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Tarun Tahiliani – The Bridesman

Growing from strength to strength, Tarun Tahiliani’s Bridal Couture Exposition, has successfully given sound fashion advice to soon-to-be-married couples and their families. The 4th edition this year turned out to be even more spectacular!

Tarun Tahiliani Bridal Show DLF EmporioEntering DLF Emporio, I looked towards the usual exhibition space on right. It was empty except the Cha Shi work-in-progress banners. I looked towards the E Café on the left. As is usual, it was brimming with guests having a quick bite and oodles of gossip. “Where is the Tarun Tahiliani show happening?” I thought, as I looked a small centre set-up of Mr Tahiliani’s bridal couture, complemented by Louis Vuitton cases.

The directional arrows and a quick call to the PR helped and I went towards the backside of DLF Emporio to see the actual show. “What obscure place is it happening in”, I wondered further.

I was soon led inside a room with black walls everywhere. Winding down the narrow pathways, I turned into the entry, and from far I could see the sparkling Couture TV by Vu Technologies, greeting everyone at the entrance. Aptly named, the television is the result of collaboration between Vu and Mr Tahiliani, who designed the television. Embellished with Swarovskis, it was a wonderful way to introduce guests to the luxurious exposition I think!

Tarun Tahiliani Bridal Show DLF EmporioEntering past the gorgeous television, my eyes fell on a mannequin donning a grand pink lehenga, encased in round glass. This, as I was quickly informed, was the showstopper garment by Mr Tahiliani. Ms Konia Khanna of Swarovski explained how much work went into creating this ‘mega-garment’ – as I referred to it in my mind – which was glittering with Swarovski crystals. “There is Swarovski behind the lattice and above the lattice. Then there is exquisite embroidery over which there is again Swarovski. There is a border of Swarovski crystals in the skirt of lehenga. Going towards the duppatta, there is a mesh fabric made of very fine Swarovski crystals which has been used to design the flowers. The pearls embellishing duppatta have Swarovski crystals inside it. And in fact, the neck piece that the mannequin is wearing, has also been weaved with Swarovski crystals!” explain Ms Khanna.

Not surprisingly then, Mr Tahiliani travelled to Wattens, Austria, the headquarters of Swarovski, to learn how to incorporate all these techniques into the lehenga which took the pride of the place at the show.  Mr Tahiliani says, “This lehenga is a fine mix of layering within a rare blend of many techniques deriving out of Mughal jaals. It is made up of several pieces that are put together like a jigsaw puzzle on a master plan – textures in different fabrics on which Mughal florals are embossed and then encrusted in online pave with Swarovski crystallised elements. Taking about 4,000 man hours to complete, this lehenga combines both shine and matt, blends many worlds and redefines India Modern.”

Just behind the showstopper lehenga, inside the cavernous new hall which DLF Emporio has recently carved out, there was a huge glass structure with criss-crossing blue lines. And within it you could see more mannequins sporting the bridal designs by Mr Tahiliani. This mammoth 14 feet high ‘Jewel Box’, as it was called, was created by Asahi India Glass Ltd (AIS) using various techniques (which I can’t even begin to understand) like AIS Ecosense, AIS Clear Tempered Glass, AIS Acousticglas, AIS Unique Integrated Glass Unit, AIS VUE windows, AIS Décor lacquered glass and AIS Mirror. They also held ‘The Big Strike’ contest where Mr Tahiliani’s watch collection was displayed inside a box made of AIS Securityglas. Anyone who could break the glass and touch the watches, could own them. And, unfortunately, I was highly unsuccessful at the task.

Tarun Tahiliani Bridal Show DLF EmporioAs is expected of the larger-than-life designer, the couture collection was replete with traditional embroidery and subtle, yet considerable use of velvet. The collection featured a high use of tulle too. Special key-hole jackets gave company to lehengas in traditional hues of red and gold. Anarkalis featured citrus colours of mango and peach. Saris had fluted black lining with shoulders draped with tulle florets and lifted in baroque pearls. An unusual piece which caught my eye was a black and white anarkali suit. Being such neutral colours, usually not preferred in weddings, they gave the piece an ethereal elegance which no other colour could have justified. I was captivated by the entire women’s collection, which had the quintessential TT-esque magic like always.

Sherwanis for men also highlighted many age old techniques. The designs were stunning. Having said that, I wished to see a little more variation in terms of colour and more choice in silhouettes.

The jewellery needs of the bride were taken care of Forevermark and JH Jewellers. While Forevermark, as is obvious, shone itself with diamonds, JH Jewellers (JHJ) delighted with gold and kundan jewellery. JHJ’s handcrafted designs with rubies, emeralds and polki diamonds provided extensive choice for any bride-to-be and the entire family for that matter.

And where was the ringmaster of the show? Mr Tahiliani was roaming around like the king of the jungle. A jungle of various ‘jewels’, as he called all his sponsors, aptly so!

Tarun Tahiliani’s Couture Exposition 2012 is currently taking place in New Delhi from July 25-28, 2012. It will be then held in Mumbai from August 6-7, 2012. Appointments and orders will be taken from 11 am to 7 pm.