With wedding season right around the corner, designers in Pakistan returned to the catwalk for the 14th edition of Bridal Couture Week to showcase their gorgeous gowns, glamorous accessories and slick menswear. The three-day event took place from March 31 until April 2 in Karachi with a stellar line-up of over 20 designers featuring both emerging and established names. Championing traditional thread-work, gem and rhinestone detailing, shades of red and contemporary silhouettes, here's our round-up of some of the best moments from the showcase.
1. Traditional styles stole the runway
South African-Indian Model Neetasha Singh, Image Courtesy M. Haris Usmani and Ahsan Qureshy
Far from a wash of your typical white dresses and scarlet traditional designs, international models inlcuding Neetasha Singh from South Africa, who has Indian heritage, were seen taking to the catwalk in traditional Pakistani bridal wear in a kaleidoscope of colours. Sporting embellished headdresses and lashings of jewellery, many collections referenced heritage haute couture inspirations.
2. Red was the shade du jour
The multi-designer "Classic Red" collection, Image Courtesy M. Haris Usmani and Ahmed Qureshy
Introducing a 'Classic Red' category into the showcase, multiple designers revealed their best crimson couture in a dedicated runway show to appeal to classic brides as red has always been a traditional wedding colour in South East Asia. Pakistan-based designer Faraz Manan who also launched his first international store in Dubai two years ago, was a noteable standout on the catwalk.
3. Classic menswear was given an international update
Ahsan's menswear collection, Image Courtesy M. Haris Usmani and Ahmed Qureshy
This year, UK-based designer Ahsan made his menswear collection debut to much applause. Embracing the traditional colour palettes many grooms wear, Ahsan also choose to play with deeper shades with accents of red, usually a bridal colour, and plenty of embellishment, proving men can look just as glam as their brides.
4. Accessories were OTT
Image Courtesy M. Haris Usmani and Ahsan Qureshy
No bride is complete without a heavy frosting of gems. Rhinestone nath's (traditional nose rings) were seen on several catwalks with many designers opting for a 'bigger is better' motto.
5. Fashion meets philanthropy
Sonya Batla with her team and Sister Ruth
Image Courtesy of M. Haris Usmani and Ahmed Qureshy
The show drew to a fitting close with designer Sonya Batla dedicating her collection to philanthropist Sister Ruth who runs Darul Sukun, a non-profit organisation facilitating people with disabilities in Pakistan. Ruth used the platform to ask for support for her cause which is ever-expanding. As for Batla's collection, it was a visual treat with all-out traditional cuts and silhouettes and a striking colour palette mixing bold and subtle hues, ending the event on a fashionable, and philanthropic high.