Runway brides

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With opulent wedding outfits priced at $6000 and more on display, FOSAI’s Brides of Asia showcases the plush side of south Asian nuptials

To secure the best costumes and ensure a stress-free event, organisers made sure to take out insurance to protect the clothes. They also roped in 200 volunteers, to support each model bride and protect their pricey outfits

Fashion lovers and families alike will get the chance to see the full lavish variety of South Asian brides – with 12 model couples to strut the catwalk in costumes from India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Iran and more

“No bridal show happens outside because it’s a very expensive proposition… Designers don’t like the risk – what if it rains? What if it gets tangled on the grass?”

Yellina

In the international bridal glamour stakes, South Asia takes the cake. From ruby sarees to golden lehengas, if you’re heading to a South Asian wedding you know the outfits will be showstoppers. But what many people don’t know is just how different wedding costumes are across India, and wider South Asia.

“People think Indian clothes are just sarees,” says Hari Yellina, Festivals of South Asia (FOSAI) secretary.

If that’s the case, Melbournians can expect to have their minds blown when the Brides of Asia show hits Werribee Racecourse on 19 December.

When the show debuted in Melbourne three years ago under the banner South Asian Bridal Show, it was a private couture event for fashion buyers and elites. This year the organisers teamed up with Festivals of South Asia Inc (FOSAI) and the doors are being thrown open to the public for the first time.

Fashion lovers and families alike will get the chance to see the full lavish variety of South Asian brides – with 12 model couples to strut the catwalk in costumes from India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Iran and more.

With each costume costing up to $6000, Yellina says it took some convincing to get all the designers happy to part with them for the day – particularly as the event is outdoors.

“No bridal show happens outside because it’s a very expensive proposition,” Yellina explains. “Designers don’t like the risk – what if it rains? What if it gets tangled on the grass?”

Even without the dangers of the outdoor world, getting designers on board for a bridal show can be tough. As Yellina says, “A lot of people have to trust you with a lot of money, because each of the dresses costs thousands.”

To secure the best costumes and ensure a stress-free event, organisers made sure to take out insurance to protect the clothes. They also roped in some 200 volunteers, to support each model bride and protect their pricey outfits, as well as tailors, to take care of any last minute adjustments and loose threads.

Alongside the local and international designers showcasing wedding collections, event planners, makeup artists, photographers, limousine and other wedding services will be on hand to help couples plan the perfect day.

The whole day event will also feature an Indian ethnic wear fashion show, a DJ battle, and a fusion dance display – with Spanish and South American performers busting moves to Bollywood beats. As well as stalls, international cuisines and food trucks.

Yellina stresses that the event aimed to provide a boost to local businesses and entrepreneurs – from designers to makeup artists and caterers. All the models are Australians with South Asian heritage, to match the costume they wear.

“We want to support the local people,” Yellina says. “So 100% of the money goes to local people.”

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