Pakistani bridal brand Élan showcases its sumptuous new collection

The collection was true to Élan’s aesthetic.
Updated 29 October 2017

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.”

E-boutique startup launched amid virus outbreak brings touch of Morocco to UAE

Updated 08 July 2020

E-boutique startup launched amid virus outbreak brings touch of Morocco to UAE

DUBAI: Almost four months ago, as Dubai authorities announced sweeping precautionary measures to combat a rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the UAE, a 29-year-old entrepreneur did the unthinkable – and launched an e-boutique.

Rita Bennani’s business venture, Beldi Bazaar, is a platform that celebrates the universally admired artistic craftsmanship of her native Morocco.

“My friends and family told me not to launch, saying that this was not the time to do so. But then I thought that it didn’t matter because I needed to start and see how it went. It was the best decision I made because there was a huge movement to support small businesses during the pandemic,” she told Arab News.

The platform has provided interior design aficionados with understated and earthy colored home decor items. Supplied

Bennani, who has a background in event planning, moved to the UAE in 2017, and recalled how former colleagues often asked her to bring back keepsakes from Morocco, triggering the idea for her startup.

“I found that in the UAE, it’s not really common to find Moroccan products, except carpets. And for me, Morocco is so much more than just the carpets,” she said.

Bringing a touch of Morocco to Dubai, Beldi (meaning “traditional” in Moroccan Arabic) Bazaar has provided interior design aficionados with understated and earthy colored home decor items – including delicate coffee cups and bowls, luxury tagines and orange blossom candles, and hand-stitched textiles designed by the north African country’s traditional artisans.

Shoppers can find everything from hand-stitched blankets to luxury tagines. Supplied

“I have a strong relationship with a group of women who come from remote villages in the Atlas Mountains. Every single hand-woven blanket and cushion that we have in Beldi Bazaar was made by them. Through Beldi Bazaar, I really wanted to empower women,” she added.

Bennani, who was raised in the Moroccan city of Casablanca, prioritized promoting modern brands that “showcased Moroccan savoir faire.”

Portrait of Rita Bennani. Supplied

Through every hand-picked item available on the platform, Bennani aims to embody the pillars of Moroccan visual and social culture, from presenting diverse color palettes of blues and browns to expressing a sense of warm hospitality to all online visitors.

“What makes Moroccan products – such as ceramics, wood, or zelij – really special is the use of techniques that have been passed on from one generation to the next,” she said.