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27 Sep

Is it time to rethink fashion week?

The PFDC L’Oreal Bridal Week had all the markings of a success – most importantly a stellar lineup – and yet it fell short of being sensational. Perhaps it’s time to rethink the elements.   By Aamna Haider Isani   How does one stand out at fashion week?   That’s a question Vanessa Friedman, Chief Fashion Critic at New York Times asked after New York Fashion Week, which was unraveling in the Big Apple around the same time as fashion week was taking place in Lahore. Friedman tossed the answer between concepts, ideas, celebrity appearances, gimmicks and ultimately, better collections. There may be a good seven decades of experience between NYFW and PLBW but the issues, uncannily, are the same.   So, how does one stand out at...
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1 Oct

PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week: Day One

Unable to attend the PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week 2014 in person due to personal reasons, I resorted to live streaming the event from the comfort of my bedroom couch. Thank heavens for technology. It’s not the same thing; there’s no way I would critique clothes and collections in detail without doing them the justice of close observation. But impressions can be made, about the collections, the showings and the event. Divine Decadence by HSY The show got a strong kick-off with a Divine Decadence collection by HSY that was very smart. The face accessories may have been dark ala Fahad Hussayn but the collection easily took the attention away from the dramatic ornamentation to the modern fluidity of the first segment....
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29 Nov

Talking business with Sana and Safinaz

From trends to TDAP, cultural restrictions to council politics and from high end to high street, Sana Hashwani and Safinaz Muneer talk about the ebb and flow of fashion. (Published in Dawn Images on Nov 24, 2014)  “We’re like two limping camels,” says Sana as we meet in their bridal studio, which would be completely cloaked by neighboring town houses if it weren’t for the number of cars parked outside their gate between 11-1pm. Two hours is all they spend with brides; the rest of the day is spent, in what they refer to as “slaving” over designs, inventory, merchandizing and accounts at the manufacturing units. Running a retail business, as opposed to a private studio, is demanding, and with three stores...
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27 Oct

Haute off the runway

From handcrafted couture to racy silhouettes, wedding wear takes a turn for fashion at the PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week. (Published in Dawn Images on Oct 27, 2013) Black bridals and unholy cholis, equestrian motifs and embellished prints…designers at the recently held PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week steered bridal couture from its conventional comfort zone to fashion, proving that even wedding wear can be creative. While many designers toed the conventional (commercial) line, several memorable ones managed to raise the bar and step out of bridal boredom to configure interesting trends for 2013-14. Here’s what the contemporary bride needs to be looking for this season… Silhouette: what to wear, dare and bare! Anyone will tell you that everything works but the gharara, worn with a...
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15 Oct

PLBW: Last Day Last Show, Best Show!

The three day PFDC L'Oreal Paris Bridal Week ended on a high note, highlighted by the brilliance of colour from Nomi Ansari, the dignity of Sana Safinaz's colour chrome and of course the grand finale. But the day, in its entirety, was a good one. Zara Shahjahan Zara Shahjahan has the potential to be creative - as she was with floral lehngas and ghagras with pockets - however, the crowd pleasing commercial pieces were run of the mill. They may be essential to keep the business warm but I would like Zara to take the leap of faith and plunge into her skills wholeheartedly. Nomi Ansari One of the most widely appreciated (and copied) designers, Nomi...
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15 Oct

PLBW Grand Finale, a masterpiece

The Orientalists: Rehan Bashir, Tia Noon and Kamiar Rokni When we speak of the Masters, we remember the work they chose to do, not the work they were commissioned to do by Kings and Queens. The Orientalist will go down in history as a 'bridal' collection created by the able House of Kamiar Rokni to elevate design and art in a similar way. It was a piece of art, not just a trendy collection aiming to benefit from lucrative bridal cycle. As I tweeted, if I were John Keats, I would write an Ode to it. That said, I will try to express the strength of The Orientalist instead of closing my eyes to enjoy the sartorial...
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11 Oct

PLBW takes off with trendsetting wedding wear

When it boils down to basics, a day at fashion week has to be judged by the quality of design it sends out on the catwalk, the amount of style seen on its red carpets, front rows and the kind of push it gives the fashion industry in general. That's three solid checks for PLBW Day One. HSY HSY brought his three muses to the catwalk: Vaneeza, Mehreen Syed and Reema, cast in the splendour of three collections in red, gold and midnight blue respectively. The runway does require exaggeration and his layering was very ambitious but the impact was grand and served a diverse palette of wedding wear for brides to choose from. I feel I should...
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