A Royal and Regal Wedding

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By Shafiya Nawzer 

Every wedding is a once in a lifetime event for couples. It is one of the most important milestones in your life. It is an event that should be filled with love and joy as well as good memories. But this doesn’t just magically happen at the snap of a finger! You have to plan and understand all the elements that go into it in order to make your dream vision come to life. Planning a wedding, especially if it is going to be a big celebration, can be challenging.

‘The Brides of Sri Lanka’ magazine presented an exclusive two-day wedding expo – the Wedding Week 2022 recently at the Galle Face Hotel for exhibitors and visitors alike. Uniting the bridal community and creating an ultimate buying and networking event, while also hosting an interesting bridal fashion show. Well established designers, manufacturers and international designers showcased their latest collections, giving the audience an insight into what is on offer for the new season. The bridal fashion show featured international and Sri Lankan designers. 

Showcasing their work on day two were some talented Sri Lankan designers and personalities:

Aslam Hussein

Ramani Fernando

Fouzul Hameed 

Harshana Senanayake 

PVS Jayarathne

Ceylon Brides

Kingsman Studio 

Salon Shimmer

Brides by Gagana

Buddi Batiks 

Dil Sapukotanage

Zaarsh

DalciHaththella Salon

Opening the show was Maldivian designer Aishath Shamla. She is a creative and popular fashion designer in the Maldives with extensive experience in orchestrating all aspects of women’s clothing. With over four decades of experience in dressmaking, the self-made seamstress and designer specialised in a full range of womenswear, from wedding gowns to casual dresses.

She had mastered all the outfits that were displayed, this is a testimony to her work. The bridal wears were a marriage between classical and modern. This collection for Wedding Week was inspired by the sun, sand and sea. 

Aishath also owns and runs her namesake fashion boutique in the heart of Male, called Sham’s Boutique. She has showcased locally and internationally, including at Bangladesh Fashion Week. The bridal range was full of long silhouette dresses for the modernist and elegant necklines for the bride who isn’t afraid of a fashion-forward riff on frills or sparkle.

Fouzul’s collection featured a dapper wedding collection for the modern and fashionable grooms. The suits were created in wool, linen and silk fabrics in dark blue and black. The well-suited blazer and sharp pants were styled with a bow tie and tie giving off a crisp look. 

Another noteworthy showcase was Aslam Hussein. He displayed a selection of unique bridal looks, a mix of extravagance and elegance. His signature silhouettes highlighting shades of ivory and white. 

Aslam’s signature dramatic styles and eye-catching statement sleeves made this collection stand out. It featured silhouettes that were structured, sharp, and defined. His signature flair was noticeable throughout his collection, with each garment exuding elegance, sophistication, femininity with a tasteful touch. 

The finale of the Wedding Week show was showcased by Indian designer Umang Hutheesing. He is the President of Hutheesing Design Company, established in 1835. Hutheesing Design Company tied up with Tiffany & Co in 1881 and won 9 gold medals at the Paris World Expo 1900 as one of the finest design firms in the world. It executed the East Wing of the White House and Durbar Hall of Osborne House at Queen Victoria’s Palace. Umang is a Managing Trustee of Hutheesing Visual Arts Center and the President of Hutheesing Heritage Foundation. He is the 5th generation to head the firm and has been a Creative Consultant at American Vogue, Teen Vogue and many international media. He was instrumental in putting together India’s First Fashion Week.

He has collaborated with Holland & Holland, the official outfitters to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, and has showcased at Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. He has also done panels for the Roosevelt House of the US.  He is the only Indian designer to have shown over 300 of his creations at renowned international museums and has the honour of creating regal costumes for several Royal Families in India and across the world. 

For the ramp, besides presenting his signature regal collections also had Umang create a spectacular cameo of Bolero jacket for the groom, with the Garuda regally embroidered on them and the puffed sleeves adding to the heirloom appeal. Recreating the era of the Raj, Umang presented a collection that personified sophisticated elegance and unmatched grandeur. He presented rich brocades, silks and velvets as they danced with delicate chemoys bringing to life the magnificence of the bygone era. Grand sarees, kalidarghaghras and anarkalis, richly gathered gheras, odhanas and dupattas hand-woven and richly embellished filled the bridal collection for women.

Umang’s Durbar Collection is inspired by the grand durbar which was held in Delhi to celebrate and welcome King George V and Queen Mary as all the Indian Royalties had gathered for the Coronation and Delhi was renamed the Capital of India. With a bright and rich colour palette, the collection featured lehengas, sarees and other bridal wear sets. The collection was stunning, luxurious, royal and exquisite. 

Pictured here are some highlights from day two of the Wedding Show 2022.

(Pix by Laksiri Rukman)