06 Feb Akeela Hoosen Khan
Carefully navigating the 1.2-metre train of her wedding gown as she made her way down the aisle. Doctor Akeela Hoosen was a vision in light ivory amidst a backdrop of pink florals and champagne hues. On this romantic evening in October, Akeela exchanged her sterile white coat for an angelic Tashreeqah Sadien original, custom-created especially for her.
The bridal pair met after a medical internship opportunity in Durban was presented to the Cape-Town-born medical graduate in 2016, but she had no idea that her effort to relocate to pursue her career ambitions would lead her into the arms of Mohammed Khan, also a physician based at the same institution.
The Orient Hall in Greyville was the sentimental choice when it came to picking a venue since the groom’s parents had tied the knot there decades prior, but to infuse some of her home-city influence into their big day, Akeela flew back to Cape Town and visited our bridal boutique. She was accompanied by her sister and mum who discovered our Tashreeqah Sadien Facebook page, and they too opted to wear custom-made Tashreeqah Sadien couture to the event. “There are many incredible designers in Durban”, Akeela says, “but Tash was it! No doubt about it. Her work is incredible, so modern and sophisticated yet each piece tells its own story and I liked that.”
The bride-to-be was pleasantly non-prescriptive. She gave our team creative freedom but requested a timeless and classic dress, yet modest in keeping with her Islamic values. Following our distant bride’s process, WhatsApp and Skype were our saviours as the weeks flew by. We worked closely with the bride to achieve a balance of what she had dreamt of. Akeela mentions, “I like Tash’s energy and how calm she is. I really didn’t have to worry about it.” The finer details of the elegant boat-neck ballgown were confirmed over texts and photographs to complement the initial sketch. “Fit is so important. It’s one of the biggest moments of your life and the gown should really reflect that,” Tashreeqah mentions.
Luxurious imported lace was handpicked especially for Akeela, adding an air of opulence to this one-of-a-kind gown. Using a number of different hand-beading techniques to add texture, the intricately designed bodice was illuminated by glittering flecks of crystals and pearls that extended to the full lace back. The bride’s petite frame was contoured to perfection by cupping in the bust area, while multiple layers of soft and beautifully sequinned tulle were gathered to make up the sprawling skirt. Long lace sleeves with buttoned detail added the regality and modesty which Akeela wanted to attain, while the cathedral-long train, a showstopper on its own, saw a cascade of embellishments stream downwards from the heavily beaded waist, resulting in a breath-taking silhouette that captured the limelight (and hearts) as the couple entered matrimonial bliss.
“Everyone – absolutely everyone – loved it! They still talk about my dress and it’s already three weeks later! Everyone’s obsessed about my gown and how gorgeous I looked. Akeela plans to keep the dress as a family heirloom, a treasured gift that she can pass on to her daughters someday. Our greatest joy lies in the exciting process of creating a couture piece, realising the finished product, and seeing how special it makes the bride feel.
With Akeela’s husband seriously wishing to have at least five kids in future, the odds of her hopes becoming a reality sway strongly in favour of this Tashreeqah Sadien piece being unboxed and adored for many generations to come.