Day 2 of the PFDC L’oreal Paris Bridal Week took off in full swing as the amalgamation of fashion-centric socialites and scores of journalists and critics grew tenfold. Piquing the interest of the crowd, which suddenly rose in number, was the fact that Day 2 was to welcome a host of couturiers making their debut on the coveted runway.
The day, however, started off well before 6pm with the usual ritual of a semi-formal luncheon that invites the who’s-who of the ‘society’ to co-mingle with designers and models. The rather short event, hosted by Anoushey Ashraf and peppered with tantalizing Lebanese-style cuisine, served as the perfect amuse-bouche for the evening one had in front of them.
However, what started as a day full of hope, given an exciting new line-up of designers, ended up titillating between two polar extremes, the good and the overtly underwhelming.
Commencing Day 2 was Mahgul - a name one can always anticipate visual magic from. The designer opened the show with her first-ever complete A/W’16 bridal collection, titled ‘The Trunks of Sabine’. Inviting one to a narrative, the designer managed to weave through her intricate work an array of breathtaking geometric patterns along with organic floral embroidery; Mahgul’s capsule was the perfect vision of what luxe sartorial stands for offering an array of contemporary wedding wear options.
Mixing a distinct monochromatic/metallic palette with the organic vibrancies of floral tones in layered silhouettes that screamed perfection of symmetry, Mahgul represented the architecture of the Subcontinent through her reinterpretation of the marble stone and the ancient bejeweled armour in a way that one can only expect from this visual artisan, who remains true to her design aesthetic.
Making her debut at PLBW16 with her heavily Persian-inspired collection, titled ‘Aroos-e-Abrashami’ or ‘The Silken Bride’, Shiza Hassan provided a vision of the arid lands of Central Asia, where perhaps one could find the crimson pomegranate contrasting against the sand tones of the earth on one side and the distinct turquoise shades of the central bazaars on the other, with her tonal palette.
The collection, which was seemingly an ode to the fine craftsmanship of the carpet weavers of Persia, utilized the embroidered motifs, which can be seen woven on the carpets from Iran and Afghanistan, along with zardozi, dabka, and kundan tinsel embroidery. That being said, with the amount of work that went into ‘The Silken Bride’, the capsule was an underwhelming experience up until tennis star Aisam-ul-Haq appeared as the celebrity showstopper, by which, it was already too late to create a buzz.
Farah & Fatima
With yet another debut on Day 2, Farah & Fatima showed a collection based on a pure earthy tonal palette and inspired by the intricate shawls and art of Kashmir. Titled ‘Shahnoor’, the collection blended an array of embellishments like gota (tinsel) on net, organza, velvet and brocade atop shades of beige and reds. Unfortunately it was yet another run-of-the-mill collection that one would find at any given bridal week in Pakistan with its safe use of cigarette pants, and redundant cuts and silhouettes. Definitely not something to write home about!
Almost transforming the jewel-toned hall into a chic Parisian market, Saira Rizwan marked her debut at PLBW 16 with her collection titled ‘Mademoiselle’. Inspired by a grand fusion of French silhouettes of the vintage bourgeois society with contemporary cuts and tonal palettes one would find native to the subcontinent, Rizwan’s use of gem stones and crystals on top of pastel shades, were a definite sight for sore eyes.
While the concept of fusion at a bridal week still is quite irksome, the intricate cutwork and hand thread embroidery provided an ethnic touch to the collection that truly made the sleek silhouettes stand out in the crowd that looks for collections that can actually be worn as prêt-á-porter at weddings.
A name that instantly brings great expectations, the Day 2 finale presented by Shamsha Hashwani with ‘A Mughal Mirage’ was the perfect blend of tradition and craftsmanship. Making her debut at PLBW, the Karachi-based designer weaved a narrative of her childhood memories through her collection, which showcased intricate embellishments inspired by the Indian carpet in her parents' house with depictions of the Mughal Dynasty intricately designed on the border, to the shades of coral and ivory usually seen in Mughal artwork.
The almost mirage-like capsule by the designer, utilized the heavy embellishments of zardozi, resham, marori, beadwork and applique on top of soft tones of greens, pinks, and beiges, which made the collection a winter wedding delight. Seemingly more inspired by the traditional than the modern, the silhouettes also were traditional with the use of angarkhas, lehengas, and ghararas in majority.