Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Search for perfection…the journey to the perfect Lehenga



Bridal and other Lehenga : The most dreaded and the most awaited dresses of your life. Well, I don’t really need to explain why it’s the most awaited, but I do need to justify my ‘dreaded’ comment. All girls who are getting married/are married will understand how difficult and next-to-impossible it is to get the perfect lehenga..

My journey begins a few months back, the day after my engagement in the search for perfection. Following are tips and tricks I picked up on the way which are based solely on my experience:

Things to do before actually stepping out in scorching heat wandering cluelessly :

RESEARCH! I am a big believer in this. Research via internet, wedding magazine (yes! I can finely read these out in open :D ), blogs; ask around family, friends, neighbors, complete strangers that look like they are getting married (ok maybe not complete stranger, until and unless you are like me and don’t mind ) . Basically ask anyone and everyone you know about their experience, where they got their stuff from, etc.

Ok, Research what?

Research the kind of lehenga you want, I can guarantee you, you will NOT get the cheaper version of the exact same thing anywhere. There will be difference in quality and some parts of the design. But when you are out you will have a better understanding of what you are looking for, what you will like to wear, styles, color, fashion, trends.

Tiny Tip : Figure out which Indian Actress is closest to you in skin and body type and see what kinds of lehenga she wore in some movie or at her wedding. Agreed we are not Shilpa figured or have an easy grace of Aishwarya. But most of us are close to Deepika Padukone, Genelia, Anushka, Prinanka Chopra, Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Singha and other ‘Indian type’ girls. Or start looking at random Wedding Photographer’s profiles and see what the girls in their pictures wore.

Places I Visited :
1. Chandni Chowk : CTC, Omprakash Jawaharri lal, Chabra 555, and Random dealers
2. Karol Bagh : Fountier Raaz, Bombay Selections, Meena Bazaar, CTC and Gyaan
3. South Ex : Frountier Bazaar, Meena Bazaar, Ushak Mal Mool Chand
4. Noida : Meena Bazaar (GIP and Sector 18) , Bombay Selections
5. Lajpat : Shakuntalam, Roshans, Meena Bazaar, Malhotra’s
6. Motinagar : CTC

Places left to visit :
1. Bridal shows
2. Hauz Khas Village
3. Shahpur Jat

Experience of PLACES VISITED:

CTC : chandni chowk, Karol Bagh and Motinagar

CTC is actually a mix bag.

The one at chandani chowk and Karol Bagh don’t have a lot of ‘in’ styles but do have good classical lehenga’s. they both have good cheap prices but the quality is so-so for a bridal lehenga. But if you are looking for something like say what your mother wore at her wedding in a different color ( blues or Orange) to wear to your sangeet or engagement it’s a good place to start with lehenga dirt cheap at 6k!


CTC, Karol Bagh 
6k! only! picture didnt capture it but it has a beutiful glowly golden embroidery
Like your olden classic lehenga ( in Orange ) can work for sangeet or engagement , also comes in other pretty colors.



CTC Chandni Chowk
Bridal lehenga
Around 20 - 30 k
But for this you need to really sort through things. ( no sangeet or engagement lehenga available )






















CTC MOTINAGAR is very different from the rest. You enter and you can find anything and everything you would need for your trousseau, including luggage!
It is defiantly a must check out for all brides to be, although I personally did find it a little overpriced, but the stuff is good. So all brides put this on your list! and make sure you see their suits and sarees as well.
Lehenga's range from more than 20k,
There are good anarkali and suits starting at 5k
And Saree's are available in all ranges, including 'deney-wali' saree's  (sarees you give to in-laws you'll never get to know )
____

Omprakash Jawaharri lal : Chandni Chowk

Ok, a lot of people say its great and almost everybody finds something or the other , but i didnt :(
Its good if you want a copy of any designer wear at less than half the price. Bridal, sangeet, engagement, you name it you will get it!



