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Kiran Bahl

Hi all! Aside from the occasional rains now and then, we're still enjoying the infamous Florida weather every non-Floridian envies. And with beautiful weather arrives an even more beautiful season to celebrate - wedding season. Asian weddings are most popular in July and August. Let's focus on wedding wear for the entire family this issue and stay on top of all the trends.

Brides, out with the old, in with the new. A common proverb used aplenty, it is definitely one to keep in mind when dressing for your big day. Our reds and maroons have been the classic and traditional 'bride's color' for centuries, but all that's changing now. From Indian runways worldwide to Bollywood films, every color but red is being worn by the 'dulhan.' Even white, a fashion don't in weddings where we come from, is altered a bit to adjust to this occasion. Turquoise saris with gold zardosi work and fuchsia pink lenghas with silver and pearl kundan work is what brides are looking out for this season. White saris tie-dyed with pink or red tones and colored stone work or gold lenghas with purple or orange beadwork are the different types of wedding wear ladies are demanding, to stand out from every other bride.

Jewelry is just as demanding. Surprisingly, gold (as red and maroon clothing) is an option, versus a mandatory 22 and 24 karat gold is now being replaced with huge chunks of costume jewelry, such as extra large kundan sets and gigantic stone pieces. These stand out more than the traditional gold, and with matching bangles, can make a larger statement. Do not, however, get lost in too many colors all over your body - your photographs will not do you justice. Stick with more neutral based jewelry, and have your outfit, hair and pretty face do the rest!

Bridesmaids and guests also have a new concept than before. They actually compete to almost outdo the bride herself! The fancier, the better! Even simple wedding outfits are being worn by the bridesmaids and important guests, instead of a traditional silk sari or chiffon lengha! This wedding season, however, do deter from pantsuits and salwars, no matter how fancy. For large wedding and reception events, they look a bit sloppy and unorganized, no matter how ornate.

The mother of the bride is perhaps the most important person at the wedding besides the bride and groom. The look now is a heavily worked sari in bright colors such as baby pink, orange and lime green. Filled with sequin and gold/silver embroidery work, these creations ensure a mother proper deliverance of her little girl just right.

Grooms, an ornate, three piece sherwani ensemble will complete your look and joy for the most important day of your life. A matching set of mojhris (Indian shoes) will add the finishing touch. Uncomfortable as they may be (they're usually made up of camel hide), they offer a polished, classic look. Grooms are experimenting with color as well. Deep maroons, navy blues and olive greens are bold but elegant. A dupatta used with a neutral gold/silver hue will add the finishing touch!

For receptions, fancy jodhpuris are still the rage. Jet black or crisp white colors are the most popular. While the wedding allows a multitude of colors from the bride and groom together, the reception is more formal and elegant. The bride can choose to wear whatever color pleases her palette, but the groom must stick with a sharp black or white piece to offset his beautiful lady. If the color seems too boring to some, add little colored embroidery or rhinestones to the collar and sleeve area for a trendier look. But, at times, especially like these, less is more.

Send us your fashion questions and concerns. Follow the trend! E-mail us at, and we'll answer any and all your fashion dilemmas! Here's this month's Fashion Drama Question of the month:

Q: Turquoise and silver or turquoise and gold? I read somewhere silver brightens complexions more than gold. I'm dark-skinned and need a shade to complement me. - Batul, Tampa

A: Hi Batul. Yes, silver workings can brighten up one's complexion compared to gold, but this is true only depending on the color of fabric the metal is etched in. For example, your question is surrounding the color turquoise. Turquoise is a cool color; therefore, the silver working will contrast against the shade and brighten a darker skin tone. However, if a warm shade is being worn, such as red, any silver working will make you appear darker than lighter. If you try a red and gold sari, you'll shine fairer, guaranteed! A general rule to appear lighter then is to pair cool colors with silver workings and warm colors with gold.

Congratulations to all the beautiful brides and grooms out there this wedding season. Marriage is a truly exquisite bond between two loving people, and should be cherished always. Good luck to all, and as always, remember to gro with style!

Kiran Bahl of Gro Styles, "An Indian Boutique," 2035 E. Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33612, can be reached at (813) 843-9040 or (813) 903-8334.

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