Ammara Khan made an astounding appearance in the fashion spotlight with the launch of her ready to wear this December, but fashion enthusiasts already knew her for the delightful bridal couture that she had been designing for almost a decade. Her latest collections of bridal couture for 2017 just reinforces the immaculate structure within which she designs. Two of Ammara’s collections for 2017 – Escapade and Portofino Sunset – set the bar very high and we’d like to revisit them before we reveal what the designer plans for 2018.
Fashion lovers know that beyond bare aesthetics clothing, and that too finely made clothing, can be appreciated throughout it’s layers and Ammara’s collections approach bridal couture by uncovering how to set it apart one fold at a time.
To begin with, her unique color palette is an array of the hues she became familiar with during her time in the Liguarian River area of Italy. Corals, peaches, and golds inspired by glorious sunsets were met with blues and greens that mixed across water.
Both Escapade and Portofino Sunset offer a diverse range of silhouettes. Lehngas are paired with cholis and jackets and a return to longer shirts; there is a modern take on a peshwas that could be worn with a ghaghra or the structured flared trousers that Ammara has paired across her collection with mid and shorter length shirts. Additionally, a few bridals are streamlined to a bride’s figure and don’t overwhelm her, making for a collection that stands out from most. What makes one want to run their fingers over the pieces is what few in the bridal world pay attention to: texture.
The work is intricate but never overwhelming, a stark contrast to the bridal offerings that we have all come to recognize. ‘More is more’ is not the mentality being demonstrated across Ammara’s collection, not in the traditional sense at least. The embellishment is textured, the act of adding embroidery atop a fabric makes it so, but texture with the purpose of design displays a different level of attention that was paid to.
In Escapade a knock-out black peplum dress features a reoccurring embellishment of a gold-plated leaf. The designer commissioned a jeweler to replicate a natural leaf into gold. From there the leaf was created especially for the bridal collection and effortlessly sit alongside techniques Ammara has come to be known for, like her three-dimensional floral motifs.
Texture has been a highlight of Ammara’s bridal aesthetic for some time. Dating back to her collections in 2015, Ammara incorporated elements into her designs that challenged what bridal couture was. Ostrich and dove feathers that were dipped in golds and silvers, flowers that were designed to stand up against the fabric which they adorned and thread work that inspired customers.
The collection is not at first look traditional; it is a mix, albeit gentle, of traditional elements with a contemporary sensibility. The modern colour palette which veers away from expected tones shows a collection whose inspiration is easy to see. That being said, the collection juxtaposes expected elements of a Pakistani jora like rich silk and saturated hues, mukesh and gota against materials like lame and brocade, embroidery incorporating French knots, pearls, crystals and of course the feathers that have become signature to Ammara Khan bridals.
Though it is a challenge to design bridal couture and call it fashion, Ammara Khan’s sophisticated juxtaposition of her understanding of western design and her love for tradition, makes her bridal couture fashion forward. We look forward to experiencing her upcoming collections unfold this year at fashion weeks. The gilded wheels certainly have been set in motion.