At the Vogue Wedding Show in New Delhi last week, designer Anita Dongre encountered an unusual request from a visitor. A bride-to-be walked into Dongre’s stall and requested a lehenga that would match the colour palette of her bridegroom’s outfit. Apparently, the groom had already selected what he would wear for the big day in December.
It’s surprising, considering that in India, more often than not, it’s the poor groom who remains at the mercy of the bride and whose clothing choices are seen as a mere reflection of her attire or get-up.
“It’s true that Indian bridegrooms are totally neglected in the run-up to the wedding. All the focus is on the bride and her clothing and jewellery, etc. This bride was a welcome surprise. She showed me what her groom is going to wear, as he had already selected his outfit, and wanted to pick an outfit to match his. Things are definitely changing and we are trying to pay as much attention as possible to it,” says Dongre.
Clearly, the Indian groom is no longer interested in playing second fiddle to the bride. He is breaking cliches and his choices are becoming sartorial. He knows what he wants and he has no qualms in asking for it. Gone are the days when the bride used to be the centre of attention during weddings, with the bridegroom basking in her reflected glory.
Today’s groom has come a long way from the traditional three-piece suit and has become extremely experimental in terms of colours, silhouettes and embellishments, among other things. He has warmed up to and embraced the various aspects of clothing, accessories and styling. He now not only compliments the bride on D-Day but, at times, surpasses her to become the talking point of the wedding. He is still dressed impeccably, but now you can clearly identify a dash of extravagance and adventure in his choices with the use of gold, embroidery, colours like fuchsia, pink and aqua, jewelled tones and tone-on-tone fabric.
The urban male is as involved, as interested in looking good and as interested in glowing as the bride. Agrees designer Raghavendra Rathore, “The groom is more independent now. Earlier, it always used to be the elder people in the family who would advise what colours, etc, to wear. The groom today is much more adventurous. The classic colours will always be trendy, but there is now