KARACHI: Every year hundreds of fashion stories make way to our media, and this year was no different. While some made headlines for being controversial, others contributed to our ever-changing fashion landscape.
Here are the top fashion stories of 2015 which caught the media’s attention:
Militant-style promoted on London runway days after Paris attacks
Maharishi — a fashion label established by a London-based designer Hardy Blechman — showcased its ‘utility-chic’ collection in the city on January 9. Walking the ramp with hooded jackets and face covered with balaclava, the models bore resemblance to the terrorists involved in the deadly Charlie Hebdo shootings.
The timing of the event, as termed by former Home Office Minister Norman Baker, was a “little unfortunate” as several politicians and world leaders had gathered in Paris to remember the people killed in the attacks at the offices of the satirical magazine on January 7.
The dress that took the internet by storm
An image of a formal dress went viral on social media after people disputed the colour of the dress. While some found the dress to be blue and black, others were adamant it was white and gold.
Theories explaining the variation in colours sprung up and brands started using it as a marketing ploy but the heated debate never reached a plausible conclusion. One scientific explanation, however, stated that the cones and rods in our eyes cause some people to see it as blue and black and vice versa.
Five-year-old Laila Naim became Burberry’s first Pakistani model
In March, five-year-old Laila Naim grabbed headlines for becoming the first Pakistani to model for the British luxury fashion house.
Donning a signature Burberry trench coat, this little fashionista was featured on the official website, making her country proud at such a tender age. Her glistening eyes and innocence took her straight to the runway of Fashion Parade, London.
PIA revamped their uniforms with Nomi Ansari’s designs
March was officially the month of national pride as national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) took an initiative to revamp their staff’s looks with the help of top local designers.
Maheen Khan, Shamaeel Ansari, Sonya Batla, Nomi Ansari, Amir Adnan, Nida Azwer, Ismail Farid, Omer Farooq, Fahad Hussayn, Maheen Karim, Misha Lakhani, Sania Maskatiya, Yasmeen Sheikh, Shamoon Sultan of Khaadi, Ali Xeeshan and HSY showcased their prospective uniforms at the ‘Runway Collection 2015′.
Nomi Ansari won the fashion face-off and bagged the honour to lend his creations for the national airline.
Launch of Pakistan’s first Halal makeup products
The presence of non-halal ingredients in makeup — mainly alcohol and lard — is a growing concern for Muslim women across the world since these ingredients are incompatible with their religious beliefs.
Makeup maven Masarrat Misbah capitalised on this void and launched MM — Pakistan’s first brand of certified halal makeup.
Fashion disasters on the biggest red carpets
Two of the biggest nights of the year, Met Gala and Cannes saw some questionable designs on the red carpet, with many designs looking nothing less than ridiculous. Unfortunately, most of them were donned by Hollywood A-listers who usually make headlines for their fashion forward ensembles. We list a few here:
Rihanna in Guo Pei
Sarah Jessica Parker in H&M and Philip Treacy headpiece
Sonam Kapoor in Elie Saab
Katrina Kaif in Oscar De La Renta
YSL advert banned for featuring ‘unhealthily underweight model’
Fashion giant — Yves Saint Laurent — grabbed international headlines when its ad in Elle UK magazine got banned after an Elle reader complained that the model in the advert was too thin and unhealthy.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) censured the advert and stated “the model was unhealthily underweight in the image and the ad was irresponsible,” reported BBC.
Jane Birkin asked Hermès to rename ‘Birkin bags’
Hermès created an uproar as actor, singer and style icon Jane Birkin publicly asked the luxury fashion brand to rename their famous ‘Birkin’ bag following her concerns over animal cruelty.
The undercover video by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) which exposed the crocodile and alligator farms in Zimbabwe and Texas — that were allegedly supplying Hermès with the leather for their bags — prompted the 68-year-old actress to take the decision. However, she later retracted the request after Hermes assured her of their ethical practices.
Tabassum Mughal’s spat with a client
The fashion designer came under fire for her alleged involvement in the physical assault of a client over alterations of her bridal dress. A post by the soon-to-be bride’s cousin and friend accusing Tabassum for manhandling the bride’s mother took social media by storm.
Although the designer refused to comment on the incident, a video showing a financial settlement between both the parties later surfaced on social media settling the dust to some extent.
Fashion outlets sealed for non-payment of taxes
Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) sealed several fashion outlets in Gulberg and Defence Housing Authority areas of Lahore for non-compliance. A PRA team, headed by Additional Commissioner Ayesha Ranjha, sealed the Zara Shahjahan, Mini Bindra, Sania Maskatiya, Nida Azwer, Ayesha Imam, Shirin Hassan, Ammar Belal and six other outlets. Fashion designers strongly reacted to the crackdown on the fashion industry.
Sapphire accused of plagiarism
Bloggers such as Luxe Pakistan and Aamiriat highlighted how two of Sapphire’s designs were a copy of international graphic designers Shelley Steer and Johanna Burai. The London and Sweden-based illustrators took to Instagram to deny knowledge of their designs being used by the fashion label and caused quite a furor.
Unlike other designers, Khadijah Shah — of design house Élan and Sapphire — took the blame and accepted the fault on her part.
Black Friday in Pakistan
The country saw some of the biggest clothing sales this year, along with some of the biggest cat fights. A 50% off sale at Sapphire drew a lot of media attention when a video showing two women fighting it out at the Lahore outlet — tugging, pulling and snatching their prized possessions — surfaced on the internet.
Ali Xeeshan redefines beauty standards with a rare photo shoot
The fashion designer upped his game yet again by defying ‘ideal’ beauty standards. Ali collaborated with photographer Abdullah Haris for a breathtaking shoot that challenged the concept of applying tonnes of makeup on brides in the quest of fairer skin.
The shoot featuring artificially tanned models Amna Baber and Hasnain Lehri aimed to promote the idea of being comfortable in one’s own skin by embracing their natural skin tone.