With the wedding bells ringing round the corner, flowers naturally emerge as the current flavour of the season, thus highlighting the trend of corsage fashion. Of course, the married couple will be the cynosure of all eyes but apart from the bride and the groom, sisters, bridesmaids, flower girls, best men and other guests in the social gathering too can sport a variety of pretty flowers on their outfits and hands.
Traditionally, corsages are associated with romantic styles and their restoration adds a dash of vintage sophistication to a modern closet. “The delicate flowers and the intricate patterns in contrast to more minimalistic and structured fashion trends of today evoke a feeling of grace and softness,” intones designer Shilpi Gupta.
With the wedding season in the offing, corsage dresses and gowns are expected to grab eyeballs at the shopping stores. “Corsage dresses and gowns epitomise class, adorning shopping shelves with exquisite craftsmanship and a slice of cultural ethos. This is more conspicuous now as the wedding season approaches in India,” explains Renesa Rastogi of fashion label RCKC Aurum.
“The corsage costumes are poised to be showstoppers in shopping outlets. The knotty floral embellishments unleash an amorous and aristocratic allure, making them perfect choices for both bridal and festive events,” opines ace designer Neeta Lulla.
"Surely, the corsage is going to attract a lot of attention. Generally, it is donned with delicate floral adornments, carrying a beautiful appeal that aligns with the aesthetic and romantic ambience of weddings. The bride and even the maid of honor can wear corsage dresses in a variety of styles. In a whirlwind of wedding outfits, corsage gowns appear to be distinctive, custom-built and unique in a surreal way,” elucidates Gupta.
Clues About Hues
A specific colour scheme applies to both flowers and the outfits worn in corsage fashion.
“Navigating the colour palette in Indian corsage fashion becomes a dance of hues where flowers harmonize with the complex details of garments, mirroring the opulence and cultural significance of the occasion,” views Rastogi.
The range of colours for both flowers and the outfits worn in corsage fashion hinges on personal style and the occasion. For an everlasting look, soft pastels or classic whites work well, while bolder choices like deep reds and jewel tones add a contemporary flair,” suggests Lulla.
Gupta elaborates that “the riot of shades displayed in a corsage should marry the colour of the dress or add variation to the outfit. Moreover, it could enrich the style, the event’s overall theme, wearer's preferences and the season it is held in. For example, if your outfit is ivory, cream or white, then pair it with roses or orchids and green foliage. Carnations and pink/red roses create a statement over a blush coloured gown. Lavender, baby blue or pale yellow petals can be worn with light pastel dresses.”
Stick it Right
Usually a corsage is worn on the lapel of a woman’s clothing, on her wrists and the back of palms or girdled around her waists. However, the flowers can be attached elsewhere on the body as experimentation is the key.
Gupta insists that "there's always room for creativity here. The flowers can be stuck to hair accessories, elevating their pleasant quality. Consider adding corsages comfortably to the edges if you wear a cape or carry a shawl, so that you look ethereal and divine. Further, you may refine your look with the corsage at the collar of a shirt or your dress."
Beyond traditional placements, corsages can be creatively fixed to ankles, hats or even as a decorative piece on handbags. “This opens up exciting possibilities for exploring unique and unexpected floral arrangements,” concurs Lulla.
“While age-old practice staples corsages to lapels, on wrists and around waists, a florist’s vision might imagine a canvas where flora artfully ornaments hair and shoes or accentuates accessories like anklets,” volunteers Rastogi.
A Bouquet of Beauty
Be besotted with love this Christmas and usher in the New Year with all those sweet nothings whispered into a lover’s ears. But before that, don’t forget to be clad in corsage fashion to get hit by Cupid’s arrows. A small bouquet for corsage commonly consists of flowers (with or without stalks), ribbons, leaves, decorative pieces, et al. “It typically includes a mix of flowers, possibly without stems for a sleek look, complemented by satin ribbons, foliage or subtle decorative elements. This composition strikes an apt balance of natural beauty and artistic designs,” chips in Lulla.
It is customary for a small bouquet of corsages to be designed as per the brief provided. Flowers are the center of attention for any bouquet. They are selected on the basis of their aesthetics and colour choices.
