When you put the word ‘Infinity’ next to a crystal, you give it diamond status and truth be told, Swarovski is the official diamond of the fashion world. The fact that the world’s top couturiers work with Swarovski in their high end creations is no secret, but the Sparkling Couture: Infinity gala, that unveils in Dubai tonight, brings top designers from the Middle East and South Asia onto this glamorous map. A proud moment for Pakistan: six designers are on that list tonight.
Maria B, who also participated in the first Sparkling Couture Gala in 2015, is the only designer here for an encore from the first pool. Maria is known to work with Swarovski in her bridal couture and her lawn and her success comes in volume. Bunto Kazmi, a name synonymous with the highest level of bridal couture in Pakistan, uses nothing but Swarovski in her designs. Her daughter in law Seher is representing the brand in Dubai today and the outfit on display is a sari from her personal collection; it is in fact the sari she wore for her Nikkah. Sania Maskatiya is a name also working with volume when it comes to wedding wear and her ensemble has been derived from her recent fashion week collection, Samarkand. Zainab Chottani, who has been paving way for her brand in the Middle East and even showcased at the recently held Harper’s Bazaar Bride event in Dubai, has created a piece specifically for the gala. And amongst the accessory designers are Naushaba Brohi of Inaaya, who was given the challenge to work with Swarovski crystals, and Rema Taseer, who works with the brand in her edgy costume jewellery. It’s quite an eclectic mix and we’ll be bringing you more from the designers later.
To recap, Pakistani designers who participated in the first Sparkling Couture gala in 2015 were Elan, Faraz Manan, Maria B, Fahad Hussayn, Saira Shakira and Tena Durrani.
According to an official press release, this year’s inspiration draws on the idea of the infinite possibilities for creativity and innovation afforded by crystals from Swarovski. More than 40 haute couturiers and 56 designers from 17 countries have so far been invited to participate, each chosen for their design excellence in segments such as jewelry, interiors, apparel (couture and modest wear), shoes and bags. Each designer will be presenting one piece created exclusively for the event, which highlights outstanding innovative use of Swarovski crystals.
The gala was breathtaking last time and there’s no reason to believe that this year will be any different. What we need to see is how our designers use this huge opportunity to further their brands and businesses. Dubai is a melting pot of cultures and civilizations and opportunities like this are ideal to allow two-way integration between global giants like Swarovski and relatively modest brands, as our designers are in comparison. If there is vision and drive then nothing can stop our designers from railroading their brands into the international arena, which should be the goal. Sabyasachi Mukherjee just created a collection with Christian Louboutin, Manish Arora has designed for sportswear brand Puma. It’s opportunities like this gala that will allow Pakistani designers to make themselves visable to the world, enabling such collaborations. One hopes it does not end as a lost opportunity.