Celebs, Desi weddings, Dresses, Fashion, Lahore, Trends

featured: khadijah shah of élan

October 1, 2012

last week during my little tryst in lahore, i had the pleasure of meeting khadijah shah –  the tour du force behind élan.


élan is a label that is synonymous with elegant opulence. when i walked into khadijah’s showroom, i found myself surrounded by racks of glittering clothing accentuated with soft lighting.  it is a dream come true.

the embellishment on khadijah’s designs are really one of a kind – their intricacy and grace is unmatched.

in the last 8 years, khadijah has turned her label into a must-have entity, especially where bridal trousseaus are concerned. every bride to be wants an élan piece in their trousseau. khadijah entered the design world after working for some time with her mother, anila, who had a line which catered to a very exclusive clientele. khadijah eventually broke out on her own and the rest, as they say, is history.

khadijah pays painstaking attention to details and embellishment. using the finest materials, crystals and stones khadijah’s designers are works of arts. she takes inspiration from jewelry and architecture, transferring motifs derived from her inspiration onto her clothes.

jewelry motifs are prevalent in élan collections, and will continue to be so.

khadijah’s famous necklace design has become somewhat of a trademark and is still a favorite of fashionistas. “i will always use jewelry, it’s something i love”


khadijah works with the finest fabrics, with net being preferred, “net is ethereal, delicate and i know how to work with it”. judging from the samples of embellished net pieces khadijah’s karigars are bringing in for approval,  she definitely knows how to work with it. the work is exquisite, and the shimmer it has on net is on another level.

the élan studio is buzzing with activity, karigars keep popping in and out and the stream of clients is constant. l’oreal paris bridal couture week is around the corner and wedding season has started with full force – it all makes for a manic time for khadija.

abeer trying on a piece from the flights of fantasy collection

khadijah woved everyone with her oriental inspired flights of fantasy collection at the last pfdc fashion week. the collection, with its sequined floral motifs and modern cuts, was a step away from what we are used to seeing from élan.

the next collection, for l’oreal paris bridal couture week, is also going to be a bit of a change from the classic élan aesthetic. “i’m focusing on experimental cuts with traditional kaam”. so get ready to see boxy cuts, drop waists and gowns. the focus will be on large floral motifs with lots of threadwork. i for one am very excited to see this new collection. i absolutely loved the last collection, i think this one will be as fabulous.

khadijah has a classic, sophisticated style. she knows what works for her and sticks to that (although i’m sure everything works for her, the girl is a statuesque goddess). she describes her style as elegant with a bit of edginess.  her favorite current trends is a testament to her personal style.



i asked khadijah about which newer designers she thought were generating the most buzz, and with good reason. she named some favorites, adding that these designers were experts in their own niche markets. she loves the modernity of the pret-wear of sania maskatiya, the luxurious embroidery of aysha farook hashwani and the minimal, organic look of feeha jamshed.

élan pieces are available for purchase at the labels e-store 


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