The PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week made up big time for the lukewarm collections and environs on the last day of its showcase. With a fantastic line-up of easily the very best that the industry has to offer, it was a night that had stellar collections in quick succession.
The buzz and energy was infectious as the venue bubbled over with people, and the vibe energetic from the fresh pool of talent that always astounds one as they hit the ramp.
Adnan Pardesy gave denim a new dimension and life previously unknown in fashion. A ubiquitous fabric, but notoriously difficult to fashion well, Pardesy proved his mettle as a designer who has command over his craft and created his most wearable collection to date. To use denim to create garments that correspond to dominant trends in pret wear like the flowing kameez with a floating hemline was sheer genius. He used the age old techniques of pleating and pin-tucks but added interlocking and zippers to add more texture to his garments. The zips added to the construction of the garments, such as a full skirt and a kameez with adjustable lengths on the sides by either taking the zip up or down. This ingenious technique allowed garments to be more than just what they were fashioned out as; treat each piece as you wish.
The skirt and kameez with zips along the sides.
Crimson by Ali Xeeshan
Always over the top and flamboyant, Ali Xeeshan never compromises on the outlandish grandeur of his presentation. But even as he debuted, one wondered, if he would ever be able to make clothes? His last collection ‘The Pheonix’ quenched all doubts when he worked with crushed fabric and innovative cuts to present a prêt savvy line of tops and kaftans. Yet apart from his psychedelic printed saris, his present collection did not offer many clothes. Yes there was a hint of The Pheonix with a crushed fabric maxi dress and a few voluminous pieces that combined his peacock screen prints and shawl fabric with the crushed fabric, but on the whole there was nothing remarkably new for Xeeshan to offer except for the few pieces of bridal wear that he added from his line for Crimson. The styling of the show, as always, was incredibly flashy and given Xeeshan’s creativity in this department one wishes he would venture into making accessories and lend a hand to primping collections for the other designers at fashion week to add a bit of the ‘razzle dazzle’ he possesses.
Bringing the veil back for brides -- instead of a cloistering cloth veil, a sheer net one that adds to the radiance of a bridal ensemble.
A sheer ‘paloo’ (sari trail) beneath a printed one, as a double ‘paloo’ on a sari.
To resolutely work with local fabrics and just cotton bare of any embellishment, to create ensembles that exemplify ‘awami’ cool and yet have the ability to reign at any ramp or red carpet, is nothing short of sheer genius. With each showing, Feeha Jamshed has consistently proved how well she deserves her father, Tanvir Jamshed’s mantle to carry his mission of affordable fashion for the masses. Relying only on cuts and silhouettes, Jamshed is a master craftsman who spins trends with each piece that she artfully creates. Whether its initiating the jumpsuit back into the Pakistani fashion scene or bringing wide palazzos to merrily co-exist with the latest obsession of churidaars, or predicting the print on print trend even before it hit the global catwalk -- Jamshed has a real pulse on fashion, on what is relevant now, and how to make it our own. With this collection entitled Freedom, Jamshed has given women the freedom to wear what they please: pants, shalwars, tunics, maxis and even ghararas.
A virgin white cotton gharara cum cargo pants ensemble.
Cotton ghararas; buttons lined on the side of a tunic; wearing a button down kameez the other way around, with the collar and buttons at the back instead of the front.
A brand that has consistently worked towards the development of true street wear, FnkAsia presented its most coherent collection to date. It was fun and spot on with trends for the season. Carrying forth from its last showing at fashion week in Islamabad, the brand presented a wide spectrum of colours and designs, particularly with a focus on providing multiple options in lowers.
The printed bubble poncho and the marigold body-suit.
Detailing and embellishment on the ends of the churidaar.
To survive creatively and business wise for someone like Ammar Belal who steers away from gauche bling and traditional wear, is a mammoth task. Yet Belal manages it with such grace to represent collection after collection of unconventional clothing that push boundaries of style without compromising his design philosophy. In his most wearable collection for the Pakistani market, he picked up on the oft used safari theme but ensured that it remained true to his aesthetic. Structured and safari chic, he also dabbled in equestrian fashion and worked with linens, cottons and suede to give a unique twist to how a tryst in Africa would be ala Ammar Belal.
Sequined tights in leopard spots.
Safari suits for women with suede accents.
A master showman, Hasan Sheheryar Yasin understands the business of glamour and fashion like none other. Incredibly suave and an astute business man, he has built a brand that personifies traditional glam. As a choreographer he knows how to put up a show and enthrall audiences. With HSY, one always expects fireworks and he never disappoints. With a live DJ and drum beats, HSY took us on a Voyage Nationale that depicted the various crafts of Pakistan; an apt move to do so just when the PFDC has also begun to work with local artisans through a Saarc initiative titled Sabah. In line with the philosophy of strengthening livelihood programs, HSY also dexterously used the Swati hand embroidered bags by Krizmah to accessorise his collection. However despite all these efforts, it was clear that HSY is a brand that makes breathtaking bridals but cannot merge quintessential local craft like mirror work very well onto garments. The brand stands for opulence and the crafted embellishments stuck out like a sore thumb on otherwise luxurious garments. What did work though was the incorporation of phulkari on the sherwani as well as traditional bolero on a sequined pop orange jump suit.
A royal purple gown with cut work motifs all along the skirt.
Coats on saris.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 03rd, 2011.