If it is Bollywood's Rockstar that has brought Kashmiri hand embroidery back in fashion in India, it is Pakistan's young designer Ali Xeeshan who showcased at the ongoing Pakistan Fashion Design Council L'Oreal Paris Bridal Week how intricate thread work on bold colours and a dash of sequins can bring out the beauty of this craft.
Xeeshan, who designs under his Crimson label, has been working on Kashmiri embroideries for almost a year.
A glimpse of it was also seen at the pret show in Lahore early this year. But his vision of transforming the simple and intricate work into a couture delight for fashionistas, came true with his collection titled "Pahalgam", which was showcased here late Tuesday.
There was a bit of everything in his collection -- drama, beautiful styling, interesting hair-dos, sexy drapes and a bit of creative experimentation that would make up a chic and elegant wedding trousseau.
The designer ditched the long length kurtas and kept them medium.
Hand-embroidered shawls were draped as blouses over a fabric, which seemed like silver foil. Detailed long jackets and angrakha-style jackets were teamed with lehengas, ghagras and shararas with minimalist detailing, providing a good balance in the outfits.
And, not to forget the peppy Bollywood numbers -- Chappa chappa charkha chale and Dum maaro dum, that played in the background and kept the audience in high spirits.
The next show by designers Faraz and Sundas Manan of label Rouge, splashed the runway with myriad colours like midnight blue, coral-pink, turquoise-green, beige, gold, off-white, orange with balanced work of zardozi and jewel-based embellishments.
Off-shouder, knee-length kurtis with thread fringes at the hemline, saris, lehengas, anarkalis dominated the collection, while shimmer fabric was used to add zing to the heavily embroidered outfits and it worked in their favour.
The highlight of the next show by designer Sara Rohale Asghar was a live performance by Canadian-Pakistani band Josh. While they mesmerised the audience with their popular songs like "Kabhi" and "Mausam", models sashayed down the ramp on their tunes.
The collection was titled "Tehzeeb-e-Baymisaal". There was nothing new for the eyes, but the designer used shrugs and cleverly teamed them up with kurtas. That could be a trendsetter.
Asghar teamed velvet pants with free-flowing garments. There was no experimentation with cuts, but the designer managed to impress by using interesting colours like mehendi green, fuchsia, lemon, cinnamon, purple and offered colour combinations like grey-green, red-blue, green-red, which would look gorgeous on a young bride.
Fabrics like chiffons, silks and jamawars were used for the line and dabka work, stones and gems with intricate embroidery dominated the collection.