The biggest sartorial shift in the wedding arena is the emergence of the shirt blouses, pants as petticoats, and roomy capes over saris. Even to the most open minded, these styles maybe 'a bit too much' for the 'deshi' bride. Experimental collections such as oversized blazers, cowboy boots and native jewellery paired with the traditional sari may evoke a sense of careless irreverence, and may even offend many. But times are changing and Bangladeshi brides and grooms of the 21st century are experimenting with their looks.
Here, we look into few stories to familiarise ourselves with the wider range of opinions.
To each bride, her own finery
Anista Ireen gained extra attention at her wedding, for her off-shoulder blouse and unconventional ruffled sleeves that were paired with Aztec inspired jewellery.
"I enjoyed the attention, since it was my own wedding, I wanted to stand out and my plan certainly worked," said the fashionista, who was often praised by her friends, for being rather bold and experimental, especially with her wardrobe.
Weddings are often an elaborate affair in Bangladesh. Every bride secretly prays to look her best and tries the most 'within her control,' to achieve the possibility — from going to the best beauty salon, to the best luxury fashion label in town. These brides are often reluctant to experiment with their looks for 'the day of the wedding' and often surrender to the 'traditional' style, acceptable by the society at large.
Mousinin Sultana, another new bride, who had an intimate wedding last November amidst the pandemic, agrees.
"Weddings in Bangladesh are not a place to experiment. You have so many 'murubbis' (elders) coming to event, and they are easily offended by anything beyond the conventional. And on a day when you need blessings from all, why offend anyone particular! Plus, there is also the issue that the look opted for may not suit us at all. And weddings are usually a one-time affair, there shouldn't be any glitches intentionally made," said Sultana.
These were differing points of view from two separate brides — poles apart, but with a common goal, both of whom wanted to look their best at their own wedding celebrations.
While we believe there's no topping the customary look of a traditional 'bou' in Bangladesh — with her red teep, centre-parted hair, mini bun tucked skilfully with jasmine garlands and the blood-red katan sari, we also agree that there's nothing wrong with a little experimentation.
When brides are already copying their favourite celebrities from Bollywood; why shouldn't they experiment and try something fresh and original? Why not try a style that accentuates personalities instead?
"Although the times call for familiarising oneself with their own identities and finding styles that replicate the personality; I still desire to remain very basic, traditional and feminine, and that represents purity in my eyes," said Mahera Sultana, a teacher who plans to have a traditional wedding when her time comes.
Whatever the scenario may be; every woman looks like a goddess as a bride. It doesn't matter whether they have stilettos on their feet or firm boots; as long as they are comfortable in their look, brides always look their best.
Amen to that!
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Models: Manoshi, Niki, Afia
Wardrobe: Tangail Saree Kutir and Simily Haute Couture
Styling: Sonia Yeasmin Isha
Makeup: Raisa Noushin
Hair: Noyon Ahmed
Location: Le Meridien, Dhaka