Day one of Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) L’Oreal Bridal Week started in typical Lahori fashion fashionably late that is.
Aside from being two hours behind schedule the night was plagued by a lack of energy that is characteristic of opening days of fashion week but both showcases ended on high notes.
The collection is titled Divine. Decadence because it is essentially two capsule collections. The Divine collection is in aqueous shades while the Decadence collection is in resplendent red gold and black.
The show was certainly a dramatic display with the models stomping down the runway to the Godfather theme and later to the musical stylings of a live symphony but despite the flair of the presentation there wasn’t much substance to be found in terms of a wearable bridal collection.
Some of the lehngas were crafted from commonplace gold fabric that the markets in Aashiana and Liberty are flooded with with no additional work on it to elevate it and some of the black though gorgeous looked like they were straight off of Elie Saab’s runway. The fur collars were a fun touch and definitely decadent as was the gorgeous shade of red used in the collection.
Overall the collection was a hit and miss with high highs and disappointing lows.
- Hand embroidered silks
The collection made use of predominantly western silhouettes including cropped jackets gowns tailored pantsuits jumpsuits and structured jackets.
The ‘Divine’ pieces made use of sparkling silver crystals used as borders accents and even epaulets in one case. For ‘Decadence,’ gold embroidery was the predominant decorative technique employed along with gold studs.
The accessories for the ‘Divine’ part of the showcase were too steampunk inspired to fit in with the overall theme. For ‘Decadence’ the models wore stunning crowns of gilded gold roses that looked like they were straight off of Aphrodite’s head.
Ara Ornaments is a collection where the oomph is in the details. On the ramp it looked feminine wearable and deceptively simple. Up close it is intricate and incredibly detailed. Every single piece of fabric used in the collection was developed in house except for the lame which was imported from Italy and France.
There is a surprising amount of depth in each outfit whether it is the combination of two different types of ornamentation techniques or the use of geometric patterned cotton nets as a base instead of plain fabric to create juxtaposition with the floral embellishments and embroideries.
Sania Maskatiya says that she didn’t want to create ‘one off’ pieces just for the ramp. Instead this collection was developed keeping in mind that the pieces will be available off the rack as formal wear and could also be made bespoke for any bride who wants a heavy jora on her wedding day.
While the collection takes inspiration from techniques that are hundreds of years old it is fresh and thoroughly modern because of the silhouettes and fabrics that have been used.
There is not a traditional sari or typical blouse to be seen. Instead there are crop tops paired with intricate short coats lehnga saris with no pleats and frocks with slits that allow the trousers underneath to be seen only when one is walking.
- Digitally printed silks used in crop tops trousers and linings
- Organza coats
- Gold and Silver Lame
- Indian nets
- Chiffon duputtas
The collection made use of intricate floral motifs in hand worked and machine embroidery a departure from the bird motifs she has favored in previous collections. The ornamentation techniques that were employed varied from the Mughal era to the Tsar regime and classic Turkish and French embroideries done in zardozi gota and pearl work.
In keeping with the aesthetics of the brand the accessories were minimalist and the makeup simple.
Asifa & Nabeel
Titled Meena Maniratna the Asifa & Nabeel showcase started off with a film of clips of the beautiful Meena Kumari the muse for this collection set to a cover of ‘Girl’ by the Beatles. The choice was odd enough to be interesting but that was as far as creativity went with this particular show.
The models slowly walked up and down the runway barefoot wearing clothes inspired by the colors and motifs of the jewelry that Meena Kumari wore in her films.
Despite the wealth of inspiration that could have been drawn from her life and her look the collection was uninspired and contained nothing new. It perhaps tried too hard to stay true to its inspiration and resulted in a collection that looked dated.
The collection made use of traditional decorative techniques with chandpati and dabkawork and decorative stones and pearls as embellishments.
Each model wore one accessory varying between teekas jhoomars and traditional earrings.
Saira Shakira’s collection was a breath of fresh air and combined western and eastern silhouettes effortlessly. Inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ it had a whimsical quality about it that was only added to by the butterflies that perched delicately on the models.
Some pieces were weaker than the others but the scale definitely tips in the designer duo’s favour with this collection. A plum and lilac sari with a velvet pallu was a particularly standout piece as was a peshwas with a floral embroidered yoke that looked like a pastel dream as it floated down the runway.
There was even a collar to be seen on a blouse and paired with a lehnga no less.
- Delicate nets and laces
The collection made use of Swarovski crystals dabka kora and nakshi along with beadwork to effectively create a whimsical aura around the collection. Combined with the leafy embroidery it effectively invoked images of fairies in a forest glade.
The models wore thick mathapattis and heavy silver chokers. The jewelry was offset by butterflies perched on the arms and necks of the models.
Karma Red PLBW comeback the second showcase with a bang bringing an energy to the ramp that had been sorely missed all evening.
Maheen Kardar’s Lotus Raj collection was split neatly into five capsule collections each with it’s own theme colour scheme and vibe RajKumari, Uns, Aatish, Saj Dhaj and Raj.
The collection is varied yet cohesive and would appeal to the personal sensibilities of brides across the board because it has something for everyone.
The Lotus Raj collection isn’t seeking to break any new ground when it comes to bridal fashion. It is simply offering up beautiful options that any woman would be happy to wear on her wedding day and feel utterly royal while doing so.
- Signature screen prints
There was one point during the showcase where the models were standing stationery on the ramp not moving a muscle yet the light danced off the clothes in flash of sparkles.
This collection is an excellent example of how bridal wear can be intricate without being gaudy or over the top while making use different techniques such as badla, nakshi, crystals and pearls and tilla work.
The models were accessorized according to each capsule collection with accessories ranging from large jhumkas to trails of motiya flowers and even toddlers sashaying down the runway with models Cybil Sabeeka and Sadaf.