It’s safe to say, that in the last 22 years, JJ Valaya has dressed more than his fair share of brides, making him something of an expert in bridal couture. At his show at the recently concluded Bridal Fashion Week, the designer showcased ‘The Nautch of Fez’ – a collection of anarkalis, lehengas in rich reds, rust, ivory and black with digital prints, appliqué work and laser burning, mixed in with Moroccan motifs and his signature embroidery. With wedding season around the corner, ELLE chatted with the designer.
ELLE: Which bride have you had the most fun dressing?
JJ Valaya: All our brides are special to us. Each one is an individual, and we’ve always believed that a bride who believes in her individuality but trusts her designer is always a winner.
ELLE: What’s your advice to a bride who’s putting together her ensemble?
JJ: Heavy clothes, a caked-up face, large baubles and large hair equals style disaster. The art, eventually, lies in balance and effective self-editing.
ELLE: The sari vs the lehenga – what do you prefer, and why?
JJ: Both! The sensuality of a well-draped (not stitched) sari is India’s answer to the western gown, whereas the glorious lehenga is an unparalleled silhouette and a unique signature of India.
ELLE: What advice would you give brides while trousseau shopping?
JJ: A bride’s trousseau is like an open trunk. Buy what you will (and can) wear a lot and yet, remember that this is the one opportunity that you will have to stock up on exquisite designer pieces. Invest in pieces that have an element of timelessness so that they can be around in your wardrobe and on you for a longer time.
ELLE: What’s your favourite colour palette for the season?
JJ: Antiques, metallics and neutrals, in symphony with Indian brights, create drama and detail, but for me, newer colours in soft blues, like light corals and apple greens, are also fast becoming preferred options.
You may want to read: Top 20: JJ Valaya at India Bridal Fashion Week 2014