Thursday, June 8, 2023

PLBW Day 1 – Pakistan Fashion Design Council L’Oreal Bridal Week kicks off – three days of Pakistani Bridal Fashion

PLBW Day 1 – Drama, Opulence and Edginess


HSY at PLBW 2013 - Pakistani Bridal Fashion
HSY Tribute to Women collection

PFDC L’Oreal Bridal Week opened with a very strong lineup on Day 1, with HSY, Elan and Sania Maskatiya headlining the show. Despite lackadaisical timekeeping sapping some of the energy of the evening, overall it was an impressive start to fashion week. The amount of individuality on the ramp was inspiring, as designers displayed very different spins on bridal couture.

HSY opened PLBW this year
First up was HSY, whose dramatic Tribute to Women collection was symphony of rich hues and traditional embroidery. 
The embroidery was typically HSY, using a mixture of machine and handwork to give a heavily embellished feel. 
Mehreen Syed is serenaded on the ramp for HSY
Sexy cholis and layered silhouettes gave a contemporary edge to a very classic look. The HSY bride has never been a shrinking violet and this sumptuous collection was very much in keeping with the brand philosophy. Regal, luxurious and very more-ish.
Deena Rehman had a daunting debut spot
Debutante Deena Rehman had a tough spot, one that even seasoned fashion week veterans may have balked at. HSY is never an easy act to follow. Her collection had its points but her inexperience showed in small details that were noticed by FROWers. Tweets about flyaway threads and unsettled necklines are never a good thing.  Deena herself mentioned that the models had incorrectly adjusted drop shoulder outfits but a more seasoned designer would have spotted this before the models made it to the ramp. 
Deena Rehman – wearable & pretty
That said it was a promising collection with a modern look and a subtle palate that was appealing and attractive. It was also more wearable than some other collections on the ramp in that it was much less heavily embellished – a pleasant option for all those non-family weddings everyone attends.
Mohsin Ali’s striking capsule collection for L’Oreal trend show
The L’Oreal Professional Hair Trend presentation consisted of three looks styled by Shammal Qureshi of L’Oreal and Toni&Guy Lahore. The capsule collections for the three segments were designed by Mohsin Ali, Wardha Saleem and Sara Shahid of Sublime. Mohsin Ali was as theatrical and striking as we expect him to be. Using a palate of golds and bronzes accented by turquoise stones, Mohsin produced three atypical outfits that weren’t precisely bridal but were unmistakably couture.
Wardha Saleem’s capsule collection for L’Oreal trend show
Wardha Saleem’s pretty pale outfits were elegant and well matched to the look they were showcasing. Wardha managed to inject interest into subtle monochrome outfits by smartly varying her silhouettes.
Sara Shahid’s capsule collection for L’Oreal trend show
Sara Shahid’s outfits were true to her minimalist ethos, perfect as a foil for the elaborate hair presentation but perhaps not striking enough otherwise, even as a capsule collection.
EXIST, a subsidiary of H Karim Buksh, showcased a well put together menswear segment. The suits and jackets were beautifully cut and well fitted and EXIST had used some excellent fabrics to good effect. HSY as a showstopper was the highlight of the presentation.
Sharp suiting by EXIST
HSY was EXISTs showstopper
The last two designers of the evening, Khadijah Shah of Elan and Sania Maskatiya showed after a long break of about an hour.
Sheer net set off Elan’s delicate embroidery perfectly
 Elan’s show was simply breathtaking. The work was delicate and incredibly detailed. Using mainly a pale palette with silvery work, Khadija Shah used net to great effect.
A touch of variety from Elan
She showed a great variety of outfits including long, short and asymmetric shirts as well as saris yet the collection was beautifully cohesive. 
Intricate bird motifs adorn this elegant outfit by Elan
Intricate bird and butterfly motifs decorated the outfits while elegant placement prevented them from looking too overdone. 
Opulent grandeur by Elan
Grand, sumptuous and true to form, Elan’s collection was one of the highlights of the evening and showed once more why Elan is such a favourite among press and public alike.
Sania Maskatiya’s Tilism collection
Although Sania Maskatiya’s show was merely 20 minutes after Elan’s, many front rowers simply left. Whether this was because it was almost midnight by that point or whether they were just there for Lahore-favourite Elan is difficult to tell. In any case it was strange scheduling. Elan’s show with its opulence and drama was much better suited to being a finale though of course this would have left less time to get the models ready. With Elan’s elaborate ensembles, a twenty-minute changeover time may not have been enough.
An eclectic collection by Sania Maskatiya
Sania’s collection meanwhile was challenging, brave and fashion forward. Using a variety of artisan techniques including single resham taka, mukesh, gota and dabka, Sania presented a fresh take on bridal wear. 
This cape is embroidered using single resham work – incredibly intricate
She mixed prints with handwork and presented elaborately embroidered lenghas and dupattas as eclectic separates. Apparently Sania has made most pieces into complete ensembles for customers wanting a more conventional look but wanted to present a certain vision for the ramp. Not every piece worked but it was overall a sophisticated and beautiful collection.
Sania Maskatiya
A belted dupatta by Sania
 A backstage spy tells me that they ran out of time to style the dupattas the way they wanted to. It would have been interesting to see the collection in the way the designer had envisioned but the juxtaposition between Elan’s sumptuous outfits and Sania’s brilliant edgy collection did Sania no favours. It was fantastic for those with the wit to appreciate it but having Elan show as a finale would have been a better option.
Elan would have been a popular finale with its homecrowd
Want to read more on Bridal Fashion week? Read about PLBW Day 2 here, catch up on PLBW Day 3 here. You can read the PLBW Round-up here.

You may also like this review of PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week where many of the same designers showed their pret. 

Pictures courtesy of the fabulous Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Copyright 2015 Karachista. All rights reserved

Salima Feerasta
Salima Feerasta is chief editor of and one of Pakistan's top fashion and lifestyle journalists.

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