The bi-annual premiere bridal event, Pantene Bridal Couture Week (PBCW) held at the Expo Centre in Karachi last week showcased both existing and new designers’ collections spread over three days. Over the years, it has provided various designers valuable goodwill and brand worth as it has become a converging point for fashion design talent from all across Pakistan and abroad.
As the world becomes a global hub, PBCW is seen collaborating every year with international designers: last year’s Rabbani & Rakha was followed this year by Anjalee & Arjun Kapoor. The latter label is based in India and has outlets in Hong Kong, New York and Dubai, which is where Anjalee says she was approached with the offer to participate. The duo’s collection showcased on the ramp was titled The Mughal Opera and it was ranked as one of the most refined collections shown on the ramp this year.
Other designers who garnered noteworthy praise and elicited tremendous applause from the audience were undoubtedly HSY, Asifa & Nabeel, Zaheer Abbas, Deepak Perwani, Mifrah, Zainab Chottani, Nadia Chhottani, Lajwanti, Mona Imran, JES by Eiraj Sana (jewellery provided for Nadya Mistry’s segment, twice in Deepak Perwani’s segment and for Mehreen Syed in HSY’s show), Maliha Sheikh, and the conceptual Haute Couturiers show which comprised Emraan Rajput, Deepak & Fahad, Tabassum Mughal, Arsalan Iqbal, Ishtiaq Afzal, Nida Khurram, Nadaa Saleem, Obaid Sheikh, Wahaj Moiz, Ruby Shakeel, Uzma Baber, Naureen Arbab, Vasim Asghar, Mussarat Bushra and others.
The other common thread running through all the designers’ profiles was their access through social media for business promotion and sales besides online presence in the form of web sites. These included veterans and newcomers alike. In such a scenario, if Pakistani designers’ accessibility to the world and talk of Pakistan opening up to the world to do business in fashion is brought into focus, the picture looks quite rosy so far. Bloggers were also notably present.
Back to the show, choreographer par excellence Hassan Sheheryar Yasin (HSY) has proven his mettle at various fashion extravaganzas. Here too, he kept things interesting even when some of the collections were lack lustre. “Working with a competent and motivated team makes all projects a joy to work on. My experience with PBCW has been positive as I find them responsive, always open to suggestions and together we work towards putting together a really good show. While everyone from management to the lower staff is accommodating, the true stars, however, are the models. I’m a perfectionist by heart and the models are always willing to put in that extra bit to make my vision a reality,” he said while speaking to Images on Sunday.
On all the three days, the choreography was by HSY while hair and make-up on Day One and Day Three was by Saba Ansari and her team at Sabs Salon while Laiqa Hassan featured only on Day Two. The onstage, live makeovers for the opening segment were executed by Nina Lotia.
Finally, when asked to explain the edge it has over other fashion weeks headed by fashion councils, Shanaz Ramzi of Hum Network said, “PBCW has emerged as the most sought after platform by bridal wear designers within a short span of time as there are hardly any designers in Pakistan who have not participated in it. They acknowledge the fact that it brings about a huge boost in their sales and clientele base, and that is why they pay the generous entry fee, which is nominal compared to the prime-time airing that the event receives — something they can not always afford.” Moreover, the PBCW show airing and reruns are televised from both Hum Network channels and are beamed to over 30 countries, making the show viewed worldwide.
“A catalogue is published post-event which is in good demand in India and the Middle East as well and our participating designers get good mileage through it,” she added.
This year’s fall season will bring yet another live rendition of PBCW and if certain sources are to be believed, the management just might take the huge leap forward and hold the bridal bonanza on foreign shores. Till then just sit back and enjoy the show.