And the Bride Wore Denim…
Trend forecaster and fashion and lifestyle writer, Ahaana Khosla, and her husband, Shehan Minocher in their wedding outfits during their nuptials.
Exactly 13 years since they began dating, trend forecaster Ahaana Khosla and Shehan Minocher, Private Client Manager, African and Eastern in Dubai , tied the knot in a heartwarming, intimate wedding. This is what wedding dreams are made of: childhood sweethearts, the closest of friends and family…and an outfit that goes viral on the Internet!
Yes, that’s right. Ahaana and Shehan chose to eschew traditional colours, fabrics, and embroideries for styles that are young, modern, and truly delightful… The bridal lehenga and groom’s bandhgala were denim creations, both designed by Ahaana’s father, who is Bengaluru-based designer Manoviraj Khosla.
“Hailing from such a strong background of fashion, I always knew I wanted to be a different kind of bride,” Ahaana tells The Word.. “I was quite tired of looking through my Instagram feed and seeing all brides following the exact same template, almost looking the same. I wanted to wear something that reflected my personality and embodied the bride I wanted to be…laid back, chilled out, happy, having the time of my life, and not weighed down by a 15-kilo lehenga and tonnes of jewellery.”
Over the years, many dinner table conversations and times spent with her father centred around discussing Ahaana’s wedding lehenga-set, and the father-daughter duo would often brainstorm over what it could possibly be.
“One day, he said, ‘What if we created a denim outfit?’. Dad experiments a lot with denim, so I could see where his thought was coming from. But because I was so conditioned to only seeing brides in shades of red and pink, a blue outfit for her pheras seemed unimaginenable to me…,” Ahaana recalls. Manoviraj even suggested adding frays and rivets to the look, and wanted Ahaana to style it with boots. “I said ‘no’ straightaway, that this wasn’t his fashion show…of course, my mom jumped in agreed with me [laughs].”
However, the more Ahaana mulled over the idea, the more it began to appeal to her. For denim resonated deeply with her personal style, who can often be spotted in denim shorts or jeans. “I think denim is the perfect canvas for a lot of experimentation…it’s a trans-seasonal fabric that can take you from day to night, and be easily dressed up and down. Suddenly, I could visualise exactly what the lehenga would look like… I imagined this crazy, wildflower themed lehenga that featured flowers, butterflies, and dragonflies.” And given that her father had already used some of these motifs on previous creations, the idea clicked. “It was a true collaboration, and a celebration of both our personalities,” she adds.
Now that Ahaana’s wedding outfit was finalised, in concept, it was important to decide on what her to-be husband, Shehan, would wear. But, of course, a matching bandhgala, also designed by Manoviraj.
“Drawing inspiration from my lehenga (without giving anything away because he wasn’t allowed to see it), my dad designed him a denim bandhgala with similar motifs, which he wore with white Jodhpuris and matching denim shoes,” Ahaana reveals. And to top it up, his shoes boasted tiny butterflies embroidered on them, which matched Ahaana’s dupatta and blouse perfectly.
The next task was to actually get the creations ready, for denim doesn’t naturally lend itself to a bridal ensemble. In addition, they had no references to turn to, either. “The first challenge was washing the denim and finding the right shade. I was very clear that I wanted it to be light blue, but my dad was more inclined towards dark blue, so it took a few months of back and forth and testing,” the newly-wed recounts. Next, they needed to ensure that it wouldn’t turn out to be too heavy with the embroidery, because denim has its own weight. “We were also both very keen on giving the outfit a 3-dimensional look, something that was fun and reflected my vibrant personality.”
When Ahaana wore the creation on the big day, guests were in awe. “I think they were all quite blown away. I watched the videos later, and I could hear people saying ‘Oh my god, her lehenga is denim!’. I think it was probably refreshing to see a bride being true to herself and wearing something that really embodied her personality,” she opines.
In fact, Ahaana’s grandmothers [both dadi and nani] were equally supportive of her decision to break away from the mould. And the Internet loved it, with the wedding look going viral on social media.
“My friends all asked me how I was so relaxed and happy throughout my wedding… I really think it was because I was wearing exactly what I wanted. My denim bridal outfit it just made me feel so liberated and at ease!” she states.
Each motif stood for something personal for her…the butterflies and dragonflies signified change and a transformation as Ahaana embarked upon this new journey. And the flowers and leaves were to bring in beauty, joy, hope, and optimism.
As for the styling, Ahaana turned to Alia Bhatt (since her close friends and family say that she resembles the actor a bit). “I loved her minimal make-up and how she wore a maatha patti as a hairband on her wedding day. So that’s the brief I gave my make-up artist,” she shares. The final look was styled with a polki and turquoise necklace and matching earrings and maatha patti.
For the party after the wedding, Ahaana wore a custome-made, mauve lehenga by Seema Gujral. “And for our exchange of vows ceremony the next day, I wore a white wedding dress from Ukranian brand Milla Nova. I wanted to bring light to the exquisite craftsmanship of Ukraine and show the world that in spite of all the trouble and turmoil, they have beautiful artisans who must be celebrated.”
At the reception/after party, Ahaana wore a pink fringe and feather dress from UK brand, Nadine Merabi.
Looking back at the decision to wear denim, Ahaana wouldn’t have it any other way. And, in fact, she hopes to inspire others. “I hope I can set an example for more young girls, to not feel forced into looking a certain way on their wedding day. Of-course, there are some rules, but it’s always nice to find a way to make your look your own.”