The designers behind the Junaid Safdar and Ayesha Saif wedding fashion bonanza

The designers behind the Junaid Safdar and Ayesha Saif wedding fashion bonanza

Behind the bride and groom was an army of big name designers who meticulously prepared every outfit.
19 Dec, 2021

Forget fashion week, Pakistani social media has lately been deriving its wedding-wear inspirations via Junaid Safdar and Ayesha Saif’s high-profile, long, long wedding. From the groom’s mother Maryam Nawaz Sharif to the bride, the groom and the groom’s sisters, the designer-wear at the wedding events has literally glittered — quite as much as the enormous chandeliers that were a regular part of the décor!

The sartorial choices seen at the wedding were diverse, from heirlooms created by Pakistan’s most prestigious couturier Bunto Kazmi to a mix of Karachi and Lahore’s very best ateliers to the groom’s sister even repeating some of the outfits from her own wedding. It was a family affair but given that this is one of Pakistan’s leading political families, the social media commentaries varied from fawning odes to vitriolic observations.

Stepping away from the politics of the wedding, the family’s wardrobe selection was very beautiful. Perhaps the only design that didn’t quite fit in — on purely patriotic grounds — was the mirror-worked ice blue lehnga choli by Indian designer Abhinav Mishra worn by Maryam at her son’s mehndi.

When there are so many exquisitely crafted options available in one’s own country, why look beyond the border — especially when you’re a powerful political figure?

But enough has been said on social media about the family’s sartorial choices. Here’s looking at the clothes, from the designer perspective:

Bunto Kazmi

Photos: Oshoot/Fatima Tariq Photography
Photos: Oshoot/Fatima Tariq Photography

Bunto Kazmi was certainly the designer du jour with the bride Ayesha Saif opting to wear her creations at most of the wedding functions. And truly, could there have been a better choice?

Odes could be written to the finesse and attention to detail that is the designer’s forte and while a Bunto creation can truly only be appreciated when scrutinised up-close, Ayesha’s outfits stood out even when observed from social media’s vantage point.

A silver long peshwaz and lehnga was worn on a qawwali night, set off by rubies around the neck. Ayesha made the unconventional choice of wearing red, not on her wedding night, but on her mehndi event. The outfit was a classic Bunto bridal — an eight-kali shirt, paired with a kamkhawab gharara and a tissue dupatta. On the wedding day, a beautiful Bunto design in gold took centre stage; with a play of fabric textures and varying shades of gold on the dupatta, the bridal shirt and the farshi gharara.


HSY was here, there and everywhere — in the form of designs seen at the wedding as well as in person, since he was invited to the wedding!

On his wedding day, the groom Junaid Safdar wore a classic off-white sherwani by the designer, set off by brass buttons. The sherwani had a raised collar which, the designer describes, "added a regal feel", and the way in which his turban was tied was a nod this days at Aitchison College.

“It was a pleasure dressing a family that I had known for years,” says HSY. “I knew exactly how they would want the clothes to be especially since I have designed for them before. It was also exciting because I knew that this was a wedding that would be scrutinised extensively for the clothes that were worn.”

A quintessential HSY red bridal was also worn by the groom’s sister Mehrunnissa Safdar who had earlier worn it at her own wedding. Then, at the valima, she yet again wore an ice blue HSY design.

Faraz Manan

The groom wore Faraz Manan on his valima night, eschewing blingy options for a classy cashmere beige sherwani with brass buttons in gold. An up-close look at the design revealed that the buttons had lions engraved on them, in acknowledgement of the family’s political insignia.

“Junaid wanted a classic sherwani with golden buttons in our signature colours. He also sent a reference photograph of his grandfather from the archives,” says Faraz, “and I added the brass buttons with the lion on them.”

Menahel and Mehreen

For her valima, Ayesha Saif selected Karachi-based atelier Menahel and Mehreen and true to the brand’s ethos, the beauty was within the details.

