The Spring 2013 ready-to-wear New York Fashion Week that took place earlier this month was an incredibly stimulating affair that cast a week-long spell on fashionistas throughout the world.
While we absolutely loved the entertaining and out-of-the-box creative expressions used by some of the designers, the only way to narrow down the list to the top 10 was by sticking to a certain criterion. Here are the pieces with the most universal charm and common threads — in terms of fabric and detailing — with our own fantastic designers in Pakistan.
The stunning use of doily and Chantilly lace by fashion giants Oscar de la Renta and Burberry Prorsum was brilliant. De la Renta as always remained loyal to emphasising female beauty in all her grace — using conservative knee length pencil shapes and feminine flounce. However, we do like the statement he makes with the black scribbled embroidery on the delicate lace, intertwining individual strength with beauty. Burberry presented exquisite fabric on its signature trench coats which was lovely (albeit not the most practical), and the green lace dress immediately made us think, “Hey that’s something I would wear!” Our first thought when we saw all the lace was Nida Azwer in her own fabulous Chantilly lace sari at the Misha Lakhani store opening, and her unique eyelet technique kurta from the PFDC Sunsilk FPW 2011 also immediately came to mind. Vera Wang’s collection similarly presented stark sub continental influences using bejewelled Chantilly lace, eastern brocade, and cotton eyelets that were beyond exquisite.
Print fever contagion continued with the most striking collections by Thakoon, Michael Kors, and Diane Von Furstenberg. Thakoon’s cherry blossoms and ‘birds in a cage print’ was the prettiest stroke of genius as the shape of the dress and the gold bars literally curved to resemble a cage. Michael Kors digital cloud prints on silk also aptly captured the essence of spring — any guesses for which designer made a similar play with her last collection? None other than Sania Maskatiya’s Uraan prints with their delightful display of spring colours and the same clouds, birds, and trees. Furstenberg used striking bold splashes of colour against whites portraying vivid paintings; she even went so far as to incorporate an actual shalwar kurta with mirror work into the mix!
Another piece we adored was from the Rodarte collection — although most of the collection didn’t speak to us we couldn’t get our eyes off the midnight blue against the unique gold marquetry embroidery at the waistline. The colour blend seemed to be made in heaven as used by Shehla Chatoor in her silk jumpsuit with the twisted gold belt.
Also, the Marchesa collection was nothing short of a tribute to South Asian fashion. From gorgeous tulle embroidered saris wrapped and folded glamorously against embellished blouses, to brocade and rich sartorial printed fabrics arranged into dresses — the subcontinent was definitely part of the DNA of this quintessential collection. The colourful printed brocade, strapless dress reminded us of Samia Ahmed’s vibrant screen prints. We’d love to see this style adapted more at home, hint hint!
Our curiosity was further aroused by Calvin Klein’s interesting fabric display. He used a black mesh overlay known as moiré embroidery in a wave like pattern that seemed to undulate effectively as the model moved down the runway. The effect was like a fascinating optical illusion — such experimentation with technique in our own designers’ works would be a great way to move forward.
Finally, we adored the use of incredibly light as air, self embossed organza fabric by Carolina Herrera in a short dress with puffed sleeves. A fabric that we feel is tragically underutilised — we’d love to see more of the fluid material used by our designers back home.
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Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2012.