THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The allure and beauty of the Christian wedding gown has long charmed every woman. It’s not unusual to hear even non-Christians saying they’d love to get married in a Church, just so that they can don the pristine, trailing gown. And amazingly, many brides-to-be are actually making that dream come true by opting for a gown on their big day, irrespective of religion.
Call it the inherently liberal attitude of Kochi, which has always been multi-cultural in essence, or a measure of the changing times and trends, but more and more women are making enquiries for gorgeous gowns.
There are many takers among Hindu brides, but given traditional norms (‘white’ is considered inauspicious, symbolising death) , they often opt for colours other than White.
Findings from a few branded showrooms in Kochi make it evident that last year’s wedding season witnessed many non-Christians purchasing wedding gowns. NRI and Kerala based non-Christian brides come to Kochi and meticulously decide upon the wedding gown for days on end, shop owners tell us.
Sreelatha Somanathan, Manager at Kalyan Silks, Kochi says, “This wedding season I noticed many non -Christian brides and their parents coming to purchase wedding gowns. It is quite incredible. Hindu brides whose engagement and reception venues are held at resorts and hotels, select gowns of pastel shades like off white and subtle gold.”
Muslims have no issues with white, though they opt for other colours as well. “Muslim brides go for coloured gowns for their mehendi functions. Their hands mostly reach out for colours like light blue, pink and red having stone works, beads, embroidery and other filigree designs”, says Sreelatha.
Shehala Parveen, a Muslim bride-to-be says, “It was my father’s choice to see me in a gown on my wedding. I am slim and so my father thinks that I would look better in it. I tried on four colours but among them, off white suited me the best. And as we don’t wear diamond jewellery for weddings, off white goes well with gold.”
Most of the branded clothing shops have noticed this upcoming bridal trend. “We have customers from different parts of Kerala like Thrissur, Kotttayam coming over to purchase wedding gowns. Last year our showroom at Kochi witnessed a change in the purchasing pattern shown by non Christians for gowns.” says Kripakaran, Branch manager at Chennai Silks. Seeing the trend more and more shops and ‘gown’ boutiques have cropped up in Kochi. Abdul Rahoof, Salesman at Party Star, a exclusive gown showroom at Ground Junction, Kochi says, “The gowns which we have at our shop are ordered and stitched form Saudi Arabia. Our Muslim customers go for gowns where half its sleeve is done in net and satin while the remaining sleeve till the wrist has net with swarovski stones and bead work. Hindu brides on the other hand prefer gowns with less train and more length for the veil. For tall and slim brides, we suggest low waist gowns. For those on the heavier side, high waist gowns are better to hide flab.” At most stores, the price for gowns begins from ` 25,000 onwards.
Shahina Subair, another bride who is all set to get married this month says, “I and my family wanted some variety. Our customs don’t prohibit us from wearing gowns. In most of the Arabic weddings, brides are dressed in gowns. Along with it I am planning to wear accessories with white stones. For sure not gold.”