The PFDC L’Oréal Paris Bridal Week at the Royal Palm Golf and Country Club in Lahore from 18th Dec – 21st Dec 2011 were four days packed with the glamour and magnetism that defines the fashion industry of Pakistan. Redefining fashion and giving a bold statement of style, each evening brought forth the pools of creativity that are the innate talents of our designers and makeup artists. From the traditional to the contemporary and ethnic to the modern, the Bridal Week was a perfect amalgam of the two and a reflection of the bride of 2012. The displays of jewellery, the bridal look defined by the various make-up artists, the magnificent collections that embellished the ramp set a precedent for Bridal Season 2012.
The opening day of the Bridal Week featured HSY, Sonia Azhar a style show by Nabila, and a jewellery show by Kiran Fine Jewellary. The show was opened by Nabila, the creative consultant for the Bridal Week, with her styling and bridal look entitled ‘Gold to Bold’. The show was meant to emphasise on the individuality and uniqueness of each bride. Her showcase merged the modern with the traditional creating a graceful and timeless bridal look of 2012. Following Nabila was the show by HSY. His collection was entitled ‘Game of Kings’ inspired by the royal sport polo. Along with showcasing men’s and women’s wear the collection also featured bags made for HSY by Vintage Montana. The fabrics included a wide mixture of suede, net, leather, karandi, chiffon and brocade in deep shades of chocolate brown, tan, gold and black. The third show was by Kiran Fine Jewellary and the show stopper was the acclaimed Pakistani classical dancer Naheed Siddiqui. The collection was titled ‘Sceptres of Beauty’ and celebrated a woman’s love for fine jewellery. The pieces were hand carved in gold and silver and adorned with stones such as sapphires, corals, machetes and lapis and made for a breathtaking spectacle coupled with the wardrobe designed by Yasmin Shaikh. Sonia Azhar’s collection titled ‘Enlightenment’ came next and was divided into six categories. The Opal Collection featuring shades of pink, beige merged with ivory – the Monochrome Pink segment where the embroidery and adornments was a reflection of light itself – the Aquamarine collection which featured shades of the sea using the feroza stone as a prime embellishment – the Roses Red segment signifying love and togetherness – the Sunset collection depicting the shades and smokiness of the evening sky – the Midnight Blue collection designed to capture the shades of a moonlit starry night. The showstoppers for the Sonia Azher’s collection were film actor Muammar Rana, musician Hadiqa Kiyani and actor Adeel Hashmi which proved to be the highlight of the evening.
The opening collection at Day 2 of the Bridal Week was by Fahad Hussayn. His collection ‘Raat Raakh’ was a depiction of a tale of love and sacrifices between a night traveller and his lost bride. The assortment of fabric used included chiffons, cotton, jamavar, velvet, suede, silk and fur all dyed in the colours of the night, primarily black with shades of deep blue and green, and weaved in with intricate flourishes of crystal work and resham that made for a captivating sight. The jewellery collection, GOLD by Reama Malik, was showcased next. The glittering jewels upon a white ensemble accentuated the intricate patterns and designs. The pieces were crafted with rubies, emeralds, sapphires, diamonds and pearls and flavour of ethnicity and tradition were introduced by works of kundun and polki. The next collection on showcase was ‘Vedaas’ by Emraan Rajput. It was a portrayal of the richness that lies in the cultural heritage of Pakistan. The collection was dominated by embossed shirwanis for men and lehangas heavy with embellishments that form the cultural identity of this region. Day 2 was closed by Maria B. with her bridal collection “From Paris to Lahore”. The collection was a journey from modern cuts of outfits that were elegant and spoke of the glamorous west to the traditional bridal wear that signify eastern bridal styles.
The featured designers at the third day of the PFDC L’Oréal Paris Bridal Week were Ali Xeeshan, Rouge, Sara Rohale Asghar and Asifa & Nabeel. The opening show was by Crimson by Ali Xeeshan and his collection was titled ‘Pahalgam’. His collection was named after the picturesque city within Kashmir and explored simplicity with plain fabrics of vivid colours and defied the use of embellishments to portray inner beauty as opposed to an external layer of adornments. The showcase was meant to depict that a bride’s beauty originates from her character. Following Ali Xeeshan was Rouge that displayed a blend of colour and contemporary style. The collection was a tribute to designer Faraz Manan’s mother Memoona Manan and included ensembles in her favourite colour: ganga jamni. The designs were crafted keeping in mind the art of the Persian culture and the embroidered peices were embellished with zardozi and crystals. Sara Rohale’s collection ‘Tehzeeb-e-Baymisaal’ was designed to show the urban and rural brides of Pakistan and was intricately adorned with dabka, stones and gems. Her collection was categorised with distinct bridal dresses for Mehndi, Baraat and Walima. The band ‘Josh’ performed live during her show, adding to the gusto of the evening. The third day was closed by Asifa & Nabeel with their collection entitled ‘Ottoman Royalty’, inspired by the treasures of the Ottoman Sultans. The show opened with a live performance by Quratulain Baluch who sang the soulful title song of the TV serial, Humasafar. The performance was followed by Bilal Khan who sang his popular singles live.
The fourth and the final day was a breathtaking finale to the PFDC L’Oréal Paris Bridal Week that summed up the magnificent display of fashion and style the four days were meant to exhibit. The evening showcased three fashion shows and a jewellery show by Damas. The show was opened by Karma exhibiting its collection ‘Enchanted’ that paid tribute to the strong and fearless woman who carries all facets of her personality with pride, including her vile, twisted and dark side. The show was followed by Nida Azwer with her collection entitled the ‘Awadh Court Collection’. The collection was a portrayal of the opulence and grandiose of the Awadh dynasty of the subcontinent and a depiction of their cultural legacy. The intricate designs created by pure hand woven silk, French lace in shades of rich red and gold, flamboyant pink and subdued ivory, merged with Zardozi and Swarovsky crystals made for an astounding display. The jewellery show by Damas remained the high point of the evening as the display of jewellery on the ramp was spellbinding. Meesha Shafi, the spokesperson for L’Oréal Pakistan opened the showcase as she sang live ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’. The glitzy display presented a variety of brands by Damas including: Marco Bicego, Mikimot, Boudoorm, Nakshtara’s diamond jewellery and a wide array of other brands. The final show of the evening was by Umar Sayeed and for his bridal showcase was opened and closed by actress Mahira Khan Askari and singer turned actor and model Fawad Khan of the acclaimed TV serial Humsafar.
The models walking the ramp at each day of the Bridal Week were styled by a different creative team each day including: Khawar Riaz, Ather Shehzad, Depilex, Toni & Guy and Nabila. The elaborate hair dos and the make-up in line with elaborate ensembles were diligently created by them. Furthermore, prominent names in from the media, business and fashion worlds of Pakistan flocked to the occasion.
PFDC L’Oréal Paris Bridal Week was another success story of the Pakistan Fashion Design Council, the pioneers in the establishment of the fashion industry in Pakistan. The show was meant to celebrate the ‘fabulous love affair between beauty and fashion’ but it soared above and beyond that commitment and was truly a celebration of the brilliant artistic talent in the designers of Pakistan and the strengthening fashion industry.