“For us, the main impact piece was the Delhi-cut farshi gharara,” says designer Mehreen Farooq Khan. “It is in brocade with a lot of ghair and is the case with many finely hand-crafted designs in lighter colours, the workmanship may not be as visible in photographs as it would be in high-resolution of when seen in person," she explained.

The zardozi on Ayesha’s bridal was in silver with gold highlights and some touches of pink threadwork. The embroideries traverse a wide range of flora and fauna; cranes, peacocks, pomegranates, but you can only see them when you examine them up-close, she says. "It was a very labour intensive piece of work and we paired it with an embellished shirt in an apple-toned mint green. We used Italian silk organza for the shirt because it works very well with heavy embroideries.”

The dupatta also took a lot of work. “It was in a soft pink locally spun net material with a handcrafted kamdaani jaal and a cut-worked zardozi border which was, again, very labor intensive.

“We also handmade Ayesha’s clutch and all the ornaments her outfit was accessorised with including the 3-D dragonflies that you see on her shirt.”

The designer continues, “We were very happy that Ayesha and her mother-in-law really liked the final design. Ayesha had selected the mint colour with Menahel and we added the pink later with her approval. The designing process itself was left to us."


The groom’s mother, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif, opted for a beautiful burst of yellow courtesy Elan for the mayun party.

“Maryam Nawaz Sharif wanted to wear yellow on this particular event and looking at her, how she’s so tall and fair, I chose a particular shade for her and ran it by her. She loved it. Then, I sent her a few options from the Elan collections and this was the outfit that she liked which I then customised for her," says designer Khadijah Shah.

"I thought that she would look the best in this design because it is a long shirt with an elegant silhouette. I also loved the way she styled herself; it was such an elegant, classic look. She was an easy person to deal with and once she had briefly told me how she wanted the outfit to look, she just left the designing up to me.”

Saira Shakira

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan took to the stage on the qawwali night and the groom’s mother decided to zero in on a very complimentary shade of pink in an outfit designed by duo Saira Shakira.

Saira Faisal of Saira Shakira says, “Maryam loved the shade of pink. The outfit consisted of an organza shirt with very light handwork on it, paired with a tissue sharara and an organza dupatta with a floral print on it, handworked with sequins. She selected the outfit herself as well as another one, in black, which she wore to an earlier event in the wedding.”

Nida Azwer

Maryam wore a classic Nida Azwer angarkha at the valima and aficionados could easily recognise the designer’s workmanship. The long multiple kali angarkha was stand-out, paired with a straight pant and two separate dupattas, one of which covered Maryam’s head.

“We created beautiful zardozi phoenixes, trees and horses on the shirt and there was handcrafted wasli, Swarovski and pearl-work all along the hem,” describes Nida. “One of the dupattas was of pure silk, embellished with wasli and zardozi flora and fauna. The other, which covered Maryam’s head, was a pure Chantilly lace navy blue dupatta edged with zardozi and wasli-work with tiny birds forming the tassels.”

Nomi Ansari

In true winter wedding style, Maryam opted for a velvet lehnga choli by Nomi Ansari on the day of her son’s baraat.

“Maryam wanted to wear emerald green. She chose the colour herself and then we took it from there,” says Nomi. “We decided on this particular silhouette. We thought that the emerald green, which is a jewel colour, would particularly look very rich in velvet. Velvet also worked really well because it was going to be a winter wedding. We handcrafted zardozi, marori, mukesh, naqshi, sequins and dabka in a particular gold shade to give the design an edge. The choli was modest; long, with three-quarter sleeves with a beautiful heavily embellished neckline and sleeves," says the designer.

“The design was especially made for her. She wanted some printed details so the inner finishing of the dupatta border was printed with little rosettes. We basically used different textures of emerald green and we hand-embroidered a lot of gold detailing to it. There were no crystals or Swarovski stones. Just hand-work in gold.”

In addition, Junaid’s sister wore her mehndi outfit made by Nomi Ansari six years ago at one of the events.


