Day three at Fashion Pakistan Week 2012 was all about spirit. It was the only day that has so far adhered to the concept of pret and high street fashion that the week was supposedly pivoted around. The third day of the event was fabulously fun not only in its energetic shows but also because of the interesting and hip traditionalism infused clothing.
They’re a year old in the fashion scene, but the sister duo that comprises of Salma and Aneeka Cheema, has a vision of ‘Desi Boho’ that is invigorating in its old world, detailing use of Pakistan’s heritage craft and print and lending it a contemporary twist. The collection consisted of funky separates, like an array of shift dresses, capes and shalwars-cum-jodhpurs that could be worn anywhere around the world to incite cultural curiosity about the outfit’s origins. The jamawar boots and the traditional Hunza caps converted into handbags would be a sure sell with foreigners.
Syed Rizwanullah is also a name known for theatrics. You just never know what trick he’ll pull off that quirky mind, except that he will make you sit up and notice and wonder what mad crazy trip he’s on this time. Thus, true to that madness that gushes in his veins, Rizwanullah presented a psychedelic collection that showed his interpretation of high street fashion. The patchwork pants and minidress for instance were interesting, but the prints didn’t work. The general structure and silhouette however bore a close resemblance to Teejays’ style.
In literally two weeks, this Indus Valley textile design graduate has made leaps into the world of fashion. From her forgettable Jhirki collection at Rizwan Beyg’s Showcase a fortnight ago to this latest one at FPW3, the designer has come a long way. Committed to her Sindhi roots, Saleem showcased an extremely well thought out, coherent and structured collection centred on rilli (traditional Pakistani patchwork) and chundhri but done in a contemporary ethnic way that was original and fun. Outfits like the pink bubble dress, a cape in Sindhi block print and a rilli top, tights and jacket would be a treat for any fashionista.
From someone as seasoned as Shamaeel, expectations run very high and so even when she does something as basic as floral, one expects some grand reinterpretation that will wow onlookers. So although the outfits’ trailing hemlines and layering worked beautifully, the initial few pieces that were heavily embellished or carried what Shamaeel calls a ‘summer shawl’, disappointed as they looked more like lamp shades than a carefully constructed piece of craft. What was fun, however, were the tie-dye tights in three shades, the printed tights and the floral miniskirts that carried the Mughal aesthetic from Shamaeel’s previous collection.
Maheen Khan took us back to the streets of Karachi, using their duality and kitsch as an inspiration for her clothes while recreating the street subculture as print on fabric. This was casual comfort clothing that screamed Karachi quite literally with shirts, pants and skirts heavily inundated with names of Karachi’s famed streets. The most interesting print, however, was the one carrying Urdu and English numerals, alluding to the bilingual nature of the metropolitan city’s language that is largely Urdu but liberally garnished with basic English.
Monsoon & Accessorize
While both Monsoon and Accessorize are known for doing desi funk well, their show wasn’t as strong as the Next show, which was presented on day two. The clothing for one, didn’t have as much appeal; the printed dresses were tasteless and the fit and fabric were nothing to write home about. However, the more options in retail, the merrier the market and one can certainly bank on Accessorize for a desi cool handbag and adorable trimmings for little girls.
One can always trust Nomi Ansari to put up a grand circus and get the crowd cheering. So, while his collection wasn’t at par with his label, his marketing was brilliant: real clothes for real (read: reel) women. From television stars like Adnan Siddiqui, Hina Dilpazeer and Nida Yasir to the pregnant supermodel Nadia Hussain, Ansari presented an array of simple working clothes in solid bright colours. The fact that FP Chairperson Shamaeel Ansari and CEO Maheen Khan graced the ramp proved that despite Ansari’s love affair with loud colours, even mature women can wear his brand. For that added glamour, as a cherry on an already rich fruit cake, Lollywood lioness Meera walked as the show-stopper. And to seriously bring the house down, he roped in EP singer Ahmed Ali Butt to rap to that quintessential party song, “I’m Sexy and I Know It”.
We all know that he makes fabulously cut suits, but what Bham showcased this time was his ability to encourage men to have a little fun, add a bit of print, a tiny bit of floral perhaps, and maybe even push it to a wildly printed sherwani. The striped linen pants and plum coloured trousers are a must try. This was a sprightly summer take on male fashion, and the collection, while impeccably cut and finished, also sought to cajole men into experimenting and just living a little on the edge.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2012.
View more pictures of Day 3 here.