Ace fashion designer Zainab Chottani exhibited her new Spring/Summer bridal collection titled ‘Bagh E Ishq’ last weekend at the iconic Jehangir Kothari Parade in Clifton, Karachi. Nearly 50 male and female models took part in the designer’s first solo show and showcased latest trends for luxe bridal fashion.
Zainab Chottani’s Bagh-e-Ishq is inspired by patterns and motifs fueled by our long-standing fascination with the Ottoman Empire. As the name signifies, the beautiful collection is like a garden featuring all indigenous Pakistani arts and crafts like bandhani, chapa print, crushed fabrics and vibrant screen prints, juxtaposed with pieces that are replete with paisley motifs and burnished-metallic tints that resound with the Turkish tradition of decorative illustrations.
Speaking at her solo show, Zainab Chottani commented: “Since the pandemic last year, we have all reworked how we function and considering how bridal events have adjusted to the new normal, we customized our collection based on those needs and preferences. Similarly we also chose to show our clothes outdoors so prospective brides and grooms could imagine themselves in a similar setting. Our designs have been rationalized so there is no lack of fantasy and clothes that are pretty yet practical without compromising on the glamour and beauty of details.”
The show actually unravelled with a beautiful invite that hinted at the opulence to come. Conceptualised and created by Fahd and Ayesha Nassr of The Social Squad – an enterprise totally worth looking out for – the invite came with a beautiful gilded kehva cup and Turkish tea, along with a box of baklava and of course, a thematic face mask. The Social Squad managed the theme, as well as the idea of flying Hunza based musicians Zia and Mujeeb for a live performance. With choreography by Production 021, hair and makeup by N Pro and N Gents and a gorgeous spread by Sofra, the outdoor event was a success with all SOPs in place.
Here are some of the hottest trends that were spotted in Zainab Chottani’s Bagh-E-Ishq collection:
1. Bandhani dupattas
Bandhani was seen in designer lawn and cotton collections last year. But, why limit it to casual wear when it is so rooted in our culture? Bhandhani dupattas were all the rage in Zainab Chottani’s bridal collection.
2. Jackets & kotis
Floor-grazing jackets or waist-length vests, both remind us of western high-street trends. However, the two trends are now making their way in bridal runways. Here is how Zainab has incorporated them in bridal wear.
3. Golden foil printing
Chapa prints engulfed majority of bridal lehengas and frocks in the assortment. The designs were kept simple with intricate gold foil printing all over the fabric to exude glam.
4. Prints in bridal wear
Not everyone likes print, hence solids have always been a favourite when it comes to bridal wear. However, things are taking a new turn this year; Zainab has introduced printed attire with paisley motifs, decorative illustrations embellished with age-old crafts like zardozi and resham ka kaam.
5. Contrasting bright colours
Not just printed outfits but even the heavily embellished designs were in resplendent hues. From midnight blues, rich pinks, bright oranges, velvety reds to golden mustards, all fabrics were drenched in royal shades.
6. Colours of Ajrak
Though black is strictly avoided in wedding ceremonies in Pakistan, a lot of black and maroon ensembles were spotted on the ramp. By the looks of it, the colour combination which is popularly used in Sindhi Ajraks, is now making its way in bridal collections.
7. Off white & gold
Who doesn’t love an off-white and gold outfit? This has established itself as a go-to combination for every bride’s nikkah and every groom’s baraat sherwani. Zainab has also given a number of off-white and gold options — from frocks, ghararas and lehengas to sherwanis, shawls and vests — for men and women’s wear.
8. Ombré sari
The blending of colours in desi wear is usually limited to tie & dye and multiple shaded kaftans and dupattas, but Zainab has taken a spin on it and introduced an Ombré sari with a rich ocher base complemented by a gray-ish blue shade.
9. Chic lehengas
Screen prints are all the rage but we never expected them to make an appearance in bridal fashion. This luxury collection has taken a modern twist on desi lehengas with screen printing; now the voluminous skirt can either be worn with an embellished choli or a floor-length jacket because the design, colours and prints are chic and contemporary.
10. Crushed fabric
Popularly known as ‘chuna hua’ fabric, this has always been a stylish option for dupattas but Zainab has taken it to another new level by using yards of chuna hua fabric for ghararas and frocks.