Tag: pakistani designers

The Unconventional Bridal Lehenga

Gone are the days when women only wore demure red and maroon bridal lehengas for their wedding. This is the era of unconventional, quirky, bold and colourful. From tiny backless cholis to long waistcoats, we have it all! Brides today are the epitome of modern sophistication and vintage elegance. There is no dearth of exceptionally talented designers in India. You can take your pick of bridal lehengas from famous Indian designers like Manish Malhotra, an absolute favourite and even offbeat ones like Khyati Pande. New entries in this bridal lehenga biz are Pakistani designers like Nomi Ansari and Sana Safinaz. With these flourish of designers, we bring to you a compilation of all our favourite bridal lehengas.

We love our Indian designers. They are unpredictable and innovative and love challenging themselves.

A stunning bridal lehenga by Suneet Varma
A stunning bridal lehenga by Suneet Varma

Take this Suneet Verma creation for example. The colour combination of this bridal lehenga is so unusual that it may require another look. But that’s the beauty of this bridal lehenga. Notice the intricate mirror work and how each colour is skilfully used in correct proportions. It’s not gaudy or overbearing. As a whole, it’s just right.

If you don’t want your style buds to be restricted with traditional colours, feel free to embrace this! Times have changed and you can wear almost any colour you desire on your wedding.

A sage green bridal lehenga by Ashima Leena
A sage green bridal lehenga by Ashima Leena

Anyone fancy this sage green sherwani lehenga? Designer duo Ashima Leena has created this brilliant bridal lehenga masterpiece in the most underrated colour. This mint green shade creates a sophisticated and elegant look. If you don’t want anything too elaborate with typical colours of white and red, then this subtle colour is for you!

Sometimes, people may choose a bridal lehenga with a lot of embellishment and shimmer. After all, who doesn’t like a bit of bling? What we don’t realise is that sometimes beauty lies in simplicity. Take for example this JJ Valaya lehenga.

A simple and elegant bridal lehenga by JJ Valaya
A simple and elegant bridal lehenga by JJ Valaya

Distinctive and striking colours? Check! Elaborate yet simple and tasteful embroidery? Check! Bound to make a hit bridal lehenga? Double check! This outfit, with its beautiful embroidery work and colours speaks timeless beauty and elegance.

But our ultimate favourite is this powdery blue bridal lehenga below.

A beautiful powdery blue bridal lehenga by Jyotsna Tiwari
A beautiful powdery blue bridal lehenga by Jyotsna Tiwari

This bridal lehenga is going to make you look and feel ethereal, graceful, classy and breathtakingly beautiful all at the same time! Designer Jyotsna Tiwari proves with this creation that blue is definitely an elegant bridal wear option.

Whilst white and ivory are not the top picks for bridal lehengas, we beg to differ!

A rich white and gold bridal lehenga by Meera and Muzaffar Ali
A rich white and gold bridal lehenga by Meera and Muzaffar Ali

Meera and Muzaffar Ali’s white and gold lehenga is rich, royal and ravishing. All eyes are guaranteed to be on you as you flaunt this elegant ensemble in style.

Pakistani bridal lehengas are usually characterized by their extensive use of long sherwanis and detailed lehengas underneath.

Veteran Pakistani designer Nomi Ansari is most famous for his exceptionally beautiful bridal lehengas.

A beautiful pink bridal lehenga with gold embroidery by Nomi Ansari
A beautiful pink bridal lehenga with gold embroidery by Nomi Ansari

This bridal lehenga has all the elements required for an exquisite bride. You can never go wrong with intricate gold embroidery and a beautiful burst of pink!

The most unconventional bridal lehenga on this list is Nomi Ansari floral creation shown below.

A gorgeous floral and mint bridal lehenga by Nomi Ansari
A gorgeous floral and mint bridal lehenga by Nomi Ansari

This bridal lehenga screams diversity and innovation with its big, bold colourful spring flower print juxtaposed on a mint green colour. Simply exquisite!

Like Ashima Leena’s sage green ensemble, peach is a very underrated bridal lehenga colour. However, this Asifa and Nabeel lehenga says otherwise. I love the gorgeous layers and subtle gold embroidery work, which has a very feminine and elegant feel.

