Tuesday, Nov 21, 2017 | Last Update : 12:25 AM IST

Exorbitant haute couture

THE ASIAN AGE. | GAYATRI REDDY BHATIA
Published : Sep 9, 2017, 12:06 am IST
Updated : Sep 9, 2017, 12:32 am IST

With many going for designer clothes costing lakhs of rupees this wedding season, one wonders if jewellery has lost it’s shine to clothes.

Shraddha Kapoor in a Rahul Mishra creation. This designer’s prices are anywhere between Rs 1.75 and Rs 2.25 lakh.
 Shraddha Kapoor in a Rahul Mishra creation. This designer’s prices are anywhere between Rs 1.75 and Rs 2.25 lakh.

Clothes are the new jewellery. During the wedding and festive seasons, girls splurge lakhs of rupees on outfits without any hesitation. You will see girls walking out of designer duo Abu-Sandeep’s diffusion line store ASAL where they found a fab salwar kameez for “just a lakh!” For them it’s a discount compared to the price tags attached to the brand’s couture pieces — which start from Rs 3 lakh onwards.

A Manish Malhotra lehenga costs the same amount that a selection of gorgeous earrings and bracelets cost at ace jeweller Nirav Modi’s store, and we all know that jewellery lasts forever, but the temptation to buy that lehenga is far more.

Sonakshi Sinha in a Manish Malhotra outfit. This designer’s clothes start at Rs 1.5 lakh and can go upto Rs 10 lakh plus.Sonakshi Sinha in a Manish Malhotra outfit. This designer’s clothes start at Rs 1.5 lakh and can go upto Rs 10 lakh plus.

Designer Varun Bahl explains, “Clothes are an extension of your personality.”

For the social media obsessed generation what is more important than a great photo? That’s why Varun says ensembles are as important as baubles.

“Earlier you bought jewellery first and then outfits to go with the pieces. Now you buy the jewellery that matches the clothes,” says Varun.

Buying an outfit for Rs 50,000 or even a lakh for a Diwali party is no longer considered a big deal because people’s spending power has increased, points out designer Gaurav Gupta. He adds, “Girls are far more independent and don’t consult their mother or husband for every purchase. They are happy to buy something expensive to make a statement.”

Gaurav also says that mindsets have changed. “Twenty years ago you would see women wearing heavy jewellery at special occasions. Now lots of girls just wear chandelier earrings or just solitaires with a gown.”

Globalisation, travel, change in lifestyle, destination weddings in foreign locales have contributed to clothes enjoying the advantage.

It might be “normal” for many to spend a lakh on a dress, but that doesn’t mean the purchase is cheap. So, how do you get your value for money?

Shweta Bachchan often sports Abu-Sandeep creations that cost an arm and a leg.Shweta Bachchan often sports Abu-Sandeep creations that cost an arm and a leg.

Ace couturier J.J. Valaya who whips up stunning creations says, “Follow the three rules. Make sure what you are buying is firstly of excellent quality, secondly it’s an original design and not a rip-off and lastly it’s a timeless piece.”

These rules are especially important when it comes to your wedding outfit. “When it comes to the bride, she wants to look her best. The purchase here is sentiment bound, she wants to buy something precious and timeless, says J.J.

“A bride I had dressed 24 years ago, recently came to me with her daughter and the ensembles I had designed for her all those years back. She said her daughter wants to get them altered to her size so that she can wear them. This means they stood the test of time and this is an investment in itself,”J. J. adds.

The key word to remember before making an expensive purchase according to J. J. is “special.”

Like jewellery the clothes you buy should be keepers, heirlooms that you can pass on to the next generation.

Sonam and Paras Modi haute couture designer:  
Couture is something that is still preserved over time, much unlike any “trend” that is constantly going through a state of change. It is what many call ‘Original Fashion.’ Haute Couture remains personalized and authentic to a particular designer’s routes and forte. Be it hand-stitched beads or layers of silk, couture has always provided serious inspiration for those who love pairing fashion with timeless pieces.

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Arpita Mehta, haute couture designer:  
Wedding designs still remain the  most popular part of haute couture in India, since it is the most formal event celebrated in the country. You would be more ready to pick up an elaborate dress for your own wedding or your friend's wedding.

When buying statement dresses, you can also buy one dazzling piece and pair it with simpler accessories. For instance, you can have a simple salwar kameez and pair it with an Haute Couture dupatta.

Gautam Ghanasingh- CEO and Creative Director,
Ghanasingh Be True: It’s very true, that jewelry lasts far longer as compared to clothes, it is definitely a better investment. However the consumer today is more fashion aware and fashion conscious, but jewellery plays a vital role in complementing a bride or the bridesmaid’s complete look. For an occasion such as a wedding, especially for the bride and her entourage, there is no hesitation when it comes to jewelry, just as there isn't any when it comes to clothes. Haute couture clothes do not act as competition, but compliment every look.

Tags: manish malhotra, nirav modi, asal