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In Conversation with Payal Singhal

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When it comes to contemporary bridal wear, Payal Singhal has been leading the way since the very inception of her brand in 1999. Launching her brand while living in New York influenced her aesthetic in a manner that allows her to have her finger on the pulse of what the global Indian connoisseur is looking for. Not one to champion conventional styles and silhouettes, she is constantly innovating to keep her collections relevant and fresh for the millennial dresser.

“Our designs have always enjoyed the patronage of Indians living abroad, as we are able to reimagine Indian wear to fit with their global lifestyle. Aashni + Co helps us reach this set with ease.”  

Aashni + Co speaks to Payal Singhal exclusively about her top picks for the season. 

What are the top trends of this wedding season?

Brides are venturing beyond conventional bride red, and ivories and pastels have become a favourite in recent times. Dhotis saris have emerged as the season’s coolest must-have, and it can be easily worn with shirts, crop tops or trendy blouses. The modern-day sharara is tiered and is best worn with kurtis and cropped jackets. The overall colour palette is muted with yellows, pinks, blues and mint being paired with neutrals like grey, nude and off-whites.

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What is your take on the evolution of the modern Indian bride?

The modern bride is practical. She believes in being herself rather than OTT.  They are thinking beyond “heavy” when it comes to their outfits — they want bespoke creations which have repeat value. She is keen to enjoy her own wedding so her sartorial choices are heavily determined by that as well. As far as her wedding is concerned, she is very particular about adding personalised touches to it.

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What are the mistakes people tend to make when shopping for Indian wear?

Don’t give into society’s expectations of what you should wear for your wedding. You need to stand out, not the outfit. Brides shouldn’t write off soft colours and delicate embroidery for their wedding day outfit. The lehenga is not the prescribed uniform for the pheras either — wear a sari if that is more in tune with your personality. When shopping, try on a selection of silhouettes to figure out what works best for your body type.

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As brides and bridesmaids become increasingly modern, they are also more keen to embrace culture. How can they achieve this?

It’s beautiful to merge age-old motifs, techniques and fabrics of historical and cultural significance with classic western silhouettes. So wear a Benarasi blazer or jacket with palazzos. Or a churidaar and pencil skirt with a bustier and dupatta. Mix your two wardrobes — don’t shy away from wearing a polki set with a cocktail gown.

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Tell us about some cool ways to reuse one’s existing Indian wear.

Mixing and matching is the way forward. Wear an heirloom sari with a white shirt and belt by an international label. Switch up the blouse to completely change the look of a lehenga or swap the kurta with a crop top with a palazzo. You can also mix embroideries and contrasting colours as long as there is some common element.

 Shop Payal Singhal on www.aashniandco.com.