SHEHLA CHATOOR’S MUCH-ANTICIPATED BRIDAL COUTURE SOLO SHOW FEATURING HER ‘AKS’ COLLECTION DAZZLED WITH ITS INTRICATE USE OF MIRROR-WORK AND ATTENTION TO DETAIL.
Amid the stunning backdrop of the historical and restored Old Customs House (circa 1916), replete with vintage lampposts, hanging chandeliers, the fragrance of white jasmine; a black and glass runway and delicious petits fours, bridal couturier Shehla Chatoor held her ebullient ‘Aks’ 2019/’20 (Reflection) capsule of Bridal Couture to an audience of socialites, fashionistas, TV and Film celebrities and Media.
SHEHLA CHATOOR x L’Orèal
The showcase opened with a fusion of traditional and contemporary Persian music played by a live orchestra of NAPA performers before Shehla, as L’Oréal Paris’s Ambassador for Fashion 2019 presented three couture pieces inspired by L’Oréal Paris’s Excellence Crème Profound Ash Collection that included a gold sequin dress worn with a white embroidered bolero jacket; a one-shoulder fishtail gown and a trailing sheath worn by Sadaf Kanwal. Zara Abid and Alicia Khan who each appeared in the collaborative L’Oréal Paris and Shehla Chatoor video.
THE MIRROR EFFECT
‘Aks’ was buoyed by the sparkle of handcrafted ‘sheesha’ (mirror-work) whose origins are found in Persian traditions where it was believed to have been used to ward off evil spirits. Hence the ‘Aks’ presentation began with four long-haired men dressed in white dhoti shalwars and sheer chikankari kurtas carrying fragrant oudh to the sound of a Persian ballad walking amid the audience.
THE REFLECTION OF PERFECTION
The Aks; collection was painstakingly crafted with curated hand-spun fabrics including silk and cotton along with velvet, tulle, organza, and organdy; using a rich and regal colour palette of ivory champas and gold dovetailed with magenta and plums; silver and champagne; sea-green and soft mint; black with gold, Kashmiri tea-pink and fuchsia, and a plethora of blacks and ivory amalgamations. These were beautifully accented with intricate traditional hand-crafted mirror-work, gota, marori, and zardozi painstakingly detailed floral motifs and embroideries that SHEHLA’s skilled team had recreated from historical museum references. Swarovski crystals and pearls were melded and added to further render Shehla Chatoor’s signature ethos.
These configurations were transposed onto a varied and diverse medley of couture silhouettes which were reformed to render a more contemporary vibe and included ethereal mukesh Anarkalis; regal intricately-woven gota jackets and flowing lehengas. The accent of mirror-work speckled onto Dhaka pajamas, Anarkalis, and sculptural bustiers further added a Boho-chic yet luxe-glam vibe to the ‘Aks’ collection.
RUFFLES & PLEATS
These perfected artisanal pieces were offset with ruffled and pleated dupattas which cascaded onto sleeves. Ruffles were also used on stoles, borders, sari pallus and blouse, and shirt sleeves to render an air of au courant contemporary whimsy; fun and theatrics.
OF CLUTCHES & ‘BATWAS’
As a perfect accessory to the ‘Aks’ bridal couture pieces, SHEHLA added bejewelled pouches and Old World batwas encrusted with handcrafted zardozi and mukesh with ornate pearl and kundan handles; and minaudière clutches crafted from velvet and age-old jamewaar and accented with embellished tassels that spoke volumes about a timeless elegance.
ALL THAT GLITTERS IS GOLD
Old World and artisanal jewellery including jhoomkas; maang teekas and bridal heirloom necklaces were provided by Ali Javeri Jewelers and Chhotani Jewellers respectively and perfectly dovetailed with the timelessness of Shehla’s collection.
THE SHEHLA CHATOOR MEN
‘Aks’ also included a presentation of elegant and majestic menswear pieces imbued with Old School charm and included sophisticated waistcoats, frock coats and sherwanis in beige, ivory black, Kashmiri tea pink and non-traditional soft mint embellished with stunning intricate Old World embroideries. A mint green and pale gold SHEHLA sherwani from the ‘Aks’ capsule was a standout and special enough for a bridegroom to don.
CHOREOGRAPHY & MUSIC
The snail-pace of the choreography and the repetitiveness of the entrances of the several capsules, along with the monotonous and almost morose Persian ballad played throughout the almost 80 minutes show left the audience somewhat listless and lethargic.
A PRAISEWORTHY EFFORT
The décor was by Anisa Rashid Khan and Amina Rashid Khan of RAKA Events; Choreography and directions were by Catwalk; Backstage and Production were handled by Production 021; Hair and Make-up were perfected by NABILA and N-Gents while MindMap was responsible for PR and Digital Marketing.