So many famous faces, all for the same show - good thing or bad?
So many famous faces, all for the same show - good thing or bad?

We all know that there is a drama currently being aired on Hum TV called Udaari, tackling child abuse.

We know who the cast is and we can even hum the title soundtrack a bit. We hadn’t known all this last week but then Bridal Couture Week (BCW) came along and enlightened us.

That’s just the way BCW is; a glittery, ostentatious amalgamation of bridal-wear, TV drama and film promotions and celebs galore.

Invariably, the channel’s vast network of actor friends happily take to its runway. That’s practically the entire fraternity, barring the few errant actors who may have recently sided with rival channels and are not Hum favorites at the moment. Most probably, they’ll be back in favour by the next BCW – it’s a small (acting) world after all.

Yalghaar's ensemble cast made quite the impact on the BCW runway
Yalghaar's ensemble cast made quite the impact on the BCW runway

For now, we know all about Udaari and that Fahad Mustafa and Iman Ali are lead actors in Mah-e-Mir, the Hum Films’ venture currently playing in cinemas. We also know that the upcoming movie Yalghaar has a star-studded cast including Armeena Rana Khan, Ayesha Omar, Humayun Saeed, Bilal Ashraf, Gohar Rasheed, Ayub Khosa and Adnan Siddiqui. That’s quite a bit of important trivia.

Over a spate of three days, we’ve seen a constant profusion of stars on the BCW runway; Hadiqa Kiani, Shaista Wahidi, Sarwat Gillani, Ahsan Khan, Adnan Siddiqui and Mawra Hocane, among others. Some, we’ve seen more than once. Ahsan Khan, for instance, has a penchant for both Kuki Concepts and Amir Adnan, he walked for both. It leaves us a bit confused about his sartorial preferences and it does lessen the impact of his runway appearances.

There has, in fact, been such a steady stream of celebrities on the catwalk that we have ceased to be star-struck.

Mawra Hocane for Erum Khan - nearly every designer had a showstopper
Mawra Hocane for Erum Khan - nearly every designer had a showstopper

From our vantage point in BCW’s front row, we’ve actually sometimes been too lazy to take a snapshot of the nth celebrity we see. Star-power is great but BCW typically goes into over-kill.

Criticism aside, though, showstoppers yield results. Images of Amir Adnan’s show, featuring a whopping 17 celebrities, were littered all over social media, made it to TV news reports and are bound to be a highlight in print coverage. The world is enamored by stars and getting them on to the catwalk immediately generates mileage for a brand. Eventually, the publicity can boil down to sales.

“Stars have a persona that models just don’t have,” points out Adnan. “I showcased modern wedding couture at BCW and the celebrities managed to add the charisma and glamour that I wanted to put forward.”

The Mah e Mir couple made quite the impact as Zainab Chottani's showstoppers, while the same can't be said of Ahsan Khan who walked twice
The Mah e Mir couple made quite the impact as Zainab Chottani's showstoppers, while the same can't be said of Ahsan Khan who walked twice

Similarly, Zainab Chottani feels that celebrities add value to a show especially a bridal one where commercial mileage is important. “The collection makes the show but the showstoppers generate publicity since they have huge fan followings within Pakistan as well as internationally.”

This ‘international’ market particularly includes India, where the Zindagi Channel has ensured considerable viewership of Pakistani dramas.

Sonya Battla believes showstoppers shouldn't steal the spotlight from the outfits
Sonya Battla believes showstoppers shouldn't steal the spotlight from the outfits

Sonya Battla, whose runway stars included Humayun Saeed, Sohai Ali Abro, Masarrat Misbah and Dr. Jawwad, believes in highlighting people in order to celebrate their achievements. “The inclusion of celebrities depends on the flow of the show,” she observes. “I love closing with our models also. In all cases, it is important that the focus remains on the outfits and not merely on the personalities in the show.”

At BCW, though, the celebrities were usually more in the spotlight than the mostly-miss-some-hit bridal design. Would it be possible for BCW to work just as hard on the collections in the show as it does on its glamorous stage and star attendance? Yes, we know the celebrities are loved by the TV audience but BCW is in its 12th edition now and it is high time that design standards drift away from the frequently gaudy.

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