It may have started off insipidly, but the manner in which PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week (PLBW) picked up pace and delivered wholeheartedly was phenomenal.
With Karma opening up Day four with a dark romance and Umar Sayeed closing it with majestic grandeur, Nida Azwer’s near ethereal collection in-between, followed with a dazzling Damas show, the finale was fit for a queen. And certainly the reigning queens of fashion and beauty, Sehyr Saigol of PFDC and Musharraf Hai of L’Oreal Paris, proclaimed loud and clear what two female powerhouses can deliver together.
In an electrifying showcase of dazzling diamonds and jewels with a rousing choreography, the international jewellery brand Damas showed how a jewellery show needs to be done. Singer-cum-actor Meesha Shafi sizzled on the ramp adorning a diamond mask, singing “Diamonds Are Forever” in her sultry opera voice. With this powerful opening, the brand ingeniously reinforced its vision of being the ’ global brand for diamonds. Unlike the other jewellery shows at the bridal week, Damas ensured that their show had energy and direction; models sashayed off the ramp towards the audience to encourage a closer look at the jewels. The only minus in the whole presentation was a rather slapdash fitting of the gowns that was so unlike designer Fahad Hussayn.
Maheen Kardar of Karma had been lost for the last few years. With family commitments and expanding business requirements, her creative streak atrophied. But with her new sleek and slim avatar, Kardar also evolved her brand to bring the charisma back in Karma.
The show that had a spectacularly hip opening — with gold and black colours in focus — showcased gharara-cum-jumpsuits and saris paired with velvet shrugs. A front open sherwani with opening at mid-length to reveal palazzos was a brilliant concept that can be easily carried forth at the upcoming wedding seasons. Ammar Belal collaborated with Kardar to showcase a range of menswear in black and even walked the ramp as an endearing shy groom. With exaggerated make-up ala Athar Shehzad, who nailed the dark twilight look impeccably, Kardar initiated a dark romance in bridal fashion without losing her own signature for jewelled motifs. One did feel that the show was much too long and could have easily ended with just the black and gold presentation; however, by also showcasing the more conventional Karma bridal gear, Kardar presented a strong show that would wow the front row critics as well as her clientele.
The one word that defines Nida Azwer is sophistication. In her past few showcases at fashion weeks, even when she went awry with her collections, one could see that her work was as urbane and elegant as can get.
For someone with as much skill, craftsmanship and finesse as Azwer, bridals are an absolute no brainer. Yet, what the designer brought to the ramp, using an unlikely combination of lace, mukesh, gota, print, as well as every texture and medium possible, was nothing short of ethereal. A gold and ivory bridal dress embellished with intricate gota was spellbinding, as was an exquisite lace ensemble. Even the male kurtas, with Mughal art iconographies grafted onto them, had female critics eyeing them for themselves. And with a choreography that saw a couple walk down with a child, Azwer drove the point home that she is a bridal house for the whole family.
They don’t call him fashion’s heavyweight for no reason, and last night with a fabulously grand finale, Umer Sayeed proved just why he deserves this kind of veneration and awe. With the classic Qasim Yar Tiwana set replete with gilded mirrors, lighted candelabra, velvet drapes and plush dewans, Sayeed recreated old school glamour with the quintessential rukhsati songs being played in the back drop. Heavily worked ghararas, lehengas and saris in every conceivable kind of traditional embroidery — dabka, maroori, threadwork — was presented to an immaculate and pristine perfection. The collection fused a wide spectrum of hues from ivory and plum, to bronze, gold and scarlet.
With actors Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan walking together at the opening and closing of the show, Sayeed played on the pair’s escalating popularity with their recent drama “Humsafar”, also a depiction of old school ‘touch me not’ romance, akin to his own collection’s ethos. What Sayeed presented was the dream that every young girl sees of her wedding day; resplendent and glowing in the most regal of robes, as was the gorgeous Mahira with her prince charming in tow.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 23rd, 2011.
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