With every fashion week that whizzes by, the designer line-up continues to show more promise. Offering a blend of traditional and modern twists, each designer put their best foot forward to showcase their collections’ most memorable elements on day two of the event. From Wardha Saleem opening the show with a diverse colour palette, to Deepak Perwani ending the day with exquisite and detailed mix-medium work, the aisle was by all means a visual treat for fashion fanatics.
Of the range of trends showcased, a few fads to don this festive season are heavily embellished capes, velvet dupattas, lehnga cholis, structured gowns and embroidered jackets. Gold and silver thread work, on neutral shades of pink, ivory and green and dark tones of brown, maroon and magenta dominated the colour scheme.
Collection: Zar Gul
Showcasing a surreal collection comprising luxury prêt, formals and bridal ensembles, Wardha took us on a spellbinding journey of a ‘golden flower’ presented through different age-old techniques of the region.
Dominant trends: The colour palette ranged from deep purples to bright magentas, sage green and blue leading to a range of bridals in gold. Comprising gold wire work in the form of gotta, dabka and applique, the ramp witnessed traditional silhouettes for a regal bride. Toying with winter fabrics such as velvets, silk, brocade and mesuri net, the line featured intricate detailing in the designer’s signature style. From exquisite jhumkas and jhoomars adorned on the runway, the showcase celebrated the heterogeneity of bridal looks through ghararas, lehenga-cholis and embellished saris. Eclectic mixes of contrasting hues such as maroon and gold, blue and gold and tea pink and sea green set the tone for a complete bridal wear display.
Our pick: The black sari with hints of fuchsia pink and turquoise was bordered with bright gold gotta. Donned by Cybil Chowdhry, the outfit stood out from afar.
Collection: Winter Festive
Taking inspiration from rich Russian embroidered motifs, the offerings were translated into the designer’s own aesthetics. The showcase posed a tribute to rich cultural crafts of the Subcontinent. Needless to say, Sheikh’s signature style shone through every ensemble.
Dominant trends: Something noteworthy in Sheikh’s collection was the way in which separates were paired in different styles and layered to create a variety of looks. From lehenga-cholis, chunnat dupattas and saris, to culottes designed in Eastern wear, the collection produced a timeless fusion of the East and the West. With well-defined French nodes, zardozi and resham ari work, interlaced with opulent fabrics such as velvet, atlas and crushed silk, there was a lot of layering in the collection. Dark and solid hues of brown, purple and maroon, blended with shades of gold exuded a captivating appeal. Equally pleasant was the sherwani collection for men, done in simple cuts and styling.
Our pick: The olive green choli coupled with a gold lehenga was a knockout. We adored how Areeba Habib pulled off the elegant look with a black velvet dupatta draped around her.
Collection: Sauvage ’16
Keeping up with the thread of an unpredictable relationship with nature, designer Khadija Shah presented a luxurious collection drawing inspiration from nature’s savage beauty. An amalgamation between antiquity and modernity, the line expressed an ambience of dark elegant glamour.
Dominant trends: Bringing everything wild to the runway, the showcase featured a visual treat for nature-lovers. Shah delved into sunflowers as the primary motif in her monochrome collection, with tinges of blush pink, leafy green and sunny yellow. It was here that we found ladybugs, spotted those deers, flamingos and butterflies. Using patching techniques and materials such as coloured stones and crystals for detailing, silhouettes in the form of capes, jackets, gowns and stoles accentuated the wilderness on the ramp. We feel the collection might be a little more appropriate for spring, but there’s no gainsaying that Shah presented a unique and awe-inspiring body of work indeed.
Our pick: Nadia Hussain looked drop-dead gorgeous as she walked the ramp in a mustard ensemble imprinted with floral designs and images of wildlife. This was paired with a black belt that cinched in at her waist.
Collection: From Tuscany with Love
Staying true to this season’s FPW favourite, Huma Adnan of FnkAsia showcased western wear fused with an Eastern appeal. Presenting a modern day ode to the beauty of architectural marvels such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the line wowed us with silhouettes that depicted a romantic culture and globe-trotting elegance.
Dominant trends: Through its classic Western cuts and flowing ruffles, the collection featured digital prints in colours of blue, pink and yellow. Intricate detailing of stain glass motifs, rich ornaments and patterned bodices were seen on the ramp, with most designs embellished in gold wire work around the neckline. The offerings included embroidered jackets and skirts, cholis paired with layered lehngas, and long western coats over cigarette pants. Chunky jewellery completed the collection.
Our pick: Nadia Hussain stunned in a shiny floor-length overcoat paired with crimson pants. The maroon choker neckpiece with dangling tassels accentuated the look.
Collection: Tempo di Festa
Celebrating the vivaciousness of the metropolis through Western party wear was Karim’s ethereal collection. Models sported masks on the ramp, setting a fashion precedent for the upcoming season, showing fads and chic contours of the glittering city of Karachi.
Dominant trends: Putting together an entirely Western wear line, Tempo di Festa featured culottes paired with dark festive capes, shimmery gowns, structured jumpsuits and edgy jackets. Among the plethora of bridal collections on display, Karim’s designs captivated us for having a well-rounded appeal. Offering an enchantingly festooned evening wear collection entailing draping velvets, charmuese silks and crinkled chiffons, black was the order of the day. Intricate hand embroidery on net fabric and glittering jewel stones were an impeccable choice for a glamorous collection that Karim had aimed to introduce on the runway.
Our pick: Mehreen Syed was on point in a figure-hugging, black embellished gown with sparkling gemstones over the sleeves and neck.
Collection: The La Vie en Rose
The House of Deepak Perwani closed the show with budding modelling icons such as Areeba Habib and Sadaf Kanwal. Presenting a collection inspired by the grandeur of old baroque winter roses and Chantilly lace, the showcase fared well, keeping the wedding season in mind.
Dominant trends: The offerings featured a myriad of colours, playful cuts and designs. Vintage roses were embroidered in abundance on belts and wreaths, coupled with pearls and crystal embellishments. Often known for using bright colours in his collection, this time around the designer opted for neutral shades of pink and lime green, on a range of fabrics such as lace, organza and screen prints. Jackets, velvet dupattas, and lehenga-cholis defined the collection. Off-shoulder tops paired with skirts gave the entire collection a modern twist, radiating a traditional yet contemporary appeal on the ramp.
Our pick: Sadaf pulled off the traditional bridal look with refined charm. The lime green veil and floral garland around her head complemented the contrasting shades of pink in her lehenga-choli.
Collection: Mystical Garden
Azwer’s FPW collection stepped into a world of enchantment and dreams. Making use of layering and 3D depiction of animals and flowers, the designer’s work exuded femininity and grace.
Dominant trends: Flamboyant cuts and detailed work summed up the heavily embellished bridal collection. Extensive detailing of resham, kaamdani and zardozi adapted well to festivities that the winter season entails. Using light pastels and soft neutrals such as lavender, orchid pink and powder blue, the collection did leave a prominent mark. While the offerings promised to showcase deers, grasshoppers and dragon-flies, the over-embellished outfits stole the mystical appeal. The collection encompassed gold and silver wire work on fabrics such as net, chiffon, organza and the designer’s signature French lace. In terms of silhouettes, the ramp witnessed traditional as well as experimental cuts in the form of lehengas, peshwaases, angarkhas, jackets and the dashing dhoti shalwar.
Our pick: The gold detailed jacket and olive green shalwar put together with a silver belt was aesthetically pleasing. Worn by Parisheh James, the outfit was our pick of the showcase.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 2nd, 2015.