Dive into the wedding season with Vivek Karunakaran's new line: VK India
Shop Vivek Karunakaran's new bridal and trousseau collection, titled VK India.
With a flagship store at Rutland Gate and a quaint yet bustling studio and workshop, Viia, nestled in the quiet streets of Kottivakam; Vivek Karunakaran has been putting Chennai on the fashion map for over a decade now. He has carved a niche for himself by exploring modernity in design — by refocussing his attention on silhouette and form. Here, we shine the spotlight on his new collection that he debuted last month, which is resplendent with bridal and trousseau ensembles.
“We have been doing a lot of bridals but it’s been one-off bespoke orders,” Vivek (38) chimes in. “The idea is that we stick to the tradition and heritage, but interpret in a contemporary way.” He fuses the two concepts in a versatile manner in these handcrafted pieces. You’ll find everything from a corset incorporating benarasi motifs, to be styled with a heavy lehenga, to a peplum choli in raw silk. The tradition is brought in with the extensive use of kanjivaram, in hues which range from ivory to ecru, blending into salmons and pinks, finally ending in navy, burgundy and black. There are plans to evolve into more bridal colours soon.
The grooms can look forward to an entire range of ensembles, suitable for everything from a muhurutam, mehendi, sangeet and reception. “We’ve gone to the details of cocktail shirts and bandhgalas, which are all elaborately embellished and festive.” Vivek is all about layering and finding looks that are a little out of the ordinary, whether that means asymmetrical overlap bandhgalas or even teaming a kedia dhoti with a bandhgala. “It becomes a perfect sangeet look if you do a little colour blocking,” he opines.
A signature staple in his designs is the clean, minimal and structured design aesthetic, which carries on with this collection. “The heaviness of a product lies in details, not about how heavily embroidered the piece is,” referring to one of his best-selling pieces in the collection. It’s a raw silk kurta with tone-on-tone embroidery, with subtle hints of a gold outline. “It isn’t the usual all-over embroidered piece, but more minimal, yet rich enough for a groom to wear,” he says.
Vivek is also quick to tell us about the wedding trends we can look forward to this year, which are moving toward the contemporary, but not straying too far from tradition. “Grooms are seeing a lot of modern drapes, whether that’s in kurtas, sherwanis or bandhgalas.” The jury is out and we must know, who is a quintessential VK bride? “Someone who a trendsetter, not a follower. A woman who is much departed from the ordinary, and strong enough to carry on a look that says this is who I am, and this is what I believe in,” Vivek signs off, on a wistful note.
Starting at `40,000.
Available at VK's flagship store at Rutland Gate.