There was almost an year’s gap between my engagement and wedding, and when that happens, your brain kinda goes into planning some pretty unrealistic projects. You know, stuff like what you want to do on your wedding day, who all should be there, what everyone should be doing or wearing… totally random.
So I got this idea in my head that I will make my own sangeet lehenga since most of the lehengas I checked out in the shops were not what I wanted. And the ones which actually caught my eye were way too expensive.
Now I have a very simple taste, I don’t like a lot of embroidery work on my garments and usually go for something elegant and classy. I used to shudder at the thought of being buried in a lehenga which resembled a chandelier — both in cost and look.
So my fiancé’s cousin, Vyoma Kawdikar, who is a fashion designer and owns a label called Vyoma, got on board with this idea. She lives in the USA now, so we had to discuss most of the things online. She helped me out with what colours would go with each other and what kind of borders I should use on them.
Our combos changed almost every fortnight. But she was really patient with me and finally we zeroed in on the combo which was very very in at that time — emerald green lehenga, hot pink choli, and yellow dupatta.Then my colleague introduced me to Kaveri Batla in Delhi, who owns a boutique in Lajpat Nagar, who (again, very patiently) ironed out other design issues like what kind of fabric I should go for and where I would find all the raw material. She told me a gher-daar lehenga would need at least 8 metres of chanderi fabric which is light weight silk, about a metre of raw silk for the blouse, and 3 metres of net fabric with sequins work on it for the dupatta.
So I scan the Delhi markets and buy everything that I would need.
From Lajpat Nagar
1. Green Chanderi fabric – Rs 900
2. Raw silk in hot pink – Rs 250
3. Brocade fabric in hot pink, for sleeves – Rs 100
4. White net with sequins buti on it – Rs 450
From Chandni Chowk (Kinari Bazar)
1. For dupatta, yellow border with kundan work (9m) – Rs 2000
2. For lehenga, golden heavy sequins lace (15m) – Rs 250
3. Golden ribbon – Rs 50
4. For lehenga, hot pink narrow lace with leafy design (9m) – Rs 350 (for two rolls)
So I buy all this, and give it to Kaveri, who got it stitched for me in her workshop. She added lining in blouse and the petty coat of the lehenga from her side and charged me Rs 3,750. She even dyed the white net fabric in yellow, which saved me a lot of running around the market. And voila! in just two weeks I have this lehenga ready which was very simple and the flair of the skirt caught everyone’s attention. I was damn happy that I achieved this within my budget in just Rs 8,100. A similar lehenga in Hauz Khas or Shahpur Jat would probably cost Rs 20,000! Way to go.
Check out Vyoma’s collection here
While Kaveri’s work can be viewed here.