'Street Runways': Indian bridal fashion takes over Dubai's Meena Bazaar

Bur Dubai's shopping district showcases best of style with Indian wedding procession

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Dubai's retail landmark Meena Bazaar witnessed an Indian wedding blitz when its Cosmos Lane, a favourite destination of South Asian shoppers, gave way to a bridal fashion show on the evening of January 25.

It marked the finale of the 'Street Runways' concept created for the 21st edition of Dubai Shopping Festival organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

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Over the course of few hours, Cosmos Lane, a busy street full of honking traffic and active shoppers, was transformed into wedding venue as the bridal procession (also called the baraat) started the celebrations for the final DSF 'Street Runway'.

At a distance, the sound of the drums could be heard, as the wedding band and dancers were followed by models wearing three sets of collections, and watched by a growing crowd of people wanting to get the live view of a typical Indian wedding procession.

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As smartphone cameras of several hundreds of people flickered in the night, models walked up the street in sets of six per each of the three designers.

The procession was complete with dancers performing the bhangra as the dhol players beat their drum and the flowers were strewn by the flower bearers onto the street.

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The show-stopper was the bride and groom fully garlanded as per wedding tradition, walking under a canopy of draping marigold festoons.

The bride was dressed in 'Ghungat' traditional wedding finery while the bridegroom sported sherwani wear from 'Sanskriti'.

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More than a dozen zardozie laden lehenga jackets, metallic chiffon gowns with mirror work, Swarovski studded skirts and resham embroidered contemporary gowns swished through the night.

Hair and makeup for the event was presented by Paris Gallery.

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The whole experience unwrapped the best of style, as part of the Apparel and Fashion theme of DSF 2016.

DFRE, the organisers of DSF, worked with the fashion houses to create an appealing concept that would not only showcase the very best of South Asian bridal wear, specifically catering to India and Pakistan, but also serve as a reminder that Meena Bazaar has and will always be the South Asian Fashion Couture Centre of Dubai.

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Hence Meena Bazaar was chosen to be one of the picturesque locations for the 'Street Runways', besides Al Fahidi and the Burj Plaza, Downtown Dubai.

In fact, Meena Bazaar was the central location where fabric shops, jewellery shops and tailor shops sprung up decades ago.

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Located in the heart of Bur Dubai and easily accessible from the Al Fahidi Metro station or the BurJuman Metro station, it is a stone's throw away from the historical Al Fahidi district and attracts a lot of tourists who love wandering through the old parts of Dubai.

Despite Dubai's expansion over the decades, a majority of the Indian and Pakistani expatriates still do most of their shopping for wedding trousseaus in Meena Bazaar, which makes it a vibrant and busy area every day of the week.

At the 'Street Runway,' the fashion houses showcased the traditional look with the dramatic and intricate embroidery heavy with crystals, resham embroidery on georgette fabric, gota patti (an applique technique originating from Rajasthan, India), zardozie (gold metallic thread embroidery), chikan (white thread embroidery on sheer material) and shisha (mirror work) on metallic chiffon. There were also stunning pieces that were ‘fusion’ styled - where the traditional Indian forms of embroidery were moulded in with western type of fabric cuts, thus creating a deliberate contemporary look.

DSF 2016 runs until February 1 under the tagline ‘Unwrap The Exceptional’, offering residents and visitors the opportunity to experience the best in shopping, winnings and entertainment.

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