LAHORE: It is the alma mater of fashion’s biggest stars like Hasan Sheheryar Yasin and Kamiar Rokni, yet until a few days ago, Pakistan’s most renowned fashion school could not confer a degree on its students. “We are pleased to announce that we had placed a charter with the National Assembly which has gotten approved and we hope to hear a positive response from the Senate as well,” spoke Hina Tayyaba, the principal of the Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design (PIFD) at the press conference held at the school’s premises for the formal inauguration of the campus. “We are here to celebrate the journey of PSFD to PIFD,” stated Tayyaba at a formal ceremony to honour and acknowledge the government that has been a backbone for the initiation and development of the school.
The inauguration was aptly done by Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim with other ministry officials such as Zafar Mehmood and Tariq Puri in attendance. There were several pride worthy moments for the school that day, one of which was the chief guest Amin Fahim’s declaration of two new scholarships along with the announcement that six new institutes will be opened across Pakistan. “We need to develop the segment of industry in the low key regions of Pakistan that have expertise in crafts such as jewellery, furniture, pottery and tile making. By opening up schools in cities such as Peshawar, Faisalabad, Islamabad, Quetta, Multan and maybe in Sialkot in due time, we hope to change the economies of these areas and take their products to the market places of the world,” spoke Mehmood optimistically.
To project the skill set that students have acquired from the school, the press conference was concluded with an excellent show that demonstrated the institute’s design prowess in every form. Apart from showcasing the graduating class’ work from the past few years, some of which has also graced fashion week ramps to rave reviews, in a most endearing and unique opening, the show began with little children ranging from four to seven years walking the ramp in beautifully crafted garments.
With lollipops in their hands, or in their mouths, wreaths around their arms or titled tiny hats on some, these mini models astounded the audiences with their confidence, poise and their immaculate catwalk that showed off their ensembles in all their glory. “These models can take anyone for a ride,” beamed veteran designer Maheen Khan as she excitedly clapped and oohed and aahed with her peer Nilofer Shahid. Both Khan and Shahid are jury members for the school’s final year thesis but claimed that they had never seen a show this good by the students.
“Children’s wear is a third year project so we never showcase them at graduation shows,” spoke Shavana Abid who, along with Asim Naeem, was responsible for the adorable show. “I wanted to do something different to get some energy on the ramp,” added Naeem . Starting the show with these mini delights was a fabulous idea that not only generated hype in the audience; it also demonstrated a talent of the school that was previously never showcased. Gauging by how these garments were constructed and what a large industry children’s wear is, one should encourage students to work in this direction, where, as an artiste one can experiment immensely without compromising on creativity and tap into the lucrative market. One hopes that the PIFD takes the children’s wear project seriously and holds exclusive shows in the future dedicated to this line of work. Surely, it will enthrall those who are present thereby creating new avenues for fresh graduates.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2011.
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