Dubai-based designer Ayesha Depala: ‘Gowns with a long train remain evergreen here in the Middle East’

The Indian designer discusses designing for her UAE clientele, and offers tips on how to pick the right wedding gown.
Ayesha Depala has experience designing bespoke gowns for Emirati, Saudi, Iranian, European and Indian brides. Jaime Puebla / The National
Ayesha Depala has experience designing bespoke gowns for Emirati, Saudi, Iranian, European and Indian brides. Jaime Puebla / The National

Dubai-based designer Ayesha Depala will reveal her latest bridal collection at Bride Abu Dhabi this week. Since founding her label in 2002, Depala has seen her gowns worn by Bollywood A-listers ­including Sonam Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The Indian designer tells The National about designing for her UAE clientele, and offers tips on how to pick the right gown.

What wedding gowns do you design and for whom?

We have a bespoke and a prêt-à-porter bridal line and our client demographic is extremely varied. We have a lot of Emirati, Saudi, Iranian and European brides. We customise pieces for Indian brides, too.

What is trending in the world of wedding gowns?

Brides in the GCC have more elaborate tastes compared with any other region. Gowns with a long train remain evergreen here in the Middle East. Fabric-wise, tulle and silk taffeta are very popular and 3-D techniques are still very ‘of the moment’ and requested by most brides. From the red carpet, we’re seeing very little embellishment and instead, an emphasis on construction.

Walk me through the process of commissioning a gown.

We’ve catered to brides that have just three months until their wedding date and those with up to a year. Normally, we’d recommend a minimum of six months notice for any bride to allow for all the fittings and last few weeks of pampering. On average we do two fittings – one initial muslin fitting to finalise the shape, size and design and the final version. Price-wise, dresses cost between Dh18,000 to Dh 250,000 depending on the complexity, handwork and materials used. And while some clients have very specific ideas and have meticulously prepared mood boards, others have no indication of what they might like. Luckily, I have years of experience and a great understanding of what a client needs without them having to spell it out.

What’s your best advice for brides looking for a wedding gown?

A bride must learn to balance her personal tastes and her love of fashion trends. A wedding isn’t the time to opt for anything too trendy, and what you love today might not be so alluring in 10 years time.

Ayesha Depala is at Dubai Village Mall (04 344 5378)

rduane@thenational.ae

Published: April 10, 2016 04:00 AM

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