When fashion week fever hits a city, the fashion savvy (and their plus ones) flock to the event with enthusiasm, dressed to the nines and ready for a fun evening. Who doesn’t want to see hot models sporting their favourite designer’s latest invention on the runway? Let’s rephrase that: who doesn’t want to see hot models?
The latest addition to this eyecandy line-up will be the Men’s Fashion Week (MFW) — Pakistan’s first male only fashion show — scheduled to take place at the end of August this year. At a press conference at Dolmen City Mall in Karachi, representatives of the event said it’s time for the ladies to move over and make space for men.
“It’s time we understand that a vast clientele of Pakistani fashion is men who really want to dress up!” exclaimed Munib Nawaz, spokesperson and creative director of MFW, adding that men’s clothing is the fastest growing industry in Pakistan.
As he spoke at length about the event that will run between August 30 and September 1, Nawaz explained that the MFW will show more than just kurtas and sherwanis — an offbeat trend that has graced runways in Pakistan already with male models wearing ghungroos and other ornaments.
Nawaz also said the organisers will be looking for men’s accessory designers to add flavour and funk to what is usually perceived as a subdued fashion scene. He added: “Sadly, in our land, producers of men’s wear and designers both have compartmentalised themselves. Dono nay dhai inch ki masjid bana li hai.”
Also involved in this project is Lahore based stylist Khawar Riaz, who flew into Karachi especially for this event. Riaz said that a model hunt for MFW will take place where the panel will dig out models from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. While the slot for a choreographer for the show lies open, Zurain Imam is heading the style and editing team.
Shanaz Ramzi from Style360 made a peculiar observation. “For (regular) fashion weeks, men are usually seated in the front row for obvious reasons. The game should change a bit. For MFW, I hope the audience will have a lot of women watching to find prospective grooms and husbands.” Ramzi added that a male-only fashion week would be a much-needed break in the monotony of female-only designers.
Designer Maheen Khan (who is not involved with the MFW) told The Express Tribune, “This is all positive for the industry. There is a need for it. This was the only thing left and it is now happening.”
Some consumers agree. Samrain Awan, who runs his own business says, “Men’s fashion has been neglected in the mainstream. People think that the urban man is not interested, but that’s a myth. The men of today really want to dress up.”
Not everyone, however, is as cheerful about the prospect. Stylist Tariq Amin wished the organisers and participants of MFW the best of luck but also said, “This is probably the sixth fashion week happening around the country. Haven’t we had enough of fashion weeks already?”
Lahore-based bureaucrat Mumtaz Maneka thinks the event will boost the local industry and that if trendsetters start wearing locally made accessories, society will shift away from its “foreign brand complex”. He hopes, however, that the collections will be nothing like Hassan Sheheryar Yasin (HSY) lawn — “That made me puke!”
A more balanced view, however, was taken by Aneek Bawla, owner of a publishing house in Karachi, when he said, “It all depends on execution. If it’s successful in bridging the gap between producers, designers and consumers, then it’s a great idea. If it is organised to feed egos, it’s useless.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2012.
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