The year 2023 is going to be a roller-coaster, almost, when it comes to ethnic wedding fashion!
While you prepare to usher in 2023, make sure you also keep planning your ethnic wardrobe because
like the New Year, the wedding season too is just round the corner! In 2023, we will see a lot of
returning trends like jacket lehenga, sequin, organza as well as completely new fashion statements
like colliding colors, attached dupattas etc. Some styles like the love for pastels, ethnic block
prints, cut-out choli – that were extremely popular last year – will continue to dominate the ethnic
fashion scenes. Based on the Fashion Weeks that took place this year, the opinion of experts and our
own sixth sense for ethnic fashion, we have picked out the 35 most important trends of 2023 in
lehengas, sarees and other types of women’s ethnic wear! Read on to find out more.
The flared lehenga skirt is a classic and will
always stay in vogue but 2023 will give priority to more experimental cuts, which we have discussed
below. The other elements of the lehenga look – like the choli, the dupatta etc – all seem to be
shifting a bit away from tradition. It seems, 2023 is focused on playing around with these elements
to create unique looks in traditional silhouettes.
Monochrome looks, that is a single tone
for all components of the lehenga, are making a comeback. But this year will probably see a surge in
monochrome lehengas in pastel tones.
The Anarkali or Kalidar style lehenga is basically a lehenga
with a long kurta-style choli with a slit down the middle – and sometimes the sides too – that
exposes the lehenga skirt. This kurta-choli has the cut of the anarkali kurta. Such lehengas have
recently gained popularity in the local wedding fashion market and is expected to enter the elite
scene quite soon. The more the number of kalis – 16, 32 or more – the greater the flare and
the more mesmerising the lehenga looks. Checkout more of Yellow
Full Sleeve Lehenga
2023 will witness a lot of experimental choli-sleeve
looks! Though not experimental but definitely unconventional, the full-sleeve choli is making a
comeback. The full-sleeve lehenga silhouette is so much for graceful and sophisticated. Long sleeves
are unthinkable without sheer fabrics, embellishment, sequin work and embroidery on net etc. Puffed
or Dope shoulders look great too with full-sleeves.
off-shoulder cholis are not a new thing, lately a few Bollywood celebs like Tara Sutaria and Sara
Ali Khan have been seen sporting this look. Similarly, designer Tarun Tahiliani has created
off-shoulder choli looks in 2022 are stunning! We see a lot of bead-work hems, feathery fringes and
Bustier cholis are well-fitted blouses, inspired from structured lingerie! They are often sleeveless and
sometimes come with off-shoulder statement sleeves. Bustier cholis usually flaunt a lot of striking
embellishment like mirror work, chunky sequin work, bead and stone embroidery etc.
Sequins will make a huge comeback in 2023. Matte textures and
thread work had outshone the ‘bling’ factor of sequins for a few years now. But this year, it’s
going to be all about the sparkle and the shine! Designer Manish
Malhotra can weave magic from sequin embellished looks in his lehengas. On the other hand,
designer Payal Singhal kept the use of sequins minimalistic but striking in her designs in the Lakme
Poppy and electrifying, this year is all about the vibrant
Fuchsia pink on the ethnic wedding fashion palette. Bridal reds will take a backseat as more and
more brides will opt for bright shades of fuchsia pink in non-that-traditional, chic and
contemporary lehenga looks. Checkout more of pink
With Alia Bhatt opting for pastel tones
on her wedding attires, this trend is here to stay! Pastels have ruled ethnic wear shade cards for a
few years now and going by Anita Dongre’s and Gaurav Gupta’s latest designs, the shades will
continue to appear in wedding wear lehengas and why not? Pastels work beautifully in creating matte,
understated, subtle and more contemporary looks in Indian weddings and millennial ladies won’t
hesitate to ditch the traditional reds and maroons!
These cholis that flaunt a triangular cut out from the sides to
the back. They show off the skin a tad bit making them extremely sensuous and sexy without being
vulgar. This trend has left behind the backless choli that was quite popular even a year back. Cut
out cholis might be a bit daring but amplify the look of the lehenga. Designers like Falguni and
Shane Peacock, Manish
Malhotra and Tarun
Tahiliani among others seem to be working on this look for their wedding couture for 2023.
Checkout more of White lehenga.