Gupta attests that “bouquets are designed with careful picks of roses, orchids, lilies, peonies and carnations. On request, ribbons and strings can be tied or left behind. To improve the whole decor, grass and foliage are used to create texture, contrast and a more natural look. To add more volume to the bouquet, filler flowers are often inserted to replenish it to the brim. Decorative elements, such as tiny pearls, crystals or beads, add a hint of sparkle and splendor to the show. Finally, some corsages unleash a whiff of nostalgia and euphoria with a subtle element of rich fragrance and aromatic oils.”
Accessories at Best
The corsage collection should not be overshadowed by accessories, feels Gupta. “Delicate stud earrings, a dainty neck piece and a small ring add that extra something to the outfit. The overall look can be further complemented by a classy clutch that creates a subtle difference, matching shawl capes and an accompanying pair of heels,” she offers.
Lulla seconds that “accessories like delicate bracelets, subtle earrings or a chic hairpin can enhance corsage wear, elevating the overall look without outshining the floral centerpiece.”
“Delicate jewellery, fine hairpieces and smart clutches can make the overall look neater when paired with corsage wear,” chimes in Rastogi.
Corsage in Desi Shaadis?
Though it’s true that corsages are not a customary part of Indian weddings, they may be used to deliver that novelty factor. “At thematic weddings, families, maids of honour or groomsmen are free to include corsages in their gaudy ensembles. A corsage garland fusion may be added as well. Corsages are also part of wedding jewellery and the groom's sherwani brooch. The bride’s veil and the heavy embroidery of zari/gotta patti can also incorporate corsage,” informs Gupta.
Rastogi concludes that “corsage fashion gracefully intertwines with the grandeur of weddings, becoming an enticing embellishment for traditional attire like lehengas, anarkalis or silk sarees as well as for contemporary ensembles, bridging ethnic traits with chic fashion.”
Corsage in Your Closet
Other than bridal gowns, a slew of womenswear can easily complement a corsage.
Lulla avers that “beyond bridal gowns, sarees and lehengas, everyday womenswear like cocktail dresses or even formal office attire can be lifted with a tasteful corsage, importing a facet of nature's beauty to any occasion.”
“A brilliant evening wear and cocktail dresses can be enhanced by the corsage,” believes Gupta. “To create a glamorous and feminine look, you can cinch it to your waist with the belt. An Indian woman can wear her corsage at the edge of her saree pallu or the lehenga's blouse. Likewise, in anarkali suit, she could try the trick near the neckline. The look is accompanied by boho chick dresses, which make one unapologetically playful. Attach the corsage to the lapel or even at the waist of a pant suit for that polished look with swag,” she cites options.
“Beyond bridal lavishness, imagine a corsage for your evening dresses, anarkali suits or fusion saree gowns, each ensemble soaring as a canvas for the merger of botanical abundance and cultural richness,” states Rastogi.
Petal Picks for Men
“The flowers are chosen according to what the wearer is comfortable with," perceives Gupta. The wide array of colours, most frequently chosen for boutonnieres and corsages, is available in roses and carnations. Calla lilies and orchids have a sleek and elegant side. Button chrysanthemums, blue cornflower and white gardenia are a few options to create an outstanding look for men.
Rastogi fathoms that “ideal flowers for men's corsage include smaller blooms like rosebuds or carnations, paying tribute to cultural icons while maintaining an air of downplayed sophistication.”
Men's best floral bets include mini roses or carnations. “These add a mite of nature’s bounty without overpowering the masculine mannerisms,” states Lulla.
Corsage for Social Galas
Apart from weddings, corsage fashion can be sported at other social dos as well.
Corsage fashion extends beyond weddings and can be exhibited at events like proms, galas or even in upscale garden parties. “Its flexibility makes it a charismatic accessory for various occasions, adding an aura of floral finesse to any ensemble,” says Lulla.
Gupta corroborates that the corsage design could also be seen at “a prom or homecoming where it is possible to coordinate dresses and suits with a graceful vibe.” Events including formal galas, charity balls or fundraisers provide a plea to showcase corsage fashion. Moreover, one may shine in corsage at cocktail parties, award ceremonies or graduations. Lastly, corsage fashion can be experimented with at fashion shows and on the runways.
Corsage fashion extends beyond wedding ceremonies to “cultural celebrations, festivals and even in soirées, lending floral affluence to the multidimensional canvas of fashion and festivities,” lists Rastogi.