Ridhi Mehra is famed for updating the chiffon saree for Bollywood’s benefit — her belted jumpsuit sarees are a festive staple for many A-listers, from Ananya Panday to Kriti Sanon. Naturally, the couturier is young Bollywood’s go-to option when it comes to celebratory dressing, and for her winter festive line, Mehra has gone full bohemian. “The Raeza collection predominantly features placement embroidery in traditional threadwork like the phulkari, but it has been reimagined in our design language. We have used different types of antique materials combined with multicoloured Resham in hand embroidery and incorporated big florals in pure organza appliqué work,” Mehra tells us.
The designer, who sells in Kolkata via multi-designer studios such as Ballygunge’s Elahe and 85 Landsdowne, just introduced pret wear this year. Her ready-to-wear pieces are likely to fly off the shelves in Kolkata, as Mehra shares how receptive city shoppers have been to her more economical options, specifically her demi-couture offerings.
“Kolkata (for us) is a super market, we have so many buyers from the city. Interestingly, the buying trend doesn’t incline towards bridal exclusively. Instead, there’s an impressive demand for our demi-couture line in the Kolkata market,” the designer remarks. Last month, Tollywood star Nusrat Jahan stunned in Mehra’s peplum sharara for a photoshoot, and popular Kolkata influencer Saachi Bhasin is also a Ridhi Mehra loyalist. The designer launched her intimate wedding edit Dawn of Love in Elahe Kolkata in August, which boasted some breathy neutrals and romantic pastels. Her newest celebratory collection however, is all about moody shararas, midnight black silk lehengas, burgundy ruched anarkalis. There is an undeniable focus on rich, stark colour profiles and cosmopolitan cuts that are immaculate and risque. However, her Kolkata buyers, are somewhat traditionalists and usually play safe when it comes to major purchases as the designer observes. “Broadly speaking, Kolkata buyers have been a little conservative in taste. The general trend we’ve observed in the city is buyers going for pieces that offer more coverage, especially when it comes to sleeves. They also prefer brighter alternatives,” Mehra reveals.
Mehra’s eponymous label also took strides to make virtual shopping a seamless experience for couture buyers and points out that her signature draped sarees and lehengas sell more online. Her website also has a ready-to-ship section, which is ideal for last-minute wedding shoppers.
“This year, the artisans are in a better place as compared to 2020. The chaos was less intense this year. Our plan of action, post the lockdown lift was to go all-in with productions. We had taken up a considerable number of ready-to-ship orders for which the stocks had to be replenished. Now with everything opening up again, we’re back in the game, well-prepared, positive and spirited,” Mehra shares.
The Raeza collection starts from Rs. 68,800