PLBW 2016: All’s well that ends well

Fashion week comes to a close with most designers unveiling the best of their collections

Mehek Saeed October 01, 2016

LAHORE: The PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week (PLBW) may have veered into insipid territory after Day One, but the manner in which it picked up pace and delivered wholeheartedly on Day Three of the event was remarkable.

Starting from Nomi Ansari opening the day with a colour riot to Zara Shahjahan’s timeless collection in-between and Ali Xeeshan finally closing the show with a thought-provoking message, Day Three had some noteworthy and memorable elements. Here’s a rundown of what went on.

Nomi Ansari

Collection: Marjaan

When a designer who’s known for his kaleidoscope of colour opens his collection with a stunning cream and dull gold bridal and groomswear, you know you’re in for a treat. There was beaded fringe added to the sleeves of the opening number which may not be the most practical but still brought some dramatic flair to the ramp. What followed were technically sound, signature Ansari bridals with swirls of floral prints and shimmery embroidery that caught the eye from a distance. There were ghararas, lenghas and even one churidar but what really stood out was the show stopping number on Amna Ilyas. That outfit made one want to give Ansari a standing ovation for mastering the use of myriad colours without looking tacky.

Zara Shahjahan

Collection: Mehrunisa

Shahjahan’s collection was a nostalgic testament to the times of yore. The bridals were elegant and timeless, and were an obvious reminder of our mothers’ bridal ensembles that were made in tissue and gold fringe borders. The models had motia around their hair, which was another nod to Pakistani traditional weddings. Shahjahan’s groomswear was also crisp, well-tailored and easy on the eyes in colours of whites and cream. It was refreshing to see a designer unabashedly return to traditions and execute the idea so well.

Sonia Azhar

Collection: Hypnotism

If Azhar’s collection was meant to make someone fall asleep, it was a job well done. The highest point of the collection was probably when her showstopper Ahsan Khan walked out and people woke up from the snooze fest the showcase induced. With voluminous ball gowns, net dupattas, capes and misplaced unflattering frills, the collection was a major letdown. The designer needs to reevaluate her aesthetics before showing at a bridal showcase.

Republic by Omar Farooq

Collection: Damask

As a brand solely dedicated to menswear, one expects a lot from them and they usually do deliver. This collection, however, fell short of those expectations, even though it ran the whole gamut from sherwanis, waistcoats, kurtas, jackets and blazers. Farooq employed some 3D embroidery on the last three blazers but the brand didn’t show anything exceptionally new. That is not to say that it was a bad collection but Farooq could have pushed the envelope further.


Collection: A Love like Ours

While Muse has been doing bridals for a while, this was their first bridal showcase. The collection inspired by ‘A Princess Bride’ featured three main colours – red, navy, and nude. Using organza and dupion in varying silhouettes and hemlines with ghararas and churidars, the collection didn’t steer far from Muse signature. Although, we’ve come to realise Muse’s signature aesthetic looks best when done for pret wear. Their bridal collection with heavy metallic threads, sequins and pearls was for the modern bride – which may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Ali Xeeshan

Collection: Khamooshi

Saving the best for the last, the most anticipated show that was to close PLBW was that of the threatrical Ali Xeeshan. He opened with a stirring fashion video featuring a somber looking Amna Babar dressed up as a bride with a lock on her mouth. Surrounding her was a group of women oblivious to her misery, reveling in the ensuing wedding celebrations. The scene cut to a chained monkey and then to the groom who is a much older man. Khamooshi was Xeeshan’s attempt at creating awareness around child marriages in the country, the statistics of which are rather alarming. As for the collection, it was a strong cohesive showcase with layered angharka and peplum cuts and an impressive use of colours. Two standout numbers in the collection were the white and black long dress and the layered green boxy shirt paired with a shalwar.

Mahira Khan walked for the designer, also holding a decorative monkey that pulled the entire showcase together. The collection also featured six menswear pieces comprising prince coats, classic sherwanis and waistcoats.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2016.

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