My Cousin got her bridal lehenga from them, looked really pretty. ( this is the only picture I could get) 


















____

Chabra 555 : Chandani Chowk
Not much variety, Quality so-so, If you like/want fishtail lehenga's you can check it out. But wont recommend it much.

____

Random Chandni Chowk dealers :
You know the guys that keep haunting you once you step out of your car/metro. "Madaamji Lehenga chahiye" One word 'AVOID' , they will take you to shady places with bad quality stuff! Its hardly 1 in a 100 chances that you will get some good dealer.

____

Gyaan : Karol Bagh
Have really pretty Anarkali's and lehenga's but overpriced! If your willing to dish out around a lakh for a light sangeet lehenga then your most welcome to go there. The stuff is defiantly pretty and good quality but (according to me) not worth the price.

____

Ushak Mal Mool Chand : South Ex.
Probably one of the oldest shop for brides, even my mom got some stuff for HER wedding!! and surprisingly they have kept up with fashion trends and are still strong 'contenders' for a share in bridal market.
Have a variety of stuff in reasonable price range ( sorry dont remember the prices, went there loong back ). Good stuff for bridal lehenga and sangeet, reasonable quality. They can also create lehenga's looking at pictures, their designer is available at the shop at all times.

____

Shakuntalam : Lajpat
Good if your looking for a typical 'cocktail' lehenga or a gowny look. Wont recommend it much though, but you will defiantly get a 'westernized' lehenga there. Prices are nearing overpriced but not over the top.

____

Roshans : Lajpat
Good stuff for sangeet and engagement, loads of variety , price range starts at 20-30k. Quality is good. If you have time in hand they can customize anything. 
Overpriced Bridal lehenga's starting at 1L, anything below it wasn't good.

____

Malhotras : Lajpat
Quality so-so, you might get a typical westernised lehenga here, the bridals are not worth it. Actually its the kind of shop that if your in luck you'll get something good. I got a great suit from there but lehenga's were a BIG disappointment. Although there is a ' Munni Badnam hui ' lehenga for Mehendi  really want to try it on, might be good! Its a short skirt with a corset top.

____

Peach and Purple : GK2 , M block
Really pretty anarkali's! great Quality but they are a bit overpriced. The good thing is they can convert and customize their Anarkali's into lehenga's and at a price range of around 15-20k you can get a really pretty girly sangeet/engagement lehenga! The colors are pretty pastels and chic sleek. 

____

Bombay Selection : Karol Bagh and Noida
Good if you like and want western lehenga's for cocktails. Not my personal choice. But you can look into it if your looking at cocktail lehenga's. Karol Bagh one has more variety,

 Noida one is good for saree's and suits. ( will try to find pictures, cnt find them right now )

____

Meena Bazaar : Karol Bagh, South Ex., Noida sector 18, Noida GIP, Lajpat

There are two brother and basically 2 different Meena Bazaars, dunno which one is which, but I visited these 4 so will tell you bout them.

Karol Bagh : Biggest out of the lot and has the maximum amount of lehenga. You must defiantly visit this one for sangeet/ engagement lehenga, reasonably priced, good quality stuff. Great Anarkali's also

South Ex : Can skip, have min. lehenga's but good sarees, so go there for saree's if you want.

Lajpat : Good for saree and suit, no lehenga

Noida Sector 18 : Great Anarkali's and suit. Can skip for lehenga's.

Noida GIP : Good lehenga's, less variety but they keep adding new stuff so again its on your luck. But good for engagement/ sangeet. 

Price Range at all Meena Bazaar : Lehenga's start at 12k and goes up to around 40, you can get a good heavy one at 20k.

If your planning to wear a lehenga saree do look at Meena Bazaar Lajpat nagar and Noida GIP, Great stuff!

____

Frountier Raaz/Bazzar : karol Bagh and South Ex.

Yes I know its the largest heading of the lot, simple reason I LOVE IT!!!

