When Indian designer Kresha Bajaj took on the mammoth task of stitching her love story on to her bridal lehenga, she didn’t realise that she was setting in motion the next big Indian wedding trend for the year.
The designer who was married to Vanraj Zaveri, scion of family that runs the jewellery chain Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri & Sons, in an intimate ceremony claimed she had driven herself and everyone around her crazy in trying to find the perfect lehenga. “What was I going to do with a lehenga that would just sit in my closet, never to be worn again?” she told HuffPost India, admitting that she has never been a fan of heavy traditional attire.
Bajaj was inspired by the ‘Real Housewives’ television show star Adrienne Maloof who had framed her wedding dress as an art piece in her walk-in closet. “I thought it was a cool idea. Vanraj loves art, and I don’t because I get bored of looking at the same thing on my wall,” she says. “But I didn’t want to get sick of looking at my wedding outfit. The nicest thing we’d never get bored of looking at was our love story. And that’s what I decided to put into my lehenga.”
Bajaj says that the process was not easy. “Initially it was a bit worrying because we didn’t want it to come out comical,” she says. Her beau chose white and gold as the theme for their wedding trousseau, and Bajaj would spend hours with the karigars who were embroidering special milestones from the couple’s life together on to the cloth.
“The image of two people clinking their glasses is inspired by Vanraj’s first Instagram post after proposing to me in the Maldives,” reveals Bajaj. “We had just popped a bottle of champagne, and he clicked a picture of me with the glass of champagne and the ring.”
Another scene is inspired by the proposal picture that Bajaj posted on her Instagram feed, while a third scene features the wedding venue itself. “This one of Leela Palace Udaipur, where we got married, is from the time when we were going to the hotel in a boat to finalise our weddings preparations,” she says.
“The hem of the lehenga and the dupatta are adorned with jumping dolphins,” says Bajaj, revealing the story behind this atypical pattern. “Vanraj and I knew each other as kids but never really got along. In 2014, we found ourselves working on a project against dolphin captivity together, and that’s when we really connected.”
Zaveri also wore a white and gold silk sherwani that borrowed a simple floral pattern from Bajaj’s blouse. “We wanted to keep it really simple. He also made beautiful jewelled buttons for his outfit, and designed my wedding jewellery,” says Bajaj, who claims to have hated jewellery all her life, but was happy with her husband’s timeless designs.
Bajaj added her own edgy style to the classic ensemble by donning a pair of golden Giuseppe Zanotti heels. “I had to have something crazy and insane,” she says laughing. She also mentioned that she chose a simple but unique mehendi design eschewing standard patterns.
Although people at the wedding didn’t catch onto the love story on Bajaj’s outfit right away, they were quite impressed when they came to know about the story behind the design. Her lehenga has also caught the eye of several to-be brides around the world, specially in London and Australia.
Now, Bajaj says she has opened a service to design similar custom-made bridal trousseaus. The price for each personalised lehenga will range approximately between ₹3.5–12.5 lakh, however Bajaj has said she can work within a client’s preferred budget range. See the mehndi and wedding pics at next page.