I've been browsing and contacting several Pakistani designers in the last few months quite extensively, partly for bridal information, and partly for research for future reference (and this post!) If you're lucky enough to be able to afford going with a Pakistani designer bridal, here's some of the designers I've been following, and which I did a little research on. I also emailed a few outside of bridal queries stating that I had a budget of 30,000 rupees (which is about £180.00) which I wanted a formal outfit for, so I'll include their feedback for that and the prices they gave me too, because I found some of them helpful too.
I think this will give some useful information, not just for brides who may want to take a look at these various designers for pieces for for their jahez (trousseau) but also for anyone else looking for outfits for special occasions.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Costs are from £1500 upwards for a bridal outfit, but they can work with your budget if you make alterations.
I also contacted them about whether they could make a formal/party outfit within 30,000 rupees (which is around £180.00) and they very helpfully sent me some pictures of some of their formal collection, which ranged from 24,000 up to 35,000. Below are some of the designs they sent which I like, they're not amazingly heavy but they are pretty.
Pics: http://gb.pinterest.com/zujaja/kamiar-rokni/ and https://www.facebook.com/TheHouseOfKamiarRokni
I couldn't find an email address for this company so you may have to try sending them a Facebook message or otherwise there is a number you can call: 04235764323.
A friend of mine tried to contact them for her bridal outfit which she said took her some time, so it may be difficult for those overseas to place an order. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of information about prices of their bridals but I'm told that their heavy formals can be around 1 lakh (100,000 rupees which is about £600). Personally I really like the embroidery and colours used by Kamiar Rokni, so it's always worth a look.
Cost around £2000 upwards for a bridal
In terms of formals, Maria B casual outfits and lawn can be quite reasonable in price. There's also a few places in the UK which stock some of her outfits as well, so it's always worth going these outlets which stock them for a look. I didn't manage to contact them directly, but I have ordered casual outfits from outlets and sellers in Pakistan, and the prices for these were very reasonable. Definitely worth emailing, I've heard good things about the customer service from this company.
Being one of my favourite designers, I HAD to email this one. Their bridals
start around from £2500 upwards. I emailed this designer (and her niece) for quotes, and although my
budget was pretty low, they were willing to work with it for a simpler,
lighter outfit. They also explained a lot of the kaam which would be used really well, and were quite helpful. Formals range in prices, and they're not cheap (a heavy formal can be around 1 lakh which is about £600), but again, email and see what they can do with your budget (there's also another designer called Dr Haroon who does similar work to Bunto Kazmi, and his prices are pretty similar as well. Read reviews here: http://www.paklinks.com/gs/wedding/323485-designer-dr-haroon-contact-info-reviews-pics.html
and contact via email: email@example.com)
Pics http://www.hsystudio.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/hsystudio
Does bridals and formal wear, bridals start from £2000-3000
This was another designer I didn't email because he was above budget for me, and because I didn't want to go for this style. I have seen HSY formals in local shops in London though, and they're really well-made, so I would recommend a visit to any local shops who stock HSY to see if their designs are to your taste. Their stuff is very chic and I find that there's a good 'fusion' balance of East and West with their formals.
Pics: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Samia-Ahmed/175222005869055 and http://gb.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=samia%20ahmed
Bridals start from about £1600 and go upwards the heavier they are. I really liked a few bridals that were displayed in this designer's Facebook group (the ones below) and emailed for information, and was given prices which I've detailed below (although be warned, prices may have gone up since I emailed). The designer's company replied pretty quickly and communication was good. I didn't manage to ask about formal outfits but I imagine they average about £500.00 for heavier pieces.
Email: haris_chawla@ hotmail.com
I haven't ordered from this company before, but I've heard a lot about their beautiful outfits (not to mention all the bridal outfits from that wedding), as well as the fact that this is one of the older boutiques who have been established in the wedding industry, and that they have a good reputation. I've sent messages via Facebook a couple of times to ask about prices, and have had responses, but haven't gone further to place any orders.
Pics: https://www.facebook.com/nidaazwerfashionhouse and https://www.labelsestore.com/designer/Nida-Azwer
I emailed Nida Azwer for prices for a formal outfit, and got a response the next day about prices; I didn't ask about bridals but I did ask about formals. The lowest they can do formals for is 35-38,000 rupees which they emailed options for (pictures that were emailed to me are below), which range from 35,000 (first picture) to 38,000 (second and third) for chiffon and cotton dresses. I thought these were reasonable, particularly as I think these dresses are lovely, very wearable and perfect for wedding season.
Bridals start from about £2000-3000 for a decently heavy bridal, but again, email to see what they can do in your budget. As above, I emailed this designer for a few quotes for formal outfits and they responded pretty quickly, with the below pictures attached. They stated that their formals start from 95,000 rupees, and that the minimum price that can be accommodated is from 50,000. This is a little steeper than other designers and I doubt I could afford it myself, but I do love Zainab Chottani outfits and think they're pretty glamorous. The semi-formal and casual lines are more affordable, and probably easier to buy, as is their lawn, so they would be worth checking out via online pop-up shops (like this one I bought recently).
If you do decide to email any of these designers, don't forget that if you like a design and it
expensive, you can ask to make it lighter for a lower price. Tell the designer
your budget and they will tell you what styles, work and cuts can be accommodated and made in your budget.
Make sure you also have a good look at their pictures and see what their actual designs
are (not just their catwalk pictures), so you have a good idea what to expect.
Another thing I would recommend is to visit shops which stock and carry designer outfits, I know there are a few in London such as Rubys House of Design, next to Henna-Mehndi in Ilford Lane, O'Nitaa in Bakers Street, London, Texheeb in Ilford and similar boutiques which have designer wear (there's also a Jabeens in Wembley, I'm told, and Aashni & Co in Notting Hill who carry a range of Indian designer wear). I'm sure there are similar boutiques outside Pakistan in the US, Canada and areas where Pakistani fashion is prominent, so be sure to have a look. It can be really helpful to look at designer outfits up close to see whether you like the colours, quality and styles for yourself, especially as you get a chance to try them on as well - I know I was surprised as the differences in some designer outfits in real life compared to photographs.
Of course there are hundreds of other Pakistani designers out there who make beautiful outfits, and I didn't get to contact them all. There were also a few that I did email but didn't include, because they didn't respond to my emails or Facebook messages, so I didn't include them (one of my favourite designers, Faiza Samee, was one of them who didn't respond to emails or Facebook messages). In these cases, I would recommend calling them as they may prefer speaking to someone rather than emailing, which may yield a better outcome.
For those of you looking, I hope these help, and that these give some idea of how to approach designers with a budget in mind and styles (it was very tempting to order a bunch of outfits from each of them, but I just couldn't afford it!). Please do also let me know about any more designers that you found helpful and that you had success emailing as well, so I can file them away for future occasions!