Bride in the making

transformation

“Marriages might be made in heaven, but dream weddings come alive on Band Baajaa Bride,” says host Ambika Anand, on the first episode of the wedding makeover show on NDTV Good Times. As we catch up with her in between shoots, she adds, “The concept of a makeover show works very well with the Indian audience. Since marriage is such an integral part of our lives, there is a lot of emphasis on looking your best, and hence, the constant quest to look good.”

makeover Designer Sabyasachi with one of the girls on the show.

Currently in its second season, the show takes us through the personal journeys and transformations of 13 handpicked brides, who are mentored by none other than the much celebrated fashion designer, Sabyasachi Mukherjee.

Speaking of his experience on the show, the ace designer says, “My job on the show involved shortlisting the brides-to-be, mentoring them and in some cases even their parents, convincing them on what the wedding outfit should be and finally, creating a bridge between what the girls wanted and what I wanted to design for them.”

He goes on to reveal that the profiles of the participants were as varied as they could get and that there were girls from different economic backgrounds, some who were very fashion conscious, and others, who were oblivious to what was happening in the world of fashion. Plus, they came in all shapes and sizes. While they all wanted to wear designer clothing, for many, the outfits were simply out of reach. Hence, for him, it felt very special to be able to work with them and transform them into beautiful brides. After all, he says, “As a bridal designer, my job is to make every bride feel special.”

Personal touch

And for a designer who normally does not meet with his clients as a policy, Sabyasachi sure went out of his way to make the brides-to-be feel extra special. Every wedding outfit was custom designed after the one-on-one meetings between the girls and the celebrity designer. Not only that, since quite a few of them came with emotional insecurities and apprehensions about their big day, he reveals, “I often sat with them and I told them why they needed to feel good and confident about themselves.

So I was just not designing clothes and giving them physical makeovers, I was also being a friend, an emotional guide and a mentor .” So, be it scouring the lanes of Benaras in a rickshaw in search of the perfect brocade or sharing his personal stories on the show, Sabyasachi does go the extra mile to make the girls as comfortable as they can get.

And with Ambika Anand on their side, the girls are seen to be in safe hands, as they do the rounds of renowned specialists in skincare, hair and make-up along with the occasional lip job or eyebrow lift or a long overdue visit to the spa as they gear up towards their big day.

But, as the crew of Band Baajaa Bride with Sabyasachi travels across the country to the hometowns of these brides-to-be, the designer himself admits that the show, for him, always seemed to be a race against time. Meeting the timelines and the tight delivery schedules of the wedding outfit proved to be quite a challenge at short notice. Even as we caught up with him in Kolkata, he was in the midst of working on another lucky bride’s outfit.

Sabyasachi reveals, “For once, I did not want to design for the affluent. In the near future, I wish to introduce an affordable range of clothing. Working on the show gave me an insight into how the middle-class culture worked. I myself come from a similar background, so it felt like going back in time, to deal with the problems that middle-class Indians face.”

While the success of the makeover certainly reflected on the brides’ gleaming faces and their glam outfits, to all those girls who didn’t make it to the second season of the show, Sabyasachi advises,
“For the wedding, the outfit that you choose should be closest to your home culture. It should be a part of your tradition. Weddings are timeless, so rather than following fashion trends which are mostly short lived, you should follow tradition, for it is important to be traditionally and culturally alive.”

On being asked if he would be as happy designing for grooms-to-be rather than the brides, he says, “I prefer to design for brides, for in women’s clothing there’s a lot of creativity involved.
And as for his favourite bride, he adds, “I would love to design for Vidya Balan when she gets married, for I know she’s going to be a culturally radiant bride”.

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