5th PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week: Fashion duel

Published: April 12, 2012

PFDC has utilised talent from its own pool to create an exciting line-up that is a balanced mixture of young and experienced designers. PHOTO : AFP/FILE

KARACHI: 

The month of April has brought a fashion tsunami for the fashion conscious lot in Pakistan. Every weekend has been slotted for a fashion event and there’s been headlong bumper to bumper traffic this month, all thanks to gung-ho fashion lovers flocking to venues to witness this ongoing fashion outburst. With Rizwan Beyg’s Showcase in Karachi, followed by the Fashion Pakistan Week in Karachi, then the Islamabad Fashion Week in the capital and now the king of all fashion events, PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week in Lahore, which is running simultaneously with Pantene Bridal Couture Week in Karachi, it would be an understatement to say that Pakistani fashion has arrived.

Divided we stand

On one hand the Lahore vs Karachi dynamics, that one felt was brewing in the design community, has become more apparent than ever with Catwalk Productions no longer handling PFDC like they used to every year. Instead, the design powerhouse and showman, Hassan Sheheryar Yasin will be calling the shots this year.

PFDC has gone Lahore-centric this time around. Everyone participating in the fashion event — from production, to talent and the entire team — is from the culture-dominated city. So much so that instead of the ever-dependable Saba Ansari of Sabs from Karachi (who’s doing Pantene BCW), even the make-up artists — Tony and Guy, Maram and Aabroo and Khawar Riaz — are all Lahore-based.

“It’s a huge shift for PFDC and the council is aiming for more self-sufficiency now,” asserts Yasin, not only as the official spokesperson for the PFDC, but now as the director of the shows as well. This change of guard has ruffled many feathers in the fashion fraternity, with many asserting that HSY’s job as a spokesperson and the director may invite some bias into the event. “Does anyone turn to Tom Ford and say that because he’s a designer he can’t make films? Why should any creative individual stick to one genre of work when they are multifaceted human beings,” Yasin retorts to the accusations.

The dream team

PFDC has utilised talent from its own pool to create an exciting line-up that is a balanced mixture of young and experienced designers: the eccentric Ali Xeeshan and Fahad Hussayn will handle the accessories for the show, Kamiar Rokni, with his management skills will ensure all goes well backstage, while Maheen Kardar, Akif and Mohsin Ali will take care of logistics and operations.

The council has also managed to achieve international presence by showcasing in Paris last year and this year, they are hoping live streaming will reach out to greater number of audiences both local and abroad.

Money talks

From a business standpoint, the CEO of PFDC Saad Ali promises international collaborations with relevant industries that the council will announce at the fashion week. “As we keep strengthening our own position, we keep gaining investors’ confidence. As a result, more and more people are approaching us to become partners in the company,” he said. Yasin confirms that so far nine designers have already met with buyers. “These people do not operate like local stores they are essentially stockists. These buyers have put cash in our hands and said now go ahead and produce,” Yasin explains.

According to Ali, PFDC has buyers in markets like Afghanistan, Australia and Dubai. Hence to cater to this growing demand, the council will be expanding its retail presence to Karachi’s Dolmen City Mall and will continue to provide two annual scholarships to aspiring Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design (PIFD) students. “Our new addition has been our bridal week. So from now on, our fashion weeks will be pret-oriented and the bridal weeks will cater to couture,” says Ali.

While last spring, the PFDC managed to get the celebrated fashion journalist Hilary Alexander from the UK, this spring they have Jessica Bumpus — Fashion Features Editor of Vogue.com — who will be posting pictures live.

Top designers at the 5th PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week

1.   Nikkie Nina

2.   Muse

3.   Elan

4.   Mohsin Ali

5.   Akif Mehmood

6.   Fahad Hussayn

7.   Ammar Belal

8.   Karma

9.   Fnk Asia

10. Ali Xeeshan

11. Sadaf Malatere

12. Sania Maskatiya

13. Zara Shahjehan

14. Kamiar Rokni

15. Republic

16. HSY

Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Syra
    Apr 13, 2012 - 3:01AM

    PFDC was created with a Lahore-centric mind-set, with a Lahore based glossy publication taking ovewr as a head and an other designer who oculdnt make his mark in Karachi as he did in his home town Lahore, as a official spokesperson.
    no where in world does the fashion publication ( and a designer) herself heads a Fashion Council, with her personal favourites being promoted.

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  • Hadia
    Apr 13, 2012 - 3:32PM

    If only 4 designers out of Lahore will be showcasing at ‘Pakistan’ FDC – then other cities are left with no option but to have their own FWs … BTW would the council head likes mentioning the monetary gains they had in previous seasons, like how much export order(s) does a specific designer received in Dollars ?

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  • Aamir Haque
    Apr 14, 2012 - 1:20AM

    @Hadia: Fashion Weeks are still a ‘Bubble’, there are no corporate of bulk buyers ever spotted yet, all they do is ask couple of fashion journalists to do a piece for the website of their publication, and yes nothing goes in to print !
    So did Hilary’s coverage went online only and not in print and this time its said the vogue.COM and not vogue in print.. rest is all foreign embassy staff sitting in buyers area to portray as foriegn buyers, I personally met a ‘French-buyer’ who apparently turned out to be a franch language trainer from french cultural centre.
    The reason why fashion weeks are taking place is because multinationals get a direct engaging with their target market for mere 1 crore rupees (or even less then that) , They get coverage in print and electronic media, and on the other hand a dedicated fashion channel is always deprive of local fashion stuff ,So they are always there to show case the event, and other channels are looking to cover the red carpet for the ‘News’ section.

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  • Aamir Haque
    Apr 14, 2012 - 5:13AM

    couple of ‘International’ Fashion Journalists*

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  • Adeela Liaqat Ali
    Apr 14, 2012 - 9:04AM

    how about re-naming it PFDC-HSY-LIBAS-Week ?

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  • Saadia
    Apr 15, 2012 - 12:24AM

    All said above and gaga can be done under anonymous names , BUT PFDC is the one council that is having FWs with continuity and with proper intervals no matter what turmoils does the Country goes through… unlike other councils doing it with intervals of 2 years !
    we have support of goverment and only recognised body by Export Promotion Bureau.

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  • Qurratulain
    Apr 15, 2012 - 3:56AM

    I found PFDC Fashion ‘WEAK’, well-organised, slick choreography, exquisite venue, splendid ambiance, never-seen-before set up…. Truly International ! for a moment I felt am in Milan watching Milan FW. But then I had crash landing back in Lahore as one flop collection after an other , from gang banging military to trying too hard , nothing was to comment , BUT this happens when designers will handle the accessories for the show, showing management skills will ensure all goes well backstage,and take care of logistics and operations …. and leave their Real Job on Interns …..come on where in World does FWs take place like this ?
    does FWs meant to promote an un-healthy lobby belonging to specifically to one institute students (PIFD) ?

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