It seems that the Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) has come full circle with its Bridal Week this year. Although the venue selected for the bridal week was reminiscent of the first-ever fashion week that took place at the Royal Palm Golf and Country Club in Lahore, it sorely lacked the indelible excitement that accompanied most PFDC fashion weeks. Proof of this was that even Lahoris, who are notorious for a chance to play dress up, weren’t in attendance.
It was either because fashion weeks are no longer considered the ‘it’ thing to attend as they have become repetitive, or the bridal week was scheduled during a time that was peak season for weddings.
Lahore plays host
The choice of hosting PFDC’s first ever bridal week in Lahore was to be spot on — as nobody can do extravagance the way Punjabis can. However, the dates of the PFDC L’ Oreal Bridal Week (PBLW) clashing with the season’s hottest weddings did not bid well. The fashion event could’ve gotten its due share of the spotlight and hype amongst its chief clientele had fashionistas not been busy rocking away at their friend’s mehendis.
Furthermore, some of the fashion projections and trends shown such as a strong presence of velvet and shrugs, are not elements that can be replicated till next winter.
Although, it was PLBW’s first voyage, given the PFDC’s strong credentials in fashion, they could have made a bang by giving a chance to bridal stalwarts like Bunto Kazmi (who never showcases her work), Sana Safinaz, Shamaeel or even a relatively new name in bridals like Elan by Khadija Shah.
While the list of designers presenting their work included fashion giants like Umar Sayeed, Hassan Sheheryar Yasin (HSY) and Karma, one sorely missed The House of Kamiar Rokni, Nilofer Shahid and the guru of colour Nomi Ansari, who pulled out at the last minute amidst great controversy.
What was further disappointing was the inclusion of novices like Emraan Rajput, who broke the flow of the event with their lack of experience, talent and direction. If PFDC wants to retain its credibility in bridals as it does with its fashion weeks, it must make a serious effort to eliminate designers and collections that do not deserve to be associated with its prestigious platform.
Also, in a similar vein, a greater focus is required on the choreography and styling, particularly of the jewellery shows that must be creatively at par with a fashion showcase. One special mention is The Damas jewellery showcase that nailed the art of presentation to perfection with their engaging show.
The time lags between shows also sapped the energy out of the whole presentation. There was no reason why each show could not have its own dedicated space and hall. Asking guests to leave after every show and then trying to clean and fill the hall again had too much nuisance value that took away from the glamour.
The powerful trinity
Nonetheless, despite all these issues on the logistical front, collaboration with Pakistan’s committed fashion and lifestyle channel, Style 360, for television coverage seems hint enough that the channel may shun its own bridal week and join hands with L’ Oreal and PFDC. If this happens, we will see a trio of power with Pakistan’s three most influential women: Sultana Siddiqui of the Eye Telvision Network, Musharraf Hai of L’ Oreal Paris and Sehyr Saigol of PFDC, pooling their resources and expertise to create a product that has the efficacy to change the face of the bridal industry in Pakistan.
While they may or may not choose to collaborate, one thing’s for sure, that PFDC will receive coverage like never before with greater outreach with Style 360’s constant run of the shows.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2012.