It’s a challenging yet exciting time in fashion. Designers are ditching the standard rulebook to reimagine couture and prêt in an all-new avatar. The idea is to make it more androgynous, sustainable and conducive to the ‘new normal.
Young male celebs, Harry Styles, Timothée Chalamet and Dan Levy are wearing skirts and gowns. And female icons Priyanka Chopra, Sonam Kapoor, Zendaya, Bella Hadid and Lady Gaga are making heads turn in sharp pantsuits.
Following this globally evolving trend in fashion, Indian couturiers and husband-wife duo Sarah and Sandeep Gonsalves have launched a menswear-inspired bridal collection, Equivalence. It is their eponymous label, Sarah & Sandeep’s first-ever wedding wear range for power brides and grooms.
Tuxedos and bandhgalas for brides
This bold, cutting-edge collection is specially made for new-age brides who desire unconventional outfits, beyond the classic red lehenga. Sarah & Sandeep’s signature men’s suits, bandhgalas and sherwanis have been restyled into off-shoulder, veiled tuxedos, power suits, power lehengas and bandhgala sarees for women.
“Instead of recreating women’s styles as per traditional rules we decided to reinterpret menswear styles for our contemporary couture-loving brides who want to challenge the status quo,” says Sandeep Gonsalves.
Gauzy fabrics, ruffles, frills, and laces – traditionally seen in bridal wear – have been replaced by textured fabrics, geometric and pleated patterns, and sharp silhouettes, widely seen in S&S’s menswear. A stylish fusion of collared suit lapels and plunging necklines gives an added edge to the bridal outfits.
One truly striking transition of menswear to womenswear is a full-sleeved bandhgala, a blouse paired with a sleek, pleated lehenga and a belted one-sided drape. And for brides and grooms, who love the concept of twinning, there are plenty of fashionable picks. From matching colours and fitted tailoring to identical embroideries and angular patterns, every piece is crafted into a perfect couple’s ensemble.
On the colour front, this collection is a departure from traditional, bright bridal wear hues. Instead, a sober, softer palette of white, pink, ivory, beige, caramel, grey, navy blue and green, adorns the ensembles.
A fashion-forward clientele
Gonsalves says that his clientele likes to update their wardrobes and styles on a regular basis. “Our brides and grooms appreciate the craftsmanship and we regularly get requests from them to make one-off, unconventional outfits.”
He adds, “The brides get to see our outfits up and close when they visit us for their partner’s final fittings for the wedding. They often praise us for our future-forward, clean, geometric menswear designs and demand similar styles for bridal wear.” This motivated the designer duo to finally step beyond men’s fashion and take a leap into bridal couture, but with a statement-making twist.
Before ‘Equivalence’ was launched officially, Sarah and Sandeep decided to model one of the outfits themselves to show people how their design goes hand in hand for couples. “A while back, we were at the Ritz Carlton Pune for a family wedding, for which we dressed in our matching Black-Tie look.” Sarah donned a concept all-black ceremonial suit and Sandeep wore a black-grey tuxedo, both, bedecked with a shawl suit lapel.
This creative styling earned the duo phenomenal feedback. Soon after, they had clients purchasing the couple’s ensemble for their own weddings.
Before foraying into bridal couture, Sarah and Sandeep designed luxury menswear since their label’s launch in 2012. They have dressed Varun Dhawan, Shahid Kapoor and Ayushmann Khurrana and industrialist Akash Ambani for his wedding.