While typically Bohemian looks are not in vogue this year when it comes to
lehengas, the juxtaposition of different patterns and colors will play an important role in wedding
couture. Various different patterns, textures and colors will be brought together by weaving
techniques or sewing ways. So, multicolour designs will rule the lehengas this year. Checkout more
of Mehendi Outfits.
While the Banarasi dupattas with lehengas was an
“in-thing” in recent past, 2023 is all about sheer and fluffy textures like that of organza, shimmer
and tulle. 2023 will see more of ruffled looks, feathered textures and embellished finishes – in
both sombre and popped up colors.
Mirror Work Lehenga
It seems 2023 will see a lot of sparkle in lehengas – be it
through sequin work or mirror work or a combination of both! Mirror work lehengas can be diverse as
they can be paired with various types of textures and prints. Mirror work lehengas can also be
styled to create Boho looks.
Layered & Ruffled Lehenga
This will be the year for unconventional and out-of-the-box
elements in bridal or wedding lehengas. Panelled and layered lehenga skirts are already gaining
popularity and add to that the quirky grace of ruffles. Layered or ruffled lehenga skirts work well
with little or no embellishment!
Lacha Style Lehenga
This is an erstwhile style originating in North India and
promises to make a comeback in 2023. A lacha comes with a lehenga skirt or ghagra and a longer top-style choli. These
skirts are usually lower in the embellishment scale when compared to lehenga skirts and are not very
flared. They usually showcase zari embroidery, mirror work etc. Lacha skirts nowadays are also
paired with shorter cholis and ornate dupattas.
Though this year will see a lot of lighter airy fabrics like
georgette, organza, net, crepe etc, velvet will not lose its popularity. Velvet is very appropriate
for occasions in the colder months. Moreover nothing can beat the richness and decadence of this
Mermaid Skirt Lehenga
The flared or A-line skirt is not a priority anymore! This year
is all about shapes and cuts that are unconventional. The mermaid or fishtail skirt is fitted till
the knees and then flares out downwards, not unlike the tail of a mermaid. This style goes very well
with pear-shaped bodies as well as with the ‘broad shoulder, slender waist’ body type.
Quirky and Experimental Sleeves
This year will witness a lot of experimentation with sleeve designs. From voluminous puffed sleeves
to those with ruffles, feathered sleeves, sleeves with tassels, sculpted shoulders etc – we are
looking towards lehengas that create new silhouettes with more quirky sleeves. Such sleeves would
look better with fishtail, fit-and-flare or bodycon lehenga skirts.
Lehenga with Capes or Jackets
Lehengas with a cape or jacket were in trend even a few years
ago. They never really went out of fashion, but this year designers are more focused on capes with a
more flowing look, with trails. Capes and jackets again help improve the silhouette of the lehenga
look. Checkout more of Cape Lehengas.
This trend does away with the hassle of carrying a dupatta. The dupatta alternate does the job of a
dupatta without being one – it’s just a piece of fabric attached to the lehenga that looks like a
pre-draped dupatta but isn’t detachable from the rest of the outfit. The trend emerged from the
designs of Anamika Khanna and Gaurav Gupta in 2022, and is here to stay.
It seems that bridal couture is done with gold and silver
embellishment. This year, it will be all about ‘tone on tone’ embellishment, meaning the color of
the embellishment will be matching that of the fabric. This also tells us that the use of zari will
be limited and instead we will see more thread work, sequins for sure and also bead embroidery.
Think Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s sombre color embellishment design language and you will know what we
are talking about.
In the case of sarees, we see
three major factors that are governing the 2023 trends – the love for regional flavour and
handicrafts like block printing, embroidery, tie-and-dye etc, experimental components and an
affinity towards light, translucent or see through textures!
Regional Block Prints
This trend has come into the picture in 2022 itself!
Regional prints like ajrakh, bagh, bagru, sanganeri, pipad, akola etc are extremely popular and look
very exquisite. The ‘print on print’ style is still in vogue! Pair a block print saree with a blouse
bearing a different print, in contrast to the print of the saree and add oxidized silver jewellery
to create a trendy ethnic boho look!
Sarees with Quirky Tops
2023 will see quirky tops being paired with sarees instead of
traditional cholis! These include crop tops, full-length tops, short kurta, tube and halter neck
blouses etc. There is a thing about pairing a western top with a traditional Indian saree that is
very striking but it needs to be carried with confidence.
