From Latha Puttanna to Samantha Barua, five notable Bengaluru designers talk about their latest works, bridal trends and more

We speak to city-based bridal wear designers Latha Puttanna, Nikita Miriam, Samantha Barua, Shradha Ponnappa and Mahitha Prasad

author_img Team Indulge Published :  02nd December 2022 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  02nd December 2022 12:00 AM
A look from Latha Puttanna’s collection

A look from Latha Puttanna’s collection

WITH THE BRIDAL season heating up, five Bengaluru-based bridal wear designers talk to us about the latest trends of the season. From handloom and pure zari saris at Latha Puttanna’s studio, to minimalist satin gowns and two-piece ensembles at the studio of Samantha Barua and bright, colourful and cheerful outfits at the atelier of Shradha Ponnappa, we take a deep dive into all things bridal.

Latha Puttanna

Latha Puttanna, whose label, Srishti, completes three decades this year, is the go-to for elevated bridal and occasion wear in Bengaluru. Known for her use of vibrant yet tasteful colours, handloom fabrics and the unconventional use of conventional patterns, designs and techniques, Latha talks to us about her latest work, current trends and more.

A look from Latha Puttanna’s collection

Tell us a little bit about your recent work. 
We’ve been busy with our made-to-order ‘Bangara’ saris, made with pure silk and pure zari. Bridal saris should always be woven classics in my opinion. We have also been working on hand embroidery on handwoven silk. Our artisans create magic on textiles.

What trends are you seeing in bridal wear this season?
Brides are getting bolder by the day. Kanjeevaram saris are worn with spaghetti strap blouses. I think it looks good. It was unheard of a decade ago but was definitely worn a few hundred years ago as seen in our Indian stone sculptures.  

What would you like to see more of in terms of what brides choose to wear on their big day?
I would still choose the real deal in terms of handwoven fabric with pure silk and zari. This is an Indian bridal look, whatever the garment may be. Nowhere else in the world will you find such rich textiles today. Moms’ ‘hand-me-down’ bridal wear is great, whether it’s a saree, ghagra or gown. It is always nice to keep heirloom pieces alive. 

What would you like to change about the bridal wear industry?
Three words —  over the top. Wearing heavy clothing and jewellery does not complement the beauty of the bride. Often it is like the garment is wearing the bride and not the other way around. So this needs to change. 

Nikita Miriam

Nikita Miriam launched Menorah Bridal in 2017, with the backing of her mother Shirley Solome, who has been in the garment industry for over 30 years. The mother-daughter duo’s design vocabulary is focused on classic and elegant bridal gowns, with some contemporary touches, all made with fabrics like mikado satin, georgette, glitter tulle and Alencon lace, Chantilly lace, embroidered net lace and Venetian lace. In addition to gowns, the boutique also offers brides the complete package, covering everything one might need for a traditional Christian wedding, from bouquets and tiaras to gloves, veils, corsages, boutonnieres and even dog accessories, for four-legged guests. Nikita shares her thoughts on the biggest bridal wear trends of the season.

A look from Nikita Miriam’s collection

What have you been busy with lately?
We recently re-created a gown taking inspiration from one of our previous gowns. This elaborate but elegant trumpet-style gown complete with big floral motif lace, glitter spider web layer, minimal pearl and sequin work is a gown that blew us away. One gown which is our bestseller is a three piece ensemble that comes with a simple strapless satin gown and lace shrug. It can be paired with detachable skirts, cover-ups, capes etc.  

Can you talk about the trends you’ve seen this season? 
We’ve been seeing a lot of love for glitter but we have also seen brides who prefer to have gowns in satin with minimal work. Additionally, a lot more brides are choosing form fitting trumpet and mermaid-style gowns. Plus size gowns are also a trend for us. 

Is there any trend you’d like to see more of? 
We would like to see brides choose bold yet out-of-the-box pieces that are flattering and also tasteful. It would be nice to see brides being open to new and fresh styles, necklines and materials. It would also be great if brides could keep an open mind about trying on the gowns the bridal house has, rather than replicating what they’ve seen by other designers. 

What do you think needs to change in the bridal wear industry?
The bridal wear industry needs to be more forthcoming and open to incorporating different materials and larger laces, and update their collection to maintain their position in the market. Although we love the classic white wedding gown, we would also like to see a lot more subtle and pastel colours like blush, butter and champagne.

