By Muhammad Asad Ullah
Fashion weeks are an exhausting business for anyone involved enough to be working full time on them. Behind the plethora of perfect pictures, red carpet razzmatazz and general all round brouhaha, is hours, days and months of work and a tonne of blood sweat and tears. Now that’s for a fashion week where around 30 designers are showcasing over a period of about two to three days. But what if it’s a solo runway show, especially crafted for your designs and label? Multiply everything with ten and then add some hefty stress because you cannot put anything at risk, especially the reputation of your brand, when you know you and your designs are going to be the centre of attention for the night.
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. Shahla Chatoor recently joined the bandwagon of solo shows this year after her successful departure last year, with a showcase of her bridal collection ‘Aks’ at Old Custom House Karachi.
All about luxury, using luxurious silks and chiffons that feel and look expensive with sumptuous prints and all kinds of inspiration; intricate work, flawless finishing, well-cut jackets, dresses, skirts, tops – this collection looks expensive. Shehla has made her brand a fashion powerhouse, with her own funky uber-sexy style that never crosses the line into tackorama.
Classic wedding wear will never go out of style, indeed it is the mainstay of most designer. Shehla featured classic heavy bridal with intricate work, but she updated it with her choice of motifs, interesting colours and the highlight of the show, very sexy backs. There wasn’t a stitch out of place, the detailing of the layers, even the ones barely peeking though was tremendous, and the lowers were outstanding.
There were skirts and dupattas in crinkled silk, variations of the gharara – simmered, double-layered, triple-layered! – enormous ruffles, pleated dupattas, tiers of tulle, farshi lehngas, short angarkhas, long tunics, embellished bustiers and exquisite statement jackets.
There were no bright dashes of colour. Quite subtly sophisticated tones that transformed from with silvers and deep maroons to a pretty pink, powder-blue and gorgeous combinations of black and gold.
Bridal wear is desi fashion’s high point; it is to the subcontinent what couture is to the West. However, breaking barriers containing just one of the type – Shehla went all out and about. She created couture pieces meshed with desi bridal avatars – which we loved! The layers of organza and tulle adding drama – more layers and tafettas paired with haute statement jewellery pieces and separate tops with hand embroideries intricately meshed with Swarovski crystals, gota, marori and chata-patti.
Apart from womenswear bridal, Shehla’s Aks featured menswear collection as well. Very well-cut, lightly embroidered, quilted and moving from whites and blacks to tea-pink and mint green. Sleek tailoring and minimalistic embroideries – Voila Shehla!
Wispy chic, utterly exotic and done with all her heart and soul is the only way to describe Shehla’s collection. Her bridals weaved their usual magic spell, not because the choreography was so sharp, or the venue was extremely well done, but because the clothes on display were breath takingly beautiful. Bisou Bisou!
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