Fashion Retailer ASOS Attempts To Do Bridal Wear For South Asians. Does A Really Bad Job Of It
Big fat South Asian weddings are nothing if not exuberant, loud and totally bedazzling. Not only is it an extravaganza for the two people who are tying the knot, but everyone close to the couple starts preparing for the wedding way in advance and the choice of clothes for the ceremony is taken very seriously by all. Traditionally, the bride wears a sacred bridal colour like red, green and even white in some cultures, while the guests stick to other bright colours like yellow, blue but they all have to be gorgeously embellished featuring zari work, embroidery, gotta patti and thread work. That’s the rule. And we don’t settle for anything less, especially the brides.
Seems like ASOS missed out on the only noteworthy thing while designing its bridal wear for South Asian brides. The fashion retailer announced that it had expanded it’s bridal range for its South Asian shoppers adding lehengas and desi co-ord pieces. The problem is, it’s bridal wear looks nothing like bridal wear.
The outfits in this range are pretty plain and come in basic colours like grey and baby pink which doesn’t translate to bridal wear for us. South Asian shoppers who are used to seeing scintillating work and vibrant colours when the word bridal wear pops up, were not amused by the collection. In fact, they didn’t even see some outfits worthy of sporting as an attendee. Lol!
A user wrote, “Yoooo I find this mega inclusive? These are fine as guest outfits since they’re an unusual color choice for hindu bridal at least. As someone from a city with a limited Indian population it’s cool to have an option I can order w premier delivery.” Another user commented, “LOL is this asos trying to do Asian clothing?! Nah this is FAR from bridal – how bloody basic…rather go to our local dressmakers and hit up my pakistani aunties.” They are not wrong!
We’ve just expanded our bridal range 🤩 pic.twitter.com/XfhqWcsHW4
— ASOS (@ASOS) April 26, 2021
Although fashion is subjective and brides are experimenting with all kinds of colours and design aesthetics when it comes to their wedding outfit, rather than being inclusive, this seems more like a case of lack of research of trends and culture. In fact, they borderline appropriated it in the process. Traditional bridal wear with no traditional work on the outfits? Yeah, we’ll pass!
Some didn’t really find fault in the collection and called out the people in the comment section for being judg-y for no reason. A user commented, “People out here saying these are not bridal. What’s ‘bridal’ to you is different for some other people. This could be perfect for someone who’s keeping their wedding lowkey and not going all out with their red lehengas lol. What I see is inclusivity of brown culture :)”
Let me show you all what Indian bridal is supposed to look like.
2. Anita Dongre
3. Ali Xeeshan (Pakistani couture)
4. Itrh (itrhofficial on ig) pic.twitter.com/bFrPhJEZwr
— Ritvika Ojha (@tabitribe) April 28, 2021
However the thing is, this just doesn’t do justice to the traditional bridal wear and leaves out the core essence of our weddings. The rich colour scheme and regal work on the outfit is what makes sets bridal and wedding wear in South Asian weddings apart from others in the world. And, we take immense pride in it. Our bridal wear is as rich as our culture. Be it a Pakistani bride or an Indian dulhan, her bridal outfit is completely striking and one of a kind.
Here, they don’t target minimalist brides with this collection but try to cater to South Asain shoppers; however, it looks far from what the majority of desi brides would opt for their wedding. So, it’s clearly a misfit. In other words, this “bridal” collection didn’t pass the vibe check. Full points for inclusivity but this is not how bridal wear looks for South Asian weddings. Maybe if they had marketed it as occasion wear or even wedding wear, instead of bridal wear, it would have saved itself heat from the shoppers.