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19 Sep

PLBW19 curtain raiser: everything you need to know about the shows

The PFDC L’Oreal Bridal Week 2019 is merely a week away and it’s time for the fashion friendly to regroup and assemble in the gorgeous city of Lahore. Scheduled to take place between September 26 and 28, the 3-day PLBW is ranked as one of most credible platforms for wedding wear in the country; it will be followed by the Karachi-based FPW Winter/Festive 2019, later in October.

We do see some structural changes in the PLBW barracks this year. Sadia Siddiqui, formerly Show Director at the biannual PFDC fashion weeks, will not be returning this season. Show Direction is being handled inhouse by the PFDC. London-based model Hira Shah has been roped in as choreographer. Hair & makeup, as always, will be handled by Nabila.

The lineup itself is a blend of 21 established and unknown labels, with some of our fashion week favourites returning to the runways while others, like Elan, Nomi Ansari, Sana Safinaz and Zara Shahjahan are either sitting the season out, opting to show at the FPW Winter Festive next month or are planning to go solo.

Who to look forward to?


The House of Kamiar Rokni

As always, I’m very excited about The House of Kamiar Rokni, who’s showcasing a collection called Golestān, the Garden of Roses, which “represents a poetry of ideas” in the designer’s own words. “Golestān takes its title and creative interpretation from Persian poet Sa’adi’s magnum opus, presenting a collection as a confluence of many ideas but ultimately proposing a celebration of one’s individuality; one where no two flowers are alike in the House of Kamiar Rokni’s Garden of Roses.”

It has to be mentioned that Kami won the Lux Style Award as Best Designer (Bridal Couture) for 2018, which makes him an even more covetable name. He will be closing Day 2.


Sania Maskatiya

After sitting fashion week out last year, because of her forays into New York Fashion Week (which I do hope will continue), Sania is back at PLBW runways with a collection titled Dilara, which “pays tribute to the most exquisite of promises between two lovers. It is “a collection that combines dil (heart) and ara (what decorates beauty), two core elements of fashion.” According to the designer, this is one of her boldest bridal collections to date.


A sketch from Sania Maskatiya’s Dilara


Nida Azwer

Nida Azwer’s strength is her craft, her love for bridal couture in the most classic sense and this new collection, Anarkali, stays true to Nida’s love for miniature and Mughal architecture. We will be seeing 16 new pieces tune into Nida’s trademark silhouettes. “We are delighted to showcase this new collection at PLBW,” she says. “Making finely embroidered pieces has become the soul of our design work, and we continue to create the finest workmanship in every new collection.”


Nida Azwwer bridal collection, 2018


Mahgul is another highly coveted name at bridal week; her artistic renditions of bridal couture are always a delight to witness. She will be opening the evening segment of Day 2. I’m also looking forward to Misha Lakhani and Saira Shakira, who never fail to impress. Fahad Hussyn will undoubtedly bring his unique blend of vintage couture to the runway (he will be opening the evening shows on Day 2) whereas Hussain Rehar, the newest name to rise so rapidly to the forefront, always brings something new and innovative to the otherwise traditional bridal table. Hussain Rehar will be opening fashion week, undoubtedly on a high note, on Day 1. HSY is scheduled to close fashion week and his collection, as always, will present a befitting grand finale to an event that celebrates fashion.

Some regulars and some known, albeit new names to PLBW: Mohsin Naveed Ranjha, best known for his Ranveer Singh campaign, will be showing solo at fashion week and the interesting thing that his (presumably star studded) show will be the first on the early evening slot on Day 3. Mohsin speaks very fondly of his Ranveer Singh shoot but since the Bollywood ship has long since sailed, he promises to bring other forms of celebrity delight to the runway in this solo show.


MNR is best known for designing for Ranveer Singh, a campaign that appeared on the Filmfare cover. This time we expect MNR to pull in high profile Pakistani celebrities to keep his hype alive.


PLBW veterans Nickie Nina and Sonia Azhar are back this season, and will be accompanied by Saira Rizwan and Republic by Omar Farooq as brands that are well established and have huge clientele and yet are a few steps away from giving us an unforgettable collection.

The new names

New designers, especially fresh graduates and upcoming names, are always an exciting part of fashion week. While the world looks forward to established names – no doubt every fashion week’s backbone – it is the rising talent that keeps things fresh and innovative.

Other than the Aquafina Rising Talent Show, there are several new names this season, most of them PIFD graduates, who will be showing as part of the early evening shows. There’s Ahmed Sultan, a PIFD graduate who first showed early evening last year, Asma Aslam and Noreen Neelam, also showing early evening this year. New names include FAS, J&H and Tayyab Moazzam.

The PFDC favourite this year is Multan based Zubia Zainab, who has been given an evening slot, something that convinces me that she must be really good.

I would advise the new crop of young designers to be pro-active and contact us, the media, with previews of their shows before actually showing. It’s always a good idea to create some sort of interest around your ideas, especially when you’re unknown.

  • PFDC photographs by Faisal Farooqui @ Dragonfly


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.