By Muhammad Asad Ullah
The Sana Safinaz omnibus is on the road and it’s going to be one frisky, high fashion ride. The designer duo has stretched their business beyond their huge market for luxury pret, downright status of designer lawn queens since years now and not to mention their thriving bridals. There has been a wave of solo shows in Pakistan over the past few years now amidst the quintessential six fashion shows that are organised every year; but solos is for the better. Solo shows give designers a totally different spectrum to put forward their designs and curate exceptional experience for their buyers and fashion savvy clientele. The fashion is never going to be the same again in Pakistan and trailblazing through it alongside Sana Hashwani and Safinaz Muneer is designer Mohsin Ali Tawasuli and a crew of vibrant, young designers that made the magic happen.
It’s a move that Sana and Safinaz had been talking about for a long time and it’s culminated into a gorgeous, voluminous, utterly delectable bridal wear solo showcase that the brand had put up on the first day of Fashion Pakistan Week 2019 in Karachi. Everything, from the runway to the décor was exquisite. This designer duo knows how to work the market and how to work it right and perfect.
The collection was called a ‘Message From the East’ and there were so many messages that it delivered on the glossy black catwalk: of Sana Safinaz’s ability to pull in the punches and expressing the brilliance and the glamour of women with a perfect mesh of ethnic and contemporary bridal wears. Sana Safinaz definitely gives the couture narrative a touch of flamboyance – in this collection, extravagance and lightness made a winning combination.
Pairing contrasting hues with a dash of finesse, the embroideries ran in swirls and floral patterns and chalked Mughal scenes on to exaggerated sleeves, pants, coats and tunics. Sana Safinaz bridals are immediately recognisable and they does it with flair. Aiming to let the colours do the talking, the collection featured cuts and silhouettes with contemporary touches on tulle, cotton net, tissue trials and brocade tailoring cholli and lehngas. Naqshi handwork and dabka on tissue and net designed soft metallic drapes, gown, shararas and short shirts with shimmery hues dominated the runway. There was also some very heavy layering: dupattas overlapping multiple tiered skirts, trails, ribbon sashes and a mix of textured fabric.
What also caught the eye was the styling: the girls wore sunshades and their long hair swung loose from printed bandannas, paired with ethnic angrakhas.
With details including heavy embellishment of rhinestones and delicate silk floss thread work, the collection was woven in blush, deep reds, whilst subtle pastels were juxtaposed with renditions of flora and fauna in modern cuts and silhouettes. Block white lehngas with intricate kamdani work paired with futuristic exaggerated digital printed blouses in a water colour effect, embellished with nothing too extravagant – caterwauled highstreet international appeal, an element of edginess, practicality and above everything else, a great business brain.
It won’t be erroneous to say that few pieces that trailed on the runway during the end of the showcase drew inspiration from the old-embroidery techniques and showed Sana Safinaz complete dominance on textures and prints. The separate Pakistani wardrobe, they are staples and embellished for bridal wear, they become heirloom pieces you can hold onto as you mix and match season after shaadi season.
Also scattered amongst the panoply of womenswear were a few menswear options: elegantly tailored waistcoats and sherwanis, set off by a stoles and shawls in Oriental prints.
Occasionally, the silhouette wavered towards trendier cuts – exaggerated blouses, off-shoulders, capes and boleros. This was sexy, high fashion designer wear! The silk pants were spot on, sexy backs fitted the contours of the body properly and dresses flowed as they should. The game for bridal wear and couture has been upped baby! Bisou Bisou!
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