If Marwaris’ lifestyles have evolved to become more lavish, then so have their weddings. Grand Marwari weddings see celebrity attendees in droves, with flashbulbs dogging the heels of the happy couple, and thus it is not just the bride alone who brings style to the mandap these days; the groom too has things to flaunt.
But with evolving trends and with so much on offer, the new-age Marwari groom is spoilt for choice. To help them select the best outfit for their big day, here’s what better-known name like Jyotee Khaitan, Poonam Kasera, Raghavendra Rathore and Surbhi Pansari have to dole out or say by way of cueing us in on the season’s hottest picks.
A shift in sartorial choices
The winds of change in the transient world of fashion have introduced men to a new world of unconventional colours, fabrics, styles and silhouettes, allowing their sartorial imagination to run free. As Poonam Kasera, who has been designing ethnic menswear with a contemporary twist since 1993, conveys, “Earlier, a groom would usually wear a sherwani crafted from kimkhab brocade in shades of cream and off-white, teamed with a churidar, a bandhej or zari-kota safa and a pink gathjoda. Today’s grooms have left all these behind—their outfits are now dressy and colour-coordinated with the bride’s lehnga. Even for functions like sangeet and cocktail parties, they are ready to experiment with Indo-Western styles.”
Jyotee Khaitan, whose menswear collections, especially bandhgalas and bandi (the sleeveless, short bandhgala) have found favour among celebrities and politicians, feels likewise. Marwari grooms have finally started appreciating sherwanis in colours like coral, pink and yellow, she feels—as opposed to the popular combinations of yore such as ivory and gold or beige and gold. She adds, “New-age grooms are also much more willing to experiment with cuts and silhouettes. Asymmetrical cuts are preferred, and draped kurtas instead of those with straight lines are popular choices for the sangeet or other similar wedding functions.”
If Marwari grooms are all out for the latest trends when it comes to wedding wear, where does that leave traditional wear? Raghavendra Rathore, best known for his patented bandhgalas with a dash of modernity, says that it has not disappeared. According to him, new-age grooms who put comfort and elegance above all else are keeping it traditional, without making their attire very cumbersome. “Because a certain amount of sophistication in how the wedding wardrobe is conceived is setting in, more grooms are opting to tastefully combine heritage and tradition with a contemporary twist that balances the overall look beautifully,” he says.
Menswear designer Surbhi Pansari, who makes use of dramatic cuts, bold silhouettes and ultra-luxe fabrics in her designs, feels that the Marwari grooms of today are taking their sartorial preferences a step further by opting for exclusive outfits that tell their own unique story. She says, “For grooms, it is all about exclusivity. When it comes to choosing a garment, they are leaving no stone unturned to look their dapper best. They also make sure that the outfits they choose express their spirit.”
All things subtle yet suave
For Raghavendra Rathore, the key to dressing right this wedding season is to stay true to tradition, while mixing it up with new-age style. “Keeping it simple, stylish and classic speaks volumes and accentuating that look with the right accessories should be the perfect way to exude old-world luxury. Outfits in classic colours such as beige, gold, baby pink and icy blue, with minimum embellishments, and paired with handmade heirloom accessories are popular with our clients,” he says. For a compact masculine look, he recommends a signature custom-woven RR achkan, paired with classic Jodhpuri breeches and an inner kurta, stylised with cufflinks.
Surbhi Pansari feels that adding an edgy and eclectic twist to traditional ethnic wear is particularly in vogue this season, and the quickest way to do that is by opting for hand embroidery or subtle embellishments on the collar and pocket. According to her, grooms can turn heads in a Jodhpuri coat featuring aari work, which can be paired with a matching kurta and slim-fit trousers. She also recommends the blazer teamed with a printed or chequered bow tie and pocket square as a versatile addition to the wedding wardrobe.
Florals, again, are no longer reserved for just the bride and her squad. According to Poonam Kasera, florals are again going to dominate ethnic menswear this wedding season. “However, instead of going bold and opting for bright floral prints, grooms are going for subtle floral designs in pastel shades which are hand-embroidered on their sherwanis and jackets,” she adds.
Jyotee Khaitan reveals that a trend that seems to be gaining momentum this season is the pairing of a sherwani with a dhoti, instead of the tried-and-tested churidar or pyjamas. She makes a case here for dhotis because they are ‘easy-breezy’ and make for a stylish and suave option, as long as the sherwani that is teamed with it is well-fitted and not loose.
Regal flair is in
The modern Marwari groom is experimental in his approach but royal in his demeanour, which is why the outfits for his wedding are often inspired by the princes of Rajasthan, albeit with a few tweaks. This season, the bandhgala has turned out to be a must-have for grooms—to lend a regal flair to their looks. Even though this garment is ideal for any occasion, Raghavendra Rathore states that it particularly lends a sense of sophistication when worn for the engagement ceremony.
What makes the bandhgala interesting is that it goes well with different garments—be it breeches, denims, or as Poonam Kasera says, with a kurta. She feels that wearing a short bandhgala over a longer kurta for the sangeet will be the trend of the season, adding, “One can style this up with nice buttons and a pocket square.” She goes to explain that accessorising the attire well can improve its looks. “Accessories such as ornate turbans, mojris, brooches and pearls give a very regal look to the groom.”
Jyotee Khaitan too recommends wearing a bandhgala instead of a western jacket this season, as it not just promises a royal look but also can flatter any body type. Surbhi Pansari, on her part, says that hand-embroidered bandhgalas are ideal for any formal wedding function.
The modern groom’s checklist
The wedding attire assumes utmost importance for the groom, for it reflects both his personality and sense of style. Therefore, it should not be anything less than the pièce de résistance. So, keeping up with these trend forecast, what special offerings have these four top fashion designers launched for grooms this season?
For Raghavendra Rathore, it is his latest AW18 collection that features various classic silhouettes, with a mix of embellished evening and wardrobe specific styles that emphasise on ‘wearability’. The collection, which incorporates some of the special capsule collections from the RR atelier like ‘Hawa Mahal’, ‘Narlai’ and ‘Jaipur Purple’, features bandhgalas, achkans, sherwanis, kurtas and shirts, alongside accessories such as pocket squares.
Grooms-to-be hoping to look fashion forward but within limits can look to Poonam Kasera’s latest collection for the forthcoming wedding season. “We have put together a collection which perfectly blends innovation in fashion with embellished motifs on bandhgalas, kurtas and Jawahar jackets. The garments not only give out an elegant feel but are also conventional, handcrafted and contemporary at the same time.”
Even though Marwari weddings might have traditionally been all about bling, Jyotee Khaitan feels that classic, elegant luxury will reign this season. Keeping this in mind, she has worked to create her chikankari collection as well as velvet bandhgalas and Indo-Western jackets, teamed with stitched dhotis, for grooms.
For men looking to make an unabashedly glamorous statement during their wedding, Surbhi Pansari has on offer sherwanis, Jodhpuri coats, bandhgalas, blazers and slim-fit trousers in different colours like Prussian blue, peach, crimson red, marmalade and sage green. “They are immaculately made to provide a classic fit, with the use of ultra-luxe fabrics like velvet, self-embossed and self-textured textiles and cotton silk,” she adds.
While each of these designers have shared their signature fashion predictions for the groom-to-be this season, perhaps the only vision every groom needs to stay true to, is his own—because there is no beating an ensemble worn with an abundance of confidence.