The pinnacle of any dream wedding is, of course, the dress! Pakistani bridalwear (and goomwear!) is in a class of its own. With the new year upon us, it’s the perfect time to highlight some stunning creations by my favourite designers. I hope this roundup can provide some inspiration when you’re planning your North American Pakistani Wedding so you can have your very own “Say QABOOL HAI to the dress!” moment.
MNR originally made a name for himself by providing premium quality luxury menswear. In recent years, his bridalwear collections have taken the Pakistani formal attire scene by storm, and for good reason! The uniqueness of MNR pieces are front and center to every onlooker. I really like the mix and match of different cuts because it keeps the styles fresh and playful. Crop tops with lengths, bell bottoms and peplums. You can dream it, and MNR will have made it. Pictured here is Floran and Pinky wearing a MNR bridal for their wedding and mehendis.
If you’re looking for a designer that has an absolute plethora of eye catching details, look no further! I can’t gush enough about my love of Nomi Ansari bridalwear. What I love about Nomi Ansari is the diverse fusion of traditional meets modern-chique designs. Pictured here are Medha & Aamir and Aniqah & Jay wearing Nomi Ansari for their mehendis. The stunning jewel tones and bursts of hand sewn embroidery work made these pieces a dream to photograph. In the last 10 years of shooting weddings, I’ve been in awe of Nomi’s mastery of colours. He is a visionary and brings the most gorgeous visuals to life! Here are some beautiful Nomi Ansari brides:
Hassan Shehryar Yasin’s name has become synonymous with regal. Girls dream of being HSY brides years before there’s any wedding plans in the books because that’s how heavenly these dresses make women feel. They are true works of art. While other designers love experimenting with new trendy looks, HSY stays committed to timeless couture. If you’re looking for *that* show-stopper effect as a bride, HSY is taking all the bets. Pictured here is the beautiful Manal on her nikkah day.
Sara Rohale Asghar bridals are a feast for the eyes. The traditional embellishments on high quality chiffon, silk, zarri and beadwork, fused with modern cuts offers something for every bride’s tastes. My favourite part about photographing SRA bridalwear is how many embellished layers there are to spotlight. Pictured here is Hamira wearing SRA for her nikkah and reception day.
Suffuse by Sana Yasir is a relatively new brand on the luxury bridalwear market and her delicate ensembles have a signature touch that is lovely to distinguish. The words I think of when I work with a Suffuse bride are “enchanting femininity”. The blend of fabrics, particularly lace and floral accents, makes for beautiful wedding pictures and better yet, a stunning bride! Pictured here is Floran and Pinky wearing Suffuse on their valima day.
Traditional excellence. That is what Dr. Haroon pieces stand for and he delivers every time. An ancient form of embroidery called Chattapatti, originally from Lucknow, flourished under the reign of Nawabs. It is a type of zardozi embroidery and it’s made up of multiple coloured cloths stitched either diagonally or horizontally. All the small pieces have to be cut in similar geometric shapes with traditional hand sewn beadwork splattered across. Dr. Haroon revives this old artform in his pieces. Also if you were wondering – yes, he is a certified Medical Doctor and was practicing until the 90s! He left medicine to pursue his true passions and that sort of love effuses into his work. Pictured here are some of my favourite Dr. Haroon bridals.
Umsha by Uzma Babar developed quickly from a small-scale couture boutique to a large international brand. Uzma named the brand Umsha after her two children and clearly that dedication and eye for beauty and detail translates into her classic bridalwear collections. Uzma once said, “women today want something modern, but cannot forgo the beauty of our culture. My clothes represent an optimum blend of both.” Her words describe it best – jewel toned masterpieces with delicate beadwork makes for an unforgettable dress on your special day. Pictured here are Medha and Ummema adorning these beautiful Umsha bridal dresses on their nikkah and rukhsati day.
If you’re a bride looking for an iconic artisanal piece that will leave a lasting impression, Shehla Chatoor’s design house is worth checking out. The beautifully crafted silhouettes interlaced with classic metallic weave-work is absolutely breathtaking. Her designs have withstood the test of time and Shehla often describes her dresses as an investment because you will want to painstakingly preserve and revisit these fabrics for years to come. What a treat to photograph up close!