I know, I know most you you say its overpriced, but here are tips and tricks for Frontier :

1. Like all others go during sale time , but happens only once a year around Feb., March so if you know in advance about your marriage then go there! (EDIT : Happens twice a year! I found that out later, once near September as well!!)

2. Whatever price you tell them is your budget they will start showing you at a 10k higher price. Be patient!

3. I know you are frustrated and they keep bringing more lehenga's one after the other. But be patient, show interest.

4. About half n hour later when they realize your not going anywhere and are serious about the lenengha you want they will start with stuff around your range. 

5. An hour later you will start falling in love!

If you get a lehenga which is the 'one' but slightly over priced then ask to customize it, they have in-house designers/managers present at all times which will help you in making changes and cut down your costing, but only if they know your serious!

The best part is if you like three different borders of 3 different lehenga's they will customize it for you!

Quality is great if you get a lehenga made from scratch, if you dont have time and need to buy it off the rack then tiny threads might be loose but they finish it properly before giving it to you and can add tiny 'latkans' any where you want :) . 

The over all experience is great. 

They have tons and tons of stuff. Both South Ex. and Karol Bagh branch are equal.

Only down fall is that you might find the similar stuff even after couple of months with few newer additions. But honestly if you dont find something you like the first go then you probably wont. 

Sangeet and Engagement lehenga might be a bit expensive for most starting around 40k.
Bridal start at 50-60k

The good part is, even if you say buy a lehenga @ 50k the quality of stuff is as good as that of a 1L lehenga.

  



My Cousins Reception lehenga at 50k for her reception ( on sale)
Off sale around 70k






















Places left to visit :

1. Bridal shows

If you are very patient (unlike me) wait till July and August for Bridal Asia, Bride n Groom, etc. A lot of designers from all over India come over here with usually good stuff. Its good to take a look coz no where else you will get so much of variety under one roof. Quality of everyone will be pretty good , price range will vary.


2. Hauz Khas Village and Shahpur Jat

Small time designers are scattered all around these area. They have good quality but less variety in stuff. A bit overpriced but you might get a 'unique' piece. And ofcourse customization is their specialty. 

The Big designers are also spotted in these ares but I would rather not talk about them. Too high prices for things that are made in 1/3rd of the price. I am not willing to dish out 3-5L for a lehenga ONLY coz it has a designer name on it.

3. Shops I dont know about yet :P

So if you do tell me!!





P.S. : Thank you http://thedelhibride.wordpress.com/ for encouraging me to write!! :)

17 comments:

  1. You have to visit Anarkali in Karol Bagh .. They have the most gorgeous collection of lehengas .. I got mine from there, and it was the ONLY shop i went to! Love at first sight! :

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OOh will go there for sure, The name of the shop itself is 'Anarkali' ?? Any landmark around it??

      Delete
    2. Hey can anyone tell me where anarkali is in Karol Bagh?????
      Like i ca see two anarkalis- one is in gaffar market, and one is opposite jagdish store in hardhian singh road both in karol bagh. Ideas?

      Delete
  2. Definitely agree... Anarkali has a lovely collection... Best if you go on a weekday morning... Range starts from 50k

    ReplyDelete
  3. I shopped for my wedding attires in June 2012. Went to Delhi first. I literally entered each and every shop you mentioned up there. Gotta say I love Frontier Raaz too. Meena Bazaar is quite good for sarees (South Tex). Picked up a few good quality sarees from Ram Lal Chandra Lal in Karol Bagh (not sure if this is the correct shop name, the really old saree shop. good stuff, excellent tailoring). One of my relatives took me to a shop in Chandni Chowk called Kamal Bhai. Must say they have good stuff. Got both my wedding and reception lehenga from there. I love my reception lehenga but shopped under pressure for my wedding lehenga. I hate it. But BARGAIN AND BARGAIN AND BARGAIN in that shop. Befriend the owner (speaks with a semi-gay british accent). STICK TO YOUR BUDGET. But if you can, just ditch Delhi and head straight to Amritsar. Go to the shops there, you will find great deals, beautiful things and shop keepers are way more helpful than those in Delhi. I loved my Amritsar shopping experience. And don't even bother going to Hauz Khaz unless you know somebody there. Shopkeepers have wayyyy too much attitude for people selling dresses. Like, seriously they think they're CEOs..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your views :) it will sure help us all in planning our shopping!!

