My Engagement Dress: from concept to reality

Thanks to creativity of my mom, my engagement dress was in every way what I had dreamed of.

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With my designer mom, Shamima Nabi 

I wanted a dress that embraced elements of both South Asian and Western wedding ensembles, and so a gown was designed that was embellished with intricate embroidery done by expert artisans of the Indian subcontinent and that had a silhouette and veil, which was inspired by the traditional white wedding dress of the West. I had only seen the sketch that my mother had prepared and had to wait months to see it in its true form, but the wait was completely worth it!

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Designer: Shamima Nabi of Nabila

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The dress was conceptualised and designed in Bangladesh, and was crafted in New Delhi, India, where many of mother’s designs are brought to life. As I saw the dress being unpacked after it had arrived from Delhi to Dhaka, the first thing that I noticed was the colour. It was a deep, vibrant purple, a colour that I absolutely adore and the exact shade that I had hoped for. Pinks and pastels are a popular choice in Bangladesh for the engagement, but neither I nor Naveed wanted to stick to the norm and we’re glad we made that decision.

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Designer: Shamima Nabi of Nabila

The second thing I noticed was the sheer amount of fabric. The fall of the dress is thanks to metres and metres of material that form the silhouette. Although the A-line look can be achieved through the use of can can netting, using only can can does not give the dress a seamless fall and can make it look rather stiff. The large circumference, and ample material in my dress allowed for a smooth and natural pleated fall and also allowed for plenty movement, which looks great when you’re walking around. My dress was also slightly shorter in the front with a small trail at the back, which enhanced the silhouette from the side.

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The entire bottom border of the dress was embellished with small pearls and the body was decorated with purple silk thread embroidery and purple Swarovski crystals that made the dress glimmer under the light. Of course, given the amount material and the embellishments, the dress became rather heavy and weighed a mere 11 kilos (numb feet, totally worth it).

The veil too had an embroidered border and had purple Swarovski crystals scattered all over, however it was rather light weight and easy to carry and truly made me feel like the bride-to-be.

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I feel immensely lucky, to have had the most important woman in my life design my engagement dress and hope to wear only her designs in all my upcoming wedding events. More than half a year away but I can barely contain the excitement!

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