Due to the large attention that the HSY collection has received, I was directed to this collection as soon as I came in, and then was left to it. Most likely the owner knew that I wasn't looking to buy and had just come to gawk at some HSY suits. My first impression when I looked at the designs were that they looked nothing like the designs I was expecting to see, nor like any of the ones that had been advertised on O'Nitaa's website. Admittedly I came to the store on the second day of the exhibition, and was told that many pieces had already been sold and there were around 50-60 pieces left. The suits that were hanging were in rich shades, mainly blues, purples and golden creams. I wasn't able to take any pictures for obvious reasons - plus I didn't want to get kicked out (although I was very, very tempted to be sneaky and take some shots, but decided against it.)
The main outfits I saw was the long kameez styles, with dabka work and diamonte work in intricate detail around necklines and hem. Most of the outfits were less heavier than the ones I'm used to seeing, and there wasn't any bridal samples. I can't find exact pictures of what I viewed but here's some that are pretty close;
These actual designs weren't part of the collection but there were some that were quite similar. The prices were what I pretty much expected: the lighter suits (and cheaper suits) were around £500 each, with the heavier ones around one or two thousand each. The designs were quite nice, and there was a lot of good quality detail, but I didn't think that this was enough to justify the prices of the suits. I've seen a lot of suits with beautiful dabka (metal) work and intricate designs and stones, but these are still not as expensive when they come from the high street. What we're really buying here is the label, and in this case, it was the elite HSY brand being sold.
What really caught my eye was a few pieces from the other designers at the store. The main collection I liked was Zainab Sajid, whose suits were pleasingly sparkly and traditional. I liked this piece which I saw from the bridal collection:
I'm not really a hot pink kind of person, but in this case it was less of a girly colour than a vivid, traditional style of colour. It cost around four and a half thousand pounds for this one, and there were several others of similar calibre and price. Another designer I also liked the outfits of was the Nikki'n'Nina collection, which also had some very pretty party-wear outfits. Again, these outfits were very well made, and satisfyingly heavy but quite expensive.
All in all, it was nice to see the HSY and other designers' collections up close so that I could compare to what we see all the time in pictures. I don't expect to buy anything from these collections however, as I just wouldn't think I would be satisfied that what I was paying could be justified. Those were were lucky enough to buy some suits from this store seemed to be quite happy with their purchases, but for myself, I think I'll stick with the high street.