Shyamal Shodhan Of Shyamal & Bhumika On Weddings, Millennials & The Importance Of Craft

There's only one rule that applies to weddings in India; the bigger, the better. With consumer habits being shaped by social media and access to newer avenues, perceptions have undoubtedly changed. For designer Shyamal Shodhan, one-half of the Ahmedabad-based duo Shyamal & Bhumika, the phenomenon is of great interest and something he seems to have understood.

So, we sat down with him to discuss what lies ahead. From craftsmanship and intricate handiwork that remains a mainstay in the brand's heirloom pieces to his latest collection, The Rennaissance Muse, here's what the biggest season in Indian fashion has in store this time around.

Luxeva: Tell us about what inspired your collection? 

Shyamal Shodhan: "For us, inspiration is a constant journey. We were inspired by the period of Renaissance which brought about a dynamic change in the way art was perceived. The families of Florence who played a great part during the time were also researched, as were a number of museums. Even theatre was reborn at that point of time and, to portray that, our set at Couture Week was inspired by the setting of an opera. It’s a wonderful inspiration for a lot of our craft and silhouette details. The outfit will still be a lehenga in essence, but you will observe elements and trims such as frills, pearls, beads, and even the way colours are placed to be inspired by the theme. All in all, the inspiration is European, but it is blended with Indian crafts with the aim of keeping certain art forms intact and to ensure they reach the millennial bride of today." 

Image Courtesy: Shyamal & Bhumika
Image Courtesy: Shyamal & Bhumika

Luxeva: How do you think millennials perceive fashion, with respect to weddings, as opposed to earlier?

Shyamal Shodhan: "The millennial bride and groom are very well-researched. It's almost like a movie set; they know exactly what they want and how. We have clients getting married in exotic destinations that were once perhaps off-limits. They are all professionals who have hectic schedules, and when they are getting married, they are looking for something that will help them create the memory of a lifetime."

Image Courtesy: Shyamal & Bhumika
Image Courtesy: Shyamal & Bhumika

Luxeva: Does the consumer having a clear idea make the process easier for you? 

Shyamal Shodhan: "Since they are very well-researched, they come to us with an image. The thought processes are something they have gone through so I am no longer the instructor. Thanks to social media platforms, our clients know what’s happening; the terminology and the details of the craft are clearer than ever before. That’s how fashion has evolved. And the beauty of it all is that because of their knowledge, we are able to quickly connect them to what they are looking for."

Image Courtesy: Shyamal & Bhumika
Image Courtesy: Shyamal & Bhumika

Luxeva: A lot of your work focuses on the intricate craft that contributes to heirloom pieces. Is it something your clients focus on when they come to you? 

Shyamal Shodhan: "They absolutely know what they are getting but simultaneously, rather than think about passing it on to their grandchildren, at that moment, they want to focus on their big day. That’s also something I would advise, because if you overthink it, you might go a little off-route, focussing on the heirloom part of it rather than what you would essentially like to wear on your wedding. It goes without saying that heirloom pieces are indeed timeless and will always be, but it’s better to focus on what you want to achieve in terms of your sartorial preferences." 

Image Courtesy: Shyamal & Bhumika
Image Courtesy: Shyamal & Bhumika

Luxeva: Do you face certain restrictions when it comes to location? 

Shyamal Shodhan: "We have 2,00,000 people following us from the United States of America and Canada alone and I feel it's built out of interest and for the beauty of the craft. If there’s a way for us to connect them to their roots in the way that they desire, the connectivity is established regardless of the location, and in a rather beautiful way." 

Luxeva: How inclined are you towards trends that fashion is now perpetually surrounded by? 

Shyamal Shodhan: "Global fashion does work on trends, but when it comes to Indian couture, I think there is hardly an effect. There is a particular set of couturiers who are defining and evolving in their own design philosophies, and their clients go to them for that very reason. I would say trends fall more into place for something that needs to be mass-produced; for couture, it's all about the inspiration and achieving what our muse would have dreamt of. The endless possibilities of craft and excellent handiwork are unique to India, and the true treasure that we have are our craftsmen, ones we should be celebrating through and through."

Featured Image: Shyamal & Bhumika

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