KARACHI: Day two of the three-day Pantene Bridal Couture Week (PBCW) 2014 saw heavyweight designers getting into their stride.
With a play on colours and cuts, seven designers and design houses gave desi brides and grooms-to-be a rundown of what they should sport on their big day. We can foresee the showcases by Zaheer Abbas and Faraz Manan making their way from the fashion ramp to the wedding aisle. Most of the other collections were outrightly bizarre, both in terms of wearability and overly ambitious experimentation.
Her ‘Ronak’ collection failed to spread ‘ronak’ on our faces. The designs and colour combinations were lacklustre. Somal’s use of yellows and pinks was predictable and the work lacked intricacy. Designers need to differentiate between what constitutes bridal couture and prêt wear. Somal’s collection comprised pieces with digitalised elephant print. What she seems to overlook is that eastern brides are mostly careful about experimenting with their wedding outfits. The embroidery was gaudy and the collection came across as a sartorial mess.
Power House of Fashion
Ali Xeeshan, The House of Kamiar Rokni, Shamaeel Ansari
Dedicated to seven key bridal couturiers in town, the collections reflected each designer/design house’s respective aesthetic sense. Of the seven, three inarguably stood out – Ali Xeeshan, The House of Kamiar Rokni and Shamaeel Ansari. Known for his flamboyant silhouettes and daring approach to fashion, Ali’s bridal collection was power-packed and an epitome of his signature style. Regal and elegant, the line offered the right balance between the traditional and contemporary. Playing with the classic combination of white and gold, Ali certainly hit the ball out of the ball park. The House of Kamiar Rokni by Kamiar Rokni showcased designs that were unique and wearable. They rightly addressed the approach of quintessential desi bride, who is traditional yet keeps up with the ever-evolving world of fashion. His lilac jamawar ghararas exuded femininity and a great option for a summer bride. Shamaeel Ansari’s use of dull gold gotta with hues of green, blue and pink was understated and classy; a well-designed showcase that perfectly blended eastern designs and western cuts.
One of our favourites of the day, Zaheer’s ‘Jashn-e-Janaan’ collection made us sit on the edge of our seats. Intricate designs and contrast between darker tones of pink, blue, burgundy and green, and the lighter hues of beige and mustard, was impressive. Zaheer doesn’t hesitate to experiment, but he kept his collection primarily traditional. The designer has the knack for weaving a tale through his ensembles. Reminiscent of the Mughal era, most of the pieces including lehengas and ghararas had a regal feel to them. The collection was diverse in the multiple options it offered a girl for her wedding events, particularly mehndi. Men could don a pink turban and bring some quirkiness to their wedding day look.
The collection begged the question, ‘Where is the wow factor?’ Rani’s ‘Jewel of the Nile’ collection failed to live up to expectations. The heavy embroidery and embellishments were an impractical choice that many summer brides would prefer staying away from. The outfits were too busy and left no room for a single feature to stand out. Using hues of red, maroon, gold, coral, green and nude, Rani overcrowded her outfits with a multitude of techniques and stones. Her line comprised chiffon, kundan, banarsi, zari and self jamawar, among other fabrics, with dabka, kora, tila, pearl and real stone work. For us, they lacked finesse.
The ‘Istanbul’ collection epitomised Faraz’s signature style. Inspired by the Eurasian allure and historical richness of Istanbul, Turkey, it comprised white, peach, ice blue and metallic hues. Fresh, intricate and designed with finesse, Faraz’s men and women’s collections were a real treat and perfect for a bride who wishes to keep it subtle on her wedding day. He made use of chikankari, Swarovski and thread work to enhance the sophistication of his collection. As much as we are fans of Faraz’s work, we’d like to see him step up his game for his next lines and be a little experimental with the fabrics he uses.
Her ‘Reflection’ collection claimed to, as the name suggests, reflect on the five main Pakistani wedding events, from mayun to the valima. She made use of dark colours such as rust, purple and green with embroidery mainly concentrated on the front, neckline and sleeves. The collection epitomised sophistication. With flattering silhouettes and a varied colour palette, the line certainly deserves to be considered by a bride-to-be.
Her collection was fun, colourful and full of oomph. Yasmin drew inspiration from the motifs and patterns of Mughal art and architecture. Although it is a clichéd era to base a collection on, Yasmin put forth her unique perspective of it. Fusing art of Central Asia and the subcontinent, the line comprised vibrant colours such as orange and green. Net saris with appliquéd borders and traditional lehenga cholis exuded the ethereal elegance that the Mughals were known for. With aari, zardozi, kamdani and hand-printing on mainly jamawar, the collection highlighted the fact that no matter how much the world of fashion evolves, traditional designs are timeless. Perfect for a summer bride.
Edited By: Ayesha Shaikh
Watch a slideshow of pictures from Day Two here.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2014.