The Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) and L'Oréal Paris came together last week to showcase the work of Pakistan’s talented Bridal Couture designers. The competent team consisted of Nabila and NGENTS for styling, Maheen Kardar for front stage management, Product 021 for backstage management, Sara Shahid as the official spokesperson for PFDC, Eleventh Experience for Logistics, Lotus Client Management and Public Relations for media relations, and lastly, HSY for direction and choreography. The much-anticipated event took place from September 16th to 18th at Faletti’s Hotel in Lahore.
The line-up for day 1 was perhaps the most competitive. Comprising Elan, Republic, Hamza Bokhari, Faiza Saqlain, Zarmisha Dar, Maheen Taaseer, Sania Maskatiya, Ali Xeeshan and Karma, day 1 set an over-arching benchmark for the days to come.
In her collection, titled Afsaneh, Sania Maskatiya fashioned a blend of contemporary and traditional couture. The designer worked with lehngas, long shirts, net silhouettes and pastel colors to bridge the gap between today’s modern and yesterday’s traditional designs.
Another interesting collection was presented by Karma. Using different shades of red, Karma tried to bring back to the 21st century the orthodox yet classy trend of the bride always wearing red on her wedding day. While the collection stood out in the first half of the show, it was overshadowed by others such as Elan in the latter half.
Although competition was fierce, Elan’s Jasmine Court stole the show and won the hearts of the crowd on day 1. Her crystal kissed collection was inspired by the princesses belonging to princely states. Beautiful crystal embellishments paired with pale insignias such as moonlight silver, dull gold and dusky bronze, made Elan’s gowns the favorite of the night. To add to the charm of her work, Elan accessorized her models with the exquisite jewellery of Sherezad Rahimtoola. It is safe to say that with her work, Elan successfully brought back the royalty of the princely era to the 21st century.
After roaring reviews on day 1, day 2 of the L'Oréal Bridal Couture Week found itself jam-packed with people standing in every corner to view the collections of Pakistan’s talented designers.
The line-up for day 2 included Sana Safinaz, Fahad Hussayn, Nickie and Nina, Misha Lakhani, Suffuse, Mahgul, and the renowned Kamiar Rokni. Although competition was fierce, the fairly new designers, sponsored by Shoe Planet, did well to impress the crowd. Specifically, Mahgul’s embellished capris distinguished her work from that of the other designers.
In terms of a general theme regarding this season’s bridal fashion, one could see pastel colors dominating the ramp. Additionally, long-pleated skirts and deep-back blouses resembling those of the Mughal Empire were definitely a favorite amongst the designers.
Many of the artists worked hard to establish a unique space in the audience’s mind. This added an element of creativity to the collections in terms of not only outfits but also choreography, music, jewellery, live singing and celebrity show-stoppers. For instance, on day 2, Fahad Hussayn started his show with Ali Sethi performing live while the models enacted a short love story on the ramp. This classical form of background music entranced the viewers and allowed them to better visualize the Golden Days of the Mughal Empire. In terms of attention to detail, Fahad Hussayn added to the charm of his bronze bridal collection by pairing the gowns with heavy shawls and traditional jewellery. His collection’s success was translated into a huge round of applause by the crowd at the end of his show.
The much-awaited Alchemy by Kamiar Rokni was perhaps one of the most unique collections of the night. His work, unlike others, was filled with bold colors rather than dull pastels. Other contrasts of his work were longer blouses, fewer pleats, and the lack of volume in the skirts. In fact, perhaps the only similarity of his collection to others was the purpose they were created for. Speaking to some LBCW guests after the show revealed that the risk had payed off. One viewer said that Kamiar Rokni’s collection “stood out because of its vibrant colors and broke the monotony of the show.”
The third and final day of the Bridal Couture Week was perhaps burdened with the heaviest of expectations. The line-up consisted of Nomi Ansari, Ammara Khan, Asifa and Nabeel, Saira Shakira, Shamaeel Ansari and director of choreography, HSY himself.
Asifa and Nabeel’s collection, while unique, was heavily criticized for paying too much attention to theatrics instead of fashion. The designs, due to their base color being black, looked more similar to Western gowns worn at a funeral rather than an Asian wedding piece. The collection failed to impress viewers and hence set off a discontenting start for day 3.
Saira Shakira, however, tried to lift the spirits of the viewers once again with her collection of palazzo pants, wrap-around jackets and crop tops. It was definitely the first time palazzo pants were brought into the Pakistani bridal industry. While the efforts of the designer were appreciated by some members of the audience, the overall tone still seemed to be pervaded with disappointment.
After such displeasure, it was left to the main man himself to turn the event around. HSY hurried backstage, and within the last thirty minutes of the show, displayed his collection of metallic hues. His jumpsuits and peplum coats attracted the attention of many viewers. However, due to their lack of variation in hues and brightness, the couture collection ultimately failed to impress. Perhaps it was not the collections of the designers in themselves that led to such disappointment, as even the most experienced designers could not meet the over-arching expectations of the crowd on the last day.
All in all, the event served to re-establish the notion that contemporary designers must not only be creative in terms of clothes, but must also find versatile ways to take the audience and the models into an era they wish to revisit. This challenges not only the designers but also the models, who must now walk, dance and act, all the same time. Overall, the L'Oréal Bridal Couture Week, as always, left an inspiring mark on the Pakistani Fashion Industry.
All images have been taken from the 'Bridal Couture Week Pakistan' Facebook page.
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