It’s time to store away your regular lehenga and matching blouse combination. In the spring/summer 2015 fashion show I noticed the presence of interesting lehenga pairings. It is not a new trend but with Rohit Bal’s finale collection at Wills India fashion Week ’15 the mix-match lehenga is getting the attention it needs.
I assume Rohit Bal designed the specific pairings but what stands out is the ease with which they could be interchanged or even paired with western wear. For example the gold colourful jacket can be worn with a pair of blue denim and white top, the white floral peplum top can be paired with beige palazzo pants or one could wear the white peplum jacket with white pencil skirt and shirt. The skirts too can be paired with regular cut blouses giving it a different look altogether. The bonus of this trend is the multi-utility of each garment piece.
As I mentioned earlier the mix-match trend is not new to the indian fashion world, various clippings of it can be seen in editorials ranging from Harpers Bazaar Bride to Vogue India. An Anamika Khanna ombre lehenga skirt is paired with an embroidered jacket, a Anju Modi red skirt gets the same treatment with a contrast gun-metal grey jacket and a Rohit Bal velvet peplum top is paired with a heavily embroidered lehenga skirt. Kareena Kapoor is seen wearing a Sabyasachi skirt with a sequined jacket for an editorial.
The pairing of a JJ Valaya lehenga and dupatta with a John Galliano jacket further proves the beauty of mixing ethnic wear with western wear, as seen in Harpers Bazaar Bride magazine. Nikhil Thampi is well-known for his western aesthetics and in this ensemble, middle picture, he pairs a raw silk gathered skirt with a black crop top. The skirt if worn with a gold raw silk blouse and a soft net black dupatta will look completely different and the crop top can be paired with various garments, like denim, for a casual look. Patine’s styling of the red thread embroidered lehenga with a stylised white top is bang on trend and utility too.
The Couture 2014 shows displayed the mix-match lehengas in various forms. Manish Arora’s eccentric lehengas got even edgier with its pairing with contrast patterned tops. You should check the entire show for more interesting top and lehenga pairings. Bridal wear maestro Manish Malhotra displayed his traditional heavily embroidered lehenga skirts with simpler raw silk blouse tops, he even forgo the dupattas in some thus adding a modern outlook to his collection. Monisha Jaisingh’s collection showed a few light weight skirts with flowy trapeze tops, this look seems to be the inspiration for spring summer ’15.
In spring summer 2015 shows the ensembles got lighter for the impending heat, but do not be mistaken they did not loose their chichness. Rahul Mishra’s showcased four skirt looks at his debut show at Paris Fashion Week. The white on white ensemble might not be the usual choice for an indian wedding function but it will definitely make heads turn for the right reasons. The Vivek Karunakaran bright-hued skirt and shirt is perfect for the bridesmaids to wear for an engagement party. You could also pair it with gold jhumkas and haathphool to give it a more ethnic feel for a mehendi function. Kavita Bhartiya has hit the right notes with her show stopper ensemble. It is smart, ethnic and multi-functional. The embroidered jacket can also be paired with a plain anarkali or worn over a maxi dress, you will be spoilt for choices.
In the following pictures I have shown a few online shopping options , in various price points, for the mix-match lehenga trend. Except for Ensemble-2 (Anita Dongre lehenga set from autumn winter ’14 collection) I have created the other looks keeping multi-functionality in mind. You could either buy the pairings or take inspiration from them to create your own. 🙂
ENSEMBLE 1: An embellished black top paired with a pleated skirt is an apt indo-western choice for any wedding function ranging from your cocktail to a friend’s reception. The top is originally paired with white trousers on the shopping website (click on links below) but you could pair it multiple ways, a black top is as versatile as a white shirt!
Ranna Gill embellished yoke top: Rs.9000 + Astha Narang block printed pleated skirt: Rs.18000
ENSEMBLE 2: The evergreen pink gota patti embroidered lehenga gets a modern twist with its pairing with a contrast white jacket. A bride could purchase this set for her sangeet, when purchasing this set please check the combination they are providing because the official Anita Dongre website is selling most of their lehengas from this collection with regular blouses. The baraati’s can make use of this look by pairing any of their existing traditional lehenga skirts with a contrast raw silk jacket.
Anita Dongre pink lehenga with contrast bandi: Rs.216980
ENSEMBLE 3: This is my personal favourite! The Ritu Kumar skirt with its sassy print is a steal for the fit they have, I have tried it in the showroom. The skirt paired with this trendy peplum jacket , almost monochromatic hues, has a modern royalty feel to it. If you have a jacket you want to utilise for the mix-match trend, try purchasing or getting a lehenga made in the same colour family.
Bhavya Bhatnagar oxblood peplum jacket: Rs.16800 + Label by Ritu Kumar printed maxi skirt: Rs.5900
ENSEMBLE 4: For a more mod look pair this mermaid style skirt with an eccentric print jacket. This look , unlike most other ensembles shown here, is not suitable for all body types. If you feel comfortable and confident with this ensemble you will definitely be the talking point of the party for you unique sartorial choice.
Mango long skirt: Rs.3990 + Indian by Manish Arora multi jacket: Rs.8950
ENSEMBLE 5: The colour pairing is the focal point for this look. Ditch the usual shades of red and pink, instead pair a green traditional print skirt with a bright purple lace top. For a more dressy look always try picking a top with some embellishment.
Forever New lace shell top: Rs.2515 + Global Desi green printed skirt: Rs.2199
ENSEMBLE 6: Not big on indian wear? It’s a once in many years occasion requiring ethnic wear? This look is the answer for you. Pair a peplum top with a brightly coloured crushed skirt. You could easily find a cotton crushed skirt in a variety of colours and prints at all ethnic wear shops. The added advantage is you get to utilise your existing wardrobe of western wear staples to create this look.
Mango fluted hem blouse: Rs.3490 + Anouk orange printed skirt: Rs.1199
Always try new things. Hope this post sparks a few ideas for your next ethnic wear outing. 🙂
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