Pakistani women have been known world over to make the most beautiful brides, and with the Bridal Couture week that recently took place in Karachi, Pakistani brides are beyond a doubt, also the best dressed! The Wedding season is right around the corner, and the Pantene Bridal Couture Week (PBCW) could not have taken place at a better time.

This colossal fashion event was organised by the HUM Network Ltd. in collaboration with Pantene on May 17, 2014. Since its inception, PBCW endeavours to promote Pakistan’s seasoned as well as fresh fashion talent, on both domestic and international platforms, and has never failed to enthral the audience. This time was no exception. The bridal collection unveiled at the mega event, included the traditional salwar-kameez, saris, chudidars, shararas, and not to mention, the brides’ favourite- the bridal lehenga.

The lehenga, which initially started off as a simplistic medium length shirt with a long loose skirt has undergone several changes over the years and metamorphosed into the glamorous attire we see and admire today. The rich infusion of colour and heavy embroidery work, the hard-to-miss intricate borders and the flattering silhouettes not only make it a dream garment for all brides-to-be, but also highlight the pure dexterity and high attention to detail that Pakistani designers are renowned for, and the bridal lehenga collection showcased at the Pantene Bridal Couture Week, stands testimony to that.

The star-studded affair saw the works of several ace designers, such as Amir Adnan, whose exquisite sherwani collection, inspired by the historic devotional poetry of Amir Khusro, kicked off the three- day extravaganza. The audience also experienced the vivid and colourful creations of none other than the unrefuted King of Colours- Nomi Ansari whose collection titled ‘ISHQ’ was largely appreciated for its bold yet graceful colour scheme and intricate attention to detail, which also reflected in his bridal lehenga designs. The collection represented a matrimony of the old and the contemporary, the elegant and the playful, the stylish and the classy, meticulously crafted in hand-woven fabrics and inimitable embroidery techniques, carried out in his signature colourful fashion. The flamboyant red bridal lehengas are no less than a dream and bear the finesse and finish of a masterpiece, not to mention the intricate crystal embellishment and zardozi work which are unmistakable Ansari trademarks and are never compromised on.

Amir Adnan - Bridal Lehenga
Amir Adnan’s collection
Nomi Ansari - Bridal Lehenga
A stunning layered lehenga from Nomi Ansari’s collection
Nomi Ansari - Bridal Lehenga
A beautiful burgundy and red piece from Nomi Ansari’s collection

The podium was also graced by the bridal collection offered by the fashion prodigy Amina Yasmeen, who has emerged as a designer to be reckoned with for a decade now. Her splendid bridal lehenga collection was all about cuts and different patterns, which was displayed in a subtle and extremely classy selection of colours, the most prominent ones being ivory and emerald green, with a fascinating fusion of different layers of fabrics, heavy embroidery, zari and dabka work.  Her collection also featured saris and sherwanis for men, which received huge applause from the attendees.

Amina Yasmeen - Bridal Lehenga
Amina Yasmeen’s collection

The next collection to tantalize the audiences was that of Sana Abbas who mesmerized the spectators with her Maskali collection, which was an ensemble of flirty silhouettes and long feminine flares. The garments in the collection shone in pearly white colours with modest embellishments. In contrast to that, heavily embellished and brightly coloured bridal lehengas were the highlight of her bridal collection. The creative incorporation of pure fabrics such as chiffons, , jamawar and hand-woven silks in a beautiful palette, she skilfully infused traditional crafts such as  resham  mukesh, zardozi, with delicate embroideries in them, making it the perfect choice for the modern eastern bride.

Sana Abbas - Bridal Lehenga
Sana Abbas’s collection

Also joining the bridal wear bandwagon was the legendary Zainab Chottani, whose collection- Shehnai focused on grand, larger than life weddings and aimed at giving brides a dream to cherish.  The stunning bridal lehenga collection boasts of a variety of embroideries and embellishments such as gota work with chatapati, and traditional cuts flawlessly infused together. Having said that, the designer also ensures ease of movement and wearability in the bridal lehengas by using fabric which is very soft and in no way compromises with the comfort of the bride on the big day.  The prominent colour used in this wonderful bridal lehenga assortment is Peach with a hint of silver, which is an impressive deviation from the traditional red colour for the saris and bridal lehengas. The fresh and experimental nature of this impeccable line definitely makes it an assortment worth watching.

Zainab Chottani - Bridal Lehenga
A gorgeous piece from Zainab Chottani’s collection
Zainab Chottani - Bridal Lehenga
Pretty in peach pieces from Zainab Chottani’s collection

The ramp also saw the creative designs of none other than Zahid Khan, the genius behind Kuki Concepts. His collection at PBCW 2014, titled Bidai was based on gotas, traditional lehengas, cholis and rani coats. The highlights of these garments were the sophisticated cuts which added panache and a tint of modernism to the otherwise uber traditional attires.

Zahid Khan Bridal Lehenga
Zahid Khan’s collection

Yet another celebrated fashion designer to share his work at the PBCW 2014, was Deepak Perwani who received accolades especially for his renovation of the Pakistani bridal lehenga. His collection featured long open gowns, maxis, and frocks being used along with Lehengas as opposed to the traditional short kurtis accompanying the garment. The theme of this collection was the bygone Mughal influence, the silk route and the subcontinent which was reflected in the meticulously wielded embroidery work and breath taking cuts.

Deepak Perwani - Bridal Lehenga
A cream and gold lehenga from Deepak Perwani’s collection
Depak Perwani - Bridal Lehenga
A heavy black and gold lehenga from Deepak Perwani’s collection

Also to make a mark with his bridal collection at Pantene Bridal Couture Week 2014 was Zaheer Abbas. Popularly known as the designer to raise the bar of fashion with his surreal designs, Zaheer Abbas is also famous for being the brides’ favourite. His designs not only are an ode to the rich tradition of Pakistan but also reflect an infusion of modernity and style. His bridal lehenga collection is a burst of colours complemented by conventional embroidery, zari and dabka work.

Zaheer Abbas - Bridal Lehenga
A modern pink and cream ensemble from Zaheer Abbas’s collection

Though the week lasted for a mere 3 days, it surely left an impact of a lifetime. The unfathomable precision of intricate handiwork, the thought process behind the mesmerizing colour schemes, the effortless way in which these garments embellish the wearer, and the element of gravitas that they exude are not only elements which are difficult to imitate, but are also fashion trends that die hard.

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