A rousing fashion week from Karachi this season it was, in one way or another — about ardour through originality. The sturdy, clear-cut voices that obtruded in the melee of shows were from designers who dared to be themselves and thus offered clarity with choices. 
Bridal Couture Week holds the reputation of being the most hip and happening affair of bridal bedecking trends and doing extremely well commercially for the designers. 
Choreographed by Ketan Bhatia from New Delhi with PR by Body Beats and HUM PR, Bridal Couture Week(BCW)-Gold Edition was organised by HUM Network.
Every fashion week needs a neoteric and Fahad Hussayn pulled that off on Day 1, playing with a lot of vivid maroon, yellow and blue. Fahad caters to the mass appeal and knows how to put on a show. He flaunted extraordinary ghararas and sherwanis swathed gotta, chatta — patti and zardozi — work. Some of it was really nice, others were a miss. 
Mansoor Akram and Erum Khan showcased their fine bridals featuring long dresses and lehnga chollis. Where the former brought white-on-white collection on ramp, highlighting the idea of purity of marriage with gotta work and silver wire, Erum Khan was a mesh of East meets West in the hues of tea pink, green, grey and beige paired with floral printed silk and matte off-white sherwanis, (which was all about jewel toned, luxe clothes with a boho feel to them!) 
In a time where the fashion industry is visualising the future — how do we present clothing and what’s next? — it helps to see a designer who’s already here. Mohsin Naveed Ranjha (MNR) showed one of the most luring collection under his brand to date, filled with pieces in a palette of copper and brown. Although her showstopper Humaima Malick’s duppata seemed to be inspired by Republic Women’s Wear pieces (the one Sadaf Kanwal wore last year at PLBW), Rubya Chaudhry’s look with the bindi on that forehead was so strong that one felt that that was the train of thought he could have carried on with. But then MNR is MNR. 
While Tabbasum Mughal keeps herself in the headlines with her designer tantrums and mistreatment of clients, it won’t be erroneous to call her latest lawn collection an eastern duplication of Dolce and Gabbana’s Rose Collection (awkward!). Lehngas, shararas and fishtail gowns embellished with roses in blues and maroons in silk and net weren’t something to look forward from the designer. Games of Thrones is a famous series worldwide, but its inspiration on the ramp wasn’t something understandable. The ‘GOT’ soundtrack and spiked Viking-inspired hairdos faded the serious business of fashion. 
Lights, camera, action … and television; the power of small screen is undeniable, giving BCW a great commercial appeal, whilst offering little value for thoroughbred fashion enthusiasts. It won’t go down as the best of Bridal Couture Weeks. Business is tough and designers are exhausted. 
Where Day 1 line-up failed to impress, Day 2 got BCW’s groove back with a breath of fresh air and bright spots. 
Designers Neeta Lulla and Tarun Tahiliani for London’s leading multi-brand store Bibi London opened the show with Ethnic Indian Wears in pinks and oranges, whisking vintage and contemporary designs. 
Deepak & Fahad showed what masters of design they are, giving prominence to regal pure zari and zardozi bridals. They opened with Rubya Chaudhry in a sexy one red piece (let’s call it a hot gown) that fully embraced traditional grandeur, and ended with Hareem Farooq in a gorgeous white and gold long shirt paired with a traditional lehnga. 
Zainab Chottani closed Day 2 with a collection featuring modern Pakistani bride in shararas to gowns and harem pants. The collection mused in the shades of silver, blue and white. We’ve seen Zainab Chottani doing wonders playing around, and this wasn’t the best she could come up with on the ramp. 
Day 2 belonged to Zahid Khan of Kuki Concept — beguiling the audience with the Taj of Agra, which was all based in fiery ensembles of banarsi and jamawaar traditional lehngas, long shirts and saris paired with tila, dabka, gota here and there, shawls and lachas in colours worth the shop for mehndi outfits for women, and jackets, dhoti and turbans for men. 
The third and final day of BCW was the most magnificent. Karachi turned out in full force for the three beloved Karachi designers, Emran Rajput, Amir Adnan and, of course, the grand finale that showed the populist strength and showmanship of Sonya Battla. 
Amir Adnan’s flags flew. Celebrities strode out in Amir Adnan’s short jackets, red khullahs, black sherwanis and three-piece sherwani suits paired with Jodhpur pyjamas. Where Amir Adnan walked out of his comfort zone on FPW 16, this Ceremony Collection was exactly his playing field for what he’s known for. The other highlight was him accenting 12+ celebrities for his showcase, from Hassan Sheryar Yasin to Javed Sheikh — it was a star studded affair. 
There are few names known for their men’s wear cuts and Emran Rajput is one of them — making a name for himself with the cuts and styles he has to offer. Rajput’s was a men’s wear capsule collection showcasing bespoke sherwanis and waistcoats while getting traditional with shawls and kullahs. 
Battla is known for her minimalistic approach and Western silhouettes. Her finale for the night was all about black, beiges and off-whites driving frills and layers – indeed straying true to her signature. 
Day 3 was dominated by Karachi designers but one Lahori designer, Asifa & Nabeel and one retail brand Rang Ja (who made a debut in Bridal Wears) were awe-inspiring, seizing the centre of attention. The evening wears and bridals by the duo Asifa & Nabeel showed perhaps the best-fitted trousers at fashion week. The designers used contrasting shades of mauve, purple and grey to create opulent gowns and ghagras. They can easily boost the fashion cred of their brand to new heights. Where there is such talent, there needs to be an equally strong will to find a way.
Rang Ja’s Bridal line-up was all about movement in vibrant tones and ethnic cuts showcasing shalwar kameez, sexy knee length skirts and lehnga choli — ideally suited for a pre-wedding functions like dholak and mehndi. Rang Ja was in the mood to party. There were a slew of flirty black sequels, finely embroidered and rocker chic looks held together by intricate metallic work for girls who just want to have fun. It is their spirit that makes the fashion world go round. 
One last highlight of Bridal Couture Week–Gold Edition’s finale was a walk by the cast of drama serial Udaari, which took to the ramp to create awareness about child abuse. Udaari has raised the bar for highlighting the sensitive issue in such a subtle way that one cannot stop praising the makers.

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