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Black has become a favourite for weddings and festivals, says Ridhi Mehra

The designer on her latest collection and campaign that celebrate the OG supermodels of India and the changing consumer tastes for bridalwear

From Ridhi Mehra's autumn-winter 'Icons' collection, which celebrates the iconic supermodels of India.
From Ridhi Mehra's autumn-winter 'Icons' collection, which celebrates the iconic supermodels of India.

Designer Ridhi Mehra's vision for her autumn-winter Icons collection was “classic”. She wanted to celebrate the OG supermodels of India. 

“In a world of celebrity showstoppers, we have forgotten the unsung stars of the ramp. They were the strongest faces in the world of fashion being celebrated by designers season after season. However, over the years, the supermodel era sadly got lost in India,” says Mehra.

Hence, she decided to do a a collection and campaign with the iconic supermodels of the country, Ujjwala Raut, Indrani Dasgupta, Carol Gracias, Archana Akhil Kumar and Kanishtha Dhankar. 

In an interview with Lounge, the designer talks about the new campaign and the bridal trends for the season. Edited excerpts:

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Could you tell us about the idea behind this campaign?

Honestly, I just wanted to work with the OGs who I have seen growing up and celebrate their talent. 

I believe that they are OGs for a reason. They put India on the map in the world of fashion. Indrani Dasgupta made a big mark even in TV commercials. Ujjwala Raut, a 90s supermodel, has been a favourite on the international runway. She aced the runway as Victoria’s Secret Angel twice. Carol Gracias is a force to reckon with on and off camera. Archana is the beloved cover girl for many publications. Kanishtha was crowned Miss India in 2011, and she's on her way to make a comeback. These women are iconic in their own unique way. Through my campaign and collection, I want to bring back the glorious days of fashion when the runway was an altar in its own right and the models that ruled it were no less than deities of fashion.

Tell us about the collection… with festive and wedding seasons starting now, how do you suggest brides and bridesmaids break the styling stereotype?

I think that brides and bridesmaids can break the styling stereotypes by dressing in more comfortable and flowy silhouettes and styles. Brides usually end up ignoring the comfort factor. Something as simple as a head veil is so uncomfortable, it is just for photo ops and not the most comfortable accessory to have for the special day. Always opt for silhouettes that you are comfortable with.

The collection features a lot of black ensembles. Is it acceptable now to wear black at Indian weddings and festive occasions?

I believe that wearing black at Indian weddings and festive occasions is a personal choice. The newer generation is all about having unconventional ceremonies. They are open to breaking stereotypes and standing for what they truly believe in rather than following age-old traditions. Our latest collection features a lot of black ensembles that can be worn for various festive occasions. I personally always say brighter colours like reds, fuschia and ivory are very festive, but black has lately become a crowd favourite.

As a label steeped in bridal wear and embellished pieces, how do you advocate mindful shopping among brides?

I advocate mindful shopping among brides by creating very classic and versatile silhouettes and styles that can be carried from an informal to a formal evening effortlessly. While shopping, the brides must always only buy styles they are comfortable in and can carry them seamlessly for various occasions.

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