Striking one day off on the fashion calendar, Fashion Pakistan Week (FPW) kicked off with a string of designer heavyweights showcasing their signature Winter Festive collections on the runway. Offering a mix-and-match of traditional and contemporary silhouettes, warm tones on fabrics such as velvet, brocade and silk were among designer favourites. As Karachiites turned up in full force to attend one of the leading fashion extravaganzas, the event’s first day served as the ideal warm up for the winter season. Designer Shehla Chatoor’s extraordinary hit was the miss of others, with the talented designer saving the first show of the week. The Express Tribune gives a round-up of the designers and their showcases from the evening.
Collection: All The Raj
Exuding a royal appeal was Shehla Chatoor’s bridal and trousseau collection. Drawing inspiration from the period of the British Raj, the line featured eastern aesthetics with a contemporary twist in terms of silhouettes for the modern bride. Experimenting with dark tones of ruby red and emerald green, the showcase boasted antique mukesh, tilla and Kashmiri Zardozi on winter fabrics such as velvet and silk.
Dominant trends: The showcase brought a blend of shimmery jackets, ghararas, Dhaka pyjamas, printed saris and lehnga-cholis on the ramp, with models adorning exquisite jewellery pieces in forms of chand balis, tikas and maatha pattis, reminiscent of the maharanis of colonial times. Waist-belts and palmlets offered an impeccable mix-and-match of fashion fusion. We admired how a Shehla bride can keep at pace with modern trends while clinging to sub-continental roots. Pointed-heels along with studded and embroidered wedges completed the collection.
Our pick: The showstopper ensemble sported by Ayesha Omar was a visual treat. An emerald green choli with cut-out sleeves paired with a gold lehnga embellished with leather weaving at the waist drew the curtains on the opulent showcase.
Staying true to form, the designer didn’t break away from her signature tradition of using flowery tones in her bridal collection. Drawing inspiration from Renaissance homes with spectacular interiors of gold edged mirrors and silver ceilings, the collection was a treat for the fashion-savvy.
Dominant trends: The offerings included flattering silhouettes, gold wire work and intricate embroidery. From red velvet jackets, to off-white ghararas and sequinned dupattas, the line emanated vivacity and elegance. The palette began with soft creams and earthy tones blending into shades of green, dull gold and rich jewel tones. Appliqued floral work and gold sequinned embellishments dominated the collection; not to forget the roses in between.
Our pick: The black sequinned sari worn by Areeba Habib riveted our attention. Not too casual or too formal, the outfit was perfect eye-candy for any occasion.
Toni&Guy Hair Trends
Collection: Hair Fashion Scout
Celebrating a decade as the official sponsor of London Fashion Week, Saeeda Mandviwalla brought a myriad of hair trends to the ramp. Offering a mix of hairdos and hairstyles, the showcase featured models in Sania Maskatiya and Maheen Khan designs.
Radiating a casual yet classy feel, Maskatiya’s collection boasted voluminous crimped and side-braided hair embracing the winter season as seen on actor Syra Yousuf. On the other hand, actor Imran Abbas walked the runway in an unruly hairstyle for men.
Fringes and visible pigments of colour created by using new hair contouring techniques added glitz and glamour to the overall appeal. Maheen Khan’s collection entailed vibrant colours and shimmery outfits, with prominent waves, fierce curls and texturedrope braids, setting the tone for a ‘rich girl gone wild’ look.
Our pick: Actor Sarwat Gilani sported the noveau knot, a trend we feel will dominate this festive season.
Ayesha Farook Hashwani
Living up to its name, Hashwani’s collection featured ancient Greek landscapes on contemporary silhouettes and modern cuts, providing an image where the old world meets the new. This festive evening wear became alive with digital prints of Acropolis worn by models dressed as Greek goddesses. Featuring a feminine showcase, the line saw a diverse colour palette with winter-centric hues of black, beige, brown and purple tones in flowy silk.
Dominant trends: Comprising contemporary ruffled and tapered cuts with fluted hemlines, the collection put together a combination of rich fabrics, prints and styles on the runway. Waist-whittling gowns and offerings embroidered with gold thread work around the necklines, tipped the showcase towards the Eastern end of the fashion scale. With sparkles as embellishments, the designs were at par with the choice of a western woman.
Our pick: Sadaf Kanwal walked the ramp in a chocolate brown top, paired with a printed skirt. The slit in the middle added oomph to her skinny frame. Chunky jewellery and bangles complemented her look.
Collection: Russian Roulette
Designer duo Sana Safinaz presented their Luxury Prêt collection featuring an ode to the glamour associated with the winter season. With more misses than hits, the models were surely not dressed to impress.
Dominant trends: Experimenting with silk and crêpe fabric, there’s no gainsaying that the collection was innovatively draped. However, the textured prints on bold colours didn’t fit the fun and exotic theme that the collection promised to offer. Cigarette pants paired with jackets and matching separates with strappy cuts were the prevailing trends in the collection. Vibrant bursts of rich jewel-toned hues in blue, green and red dominated the colour scheme. Exquisite jewellery by Outhouse left us with some hope for the next collection.
Our pick: The olive green jacket paired with turquoise pants was our best bet. Mehreen Syed walked the ramp in the ensemble, ornamenting her look with chunky Outhouse earrings and a boxed clutch.
Taking a step further from his signature design philosophy, Hisham Malik drew inspiration from Alexander Pope’s romantic poem, Eloisa to Abelard. Revolving around the conflict between divinity and boundless human love, the transformation of colours on the runway depicted a world of limitless boundaries.
Dominant trends: Earthy tones such as blue and sea green translated in shades of grey and white as the showcase progressed. The colour scheme was based on the various stages of flame and its different colours. Maintaining a romantic mood, the line featured Western wear with motifs of birds, peacocks, flamingos and sparrows. Comprising gowns primarily, the showcase took a subtle approach to the chilly season.
Our pick: Mehreen Syed looked every bit a princess in a light grey Victorian cut gown. Accessorising her fairy-tale appeal with a head piece and draping veil at the back, the off-shoulder dress was imprinted with a floral landscape.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 1st, 2015.