Inexcusable delays set the premise for Day 2, which then got more tedious because of bad early evening collections that did not qualify, in my eyes, for a platform as prestigious and established as the PFDC L’Oreal Bridal Week. The painful display of ‘bridal couture’ that one witnessed in almost six collections of the day, however, was salvaged by four names that brought relief to fashion starved individuals.
I’ll start with the last show, which was undoubtedly the strongest of the day. Mahgul’s Ode to Bijin blew in like a breath of fresh air offering relief from the tedium of heavily armed outfits one had witnessed earlier in the day. Minimally embellished ensembles that took inspiration from colour and concept became the canvas for Mahgul’s ode to romance and beauty and indeed, it was a collection to fall in love with.
One looks for innovation in bridal couture and while we have all resigned to the fact that innovation and experimentation in expensive, hand crafted garments may not always be the wise path to commercial success, it needs to be applauded when a designer decides to take the road less travelled. Mahgul is a risk taker and needs to be recognized for it.
This cerulean blue jamevar kaftan that Mushk so regally floated in wearing, the shades of green that came together with a belted jacket and flared, geometrically embroidered trousers, that watermelon red sari with the external blouse and those perfectly created jackets, tunics and shawls. It was all artistic perfection.
Misha Lakhani’s Pairidaeza was a reconnection with her trademark, classic take on couture. Easy going, laid back silhouettes paired with almost no fuss lowers – like those near-undone skirts – recreated the designer’s vision, which is romantic and contemporary. Misha’s clothes have an easy aura and they allow movement, which is their biggest strength.
One did feel there was a bit of déjà vu in some of the silhouettes, like the flared pink, crushed silk lehnga or the organza cape overall, but again, I’d rather see glimpses of what I’ve seen before and appreciated. Designers like Misha belong to fashion week lineups because they have, over the years, established their superior trademarks and are distinct in their design development. Plus, the fact that her clothes are always presented with flat sandals are an added attraction.
Sania Maskatiya is an extremely versatile designer and while her ready two wear can swing anywhere between traditional clothing and New York Fashion Week worthy styles, her bridals usually stay within a safety net and stand on very strong pillars of consistent quality and aesthetic balance. Dilara is a collection that will and should do extremely well commercially as it offers trademark trends, like the choli, lehnga and gharara but every ensemble has been tweaked to make it look fresh.
Sania sent most of her models out in pairs, presenting an array of equally well constructed menswear and while I’m not a fan of the couple walks, the lack of it in this year’s shows made this one a bit of a novelty. Sania put out an array of extremely well constructed, perfectly finished bridal ensembles that proved her aesthetic strength as a designer.
The House of Kamiar Rokni
Last but by no means the least was Kamiar Rokni, who I’ll call the rock star of bridal couture for taking the romance of fashion and swinging it to a completely new beat. What can one say about Kami that hasnn’t been said before? He’s a shape-shifter, a colour craftsman who creates poetry in motion and calls it clothes.
He tapped into his Persian roots for this collection, Golestan, also sending it out to very cool Farsi music. Music truly has no language because while one couldn’t understand a word of it, it created the perfect symphony for the collection.
More on PLBW19 day two here: PLBW19 Day Two: Celebrities and gimmicks on the runway
- All photographs by Faisal Farooqi and his team at Dragonfly