Shehla chatoor aks reflection wedding collection 2019
History & tradition
By Faisal Quraishi
KARACHI: On Sunday, couturier Shehla Chatoor celebrated her ornate destination wedding trousseau presentation with the collection titled Aks (Reflection) at the Custom House in what was an elaborate setting with suspended centrepieces of seasonal flowers and miniscule mirrors, with the same elaborate arrangements also flanking the runway against the impressive limestone heritage-protected facade of the lit-up Karachi Port Trust building providing the perfect backdrop.
The theme of the evening’s three customised, uber-luxe ensemble collections, was seeped in Persian culture from which the designer borrowed generously for both design inspiration as well as ramp presentation. Mirror-work was the central theme, as according to a handout, the art of handcrafted mirror-work has its roots in Persian culture which was done to ward off ‘evil spirits5 or the evil eye. The hair care and beauty brand L’Oreal also collaborated with Shehla Chatoor on its ‘Ambassador of Fashion’ platform, through which it nominates an acclaimed designer every year to present a new collection.
The evening’s proceedings had a very relaxed feel right from the live Napa band that played the national anthem on stringed instruments, to the hand-held metal pods by male models, masquerading as ‘swirling5 dervishes, that spread swirls of classic Eastern fragrance into the air, setting the mood for the presentation which followed. Models draped in luxe fabrics such as velvets, tulle, organzas, organdie in ivory and gold with accents of magenta, plum, tea-green and Kashmiri tea-pink, soft mint besides black and gold and silver and champagne glided on to the runway in zigzag patterns in ensembles crafted in panels inspired by references from history museums, and embellished with Swarovski elements, pearls and embellished tassels as well as the time-honoured tradition of zardozi, mukesh, kundan and gold-leaf block print. Luminous, blingy borders with animal and bird impressions also made their way on to some outfits.
The silhouettes ranged from classic Eastern such as mukesh Anarkalis, mermaid-cut lehengas Dhaka pajamas to gotc/-laced jackets. Ruffled, pleated dupat-tas as well as stoles, blouses, saris and shirt sleeves all featured sheer-fabric ruffles for a look of theatrical drama and old-world glamour. All this was further accentuated by a majestic line of limited menswear but the hero of the evening’s presentation, as well as the spotlight, remained on the elegant women’s wear. The showstopper outfit in Kashmiri tea-pink, worn by model Fouzia Aman, was presented to a dramatic effect with the runway lights turned off to accentuate the LED lights that outlined the outfit as well as accompanying bridal veil.
The art direction and choreography of the show was by Frieha Altaf (Catwalk) and the hair and make-up of the models was by N-Pro and N-gents (Nabila’s). The jewellery wTas by Ali Javeri and Chottani Jewellers.