A feminine and elegant peach bridal lehenga by Asifa and Nabeel
A feminine and elegant peach bridal lehenga by Asifa and Nabeel

Our final bridal lehenga is this heavy creation by Sana Safinaz.

A bold pink bridal lehenga by Sana Safinaz
A bold pink bridal lehenga by Sana Safinaz

This bridal lehenga has strong colours, pink being the dominant one. What makes this bridal lehenga novel is the cutwork sleeves, which add a touch of rebellion and modernity in this otherwise traditional look.

Through this article, my sole motive was to familiarise you with the extensive variety of bridal lehengas that exist. You don’t have to settle with just anything. Carefully handpick a desired bridal lehenga that reflects your personality, because you can. Be bold, be different!

Walking Down the Aisle in Style: Bridal Lehengas at Pakistan Bridal Couture Week 2014

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.

Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai – Winter Festive 2014 – Part I

The Lakme Fashion Week is underway in Mumbai in India. Yet another fashion week I hear you say? It certainly is one more, but it’s exciting because Mumbai and this fashion week has been the hot-bed of Bollywood and the stars.

The designers from Mumbai, both who show there and the ones that are from there, are usually very well connected with the Bollywood stars and they get the stars to walk on the ramp for their shows. The show stoppers get as much attention as the clothes on the ramp!

This year, some Pakistani designers have also participated in the Lakme Fashion Week. A very welcome step, and one that got some beautiful styles to the Indian ramps. I love both types of designers, so for me this was very exciting!

The themes generally were very floral oriented. This did not make too much sense for an Autumn Winter collection, but certainly the styles are perfect for SS 15. Here are some of my favourite pics thus far – I have tried to balance the bridal and the non-bridal collections, since I LOVE bridal fashion but do have an interest in fashion obviously!

Amit Aggarwal's Futuristic Collection at Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2014 Collection Amit Aggarwal's Futuristic Collection at Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2014 Collection Amit Aggarwal's Futuristic Collection at Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2014 Collection

Masaba Gupta's Collection at Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2014 Collection Masaba Gupta's Collection at Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2014 Collection Masaba Gupta's Collection at Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2014 Collection

Pakistani Designer Zara Shahajan at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2014 Pakistani Designer Zara Shahajan at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2014 Pakistani Designer Zara Shahajan at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2014

More from Lakme Fashion Week to follow soon, keep reading!

Find Your Dream Wedding Dress in UK (Part 2)

In part 1 I started explaining why it doesn’t make sense to travel across the world to buy your wedding dress. I will now continue…

I have heard enough stories of people flying back to India because their customised outfit fitted horribly or was completely the wrong style. Getting the perfect fit is vital and if you have already spent a lot you will do anything to make sure it is faultless, even if it means flying back and forth.

What’s worse is if you can’t take time off work to fix the problem because you used up all your leave days the first time around! This leads me onto my next point…

Is it worth taking time off work to search for something you might not even find? Don’t forget you also need time off during wedding week (or month for some!)

So unless you plan to visit for a long period of time (to travel or see family) I don’t think it’s worth it, especially because you could end up finding nothing – you would have wasted precious time and most importantly money!

But where to find your fairy tale wedding dress in UK?! There are numerous Indian fashion retailers offering beautiful bridalwear (and accessories) in the UK- it all depends on your taste and budget!

Indian Wedding Dress and JewelleryPopular choices with brides in the UK are:

a. Strand of Silk – Offers latest fashion and bridalwear collections from some of the best Indian designers (personal favourite – beautiful choices for all tastes and budgets!)

b. RDC London – Asian fashion and bridal wear boutique in East London

c. Onitaa – Specialises in Indian and Pakistani Designer Clothing

d. Aashni + Co – Offers exclusive couture bridal dresses

e. Phulkari London – Offers collections of Asian fashion designers from India and Pakistan

These retailers sell stunning wedding outfits with various styles, colours and special services.

Watch out for the next post which will give you more details on what each of these bridal stores have to offer!