“Prices are excessive for Basic Silhouettes,” asserts Fatima Mufti
By Fareeha Qayoom
“My main focus was the bridal dress and the jewelry,” says Fatima. “I visited a lot of designers – for example, Hassan Shaharyar – I didn’t like his work mainly because there is no exclusivity, he is doing the same kind of work for everyone. Hajra Hayat’s work seems overpriced as she is doing typical Anarkali motifs. Sonia Azhar’s work gets copied a lot by the Liberty retailers. I also visited Nikki & Nina, Imbias and Lajwanti. My cousin’s bridal outfit by Lajwanti helped me crystallize my own decision. Besides, I liked a motif on one of their Sarong outfits. I asked them to convert it for a Lehenga. I took my time in choosing a color but the final choice for me was a subtle shade of pink for my bridal outfit. I didn’t want a typical red. I asked them to use two shades of pink – on the embellishment and on the dupatta. I was expecting more embellishment on the Lehenga considering their charges but generally I was pleased with the outcome.”
Her Walima dress was made by Satrangi in a subtle shade of blue. “For the jewelry, again, we went all over the place: Ruby Jewelers, Sonica, Karat, searched a lot of magazines, I liked one earring design so we ended up designing the whole concept around this piece,” says Fatima. They chose a family friend from Kenya to make the wedding Jewelry. (Kamran Jewelers) –“We showed him our concept and he then did the actual work. We also got the Walima Jewelry from him.”
Fatima made sixty outfits for her trousseau. “It was a mix bag but I only made ten outfits with real heavy embellishment. The rest of the outfits were more evening clothes than bridal clothes. I didn’t have a particular color scheme in mind when I started out. I organized the trousseau with the help of a cousin and a friend, choosing designers, boutiques, fabrics, colors myself. Most of the clothes were made to order. I also had to do the wedding clothes for my in-laws as most of them were abroad at the time.”
“Designers are a little unprofessional in their approach. The delivery was a big hassle across the board,” recalls Fatima. “I started preparing for an end March wedding in August. It gave me eight months which I thought was plenty of time. But apparently, this is not enough for most couture houses and bridal boutiques. Tailoring was another major problem – I had to go in many times for alterations, one outfit was totally ruined beyond repair. My one major tension was the clothes part of the trousseau. I ordered my bridal dress in October, was supposed to get it by December but I actually got it end February,” says one disappointed Fatima.
“Designer couture is very expensive in Lahore. Prices are excessive for basic silhouettes. Why would you spend forty to fifty thousand on a basic Shalwar, Kameeze suit, regardless of embellishment? Why would the designers even ask for such a price?” says a surprised Fatima.
Hair and make-up for her wedding was done by Anny at Allenora and by Ather Shahzad for the Walima. “Facial was included in the bridal package,” says Fatima. “You are supposed to get it done two weeks prior to your wedding.”
Fatima was a modern –looking bride. “I didn’t want the traditional look for myself,” confirms Fatima. “I have my own sense of style, which I fully exploited while designing my trousseau. I wanted wearable clothes that don’t sit in the cupboards but get worn occasionally. I think I achieved my objective.”
Fatima got her shoes, bags and make-up from abroad. “You only get married once so the expense of buying high end brands is justified,” explains Fatima, mitigating the expense of buying Estee Lauder and Lancom for her trousseau and top of the range brands for her shoes and bags. “I gave away my regular wardrobe, though I kept some of the new stuff,” says Fatima smilingly.
The bridal furniture came from Designers Guild, and the accessories from Bajwas. ■
This article was originally published in the print edition of “The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review,” (Tkfr), issue 12, October 2005