Hyderabadi designer Mrunalini Rao’s bridal wear 2023 collection is embroidered poetry on flares

While it is adorned with age-old aari, zardosi, meenakari and persian paisley embroidery, the modern cuts lend a contemporary look to wedding wear.

Priyamvada Rana Published :  31st March 2023 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  31st March 2023 12:00 AM
Mrunalini Rao's Bridal 2023

Mrunalini Rao's Bridal 2023

Hyderabadi designer Mrunalini Rao is known for crafting heritage Indian wear infused with contemporary ethos. While the NIFT graduate is prominently known for her elegant bridal wear, she has branched into the prêt line with Uri and fusion wears too inspired by the Art Nouveau movement. This time, the designer reaches the zenith of sartorial richness with the most elaborate collection of her design career titled Bridal 2023. It features intricately embroidered lehengas made of raw silk and organza. They look like an embellished canvas with intricate surface ornamentation done with age-old embroideries like aari, zardosi, resham jaal and pearl work for a resplendent sheen.

Ensemble from Bridal 2023 edit
3-D floral embroidery
Lehenga with cape

The designer who started her label in 2014, speaks to us about the edit crafted for the new-age bride, “We are breaking away from the traditional Indian silhouettes and bringing a contemporary spin with this collection. The modern bride is experimental and embodies empowerment while being bold in her stride and that is what we aim to narrate through our latest bridal collection. What we have created with this collection is something that has never been done before with a focus on intricate details; transforming the artwork into prints, embellishments and surfaces on large flares, lehengas and capes. The collection embodies detailed motifs, ornate fillings and a play of colour.”

Fancy flares
Vibrant hues

Mrunalini’s inspiration lies in the intricacy and flow of the Meenakari and Old Persian Paisley. It is visible in pieces from the edit like a zardosi embroidered lilac lehenga, cherry blossom lehenga bejewelled with leg ‘o’ mutton sleeves, a long cape purple lehenga with resham work, an orange aari embroidered lehenga paired with sleeveless bodice and more. Apart from blingy embellishments, she has also experimented with 3-D floral embroidery on sheer silhouettes and scalloping on dupattas. The designer whose creations have been spotted on Bhumi Pednekar, Vidya Balan, Neena Gupta, Kajol among others, tells us about the design process, “We have created this collection with a new and unique perspective on embroidery techniques. The designs tap into the contrasting effect of flora and paisleys. The craftsmanship has been incredibly showcased on dupion silk and organza fabrics with diverse hues of red, hot pink, purple, sky blue, green and orange. The collection carries out a dramatic yet bold flair with power and exaggerated shoulders brought in through leg-‘o’-mutton sleeves, bold jackets and long theatrical capes. Varying from regular blouses and sleeves, distinct elements such as frills and long sleeves have been added to the pieces.”

Romance with pastels
Nocturnal hues

The designer who has previously experimented with both neutral and dark shades like ivory, coco sorbet, teal blue and Indian red, has maintained her penchant for eclectic shades. Expect the ensembles dipped in graceful hues of cadmium green, violet, fluorescent orange, black, and yellow with exceptions like lilac for brides who love to dazzle in muted shades. The Hyderabad born tells us about some statement elements from the edit that make it different from her past collections, “The jackets and capes coupled with the lehengas is unlike anything we have ever done before. While designing it, we fixated our artwork and craftsmanship on unique embroidery techniques and intricate details.”

Leg o mutton sleeves
Bright colours

Despite the inclusion of voguish elements like tessellations, capes, bat-winged sleeves and butti jackets, each of the pieces stands out for its timelessness, thanks to deft embroideries. With the spring-summer wedding season knocking, we asked the designer about bridal wear trends that are ruling. “The amalgamation of traditional Indian and classic couture with a contemporary edge will steal the spotlight in the upcoming season. Power suits and jackets, exaggerated and dramatic flares and capes narrating the experimental nature of the contemporary bride will take centre stage. Lastly, creations that bring out the uniqueness of today’s bride will hold immense significance,” she adds.

Rs. 2.5 lakhs upwards. Available online and in-store at Jubilee Hills.
Mail: priyamvada@newindianexpress.com
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