Samantha Barua

Having set up shop over 14 years ago, Samantha Barua’s Elan Design Studio, is the first name that springs to mind when you think of Christian bridal wear in Bengaluru. The design house boasts a team of designers whose expertise lay not just in bespoke and ready-to-wear wedding dresses, but also bridesmaid and flower girl dresses, mother-of-the-bride outfits and cocktail gowns. Samantha lets us in on the latest trends in bridal wear.

A look from Samantha Barua’s collection

What has your studio been working on lately?
We’ve actually been doing some elaborate work. Lots of embellishments and sequins on full skirts. Apart from that we’ve been doing veils with subtle colours and embroidery. We’ve also done a jumpsuit, for a non-Indian bride, from pure satin silk fabric. 

What are the most notable trends of the season?
Of late we’ve been seeing a lot of requests for simple satin gowns... you could say that it’s the Meghan Markle effect. So there’s been a shift away from lace. Then there are the eco-conscious brides who only want eco-friendly fabrics, like raw silk, so that they can keep the dresses as heirlooms and pass it on to the next generation. Our two pieces also do quite well, because you can wear the top and skirt separately and use it multiple times, as opposed to a traditional dress which you can only wear once in your life.

What would you like to see more of?
I would like to see brides choosing comfortable dresses. If they are spending that kind of money, they should at least be able to wear it for the entire day, not just to the church ceremony and change into something else for the reception. 

What would you like to change about bridal wear?
I think we should stop looking at the West or what someone else is wearing for inspiration. Your wedding look should reflect your personality, signature and aesthetic and be suited to your body type. 

Shradha Ponnappa

Shradha Ponnappa’s studio started out as a small workshop and has now grown into a well-known bridal label. The city-based fashion designer ventured into this small business providing bespoke services after graduating from the Vogue Institute of Fashion Technology. Today, Shradha also co-owns a pret line brand called Spring Diaries in partnership with Megha Poddar.

A look from Shradha Ponnappa’s collection

Tell us a little bit about your work.
The designs I create are mostly based on the client’s requirements and budget. I like playing with patterns and embroideries and I prefer working with pure silk although different silhouettes demand fabrics with different kinds of fall and texture.

Give us peek into latest work.
My latest creations are ensembles with intricate thread and sequin florals in the embroidery. I’ve been receiving positive feedback and response for these designs.

 What trends are you seeing in bridal wear this season?
This season, brides in Bengaluru are opting for simpler skirts with intricate blouses in traditionalcolours. It’s nice to see people recognise the elegance of traditional bridal colours. There was a time when brides went all experimental with colours but now, it’s mostly in the shades of red, green and pink.

What would you like to see more of in terms of what brides choose to wear on their big day?
I hope to see brides choose hand-embroidered pieces because a lot of effort goes into creating a design like that. There is authenticity and value of art in each design and although it’s expensive, they are pieces to cherish.

 What would you like to change about the bridal wear industry?
I am not a big fan of mass-produced bridal outfits. Although they are cost-effective and heavy, there are several designers out there who create your dream outfits for all sorts of price ranges. I also hope brides understand that their outfits needn’t be heavily embellished and that it’s okay to opt for subtle pieces that are tailored beautifully.

Mahitha Prasad

Mahitha Prasad is a luxury bridal wear brand that is based in Bengaluru. The founders, Mahitha Prasad and her husband Prasad Pallemsetty, set up the label in 2015. The brand offers signature bridal couture like heavily embroidered blouses and lehengas, as well as other occasion wear. 

A look from Mahitha Prasad's collection

Tell us about your work.
With a team of talented artisans, we handcraft bridal and sari blouses, lehengas and more. Our strenght lies in our aari and zardosi work.

Can you tell us about some of your latest bridal ensembles?
I have quite a few favourites. One of them includes a lehenga inspired by the Mysore palace. It has all 
the colours and details that are present in the palace’s architecture. Another one features a delicate tulle floral stole in shades of pink. It’s very dreamy. 
What trends are you seeing in bridal wear this season? 
I am noticing an increase in florals and soothing colours. Lighter ensembles and structured gowns are also part of the current trend.

What would you like to see more of in terms of what brides choose to wear on their big day?
I would want brides to pick Kanjeevarams as they are timeless. Hand-embroidered blouses will complement the saris the most. When it comes to pre-weddings and receptions, I would want brides to try full ghera lehengas with sequin embellishments. Huge florals spread around the ghera along with a well-fitted blouse will also look great.
What would you like to change about the bridal wear industry?
I want more designers to choose minimalism because couples are leaning towards a closer family circle and want candid moments to be captured. Light dresses make it easy for them to move around.