitting a purple patch Varija Bajaj

The business of weddings in the country is worth at least a few thousand crore of rupees. In Hyderabad, at least 20,000 weddings are set to take place this month. So it doesn’t come as a surprise if Delhi-based designer Varija Bajaj chose this city to unveil her collection, A Wedding Affair, over monsoon-washed Mumbai and Delhi, which is in the grip of the Rakhi season now. Varija is candid when she admits, “The fashion industry waits for the wedding season. We are busy for four months and then there’s a lull, especially for those who design for weddings.”

Her present collection that’s up for sale at Elahe, she says, is an extension of her fusion prêt line to bridal wear. Armed with a Masters’ degree in Business Administration from The University of Sheffield after a diploma in advertising from the Xavier Institute of Communication, she says, “Knowledge of business administration and advertising gets me closer to people and understand their requirements.”

For instance, she makes the heavy embroidered saris, light and wearable by using two fabrics. “Saris with a lot of work become heavy at the waist. The embroidery that’s inside isn’t going to be visible anyway, so I use lighter fabric to take the weight off,” she explains, showing a half-Benarsi, half-net sari.

Her bridal line has cocktail dresses and saris, lehengas and salwar sets in the range of Rs.10 to 50,000 to suit the pockets of earning youngsters. “Youngsters are earning and are independent today. Some are even funding their own weddings. This price range is for them since they cannot shell out a few lakh rupees for all the wedding outfits,” she reasons.

She uses different fabrics and different embroidery in the same outfit to add detail. “The neck and the border of the sleeve on the choli have different works and these again differ from the lehenga. For simple dupattas and skirts too, there are large and small tassels in different colours. My clothes are attention-seeking but not over-the-top. It doesn’t look like khichdi.”

Raw silk skirts teamed with velvet cholis, cocktail dresses with churidars are pick-me-ups for the bride’s sisters and friends and cocktail parties.

Colour coded

  • Pink is an evergreen colour and is younger than deep reds

  • Browns have an international look and feel

  • Certain embroideries stand out on deep shades of browns and purples

  • Cholis and lehengas in different colours and embroidery add variety than monotone outfits.


    Deviate from the sari for pre/post wedding dinners and bachelor’s dos. Choose trendy jackets and skirts and dresses with churidhars.

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