When we found out we were going to be interviewing THE Kunal Rawal, we were literally jumping for joy. And can you blame us? After all, this is the man who designed Shahid Kapoor’s wedding outfit. He’s also worked with Bollywood A-listers Ranbir Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Arjun Kapoor and Sidharth Malhotra to name just a few.
Despite growing up in Mumbai, Kunal found himself being drawn to fashion from a young age as his father Ravi Raval was a well-established garment entrepreneur. Kunal often travelled overseas with his father on business trips and later headed to London in his teens to study fashion. Upon returning to Mumbai, he became India’s youngest ever designer (a decade ago) to debut at Lakme Fashion Week and has since gone on to launch his own label, work as a costume designer on a number of leading films and basically redefined men’s fashion in the country.
So, heading back to weddings, if Kunal can make an already dashing Shahid Kapoor up his fashion stakes on his big day, then imagine the wonders he can do with everyone else. We caught up with him to ask what grooms should be wearing during their wedding celebrations what they should definitely be avoiding. Here’s what he had to say:
“I’m a strong believer that your wedding outfit needs to be timeless and not so much trendy – opt for a classic look.”
While we often see many grooms making the mistake of thinking ‘more is more’ Kunal goes on to reinforce the idea that keeping it simple is the best way to go. He advises grooms to stick with neutral shades like cream, vanilla, ivory and champagne and have more fun with the cuts, embroidery or buttons. “Embroidery is a must to achieve a rich look,” he adds.
While he isn’t a huge fan of big motifs, Kunal believes using patterns like ornate florals can actually help achieve a softer, masculine look for the big day.
This is where you can push the boat out a little. According to Kunal: “A kurta churidaar is both comfortable and will last the day, because this event is about dancing, performances and partying.” If you’re ready to take the fashion stakes up a notch then pair your kurta churidaar with a koti top and you’ll have the bride swooning. This is the look Bollywood heartthrob Sidharth Malhotra was sporting for Kunal’s latest Lakme Fashion Week collection, and let us tell you, he looked pretty good!
In terms of colours, Kunal is a big fan of anything bold however seeing as we’re getting closer to the summer months he suggests trying out some newer, fresher colours like salmon pink, mint green and ice blue. He added: “Usually, three different tones of the same colour work quite well.”
If you’re looking to give your reception outfit a slightly Indian twist then a formal suit with an embroided waistcoat works quite well. This is the look Shahid went for at his reception and the fashion critics loved it. In case you’re feeling a little cautious about the word embroidery, just remember it’s nothing too flashy, and will probably just look like a solid black waistcoat from afar, but as you get closer, you’ll be able to notice the finer, detailed work.
Shoes – A lot of men are now opting to wear formal western shoes with their Indian wear solely because they’re more comfortable, however if you want to look a bit more traditional, opt for open toes. In fact, unknown to some, Kunal actually has his own range of footwear as he believes it plays a crucial part in completing your look.
Safas – These just happen to be one of the most important aspects of a groom’s outfit. Kunal believes embroided material without a brooch works best and advises grooms to opt for a stand alone tone for their safa – (basically a different shade to your kurta). For example, if you are wearing a vanilla kurta with an off white or champagne-coloured churidaar, then opt for a deeper champagne-coloured safa. This will make your outfit look both classic and striking at the same time.
What to avoid:
Brocade and heavy embellishments along with loose-fitted clothing in the hope that it will make you look slimmer (it’s a myth that doesn’t work).
Be comfortable. “People think that fashion trumps comfort but you have to enjoy the process.” For grooms who feel like they need to choose something with plenty of bling, don’t do it! Your outfit should not be heavier than you because if you’re not comfortable it’s going to be visible in the photos and to everyone around you – including the bride. If you want to jazz up your outfit then opt for some rich thread work instead, but that’s about as far as you need to go.
**Does the groom’s outfit need to match the bride’s?
Kunal believes that while there should be some kind of resemblance between the outfits, they should not be too matchy, or else they can end up looking like costumes. He adds: “I believe the outfits should have some energy of their own – but obviously shouldn’t clash.”
So listen up grooms, if your bride is wearing a red lehenga, Kunal says it’s okay as long as you have a similar shade somewhere within your outfit, be it your churidaar, buttons or embroidery. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise!