Scene and Herd


Scene and Herd

Wedding Atelier, which forecasts wedding trends for India, is the first in a series of exhibitions that will roll out every season

A montage of Indian wedding scenarios, the Delhi glitteratti, a dhol dhamaka procession and a lifestyle pundit. Tells you the story? Not really, if you listen to one of India’s most popular wedding designers, Vandana Mohan. So let’s start the story again, typically like a wedding, where the bride’s entry must be rehearsed a dozen times for maximum impact.

Last week, Mohan, who runs Wedding Design Company, launched Wedding Atelier, a day- long exhibition at Delhi’s Stainless Gallery. “It’s the first event that forecasts wedding trends in the country,” says Mohan.

Dressed in a cream and gold sari and an arresting ruby necklace, she welcomed her guests at the venue decked in fragrant mogra flowers. Wedding Atelier will travel to different cities, she says. “Just as the fashion industry forecasts garment and accessory trends, this will inform everyone as to what’s in vogue in wedding design, entertainment, cuisine, ambience and packaging,” added Mohan.

As an idea, Wedding Atelier is a smart one. It ropes in design, aesthetics, fashion and the flamboyance of ambitious Indian weddings. Mohan segregated her exhibits in a way that dipped into the old, and came out looking like new. While “Rites of Reflection” showed vintage ways of packing with lace and an old world charm, “Champa Chameli”, the second one, had Raw Mango Chanderi saris, an assortment of designer cushions, furniture, photo frames, decorative pieces, hangings, curtains and wall paper among other things. “Dramatique”, the third section suggested the contemporary: red, black and white objects and the power of digital images.

Mohan, who organised a Jindal wedding at the Ferragamo villa in Florence last year, clearly has a finger on the pulse of the market. She knows that it must be more than an impossible mix of marigold flowers, Sabyasachi saris, Dior gowns, Rolex watches and who’s on the guest list. But for Wedding Atelier to stand out, she will have to bring distinction to the tastes of those, who aspire for and spend crores on lavish ceremonies. For her design to become truly aspirational, the herd that hires may have to be challenged. At the moment, the exhibition mirrors the ambitious chaos of rich India, where tradition is important but is so excessively punctuated with modernity that neither have a personality of their own. Moving the scene away from the tastes of the herd may not be a bad idea.