      I think the shop is called Ram Chand Krishna Chand.

      Do tell us about your Amristar experience as well!

      Would love it if you do a guest post on your wedding shopping experience contact me on crazyindianwedding@gmail.com

      Delete
  4. And oh, Satya Paul outlet in Karol Bagh! LOOVEEE the sarees. Unfortunately I had done most of my wedding saree shopping but there were great pieces at reduced prices!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the help...i ll check all of these places..i am looking for my bridal lehanga. went to om prakash jawahar lal..they r good but overpriced..i am still on hunt..Thanks anyways

    ReplyDelete
  6. I just got back from wedding shopping, and am a Punjabi girl born and brought up in Australia. I was looking for well tailored, light and non chumki, unique pieces for my wedding ceremony, Sangeet and reception.

    Anarkali in Karol Bagh is now completely out of most people's price ranges. The $60-80k lehengas they showed me were apparently 2 yrs old (I know because my cousin who went shopping with me bought her Bridal lehenga for $75k from there and got married exactly two years ago, and said what I was being shown was stuff being shown to her way back 2 years ago!). And they are so uninterested in you...

    Don't waste your time at Anarkali - if you're willing to spend a bucketload, walk into Tarun Tahiliani or Shyamal & Bhumika haha!

    I got my Bridal and Sangeet lehenga at Frontier in Karol Bagh. Their selection isn't great or too varied, and I happened to pick the cheapest thing shown to me haha- bright red with royal blue choli, but I'm happy. Sangeet lehenga I picked could have been found elsewhere for cheaper, but the Sangeet lehenga has a quirky little border, which I liked :)

    My reception gown is a fusion piece (more Western than Indian) and by designer Sawan Gandhi in Rajouri Gardens. Prices are reasonable but service is not great- keep an eye out for marks and holes in your custom piece!!

    TOP TIP FOR NRI SHOPPING: Go on the Pinterest app, and figure out what you like. I am a super super fussy shopper and dresser, but because I already knew what I liked and what was in fashion, I selected my Bridal and Sangeet lehengas on my first day of shopping, and reception gown on 3rd day. If something in a style you already like is shown to you then don't hesitate, buy! (And stop looking at other bridal lehengas as soon as you've picked yours haha)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your tip!

      I love Frontier, but ya they pretty much have similar stuff. So if you dont like anything the first time you probably wont.

      Delete
  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Why not rent your dream wedding lehenga? What is the use of spending so much money on a lehenga when you are just going to wear it just a couple of times in your lifetime? The cost of good lehengas in Chandni Chowk as well starts from somewhere around Rs. 50k and goes up to Rs. 1-1.5 lakh.

    Instead of spending so much and throwing away your hard earned money, we provide an option to rent your dream lehenga. You can wear that same expensive lehenga and still save A LOT OF MONEY.

    For more details on how to rent: http://gladragspartysolutions.com/how-to-rent

    Gladrags Party Solutions

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you so much..I Noted down most of the things.In November, I'm going to Delhi to shopping for my sis wedding..quite scare..It's more than 15 years old since I graduated from Mussoorie..hope for the best.. Thanks again for ur tip :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey also check out Sudhir Bhai in Chandni Chowk, I just a lehenga from there and they had a LOT of designs!! - Crazy Indian Bride

      Delete
  10. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful blog. Kalazone is the best name for Designer Lehenga shop in Rajkot. I found a great collection a latest collection of designer lehengas.

    ReplyDelete

I love reading what you have to say :)


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