PLBW 2019 Day 1: Same old, nothing bold

LAHORE: From the rise and fall of silhouettes to the mandate on materials, some of Pakistan’s most celebrated designers are back to unveil their latest festive and wedding wear collections as part of PFDC Paris L’Oreal Bridal Week (PLBW). Lahore played host to the event that kicked off on September 26 and will run until September 28. The evening witnessed a mix of colours and cuts but failed to offer anything unique.

Like every year, the fashion platform gave the opportunity to emerging talent including Abbas Jamil, Elaha Ahmed, Mehak Yaqoob and Urwah Ali, who showcased their designs. However, Jamil was the only budding designer who made a statement with his offerings. The piece that stood out the most was the one that featured a regal train made from organza frills. While it seemed to be inspired from Paris design houses, Giambattista Valli and Ralph & Russo, we appreciated the craftsmanship and techniques involved in the making of the ensemble. Here is what we took home from the opening day of the extravaganza.

Hussain Rehar

Collection: Fateh Pur – The Queens of Punjab

Hussain Rehar lowres

The designer opened the evening and opted for the traditional Punjabi route with lehengas and cholis dominating the ramp. His collection was an ode to the modern Punjabi woman, who carries her heritage through the growing metropolis. The collection featured a blend of rich colours and dramatic motives but failed miserably in terms of silhouettes and cuts. Some of the pieces did not even qualify as festive wear (case in point: the solid blue long dress and dark charcoal gown with average embroidery on the bodice). However, there were some creations that caught our attention. The heavily embroidered kurta in red and orange with contrasting loose trousers comprising intricate gold embroidery stood out from afar. Rehar’s attention to detail and aesthetic did not match the collection this time as we expected something more unique and not so basic. Iffat Umar turned showstopper in a worked lehenga and long maroon front open shirt entailing gold tilla and dabka embroidery.

Nida Azwer

Collection: Anarkali

Nida Azwer new

Inspired by the Mughal heritage of art and textiles, Azwer brought a majestic era to life with her bridal line. Known for reviving age-old techniques while crafting ensembles, she stayed true to her love for animals. The designer finely entwined her signature style with doses of delicate floral embroidery to create a dreamy collection. She incorporated mirror and cutwork in the form of gota on rich fabrics such as tissue and net. Heavily embellished and oversized shawls with shikaargah motives were paired with saris and stood out on the runway, making them ideal for the winter wedding season. An ivory and gold heavily layered net lehenga was teamed with a long dupatta, both of which were worked with rich gota. A glitzy silver tissue sari with delicate hand embroidery was paired with an off-shoulder contrasting grey blouse – a timeless piece from the collection. Overall, it was a very predictable showcase.

Saira Shakira

Collection: Kali – A Bloom

Saira Shakira new

The designer duo’s bridal collection was an amalgamation of a variety of crafts and ornamentation techniques using sequins, elaborate hand embroideries and 3D embellishments. It comprised a bevy of floral motives, which were appliquéd on ensembles, showcasing the art and techniques of chatta patti. We witnessed ravishing couture pieces with intricate detailing through the use of crystals, pearls, gota and sequins in pastel hues against contrasting bright colours. Floor length gowns, long shirts paired with loose trousers and angrakhas in net, organza, tissue, silk and jamawar completed the collection. It was an effective, statement-making showcase that would trend well during the wedding season.

Zubia Zainab

Collection: Dare to Dream

Zainab new

The design house opened the show on a sparkling note. Its offerings consisted of modern cuts in the form of long gowns and plunging necklines. The colour palette predominantly comprised pastels and nudes including lilac, peach and cream. Zubia made use of angular motifs, pre-pleated textures and a whole lot of ruffles on the sleeves and neckline. Tulle dresses and appliquéd sheer gowns from the line would definitely make for perfect destination wedding wear but cannot be worn to traditional Pakistani weddings. The collection was more for cocktail dinners and parties during wedding celebrations. Ushna Shah closed the show in a subtle but glittering tea pink  lehenga, encrusted with sequins and mirror work, paired with a modern cut blouse.

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