Showing at fashion week for the first time isn’t an easy thing; between mustering up the courage to leave the comfort of a successful retail operation and putting your work out there for critique is never an easy decision. It takes guts, a certain level of confidence in one’s work and of course, financial fluidity because showing a full (bridal) collection at fashion week can cost an arm and a leg depending upon what you’re showing. Sadly it also sets standards and one has to draw the line between creative brilliance and commercial success. This is what Day Two at PLBW was all about.
The Trunks of Sabine
Not her first showcase at PLBW, this was albeit Mahgul’s first full show and she hit it out of the park. In an ocean of aquas, feminine pastels or rich, tradition reds, Mahgul’s chose a unique palette that depicted a strong and powerful woman. There were no annoyingly coy, blushing brides walking out with their dulhas; this collection kicked ass. It was all the more effective because of the designer’s well-read thought process combined with craftsmanship; the embellishment was impeccable. One even got to see several new and exciting silhouettes, something that has been missing from fashion week.
I loved: The embellished panjanglas, the colour palette, the strength and the stream of consciousness that flowed with this collection. That last image of Sadaf Kanwal, confident and majestic in her dark eyes, bright lip and regal outfit, is what every bride deserves to feel like.
I wasn’t so haute on: the white net can-can in her trousers. It was visible under her lehngas as well but it was visible and added unnecessary volume to the trousers.
The Silken Bride
I first heard of Shiza Hassan this summer; I then learnt that she was tennis star Aisam ul Haq’s sister. At fashion week, I saw Niche editor Zainab Malik wearing a very interesting tunic designed by Shiza Hassan and I was further intrigued. Her debut collection at fashion was in no way disappointing for a newcomer but I wish there had been something, even one thing that stuck or left a lasting impression.
Farah & Fatima
I hadn’t even heard of this design duo before the fashion week schedule was announced but was assured that they were popular amongst clientele. Having seen the collection, again, there was nothing particularly unsightly but also nothing particularly exciting about it either. The collection was not cohesive and was in fact a mish mash of many popular labels. The designers will have to put some thought and effort in creating standout collections before they can be considered runway ready.
Having released several successful lawn volumes, Saira Rizwan is a better-known name in the fashion industry and her PLBW collection certainly was cohesive and sound. It could have been more exciting though. What debut designers need to understand is the need to stand out rather than blend in; they need to make lasting and memorable impressions with any one element of their work. This is what leads and strengthens the signature of a label.
I’m happy to say the Day Two of PLBW started and ended on a high note. Shamsha Hashwani is an extremely experienced designer and years of adhering to a distinct and sophisticated signature enabled her to do justice to the finale of Day Two. Shamsha’s clothes are perhaps not so overwhelming on the runway but up close they reflect a craft and finesse that is hard to find these days; her strength is her intricately embroidered, priceless silk shawls. Hers was a simple and effective collection, positioning those shawls as highly coveted must-haves!
I loved: the shawls, each and every one of those hand crafted masterpieces that spun tales of Mughal grandeur.
I wasn’t so Haute on: the few contemporary pieces that didn’t gel so well with a predominantly classic and regal moodboard.
- Photography by Faisal Farooqui at Dragonfly