By Maha Asif Rizwan
Call it what you must, bridezillas get the job done. If you ignore the plethora of drama, unwanted scares, and absurd intents, there’s a dream wedding to look forward to, right? That’s exactly how PFDC L’oreal Paris Bridal Week (PLBW) played out in its sixth year. The three day bridal couture display was the bridezilla at her wedding that started out with high expectations, took a few falls, drove it’s consistently supportive frow quiet furious, but got back right up and walked down the aisle in style.
Here’s the lowdown of everything that happened:
The king of couture, HSY, opened the show with a collection aptly labelled ‘Kingdom’. It was beautifully regal, traditional and brave enough to endure modernity. That said, the collection was set apart with its display of larger than life (literally) accessories instead of the exquisite bridal dresses the audience expected to see.
Speaking of exquisite, Saira Shakira hit the nail on the mark with their ‘Zohra’ collection. Refined metallic details meshed in with embroidery on a lighter color palette; their ensembles displayed craftsmanship and a fresh take on contemporary yet wearable bridal wear. While Sania Maskatiya stayed true to what was expected from the brand with appealing pastels, florals and embellishments, the collection wasn’t the big surprise of the night.
The frown moment for the frow was the Rising Talent collections. With Maryam Amjad’s bridal collection, that was quite unappealing to Amina Naeem missing the mark with her architectural ensembles. Sara Naqvi played it too safe to flatter – the collections failed to appeal.
However, refusing to let the audience leave without something to truly feast upon, PLBW16 bounced right back up with the House of Kamiar Rokni closing the night with their ‘Heritage 2016’ collection. Bridal dresses laced with the spark of traditional colors and silhouettes reimagined into fresh cuts and combinations were worthy of applause.
Following the same pattern of meeting expectations, day 2 brought debut collections, opening with Mahgul’s intricately beautiful “Trunks of Sabine” collection. Known for her signature linear and layered silhouettes, Mahgul put on a show with 3D sculptural embellishments on a rather monochrome palette. The collection that set the bar high, was moving proof of the fact that bridal dresses don’t have to sway away from tradition to be progressive.
Paying homage to the legacy of Persian craft, Shiza Hasan played with classic silhouettes to create modern ensembles. The collection that featured a variety of cuts and styles in varying color palettes, failed to come together as one. Lacking a signature style, the bridal wear collection had too much going on. While a few pieces stood out for their details, Shiza Hasan bridal dresses were far better suited for a commercial studio than the PLBW ramp.
Like every other commercially viable bridal collection to have walked the PLBW ramp, debutants Farah and Fatima and Saira Rizwan couldn’t bring any exciting to the fore front. While Farah and Fatima explored interesting embellishments like Pitta, Mukesh work and Gota work, their choice of leaner silhouettes couldn’t keep up with head turning ensembles. Comparably, Saira Rizwan displayed a line of monochrome dresses with delicate floral details. With ample organza, tissue and net, the collection that aimed to create a vintage look fell flat on the ramp for being too safe.
Shamsha Hashwani closed the night on a better note with her collection ‘A Mughal Mirage’. Incorporating animated Mughal miniatures, the collection displayed a variety of shawls fused with imperial ensembles. Attention to intricate details was evident in the bridal dresses that walked down the ramp, earning Shamsha Hashwani kudos for bringing something different to the fore.
The last day of PLBW’s opened with Nomi Ansari’s collection ‘Marjaan’ that left the audience amazed at the designer’s ability to weave together a powerful color palette with intricate embroidered details. Beautifully crafted silhouettes with striking colors, Ansari’s bridal collection was nothing less than a visual treat.
Taking a trip down memory lane, Zara Shahjahan’s collection was the embodiment of a traditional bride’s dream. Dipped in gold details, the collection showcased definitive old school silhouettes with a regal spin. While it was no modern bride’s reverie, the collection stood out for being uniquely beautiful. Muse on the other hand brought out modern cuts in a select color palette with their signature embellishments. While the collection was aesthetically appealing it wasn’t one that would attract the average modern Pakistani bride.
Sonia Azhar showcased of voluminous gowns with intricate embroidery and subtle embellishments. While the collection was delicate and detailed, it had nothing to grip the audience’s attention for the entire showcase. On the same bar of deliverance, Republic by Omar Farooq, displayed their ‘Damask’ collection with 3D jacquard fabrics which could have been revolutionary for menswear but couldn’t do the job it was designed for.
PLBW came to a glorious end with Ali Xeeshan’s collection ‘Khamooshi’. Delivering the powerful message of child marriages, the collection displayed an even powerful silhouette with a unique color palette and old school handcrafted details shown through exaggerated dupatta and elongated layering. The collection was a winner even before the stunning Mahira Khan in the show stopping number walked down the ramp.