Pantene Bridal Week Day 1

    LAHORE:  The brainchild of Style360, Pantene Bridal Couture Week (BCW) opened its doors to Lahore late on Saturday evening. This three-day event sees throngs of people from all walks of life coming to enjoy the show.

Even though BCW is the pioneering platform for bridal fashion showcases in the country, the likes of this show are far different from those of any council show. For one, it is undeniable that budget constraints are no issue when it comes to Hum TV and hence the scale of the show is much grander than others. But even with all the finances, the collections put forth can be pretty mediocre. That being said, more than avant-garde fashion and trendsetting, most designers at BCW reiterate their signature styles that have attracted a loyal client base and give a feel of their colour palette and choice of kaam of the season.  The ambience of BCW itself reflects the mood of the shaadi season; the elaborate floral arrangements on the red carpet with hanging gazebo tops give a very luxuriant and festive feel to the entire show. The ramp decorated with Mughal arches, jharokas, picture windows, chandeliers, and fresh flower arrangements exuded grandeur may seem over the top but for a show that is meant primarily for television, the elements translate well on screen. Lollywood actor Sana’s mayun dance performance, choreographed by Bodybeat Productions, had the audience cheering. While the dance was a regular mehendi sequence, Sana’s enthusiasm and filmi expressions during a Bollywood song mash-up that opening with “Teri Ore” earned a few wolf whistles.

Kuki Concepts

Zahid Khan showed his collection based on Gulabjan, a courtesan from the 1930s. This collection was a pleasant surprise due to its overall cohesiveness. The embellishments may not have impressed most but the use of textured jamdani and gota was remarkable. Staying true to a regal colour palette and style, most of the collection was done in hues of purple. The capri length lehenga transported one to Indian Gujrat in the ‘30s. The main bridals were all textured fabrics with hues of blue and purple. While the menswear was impractical, with pagan skirts and colours that were too loud, the darbari pajama for men was well-stitched and in keeping with the time period. However, the gota-filled shalwar for men did not work! Kuki Concepts used many colours such as maroon, brown and peacock green together in one outfit and somehow made it all work beautifully. It was definitely the introduction of the textured fabric that held the collection together.

Asifa and Nabeel

The cousin duo showcased largely the same collection as they had shown recently at PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week in Lahore a week earlier, with a few tweaks and new additions. The addition of velvet trimmings and see-through backs for menswear was definitely different but not appealing. Amongst heavy bridals in blue, orange and gold, what stood out most was a champagne coloured outfit with black beadwork.

Maria B

Before the first break, Maria B presented her Anarkali-inspired ‘Ara collection’, which was somewhat disappointing considering she has established a name for herself and has been around for years. While her collection doesn’t get our vote for structural design, some elements did catch the eye; net lehengas, and bazoband designs, embellished sleeves and textured pants. Unfortunately, the models were given strange head pieces that took away from the look of the outfit. Nadia Hussain modeled an exceptionally well-stitched white angarkha with broad green borders with paisley motifs. Ayyan carried off a heavy bridal that diffused from deep pink at the top of the shirt into autumn colours at the hemline and finally a lehenga in shades of blue. Interestingly, the different coloured sleeves of the outfit added to the colour play. The menswear designs in mostly white and gold were understated and elegant but lacked craftsmanship and didn’t take the collection where it could have gone.

Charu Parashar

The only Indian designer on the ramp this year opened the second act of the first night at Pantene BCW. This Delhi-based designer showed an embroidery-based bridal collection. While the Indian design aesthetic may not appeal to our crowd, their designers have mastered the art of fabulous cuts. Even in this basic collection, the cut of the mermaid lehenga and the pleats of the patiyala shalwar showed good craftsmanship. Parashar used flamboyant colours such as shocking pink and teal. What stood out in this collection was the embellished over coat on the sari, a see through chiffon patiyala shalwar and shoulder and sleeve embellishments. Charu introduced a velvet sherwani style embellished shirt paired with a chooridar. The main bridal, however, was not very appealing but the lace trimmings on the bridals and dupattas added an interesting dimension. Hadiqa Kiyani walked out in an emerald green outfit to the beat of her own song “Kamliyan” as a showstopper. Hadiqa’s mass appeal was truly evidenced as the crowd applauded in their seats at the singer who looked radiant in an emerald green bridal.

Erum Khan

This young designer, who launched her label Medley in 2010, presented her debut bridal collection at BCW. While her concept of the cut-out pearl back sari blouse was refreshing, the lack of good craftsmanship slammed the design into the ground. Her use of colour blocking was unimpressive due to the unimaginative combinations, and the careless finishing at the seams did not help either. However, it was interesting to see how the designer had played the concept of volume by used a floor-skimming cape like shirt over a lehenga. Standouts included a beige outfit modeled by Fia, that had velvet edging on the lehenga and a broad navy blue jamavar border which was a refreshing break from the light hue; a white chiffon A-line shirt was also amongst her less flashy pieces. Amongst the heavier bridals, a diamante filled choli paired with a beige lehenga and deep red dupatta stood out. For men, Erum Khan chose Lucknow pajamas and sherwanis with higher hemlines and also a velvet sherwani.

Hajra Hayat

It is a fact that each design house has a specific clientele and inevitably, there is a place for each designer in the industry. Hajra Hayat is another one whose clients are loyal to her work. While the designer did not push her innovative boundaries and chose instead to showcase a collection that continued the deisgns of days gone by, some elements did jump out. A black velvet bodice modeled by Fayeza Ansari caught the audience’s attention for being different from the typical ‘flare wali kameez’. Ayaan lit up the runway in a fuchsia pink sari paired with a silver blouse full of glittery sequins and crimson embroidery. Sadia Mirza, on the other hand was a runway downer; because of her unshapely figure, many wondered why she was allowed to walk. Hajra Hayat’s innovation ended with her series of red jumpsuits, togas and tunics in the most electrifying satin fabric. Former model ZQ walked out as the showstopper in a mismatched colour outfit with a short pink velvet bodice and crushed two tones dupatta. The crowd roared with applause to see the former runway queen hit the ramp once again.


Dubai-based couturier Amato was the opening act of the evening. Amato’s Paris Spring collection comprised embellished evening gowns in mostly feminine pastel colours such as powder pink and mint green. Most gowns had a worked bodice in chiffon or tulle, with the dress ending in a trumpet-shape or A-line skirt. The two sequined black dresses included in the collection unleashed the vampy seductress element on the ramp. Nadia Hussain walked out in a flowy gown that had a Valentino feel to it, but a broad black sash cinching at the waist took away from the look. In essence, the collection had an Arabian sensibility, with rosettes and diamantes galore. His client lists boasts names like Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj, who are known more for their peculiar sense of style than their sophistication.


Courtesy, Express Tribune.

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