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30 Sep

My First PLBW experience

The PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week is the biggest bridal fashion event of the year and it has been so for the last six years. I have never had the privilege to attend this coveted event before and see what all the fuss is about. I’m new to the world of Pakistani fashion, so I’m a little bit behind on all the rules and politics of this beautiful (from afar) world. Finally, this year I had a chance to see PLBW up close and personal and here is what I discover.

Who are the celebrities?

Upon entering the jam packed ‘black’ carpet, naturally my eyes are scanning every inch of the designated area for a glimpse of some celebrities. Maybe I am a little late because the show is about to start and all the big names have made their way inside. Still, cameras are clicking and lights are flashing, which means there are people around worth being photographed. But I don’t recognize any of them. Again, I blame my newness for this ignorance. But I see a lot of young, pretty girls, dressed sharply, posing very confidently for the cameras. Upon my inspection, I’m told that these girls are mostly bloggers or ‘journalists.’ I am very surprised by this. When did bloggers/journalists become celebrities? Isn’t it our job to behind the camera? But I see a role reversal happening too. The girls being photographed are also taking pictures of the girls photographing them so who is the celeb and who is the writer? This is more mind boggling then Christopher Nolan’s Inception.

Front Row Warfare

Eventually I head to my seat, which is near my boss and she is seated in the front row. I happily take my place right behind her, completely unaware that this makes me somehow less worthy of a creature. I soon learn that there’s a hierarchy in seating: Front row seats are for important people. Second row is an insult. Third row and behind is for unmentionables and they all blend into one big blob. Girls can be seen going up and down the aisle wondering where their front row ticket went, angrily settling in the second row, making angry calls to someone on the phone about this ‘situation.’ One very jangli lady in complete shaadi clothes comes walking down, and the smile from her overdone make-upped face fades as she sees no empty seat. Eventually she creates a fuss and gets seated. Seems like everyone here considers themselves a VIP.

No concept of personal space

I know that girls are usually more comfortable with each other but there has to be line of self-control, especially if you’re a stranger. I kid you not, my experience sitting in the second row was more uncomfortable than my flight to Lahore where I was sandwiched between two oversized uncles. These girls couldn’t care less if their elbow is in your face or their smart phones are blocking your view. I want to tell them to back off but then I have to spend the next 2 hours awkwardly sitting next to them.

Celebrities do make a difference

Celebrities do make a difference and can elevate the interest in an otherwise dull show. Cases in point: Aisam ul Haq and Hareem Farooque, who may have looked awkward and wobbly on the runway but they added oomph to it. Sohai reminded me of her frivolous role in JPNA and she looked completely different; I wondered what she is up to these days.

A new designer rips off the old

Nomi Ansari is a favourite amongst many, which is why his clothes tend to get copied from time to time. But how could a designer, who is showcasing at such a huge platform, copy a design made by another designer, who will also be showcasing his clothes on the same platform? Nomi himself is reacting to this in a very light-hearted manner. He’s showing the picture of his original lehnga, which he made nearly a year ago and is giggling away at the resemblance.

Dinner with the fabulous

Of course, the show for the day comes to an end and everyone is rushing off (to after-parties probably). I have the privilege of dining with Aamna, Frieha Altaf, Nomi Ansari, joined by Raheel Rao and Sadia Siddiqui as well. And this dinner goes just as fabulously as you’d imagine. Frieha is such an entertaining dinner guest- she has tons of experience and her travels to talk about. Nomi is hilarious; I see his Anil Kapoor snapchat videos and I can’t stop laughing. This point merits a paragraph on it’s own so it will come later. Ammara Hikmat is also around in Sakura and joins this rendezvous briefly. There is a lot of talk of Momina Mustehsan and her antics. Also, her brothers are also apparently trending on Twitter and I’m just wondering what the hell is going on in this world.

Nomi’s Anil Kapoor videos

I’m not on Snapchat so I don’t know the extent of the craziness but Nomi very proudly shows his videos to everyone. Apparently, there is an Anil Kapoor filter that turns anyone into the famous actor. Nomi has many variations of this: there’s a video of him in bed, singing a song, walking around- all of this, as Anil Kapoor. I’m in splits.

Day two ends on a very fun note and I’m looking forward to the finale, which I will be reporting from backstage so looking forward to all the craziness that follows.

  • Photography by Faisal Farooqui @ Dragonfly

 

Manal Khan

The author is Deputy Editor at Something Haute who has studied film and journalism from SZABIST. Will be found at the gym if not in the office.