Opting out of the traditional fashion week line up for the second year in a row, Élan, which has fans across the globe due to its ethereal and ornate take on bridal wear, invited the industry for what turned out to be an opulent yet intimate night of matrimonial glam.
The collection itself was true to Élan’s aesthetic, which ties in modern sensibilities of design with the reimagining of classic wedding silhouettes like the peshwas, lehngas and shararas we know so well. Ensembles embellished with pearls, thread work, and adornments of dabka and gota met with hand painted and 3D embellishments upon dreamy organzas, nets and tissues.
Models glided across a glass topped pool, with the backdrop of shelves filled with candles and hues of flora that complimented the color palette Élan has come to be known for.
Traditionally, fashion weeks are a hustle and bustle of chaotic energy from the red carpet to the war zone which is finding your seat; heading backstage only ups the ante with the tangible anxiety of months and months of hard work being laid out in a mere few minutes with only one chance to really get it right. Élan’s Khadijah Shah removed the havoc of juggling one’s own vision amidst so many others and honed in her own style.
“One of the main reasons I started doing solo shows was so I could have more creative control over the ambience and atmosphere of the show,” said Shah on why the design house chose to break away from showing at fashion week.
“The bridal attire we create is opulent and magnanimous in terms of design, detail and embellishment and they reflect best in an atmosphere that is more sophisticated and elegant than fashion week run-ways,” Shah continued. “This allows me to execute my vision in terms of set, ramp and choreography, creating a scene that was a manifestation of the Élan vision.”
It was a sentiment that was celebrated throughout the evening by guests — which included celebrities, designers, editors, friends and family — the solo show allowed the brand to present their clothes, their way. Similarly, those that attended seemed to be in agreement that the singularity of the show and the comfortable set-up removed the obligatory feel of attending fashion weeks where one wants to race to the end.
The show’s atmosphere, though ornate and polished, achieved a vibe that felt relaxed. Guests mingled before and after the presentation and closed out the event in high spirits with a night of dance, a benefit to hosting one’s own show on one’s own terms: “I love to have people around me and generally love to host my friends, family and colleagues. Having my own show allows me to do that; showcase a collection yet also host an evening that is pleasant and enjoyable for everyone. It gives me immense pleasure to know that attendees at my shows had a great (night), enjoyed the installation and went home happy.”