Pakistani bridal brand Élan showcases its sumptuous new collection

The collection was true to Élan’s aesthetic.
Updated 29 October 2017
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Pakistani bridal brand Élan showcases its sumptuous new collection

LAHORE: With wedding season soon to be upon us, Pakistani brand Élan showed off its latest bridal offering, “Champs de Patchouli,” at a glamorous event this month.
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.

Champs De Patchouli#elan #elancouture #elanbridal #ChampsDePatchouli

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“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.”


From genetics to fashion design, glamor is in Fidda Al-Marzouqi’s genes

A gown designed by Cabochon’s Fidda Al-Marzouqi.(Supplied)
Updated 18 October 2018
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From genetics to fashion design, glamor is in Fidda Al-Marzouqi’s genes

  • Fidda Al-Marzouqi talks about her label Cabochon
  • The label is known for its elegant evening gowns and fitted looks

DUBAI: She may have studied genetics and public health, but Fidda Al-Marzouqi has found success in a decidedly more creative field in her home town of Abu Dhabi.

The designer and founder of fashion atelier Cabochon spoke to Arab News about her personal style and the challenges she faced while making the transition to the studio.

“I’ve always loved anything to do with design and I’ve also always loved fashion, dressing myself up,” she said, explaining why she chose to test the waters of sartorial design while maintaining her day job as a senior health officer.

“A lot of people would always ask for my advice on how to style a certain look and my friends encouraged that, because I have natural flair — it’s not something I studied — I should pursue it.”

So, Al-Marzouqi hired a team of master cutters, tailors and hand embroiders and set up the brand Cabochon in 2016.

Named after a gemstone that has been shaped and polished as opposed to faceted, the label is known for its elegant evening gowns and fitted looks.

“It’s all about femininity. I love history, I love all aspects of design, traveling inspires me,” Al-Marzouqi said of her creative process.

However, inspiration and a knack for design will only take you so far in a notoriously competitive industry.

“If you have natural flair at designing or creating a look, there’s the other technical stuff that you’re not aware of like running a team of staff, the facts and figures — that was the challenging part,” the designer said, referring to the obstacles she has faced on her journey so far.

But she learnt the ropes and now oversees all aspects of research, design and production and is particularly keen to ensure the women she dresses have the “full Cabochon experience,” including “the attention, the care (and) the fit.

“I create and I design, but obviously every woman has a certain style so you respect the personality that comes in — her style, the shape of her body, her attitude, what she likes and, accordingly, you get inspired as a designer.”