The arrival of Mangsir has diffused a wedding vibe in the Nepali aura. When it comes to Nepali weddings, bridal dress is considered as the most important part as it reflects the joy, enjoyment, and the authenticity of the Nepali culture. Though Nepal is geographically small, the country is blessed with diversified culture and religions. Every culture has its own way of celebrating weddings; including clothing. Wedding is the most auspicious moment in one’s life and choosing a wedding dress is a daunting task for women.
Few years ago, the concept of designers and costumed wedding dress did not exist in Nepal. Now, many urban areas are inclined towards designing and selling glamorous and designer outfits for wedding. This subsequently has resulted in a rise in the numbers of boutiques, making fancy wedding dresses easily available. Speaking about the difference between normal and bridal designs fashion designer Shiwangi Pradhan said, “Colors and patterns used in the bridal dress are the biggest differences between normal and bridal designs. Normal dress can be found in any color but bridal dress is mostly made of red color. Similarly, embroidery used in Nepali wedding dress is more unique than in other normal clothes.” Pradhan has been working in Nepali fashion industry from the past three years and has designed outfits for special occasions. She designed actor Nisha Adhikari’s wedding reception dress and also the engagement dress of Priyanka Karki and Ayushman Deshraj creating a buzz amongst youngsters.
Explaining about the introduction of trend of designers dress in the country Pradhan added, “People used to buy normal sari from local market. I think influence of foreign culture has plunged designer’s trend in the country. In past few years the demand of designers dress is increasing rapidly specially during wedding seasons.”
The thing that makes Nepali wedding dress unique form rest of its compatriots is the colors and materials used. The right combination (of color and material) synchronizes the dress with the feelings of people attending the ceremony. Speaking about the specialty of Nepali wedding and change in its dressing trend, Bishwo Gautam, a prominent designer said, “Not just in dressing sense, the way of celebrating weddings is also changing. People have started celebrating wedding for three days, including the engagement, wedding and the reception. Alluring brides get dressed in different traditional attires on each of these occasions.” Gautam attributed Bollywood’s influence for this change in Nepali wedding celebration. “Women still wish to wear sari for their wedding. At other functions, brides are seen alluring in different attires like gowns, and lehengas,” Gautam added.
Despite of uniqueness and better quality, availability of readymade designs in local market, the expensive nature of designer dress has obstructed the Nepali fashion design industry. Most of the people prefer to wear readymade outfits for their wedding.
28 years old Sharda Koirala was choosing a wedding outfit at Kupondole. She was searching some heavy readymade designs at an affordable cost. She said, “We cannot dress in bridal outfits in other occasions. So instead of buying expensive designs, I would use the money for other productive works.” Designers claimed that even if brides choose to wear designer’s dress, they demand for the designs worn by celebs. Some even come with photos and ask to make same designs.
Sangita Khadka, owner and designer of Creative And Style House (CASH) has to deal with such costumers on a regular basis. She has therefore made extra samples of famous designs and is currently working for the trending ‘Neha Kakkar’ designs.
“Our fashion design industry is directly influenced from Bollywood and I deal with various clients seeking for designs worn by celebs almost on a daily basis. Wedding outfit of Deepika Padukone is highly trending at the moment. Last week, I received three orders for the same designs,” said Khadka. Not just Bollywood brides, western and Hollywood outfits are also equally on demand”, Khadka said, “We give traditional touch to international gowns. International gowns are generally found in white color and western designs. But we make it in red with heavy South Asian designs.”