AHAQ Dec 19, 2021 04:05pm
More of a clothes marketing and garment sales pitch than a marriage
Syed A. Mateen Dec 19, 2021 04:42pm
These particular events will be long remembered by the people who are more particular to know as who was wearing what sort of dress on Junaid Safdar's wedding. I wish all the best and happy married life to the newly wedded couple.
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Dec 19, 2021 04:47pm
Who cares?
bhaRAT© Dec 19, 2021 04:57pm
Such lavish lifestyle from plundered wealth!
Raza Mangneja Dec 19, 2021 05:07pm
Tax payers money was the designer.
Captain Dec 19, 2021 05:09pm
Where has gone inflation as they always claim against PTI ? Spent millions in dresses but can’t buy sugar and Atta etc
Abbasshah Dec 19, 2021 05:18pm
Very impressive/good selection s ,congratulations happy events.
M. Emad Dec 19, 2021 05:42pm
Indian Designers ?
Jamil Soomro, New York City Dec 19, 2021 06:46pm
The Decor, Colourful Dresses,Chandeliers reminds one of the great Dilip Kumar starrer Mughal-e-Azam. Best Wishes to the couple.
Zaman Dec 19, 2021 06:49pm
Regrettable display of the stolen loot. Is this the example one sets when the country is economically challenged and struggling? Maryam Nawaz has declared that she has no source of income and relies on her father. The father has blatantly lied under oath with regards to his income. I am sure the bridegroom is also worthless. Keep on playing the flute as Rome burns! A despicable display.
Jigen Dec 19, 2021 07:43pm
Fruits of stolen money
Ali Dec 19, 2021 07:49pm
Who cares? What this couple has achieved or done for Pakistan?
Imran Dec 19, 2021 07:53pm
Good to see that for a change the money this family stole from the people of Pakistan is being spent inside Pakistan as opposed to buying luxury properties overseas.
Realistic Dec 19, 2021 07:53pm
Maryam Nawaz wearing Indian stuff
M. Siddique Dec 19, 2021 08:17pm
One could smell the looted money.
Abbas KLhan Dec 19, 2021 08:22pm
Poor country's rich leaders, yet they have a guts to ask the poor to vote them to power.
Taj Ahmad Dec 19, 2021 08:23pm
Beautiful couple, be nice, be together, be in eachothers arms, be trustful, be friendly to others, be kind to eachothers, be a good parents when become parents of new born.
Abbas KLhan Dec 19, 2021 08:24pm
Shameful display of wealth by the rich leaders of poor people.
Wajahat Dec 19, 2021 08:32pm
For a lady with no property, A 5-10 marla plot can easily be bought by auctioning all dresses worn by Maryam Nawaz.
vespucci Dec 19, 2021 08:33pm
Celebrate the wedding people, you paid for it
Patriotic Dec 19, 2021 08:38pm
How they spend plundered money
Zak Dec 19, 2021 08:41pm
Designers got paid by people looted money stolen by sharif family.
Aatif Dec 19, 2021 09:01pm
Shameless display of wealth from a so called common man's representative.
Iqbal rangoonwala Dec 19, 2021 09:40pm
Poor country looters leaders
Iqbal rangoonwala Dec 19, 2021 09:40pm
Shame shame shame on looters
Cyma Dec 19, 2021 09:42pm
@Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad sadly we all do everyone had the time to come and read this.
PacBell Dec 19, 2021 09:43pm
Sad to see such flagrant display of stolen wealth of poor people of Pakistan. These people have no shame at all.
Nawaz Dec 19, 2021 09:49pm
That's the true face of the billionaire family of Pakistan who ruled in this country for more then 30 years. Pathetic and Shameful.
Ahsan Gul Dec 19, 2021 10:08pm
@Syed A. Mateen only people like you who support corrupts like Nawaz Shrief responsible for our country’s downfall! Sincerely
ENGR Hamid Shafiq Dec 19, 2021 10:10pm
@M. Emad No need
Jo Dec 19, 2021 10:11pm
It was a show case wedding of wealth and branded goods.
Mona Dec 19, 2021 10:36pm
