By Maliha Rehman
Bridal design has to walk a fine balancing act. It needs to be beautiful but not repetitive, offer innovation and yet be commercially viable, follow classic lines while also push the envelope. The market for bridal-wear in Pakistani is a lucrative one but it is teeming with multitudes of options that tend to offer designs that are beautiful but forgettable. There are very few designers who have a signature that is distinctive.
I have long known Fahad Hussayn to be one such designer. From the time that he debuted 13 odd years ago and was lauded as a creative spark to present day, when he’s honed his craft to the tune of commerce, Fahad has always been passionate about his creations. He curates a collection and then he invests into its styling, devising elaborate accessories to complement the designs, creating a special set in order to get the collection photographed or conceptualizing a music video featuring the clothes to the tune of an especially created score. He’s been known to create enormous crowns for his bridal-wear models to wear on the catwalk, tell theatrical stories and deliver fashion experiences that are memorable. He very obviously loves what he does and he’s willing to go the extra mile in order to showcase it to the world.
His latest fashion installation, Ghar Gharati Gehnay, for instance, wasn’t huge on theatrics but gave testament to Fahad’s unique take on bridals. Against a backdrop created through multicolored makeshift arches, on an expansive farmland within Lahore, the models posed, wearing a range of exquisite, elaborate bridal-wear accessorized with heavy duty jewelry by Fazal Jewellers. The designs were timeless rather than cutting-edge, adhering to the lehngas, ghararas and heavy duty dupattas preferred by the bridal-wear customer. But while the silhouettes may have been entirely familiar, the details caught the eye: the glorious mix of colors, the ingenious patterns etched on to fabric, the clever blend of bling with thread embroidery, the handcraft merged with bases created by multi-head machine embroideries.
And while there was much in the show to appeal to the bride-to-be – or even the groom-to-be – here are my seven memorable looks from the lineup:
Fahad’s always had a penchant for black bridals and this particular design, worn by Amna Babar, is stand-out with the fully-worked lehnga and choli and the quintessential grand dupatta, lined with a thick, regal border.
So beautiful! Sabeeka Imam wearing a lehnga choli with a base worked worked with heavy swathes of machine embroidery and zig-zagging sequins and zardozi hand-embroidered over it.
The exquisite blend of colors stands out in this old-world long shirt and gharara, with an ivory canvas worked with multi-colored embroideries and mirrors.
A lavish white and silver farshi gharara, a multi-head machine embroidery base with hand embellishments worked over it, and the gorgeous Giti Ara wearing it.
The classic baraat outfit but not just the usual boring red. Fahmeen Ansari wearing a very heavily embellished lehnga choli in shades of biege, rust, magenta and crimson.
An affordable, lovely spin to wedding-wear. This lavender design is from the Fahad Hussayn Unstitched Spring Summer ’23 Unstitched collection and while the price may be merely a fraction of his couture creations, the design still stands out: a net lehnga-choli, glistening with colored embroidery and crystals.
Holding its ground amongst the razzle dazzle of bridal design was the menswear: kurtas, pajamas, angarkhas, worked with single-toned embroideries and jus a bit of bling. This particular silk kurta and pajama was in a refreshing lime hue, paired with a waistcoat which had hand and machine embellishments worked down its length.
What do you think?