Free Press Journal

How to go chic, without compromising on budget, this wedding season


This wedding season Amita Ghose decodes the strategy of ‘chic look’ without compromising the budget with 100% original fake lehengas for the brides

The season of big fat Indian weddings is here – and the most common scene during this time would be a bride frantically looking for that dreamy lehenga for the D-day. While the wedding magazines set a high octane expectation in the heads of getting that picture perfect look for the wedding, the budget often makes things fall apart. Thus, we found a way out for you. How about the 100% original fake lehengas?

Go ‘jugadu’ this wedding season

Aren’t we, the Indians have ‘jugad’ to all problems in life, big or small? Lehengas are no big deal either. As we spoke to the ladies of the quantum they say, fake Bollywood lehengas have not only soothed their pockets but also helped them taking the fashion game few notches higher.

Pankaj Bhai Desai, a wholesaler, owner of Vivel Store, from Surat, Gujarat, who mainly does business in Mumbai markets says the most number of lehengas that he sends to merchants in Mumbai are the Bollywood replicas. “Young brides make the largest chunk of the clientele in this case. Everyone is fashion conscious but most of the times it gets difficult to afford a lehenga for lakhs. Now call it jugad or whatever, these replicas do look trendy and you can hardly make any difference,” Desai says.

Anshika Malhotra, a resident of Vasant Vihar, Delhi, says she got herself an exact Sabyasachi rust lehenga from Lakme Fashion Week. “My wedding is slated for January next year. And I have chosen a full sleeve Sabyasachi which he had showcased during Lakme Fashion Week last year. I liked the sample copy in a shop in Chandni Chowk and asked for the price. They quoted Rs35 thousand only and you know I could hardly make any difference from the real ones. Just the material I guess will be little different,” the bride-to-be says.

Where to go to?

Anish Todi, who owns a clothing line in Shahpur Jatt, Delhi says, “The invention of this Bollywood jugad started in Chandni Chowk as far as my knowledge concerns. It has been at least five six years for Chandni Chowk to start off the replica trend. Name a designer and get the lehenga here. I would suggest go to the market with a picture of your lehenga, most of the brides-to-be follow the same pattern. It makes the hunt easier. Lajpat Nagar too is famous for replicas.”

Sumati Gathani, a struggling model from Mumbai states, “Opting for a fake Bollywood lehenga seems to be the easiest way to look the best without feeling the brunt of upmarket pricing. Who knew that getting an Alia or Deepika look can be so affordable? Shops on CP Tank Road and Crawford Market in Mumbai have best of replica stores. These are my go-to places.”

Manjjaree Biswas, a make-up artist, and stylist from Mumbai, adds, “As I have been styling a number of brides lately what I see there is a trend of following designers… Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra to be precise. From what I have learned from my clients is that when it comes to replicas of a little higher budget go to the shops in Char Bungalow in Andheri. There are also individuals selling replicas on social media. Also, there are two-three dedicated websites which sell Bollywood replica saris and lehengas.”

All under 10K!

Jaashn, a store run by local merchants in Mumbai, also boasts of the best fake Bollywood lehenga collection. “Madhuri Dixit’s lehngas and saris what she wore in Jhalak were and are a big hit. Also Kareena’s ready-made sari lehenga from Ra One, the red one, I mean is also very popular and we often get orders for that. We also have a huge Ramleela and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo collection,” says Neha Shrivastava from the shop.

On enquiring about the prices, she says it can be anything between Rs3,000 and Rs10,000 very few are above that range.

So, who be the most sought after?

While Kareena tops the chart when it comes to motivating the ladies, Alia, Deepika, Sonam take the 2nd, 3rd, 4th positions respectively.

Prateek Jain, whose shop, JSU Fashion Sarees in Chandni Chowk boasts of having the largest range of Bollywood replicas, says, “When you say Kareena, the designer whose name comes along is Manish Malhotra. So automatically, these two names are the most sought-after in the market. After Manish, Sabyasachi’s red collection sported by Deepika, Priyanka even Aishwariya is a big hit. Anita Dongre and Varun Bahl are going a little low this season though.”

Sonam Kapoor’s look from Prem Ratan Dhan Payois one of the favourites this season

Seema Khan a corporate professional from Delhi who got married last October, says, “I have had a thorough research before I started my shopping. My budget was not that high but I knew what kind of a lehenga I wanted. I had collected pictures of my choice of lehngas and they mostly belonged to Deepika Padukone. I settled for an all red Sabyasachi replica lehnga. My sister is a big fan of Sonam Kapoor so she got herself a blue raw silk lehnga from the Manish Malhotra collection worn by Sonam.”

Manjjaree further adds on this point, “Alia Bhatt’s debut movie had a song Radha where she had worn a whitish gold shimmery lehnga with some sequin work on it. That particular lehnga on various shades like gold, rose gold etc was all over the place. I think that look did really well in the market.”


Things to keep in mind

The higher the budget, the better the quality

Keep a picture of your fave lehnga handy when out in the market

Do bargain, don’t let your skills go for a toss

Get the stitches done for the second time by your own ‘masterji’ (A must)

Most of the shops selling replicas do not have trial rooms, so be sure about your size, if possible carry your best-fitted choli and lehnga while shopping