A saree is fully pleated and paired with a neutral, preferably single tone choli and an ornate belt
is placed above the waist! This can be done with embellished sarees and blouses as well as single
tone non-embellished sarees, but the belt should not look out of place.
Sequins are going to flood the market this year. The Manish
Malhotra style sequin sarees will be back for sure! So if you have some important parties and
dinners to attend in 2023, start looking for a shimmery sequin saree! The glamour of a sequin saree
is enough and you don’t need much more than dainty jewellery and nude make up to go along with it.
Like old habits, traditional styles die hard! Floral embroidery
techniques of India will never go out of fashion. Floral embroidery will rule the saree scenes this
year. Techniques like Kashmiri crewel work, chikankari, kantha etc – which predominantly and
traditionally have floral motifs – will be seen a lot on cotton, georgette or chiffon sarees.
Color Transition or Ombre Saree
In contemporary Indian fashion, ombre tone sarees in chiffon or crepe will rule the charts. Ombre
sarees are those that showcase some kind of color transition effect. They are light as they are very
low on the embellishment scale. Sometimes they have a lace or zari border or a bit of sequin work
Printed Organza Sarees
Organza is a very classy fabric which
had been quite out of vogue for a few years now. But this year is all about combination looks and
Indo western styles and organza sarees do have that rich, affluent look and a bit of erstwhile
European grace. We are thinking about lighter tones, less or no embellishment and printed motifs –
the kind of sarees sophisticated ladies wore to watch polo matches, with their huge sunglasses and
Tie & Dye Styles
Styles like bandhej, leheriya, shibori etc were not that
trendy a few days back! But with the increase in popularity of shisha work, the tie-and-die
techniques have regained popularity. Sarees showcasing these styles along with mirror work and bead
embroidery will rule the casual wear saree scenes in 2023.
For party wear or wedding wear too, nets are replacing pure or
raw silks! Women prefer the light, almost transparent look of net sarees that are heavily
embellished with sequins, beads, stones, crystals, pearls etc. The embellished net saree look is
here to stay!
Translucent Textures with Zari weaving
Light fabrics with sheen – this seems to be the code for
saree fashion in 2023. Like organza sarees, traditionally light weaves with translucent textures are
becoming popular day by day. Add to that zari-woven motifs. This includes traditional sarees like
Chanderi, Jamdani etc
Trends for Bridesmaids or Wedding Guests
Ethnic wear is not only about sarees and lehengas – it’s a lot more! Fusion ethnic wear will surely
be a trend in 2023 and bridesmaids and wedding guests can reap benefits from the styles that are
The focus on contemporary styles is high in 2023.
Mix-and-match concepts were not in trend in the last few years, but this year the style is expected
to come back. Bridesmaids can pair a tie-up shirt top with their lehenga skirts or an ornate choli
with a long skirt – the more creative you are the better you can flaunt this style.
Floor Length Dress with Dupatta
Floor length dresses like the
maxi dress, the anarkali dress, the Indo-western gown etc are light yet fully ethnic. Add to that
the grace of an ornate dupatta. This style of dressing is gaining popularity and is expected to be
seen on the runway as well as the top notch wedding venues in 2023.
Skirt & Kurta
Though not a style
completely traditional, an ethnic skirt paired with an ornate kurta is a great way to create a light
ethnic look. In the summer weddings of 2023, this style will look great – appropriate and stunning.
The year will see a lot of bold color combinations. For
example, prints or embellishment or thread work in bold shades when placed on a fabric in another
bold color, creates a unique style – the juxtaposition of bold and contradicting colors. Placing two
or more contradicting colors creates a color collision – a style which will be seen in plenty in
2023, especially in Indo-western attires.
A trail is an extension of the fabric of your long dress or lehenga. Inspired from western fashion,
it adds just that essential bit of drama to your ordinary lehenga or dress. It’s a great option for
any evening party, dinner, wedding etc.
For further guidance, understanding and help with creating outfits following these trends, you would
need an expert! And who better than GetEthnic itself? Get in
touch with us and we will tell you exactly how you can use the 2023 trends to create your bridal
outfit or any other outfit that you want for the 2023 wedding season!