The bride who shops for her wedding trousseau in Mumbai is bound to be spoilt for choice. Almost every segment of the artery that runs through this linear metropolis—from the narrow south to the sprawling, bustling north—is laden with riches. The once mill-dotted expanse of central Mumbai now boasts trendy restaurants and a luxury mall, and top fashion designers catering to the wedding market have set up boutiques across the city. As Mumbai has evolved, so, too, have bridal fashions. Where once the sari ruled inviolate, the lehenga skirt and choli (short bodice) with a voluminous dupatta (scarf) are favoured by modern brides, as is the Anarkali suit—a long, flared empire-waist dress paired with leggings. Traditional red often gives way to saffron, peach, coral or fuchsia, while green, ochre and rich gold are popular shades for smaller ceremonies. Whether you’re inclined towards these new looks or a traditional sari, or just want to incorporate a touch of Indian glamour into a Western-style wedding, here are 10 must-stop shops, from south to north, for fashion-hunting brides-to-be.
Shahab Durazi Design Studio
Inside this private salon, Durazi—one of the country’s most elegant couturiers, known for using soft colours and pearl embellishments—designs each garment himself. Make an appointment at the store to peruse swatches. The production studio can then mock up on computer different ways you might personalise each outfit. 29 Arcade, World Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade; 91 22/6529-5895
Bal’s stand-alone shop in Colaba has private salons where you can mix and match fabrics to create unique garments.
An appointment with Bal himself, who visits the store frequently from Delhi, is highly recommended. Consider his ready-to-wear ensembles for family members in the wedding. Also on hand are headpieces, cummerbunds and footwear. 10A, 41/44, S.P. Center–The Courtyard; 91 22/ 6638-5478
This location is jeweller Ganjam Nagappa and Sons’ first boutique outside Bangalore. Yellow and green furnishings suggest freshness and set off traditional South Indian–style diamond- and ruby-set pieces as well as more avant-garde designs by the late Japanese designer Kazuo Ogawa. Call ahead if you wish to see any of the 40 special pieces created every year for the catalogue; Ganjam will fly in your choices the next day
from Delhi, Bangalore or Tokyo. Taj Mahal Palace, Apollo Bandar; 91 22/3264-8434
A popular stop for non-resident Indian brides whose tastes tend towards Western-style white gowns, Ensemble is India’s first bridal shop with multiple designer brands. The store devotes significant space to coveted designer Tarun Tahiliani’s creations, and offers a variety of bridal lehengas and inventive drapes that can be worn again as eveningwear. Varun Bahl, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Bhairavi Jaikishan, Anamika Khanna and Ensemble Design Studio’s own creations also sell here. Great Western Building, 130/132 Shahid Bhagat Singh Road; 91 22/2284-3227;
Rose incense and glasses of Rooh Afza, a rose-flavoured drink, please the senses as shoppers make their way to see the outfits by designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee. An appointment with the man himself is possible but means a wait of at least two months. Also on offer: gold jewellery, ostrich-leather footwear and simple handwoven saris that reflect the designer’s efforts to revive traditional crafts. 52, 56, Dr. V.B. Gandhi Marg; 91 22/2262-3335
Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla
The resplendent ivory and gold salon is indicative of Jani’s and Khosla’s ability to transform brides into princesses. Their traditional lehengas come with two dupattas—the lighter one to be worn as a veil. Appointments are necessary, and production can take six to eight weeks. Jani and Khosla also design for destination weddings, and will do matching outfits for the groom. 2 Om Chambers, 91 22/2367-3505
Even on feet decorated with intricate bridal henna, custom footwear by Rina Shah holds its own. Head to her store with swatches of the garments you will wear; from then it takes 10 days to make the footwear. Choose from the simple to the highly bejewelled with kundan work or Swarovski crystals. Shah meets clients personally (by appointment) to take orders and measurements. Ready-mades also line the walls. 33 Altamount Road; 91 22/2353-3979
The designer who is the personal favourite of some of India’s
top stars is also known for his gossamer bridal ensembles. His colour sense includes dreamy pastels and ivory and red combinations, and his double lehengas and gownlike kurtas are the modern bride’s choice. 4/5 Vishnudham C.H.S., Khar; 91 22/2605-0723
Kumar is the doyenne of bridal wear, and her lehengas have graced royalty. Staff members are attentive and eager to ensure the bride selects exactly what she desires from the wide variety on offer. Kumar’s workmanship is exquisite and detailed in its perfection, and her taste is legendary and classic, though she will create more contemporary styles if requested. Landmark 18/A, Juhu Tara Road; 91 22/6697-6932
The Juhu store is the flagship of Pradeep Hirani’s 16 Kimaya boutiques. Of the nearly 40 designers the store houses, 20—including Sabyasachi, JJ Valaya and Anna Singh—sell bridal attire. Designed as an open space, the store lets you see everything at a glance, and you’ll find enough variety to get your complete trousseau under one roof. Kimaya also holds events and celebrations and will fly in a designer for a bridal appointment.
Asha Colony, Juhu Tara Road; 91 22/2660-5575