Suneet Varma Aamby Valley Bridal Week: The Golden Bracelet

2013 Sep 10 - by dulhan
Suneet Varma has always been a designer willing to flirt with the line between edgy and costume.  2010 saw his Pirates of Couture (I'll let you make up your own mind about that title) walk down the runway.  It was full of towering turbans, ostrich feathers, and a treasure chest's worth of jewelry.  It was like if Jack Sparrow met Aladdin and they joined their delinquent forces to take over fashion week.  Obviously toeing the line if not brazenly jumping back and forth over it.

His Kamasutra collection, which came out the following year in 2011, featured plunging necklines and heavy gold embroidery.  It would have been an innocuous bridal collection if not for the name (which, honestly, puts you in mind of courtesans rather than shy Indian brides).  But Varma is the honey badger of the Indian fashion world and he don't care.

And according to his newly published coffee table book (coming out just in time to celebrate his label's silver anniversary) Suneet Varma, Varma entertained the idea of curating costumes in museums.  But if you look at the pictures from his new collection The Golden Bracelet I think you will be relieved he didn't.

The Gold Bracelet takes its cues from the ancient Roman city of Pompeii.  At its height, Pompeii was a jewel in the Roman Empire; it was a paradigm of extravagance and wealth.  And like all things of beauty, it had a firm expiration date and was snuffed out with the explosion of Mount Vesuvius.  The collection itself is "inspired by the clothing and lifestyle of Pompeii and is designed in the themes of Romance, Longing and Wedding."

The colors Varma uses alongside the curling floral embroidery could easily be influenced by Indian or Greco-Roman classical tradition.  The marriage of the two styles in a dress, like the one below, creates a stunning mix of easy opulence and timeless beauty.


I love the jewelry pieces in this one.  It's like her Ceasar's crown came to life and is slowly growing around her.  Or maybe she's a nymph.  Either way, if I had enough diva-confidence to pull off a velvet sari, an arm full of bangles, and a golden tree branch you can bet I'd be wearing this get up to my cousin's wedding.


With this anarkali and lehnga you can see the seamless merging of the Roman and the Indian.  These traditional Indian dresses almost look like togas while the embroidery and beading ground them in Indian design.

With a title like The Golden Bracelet, it follows that the jewelry is going to be a main focal point of the collection.  And Varma doesn't disappoint.

While I might be a bit reluctant to go the full Varma and wear a toga dress to a wedding (or at my own wedding), I think I could be convinced to wear one of those sweet headdresses.


This one's my absolute favorite.  Varma makes Indian brides look like Wonder Woman and I want in!

This one is just really pretty.  No commentary here.

Varma talks in his new book about his dislike for pre-stitched saris - "I have always favoured the unstitched sari, five-and-a-half metres of incredible fluidity. You can drape it in a 1000 ways, make it young or sexy, or adapt it to a more formal occasion. I am not in favour of the pre-stitched sari; I have been designing saris for years and I won’t do it."

With this sari, as well as others in the collection, Varma demonstrates the true versatility of the unstitched sari.  With one swoop of the pallu it can easily look Roman - how cool is that?!  All the art is in the lacework.  Simple, soft, and essential.

And here's actress Chitrangada Singh, modeling a Golden Bracelet sari, next to Suneet Varma himself.  Ugh, it's like pretty on top of pretty.

Photos courtesy of Suneet Varma