The PFDC (Pakistan Fashion Design Council) may not have been the ones to have begun the tradition of fashion weeks in the country, their last effort in November 2010 in Karachi, may not have been as exciting and ebullient as one hoped, yet one couldn’t doubt the potency of the collections presented. From March 29 to April 1, the council is initiating its third round, and while the previous weeks had as many sordid as fabulous fashion moments, the council has been very effective at editing the list of participants this time around.
It could be mere coincidence but Perwani’s entry into lawn is on Holi, the widely celebrated Hindu festival of colour.
With 26 designers including stalwarts like Khaadi, HSY, Sara Shahid and the fresh brood with Ali Xeeshan, Mohsin Ali and Akif Mehmood, the list is impressive in how it binds the best of Karachi’s talents like the highly coveted Feeha Jamshed, Rizwanullah and Adnan Pardesy as well.
“Beginning to stock in Lahore so it was time to show in the city with the PFDC which is a great platform,” clarified Pardesy lest one thinks he has changed ‘parties’, so to speak. “Lahore was a lot of fun for me at the previous fashion week and my council, Fashion Pakistan, has never stopped me from showing anywhere. In fact even Amir and Huma Adnan are showcasing their brand FnkAsia,” added Pardesy.
Envisioned as a trade event, the first two rounds of the weeks managed to provide a point of convergence for Karachi’s Labels, and Dubai’s Studio 8, and paved way for Pakistani designers to stock in Dubai. But akin to a trade event, there were no exhibition spaces as is the custom at all international fashion weeks. “This time we have two exhibition spaces,” confirmed Hiba Sher of the Little Black Book, the official consultants for the PFDC. “One space shall be for the designers to exhibit their clothes and will serve as a key marketing point for them to interact with clients and buyers. The other space will be dedicated to the external exhibitors like the multinationals and export industry personnel,” she said. “We are working towards providing a more structured and enhanced fashion environment which we hope will be evident in the additions to the week such as the exhibitions, voile shows, the venue and the luxury/prêt shows themselves” said the PFDC’s CEO Saad Ali. Besides logistics and general production of shows, the PFDC has also managed to get a good mix of international press courtesy Latitude, the buyer and international media consultants for the event. Getting news out that Pakistan is as fashion forward and creatively exuberant as any other nation is as important as creating a proper platform for the industry to take off locally. Omar Jamil of Latitude has managed to lure Mary Bowers from The Times and Michele Stockman from AFP, who shall both be visiting Pakistan, twice and thrice respectively. Along with Lurent Loughlin from Vice Magazine and Viviana Mazza from Sette Magazine of Corre Della Sera, this time Latitude has managed to pull off a serious coup with the esteemed fashion authority, Hilary Alexander from The Telegraph who shall be flying in with her videographer.
Interesting and fun fashion collaborations are promised by Hasan Sheheryar Yasin, designer and official spokesperson for the council. The focus has increasingly become to develop a social conscience in fashion and so in lieu of this trend of social responsibility the council is working with a Saarc objective to promote indigenous embroideries in Pakistan. “Eighty per cent of the embroideries that are generated from the club continental region hail from Pakistan,” says Yasin.
“This fashion week you will see how embroideries from places like Balakot, Muzaffarabad and Swat amongst others highlighted to show that Pakistan can move forward with its heritage instead of getting stuck with its legacy,” added Yasin. “There is an element of entertainment in fashion and we vow to mesmerize our guests as we have done in the past,” concluded Yasin proudly.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2011.
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