By Mahvish Ahmed
Gone are the days when you thought getting a shirt laden with dabka and sequins work paired with jamawar pants would make heads turn at your best friend’s wedding function. At this year’s PFDC L’oreal Bridal Week, designers show how opulent and intricate resham work will reign the world of fashion during this year’s wedding season.
What stood out most at Day 2 of PLBW 2016 was the designers’ attention to details where the outfits were not merely taken as something to clad you – some that were telling stories of kings and queens and relating the history of art and artisans are the ones that caught our eye from the other beautiful, but very usual ensembles decked up with sequins, crystal and dabka work.
MAHGUL: It was interesting that the designers showcasing last night were debuting with their bridal collections at the PFDC Loreal fashion week. Mahgul opened day 2 with her collection ‘The Trunks of Sabine’ which attempted to weave a narrative through the imaginary and historic character of Sabine, relating the story of her adventures and travels from Persian through Khyber and across the Sub Continent
SHIZA HASAN: Shiza Hassan’s ‘Aroos-e-Abrashami’ collection, translated as the ‘Silken Bride’ paid a homage to the Persian art and craft of hand woven carpets. Digital printed surfaces were further adorned by hand embellishments with various fabrics added to celebrate the repertoire of the typical Persian rug pattern Shikaargah. Hunters, horses and the tales of the forest: we saw them all interwoven in the ensembles that comprised ‘Aroos-e-Abrashami’. Of course, Aisam-ul-Haq’s walk down the ramp as the show stopper for his sister’s creative presentation added another level of excitement for us!
FARAH & FATIMA: Farah and Fatima’s collection titled ‘Shanoor’ was based on the art and heritage of the Kashmiri shawls, merging well with the underlying theme of the evening.
SHAMSHA HASHWANI: The outfits created by Shamsha Hashwani were the highlight of Day 2, taking you back to the royalty of the Mughal dynasty – this collection was much awaited and for all the right reasons. Hashwani presented pieces with impeccable aesthetics and attention to detail. Sneak-peaks of the collection on Instagram had us eager toto see the entire collection draped over models on the runway.
And the wait was well worth it. Her ‘Mughal Mirage’ Collection was inspired by her childhood memory of a Mughal carpet in her parents’ house and the beauty of her memory was translated through the use of an intricate collaboration of zardozi, resham, marori, beadwork, appliquéd pearls and Swarovski crystals.
In her outfits, we saw Mughal court scenes, men smoking the traditional hukka, dancing courtesans and the daily discussions at the shehnshah’s court. We were also reminded of those exquisite Kalamkaar shawls that Pakistani women love to import from across the border.
Shahmsha Hashwani is definitely the harbinger of good news that such detailed works of art are now available in Pakistan in the form of this amazing designer’s signature chaadars in warm winter pink and magenta hues combined with off white. The sassy starlet Sohai Ali Abro started and ended her showcase.
It is indeed the age of technology and those creations stand out more that use innovation and modern techniques while keeping the hand work traditions alive, which are the signature of this part of the fashion world. The cuts and the amalgamation of different fabrics were all good, but what stood out more for us was the fact that many of the outfits were telling stories – they were special indeed, staggeringly different from those regular dabka- moti laden pieces with beyls and jaals.
Day Two was a nod to the opulent regalia of a by gone era and the beautiful handcrafted history that it has left behind.