Bridals are the forte of the Pakistani fashion industry. If there was any doubt about that, the opening night of the Bridal Couture Week (BCW) effectively crushed it.
From the organization to the choreography to the general presentation of the shows, it was clear that bridals are what the fashion industry is most comfortable with. The make-up by Depilex was impeccable, who despite having been in the industry for 30 years had never done a formal fashion show. The decor at the rooftop venue was tasteful, the 140-feet long ramp was spotless and with the signature JnS golden crystal lamps, it really felt like one was watching the shows in the skies above.
Although the event, which has been sponsored by Pantene, was scaled down to exclude exhibition spaces and public participation, there were chic display areas by Zamana interiors and an Armani bed set (a Rs2 million limited edition of only 10 such beds in the world) on one side. Much to the delight of guests, there was a pampering lounge by Al Razi Healthcare on one side where one could get foot massages and even facials.
The first show of the night was by Nomi Ansari who showcased a riot of colors in his celebrated Technicolor palette, from orange and fuchsia with turquoise and green. He began the show with cotton angharkhas in ajrak and other ethnic fabrics that were put together like patchwork which gave way to outfits in more formal fabric like chiffons. Although Ansari retained the long hemlines he did not succumb to the overdone voluminous silhouette. The look was structured with fitted kameezes and a variety of styles of sleeves.
What the Nomi Ansari brand did was highlight its own strengths while demonstrating trends that women of varying tastes can adopt when making their trousseau.
Ali Xeeshan’s shows are always dramatic and Bridal Couture Week was no exception. While at previous shows models have walked in with fabric birds, elaborate headgear and even a kitten, at BCW the model walked in with a huge bugle.
He incorporated pieces from his ready-to-wear runway collection to show how ‘bridal couture’ can be worn as separates later. A shirt in green crushed fabric made an appearance, and a pair of gota appliqued pants were teamed with a plain short shirt and an embellished dupatta for a unique take on the ghagra choli. As with everything that Ali Xeeshan does, he proved that bridal wear does not have to be typical and encrusted with diamantes.
Mehdi closed the night’s proceedings but could not keep up the pace set by Ansari and Xeeshan. His collection featured the same champagne and tea pink shades that he has been working with since the inception of his brand. The straight silhouettes and flared trousers were a damper after the vibrancy and dynamism of the first two designers, and an inclusion of bikini tops seemed out of place. However, what Mehdi did do well was to focus on menswear and showcase a number of formal kurtas.
Trend spotting at Bridal Couture Week
- Angrakhas are a key trend that is here to stay
- Long plaits with 1950s style back combing for volume
- Pom-poms and ghungroo tie-backs
- Antique-style jhumkas
- Six-inch gold sequined borders
- Ali Xeeshan’s mirror-encrusted neck pieces instead of flower jewelery
- Bags made from jute and gota
- The bejeweled neckline instead of necklaces