After a few interesting and mostly lukewarm collections on the first two days, the crowd buzzed with excitement as the arena filled up with throngs of people awaiting Elan’s show on Day 3 of the PFDC L’oreal Paris Bridal Week.
While Nickie n Nina’s collection lacked the elegance one would expect from a design house that has been in the industry for about 20 years, designer Layla Chatoor made a comeback after 10 years. But when putting things in perspective, it is safe to say that Elan was Day 3’s saving grace.
‘The Queens Jewels’
After the magical display by Elan came Layla Chatoor’s collection inspired by Queen Elizabeth’s jewelry. As the first outfit emerged onto the runway, people sat up in their seats to see Layla’s comeback collection. The first outfit, an ivory and gold lehenga, was a typically valima bride look but was paired with a puffy white veil that took away from the jora’s splendour. Another piece, the emerald green velvet jumpsuit, was paired with a lovely peach embellished jacket. Instead of just using velvet trimmings like others have this bridal week season, Layla went for a velvet jumpsuit and broke up the solid colour and rich texture with a dainty chiffon jacket. The status of the dupatta in evening wear is greatly under debate these days; while most outfits do not go with a dupatta, Layla’s alternative on the ramp was the introduction of a full length cape trailing behind. While the cape may have added a dramatic touch on the ramp, it will not be something women will gladly carry with a heavy bridal. Layla’s bridal look is slim, long silhouettes, with some in sheer fabrics that allow a flash of skin. Hues of turquoise, emerald green, sapphire blue and various shades of red were used in keeping with her collection’s title, along with golden gloves worn by the models to add yet another touch of royalty.
While this collection had some fabulous elements, certain aspects that made it fall flat. While we loved the lace trimmings and see-through chiffon pants, there was too much going on in terms of embellishments. On its own, a turquoise inner jacket with silver embroidery was beautiful but when put paired with a metallic outfit that had multiple layers all embellished differently, it did not work. The design house focused a lot on embroidery as the basic form of embellishment and then adding crystal and diamantes for the glamourous touch. But the addition of too many colours on the same outfit was overkill. Standouts were the structure of the pants and the rhythm of the flowy chiffon with the lace. Some of the simpler ivory outfits that were cut well and focused more on the fabric and structural design rather than embellishment stole the show for Nickie n Nina. Since the designer duo themselves are well dressed, one always expects their cuts to be as immaculate as their own fashion sense but some of the fittings were just not right.
Best element: Lace trimmings on pants.
The magic conjured by Khadija Shah set a bench mark for romance and elegance that sadly no one was able to match during the rest of the evening. The collection was light and ethereal; fit to make any girl look like a princess on her wedding day. “This collection makes you want to get married again,” whispered an audience member during the show. The embellished cut out and structured backline’s added a flare to evening wear that many fail to accomplish. While the longer flowing silhouette still ruled the ramp, it was refreshing to see Elan put out a structured short angarkha styled flared shirt paired with cigarette pants. Shah used colour combinations with as much dexterity as she did her intricate embellishments. The combination of lilac with bright pink brought the outfit alive. Most of the collection remained in the lighter tones of peach, white, lilac and pink, but there were some warmer tones of maroon and blue. One can give Elan two thumbs up for innovation and innate aesthetic. The Fashion ComPassion accessories being modeled on the ramp were also tastefully matched with outfits to bring out delicious hues.
Best element: A long embellished jacket with a maroon textured back, worn by Fayeza Ansari not only brought a break in the pastel colour palate but also gave the collection a rich, regal feel.
The Toni & Guy bride
The evening opened with a trends show by Toni & Guy featuring Mohsin Ali. While Shammal Qureshi of Toni & Guy kept the make-up closer to gold tones and red lips, Mohsin Ali really showed the audience the variation in his style through his cuts. The braided buns, and thick loose braids worked well with the bridal look. As braids are all the rage internationally, it was nice to see them being incorporated at the show with some tweaks to make them more eastern. Ali showed five outfits, all featuring a similar material but varying in cuts. From a fitted bodice paired with a heavily textured and layered bubble skirt to Grecian drapery, the designer showcased it all. It was interest to see the same colour tones and fabrics create five completely different looks. The embellished ghagra choli styled by Toni & Guy with a thick long embellished braid exuded eastern beauty, while the tighter bodice with a shorter hemline gave a western feel. Fortunately for everyone watching, the creativity of the trends show seems to be improving every day.
Things to note
One trend that needs to be discontinued is pairing red and silver together. It just does not work! Red is a warm colour tone and looks best with warmer metallic tones such as bronze and gold; when you add silver to the mix, the outfit can look tacky.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2012.
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