The use of architecturally embroidered lehengas is slowly but steadily gaining momentum. Today many top-notch designers are endorsing the same in their designer lehenga collections. Even with several micro-trends coming up to perfect the art of lehenga embroidery, Mahals or palaces are playing a rather predominant role in the embroidery designs, patterns and motifs of lehengas.
With India having a rich architectural heritage, the country boasts of some extremely well designed and decorated palaces. In fact, no two palaces have similar motifs, patterns or designs, stories etc., painted or carved on them. While the Red Fort offers inspiration from its predominant Muslim or Persian culture, the Junagadh fort of Bikaner is a veritable goldmine of Rajputana relics, paintings, and other architectural wonders. One has just to roam the length and breadth of the country to come up with exquisitely unique and splendidly awesome Mahal-inspired embroidery lehengas.
One example of such an inspiring piece was recently showcased by well-known designer Sabyasachi who had the whole Taj Mahal patterned into the hands of a Banarasi choli. Other designers like Ridhi Mehra are also following suit with their “Mahal” collections featuring lehengas with embroidery showing intricate craftsmanship. The vibrancy of colours present in these collections too finds their roots in the splashes of beautiful bright colours of the carved and painted designs of these ancient mahals. Hence, breaking away from the traditional reds and maroons today, lehengas sport colours like the peppy hues of yellow, minty greens, purples and even bright sparkling oranges.
Mughals and the Rajputs who were known connoisseurs of art, are very popular sources of inspiration. From decked elephants with sitting mahouts to beautifully architecture windows of the palaces, today’s designers are experimenting with the whole gamut of architectural wonders present in the mahals. Even floral motifs with peacocks sitting on them are being transcribed into the modern day embroidery lehengas for wear by traditional brides and other female family members.
It is not only the lehenga designs which are drawing inspiration from the Indian palaces. In fact, a bride with a liking for anything traditional can also have her mehendi designed on the patterns and motifs seen on the palace walls. Wedding jewellery too has found its inspiration in the intricately carved patterns and filigree work of ancient India’s popular historical figures. With inspiration, elegance and perfection, all found in these Mahal inspired designs, the lehengas created, get elevated to pieces of art. This too makes for a possession worth having and flaunting.