PLBW 2015: Paring down the sheen with the preen

Published: September 19, 2015


LAHORE: The PFDC L’Oréal Paris Bridal Week may have begun with a whimper but ended with a bang. Offering a combination of the familiar and the new, the final day is expected to leave its striking trends in the fashion memory.

Shamaeel Ansari’s unorthodox use of black for bridals, Nomi Ansari’s jaw-dropping showstopper outfit and Asifa & Nabeel’s black and floral opening number were among the most elegant offerings and of the evening. The belted short shirt and Patiala shalwar look stood out on the runway and will expectedly be a frequent sight at upcoming weddings. Here are the fab and the drab from the final day at PLBW.

Black carpet round-up

Zara Peerzada

The black carpet was as important as the ramp at the PFDC L’Oréal Paris Bridal Week. A bevvy of stars descended upon Faletti’s Hotel for the fashion showcase, dressed in outfits that exemplified their personalities. While it’s always good to have fun with fashion, there’s a fine line between being bold and brash. We bring to you the ladies who had our fashion radar signalling across the three days of PLBW 2015.

We loved Zara’s quirky sense of fashion and fashion loves her right back. She wore a fun, fish-print off-shoulder dress and embellished jacket by budding designer Eman Suleman. The way she draped the jacket over her shoulders gave an effortless feel to her look. Zara completed her look to a tee with multi-coloured heels from Insignia and a comic print clutch from 9Lines. The model wore a bright lip colour with black eyeliner to round off her edgy look.

Meesha Shafi

The singer graced the black carpet in a royal blue Muse top and gharara with the brand’s signature gold belt cinching her waist line. The top half of the ensemble exuded the regal charm most Muse outfits do, owing to their luxurious fabrics and exquisite tailoring. White lining added volume and a feminine spin to the top. But we feel the gharara was not appropriate for the occasion and Meesha could’ve looked better had she bared her pins. She could’ve also done without the head piece. Meesha opted for a minimalist make-up look with flawless skin and bright lips.

Read: PLBW 2015: Making a vow to wow the audience


The TV host turned up the glamour quotient in flared pants by The House of Kamiar Rokni, hot off the runway from day two. The beautiful and intricate work on the pants won us over on the ramp as well as the black carpet. She aptly paired it with a crisp plain white button-down shirt, which kept the spotlight on the pants. Kazim carried a red clutch bag, which offset the colours of the pants. Leaving her tresses open for an effortlessly chic look, she wore coral lip colour with a million-dollar smile.


Rounding off the show was HSY, who marked a return to a softer colour palette and silhouettes reminiscent of his work of the early 2000s. His ‘Fall/Winter Bridal Couture’ collection featured experimental cuts with a focus on hues, such as blue and silver. The cuts and embellishments were well-devised, which came with a twist while intrinsically staying true to HSY’s signature aesthetics. Short shirts with longer backs, bridal dresses with low backs and a long, flowy peplum top on a lehenga were among the designer’s stand-out offerings. All the clothes were well-constructed and it seemed that they fit the models effortlessly. But much to our dismay, this wasn’t HSY’s best collection yet. The designer collaborated with jewellery designer Zohra Rahman from Lahore for his range, a combo that worked well on the ramp.

Nomi Ansari

The ‘Oudh’ collection unfolded like a shimmery fairytale on the ramp, with Uzair Jaswal singing the song Tere Bin. Using a myriad of colours, something he’s known for, Ansari didn’t hesitate to experiment with his collection. What sets him apart is his keen eye for pairing contrasting shades with a dash of finesse. There aren’t many designers who can put a riot of colour in one ensemble without it looking obnoxious. The showstopper outfit that Mehwish Hayat wore while walking out with Humayun Saeed was stunning bar none. But the silhouettes used left us longing for more, with the only variation being the lehenga and net overcoat sported by Hayat. A favourite from the showcase is the off-shoulder yellow choli that was bang-on trend. Ansari also put out a collection for men, which had his usual floral embroidery jackets and shoes. The Prerto jewellery showcased with Ansari’s collection complemented it beautifully.

Asifa & Nabeel

The designers opened their show ‘Venetian Dreams’ with a black shimmery dress that featured floral lining. The dress was visually striking, but the remaining collection couldn’t keep up with it. The pieces were a complete mishmash of designs and silhouettes, particularly the short dress with long net in the front and the net cape with short shirt and pants. These numbers made us wonder about whether they could be translated from the runway to the rack. Although the duo is known for bridals, this collection was a complete let-down.

Shamaeel Ansari

All the designer’s showcases at fashion weeks are testament to her painterly and elegant work. For someone with as much skill, craftsmanship and finesse as Ansari, bridals seem like a walk in the park. Using an unlikely combination of lace and print and pairing them with different textures and mediums, she presented her ‘Absolute Orientalism’ collection that was nothing short of ethereal. The gold-and-white wraps at the beginning were spellbinding, as were the dupattas with tassels. Overall, the collection was well-constructed and boasted the distinctive aesthetics that scream Shamaeel Ansari. She worked with a beautiful colour palette, which ranged from dull gold to green to red. Absolute exquisiteness, we say.

Saira Shakira

The designer duo’s collection titled ‘Seeking Paradise’ was dreamy and high on visual appeal. They showcased a number of flares in pants, gowns and short shirts. The colours ranged from white to grey to pink to teal to red, accentuating the embroidered flowers, naqshi handwork and dabka. Although the collection was cohesive and well-developed, the designers need to work on maintaining consistency and structure in their pieces. The work on the apparel did little to break their monotony.

Ammara Khan


When Ammara Khan was asked about her design inspiration for ‘Memoirs from a Moonlit Garden’, she said it was, “Moonlit rendezvous in the wild garden of a bygone September,” leaving us confused about what to expect. When saw the collection, we were just as baffled about the direction she took with it. Khan was unable to establish her design aesthetics through the range. While a few ensembles were appealing, the collection offered nothing new.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2015.

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