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15 Oct

PLBW’17 Day One: a vibrant canvas for wedding wear

A glitzy new venue played host to the the PFDC L’Oreal Bridal Week 2017 (PLBW) last evening and as you pulled into the new Nishat Hotel alongside the Emporium Mall, you knew you were heading into fashion territory when you started seeing women balancing themselves on sky high heels and men wearing more colour than the ladies. As usual, Lahore brought it’s A-game to the scene and the air smelt of luxury as you got closer to the red carpet.

Undoubtedly, the opening show will go up as one of PLBW’s strongest beginnings in its 7-year history. Jewellery designer Reama Malik collaborated with veteran designer Wasim Khan to put out Déjà vu, a showcase that was nothing short of royal. It was also revolutionary in its portrayal of wedding clothes structured with richly coloured fabric without the reliance on a stitch of embellishment or embroidery to hold it together. While jewellery – the actual jewel in every wedding’s crown – is usually projected as an accessory to a collection of clothes, this show turned the tables and allowed each glorious piece from Raema’s collection to stand out on its own. Idealistically, it also allowed the ensembles their own spotlight and in striking this balance, the show was perfect.


Film and television star Resham lent additional oomph to Reama Malik’s show.

Day one at PLBW was short, featuring only four shows, but thanks to intermittent breaks between collections, it did drag out to 10:30, which was a tad bit tedious. Thankfully, the breaks did not dampen the spirits that had gotten buzzing after the opening.

Shamsha Hashwani, showing for her second consecutive year on this platform, presented a collection inspired by her hometown in Bangladesh. Kolpona: a gateway to nostalgia reminisced with 16 outfits that were tied together by the intricacy of their craft. Anyone who knows and has worn Shamsha Hashwani will vouch for the designer’s sophisticated ethos and pristine detailing; this collection too held the art and craft of fashion very close to its heart. The designer had nudged herself out of her comfort zone, thus showing a diversity of silhouettes were resting on a deep palette complemented by Sherezad’s gorgeous jewellery.

Humaima Malick sashayed around the U-shaped runway for Shamsha Hashwani.


Next up, Shiza Hassan kept things simple and safe. Aroos-e-Shehnai – Chapter II was a collection with a couple of memorable pieces and trends – like the cat’s ear sleeves – but on the whole it was a commercial affair that will fare well for the designer’s business. A little more experimentation would have taken it to another level.

Closing the day in a show bursting at the seams with theatrics was Ali Xeeshan with his Lasting Loyalty to people and elements that had created the fashion force that he had grown to be. The first batch of models walked out under illuminated umbrellas, washed in a bizarre and surrealistic light. The second segment presented a capsule of wedding wear ensembles that worked with tradition as well as trends and the finale – dedicated to his ‘frat pack’ of people who had supported him through his career, ended with expected and fascinating theatrics.


Closing the day was Ali Xeeshan with his Lasting Loyalty to people and elements that had created the fashion force that he had grown to be.


Only Ali Xeeshan would dedicate his time and energy in painting wall size portraits of several of his favourite muses including Sabeeka Imam, Husnain Lehri, Noore, Amna Baber and Abdullah Haris, ironically the artist behind his larger than life campaigns. In declaring his loyalty to these people, Xeeshan had also declared affinity with certain techniques and styles that have now become his trademarks – and in that there was a sense of déjà vu in his collection – but it was welcome and forgivable on the larger canvas.

The hair and makeup, an integral part of fashion week, was executed in its usual stellar manner by Nabila and her creative team (more on that later).




Aamna Haider Isani

The author is Editor-in-Chief at Something Haute as well as Editor at Instep, The News. Full time writer, critic with a love for words and an intolerance for typos.