These stories are woven in between veins, hidden away; so deep beneath our corsets. Our souls, entrenched in words that are broadcasted only through our hearts surrounded in cages of bone and blood. Here you see Hania Zaman - our BRIDE in an exuberant arrangement of thread work and embellishment. Created by one of Pakistan's finest Bridal designers ELAN. When is marriage instilled in a young girl? Why do we dream of great romance or that marriage is eternal bliss? Culture to its finest craftsmanship. A great woman always says, right after sunset 'Never wish or feel ill about your future, especially when it comes to marriage. Hold true to your being and remain strong. A great man of your desires will come and keep you happy. This is my wish' - Mama.
in the realm of
Quoting my dear Mama isn't to raise any form of bewilderment. She tells the truth. We work hard to maintain a balance between life, family, honour, respect, fitness, health, meditation and everything else you can possibly imagine. So why not wish for the best, the greatest; your greatest! This is how she was raised and millions of other young girls. To be calm and collect while the world is in turmoil. If your family ever needed you, you either complete your work in advance or you let your breath be your regime. Can you imagine how life would be if with every breath you breathed another thought, another movement. Every step you took was to build your home with love; fervidly contending to your children and significant other. We need several minutes to complete a task, how is this possible? As we grow, we acknowledge our mothers and run around aimlessly trying to build our own force in our homes. My tongue raging endlessly in English after coming back home from school, exhausted while she drinks her cup of tea. I didn't know she was relaxing. She never once needed to, or made it seem that way. MASHALLAH. She listens and till today she is there. A Bride is a woman defined by her upbringing; her mother, if not present, then her father, a sister, a guardian. What I love about this this photograph which was taken by the very talented Athena Blude is that this portrait evokes Hania's eternal elevated state as a BRIDE. Her memories extended in her long hair, woven up towards the sky and gracefully dressed by the heavenly veil. Her jewels are subtle as she wears her simplest all gold set. This is her moment and she remembers all that she was told, heard, read, wrote and folded in secrets close to her heart. Within one breath, she remembers it all.
I am absolutely in love with your work
and would be ecstatic if you could do my bridal henna!
My wedding is on
2016 in CT/RI.
Hand drawn by Sarah Hussain of BREATH OF HENNA. Now seen in ink on Bridal Henna Diaries. 2016
It was a blessed summer's afternoon in Toronto during Hania's consultation. Streams of sunlight were highlighting both of our faces while she was sitting in a cafe in Connecticut. While talking to her, all I could focus on was her smile, saturated in summer's eternal bliss. Was she ever so delighted to talk to me about her henna affairs. The smile channeled its way into discussing her appeals into the detailing of Bridal henna and that she adored intricacy. Why would she not? She had two beautifully crafted ELAN gowns for her wedding and reception day where labyrinths of embellishments and threads would talk history. ELAN ELAN ELAN. I was interrupted by a thought where all I could think of was, this was it! An explosion of cultural dialect and Pakistan's exquisite realm of art and design. Memories of my mother's valima (reception) gown flew into place as a flock of doves to a seeded temple. My mind started to tick and tock and then suddenly an assembly line formed into a very tight; inflexible area and I said YES! Within hours before I boarded my flight to LGA airport, Hania had received her Bridal rendering and was ecstatic. I am more than overjoyed with her Bridal Henna Diary as it's my most treasured artwork within Bridal Henna.
Dearest Athena, you have instilled beauty, memories of our childhood into these opulent wedding photographs for dearest Hania and Zahan. Traditions are evoked from the veiling of floral bangles and ornaments adorning her Mehndi (day 2) stain.