The dresses were indeed very beautiful and tasteful. And they wore them well. Congratulations. May all of Pakistan be this beautiful.
Imran Asghar Dec 19, 2021 10:42pm
Please leave this marriage now. Have enough of it.
Inayat Khan Dec 19, 2021 10:47pm
Despicable pomp and show courtesy loot and plunder of the teeming millions drowning in abject poverty.
NACParis Dec 19, 2021 11:22pm
Only the part of the interest earned was spent. Just imagine how much of the looted wealth is stacked in various accounts in tax heaven islands.
Ali da Malanga Dec 19, 2021 11:54pm
Despicable attempt to display looted money. These people couldn't even pretend that they cared about the inflation they whine about 24X7.
Stunned Dec 20, 2021 12:03am
The real designers were the sharif family . They designed a elaborate plot to defraud the nation of billions and then use that money to celebrate their ill-auspicious unions .
Syed Dec 20, 2021 12:40am
Make me sick to watch this. This all stolen money from poor Pakistanis. Shame on them.
hanif Dec 20, 2021 12:47am
This is the life style of people who never worked a day in their life. sad
Sher Khan Dec 20, 2021 01:14am
Childish function, show of fashion and money which is looted from us.
Asif Waheed Dec 20, 2021 01:23am
@Syed A. Mateen it’s not news worthy for most of the Pakistanis.
Asif Waheed Dec 20, 2021 01:23am
@Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Exactly
Asif Waheed Dec 20, 2021 01:24am
@bhaRAT© Yes easy money
Asif Waheed Dec 20, 2021 01:25am
@M. Emad Thieves don’t have boundaries.
CS Dec 20, 2021 01:31am
Way to enjoy looted wealth. Imagine people are still covering it shamelessly.
surendra sukhtankar Dec 20, 2021 01:34am
@Zaman : But a lot of people like caterers, designers of clothes, waiters, and countless others will get work/money.
Dollarman Dec 20, 2021 02:14am
Is it a a wedding or a promotion for the designers? What a wasteful display of ill-gotten money!
Raheel Dec 20, 2021 02:47am
Did the designers give them money like the govt of Pakistan for this extravagant wedding?
Sean Dec 20, 2021 03:43am
Indian designers designed most of the dresses yet Pakistani actors and players are not allowed.
Hakim Ali Dec 20, 2021 03:51am
I wish these designers do the same for any poor bride & groom and their families at least once in 5 years!
Adhrish Dec 20, 2021 04:25am
Leaders should lead by example. In a country where 20% population lives beyond poverty line, what is the justification of millions of dollars worth weddings and celebrations by the so called leaders of poors? It’s heartening and shameful at best.
Thunder Dec 20, 2021 05:18am
They're supposed to be the champions of the poor complaining about price hikes.
venkat Dec 20, 2021 05:48am
@Ali will give Pakistan future political leader.
Nomad Dec 20, 2021 06:55am
Poor middle class tax payers money well spent!
Munsif Jan Dec 20, 2021 07:03am
Congratulations and best wishes to the newly wedded couple. Such a public display of tainted wealth is probably not wise.
Abcd Dec 20, 2021 07:43am
@bhaRAT© well said!! Is there any authority to ask them the source of income.
Dollarman Dec 20, 2021 08:19am
MN and Co can launch a fashion career in the Hollywood!
Father son brother Dec 20, 2021 08:22am
The corrupt political elite showing off vigorously the plundered wealth of this nation. What a shame in deed!
Ahsan Gul Dec 20, 2021 10:07am
What a sad news to see children of the most Pakistanis corrupts flashing looted money extravaganza! Sincerely
Cheema Dec 20, 2021 04:33pm
Only in Pakistan can people with “no income and no property” flaunt multimillion rupee outfits. And their subservient supporters lap it up.
Sane Mind1st Dec 23, 2021 02:50pm
How many politicians of different parties and men in boot came? You would be surprised.