The celebrated four-day event Showcase 2012 kick-started on March 26 in Karachi, at the DHA Country and Golf Club’s Convention Centre with nine designers displaying their collections on the ramp. Over the next three days, 27 more designers will be exhibiting their collections.
Ajai Vir Singh
The playful, brightly coloured collection of Sri Lankan-based designer Singh was inspired primarily from a beach town called Arugam Bay. The colour palette relied on fuchsias, oranges, ocean blues and many other interesting colours.
Trends to remember: Rainbow-coloured beach sandals and swimwear with models sporting oversized sunglasses for agreater ‘fun in the sun’ effect.
The look: Exotic beach boys
The designer’s pret-a-porter collection, ‘Matyala’ rocked the ramp. With multiple hemlines using different fabrics on the back, her geometric zig-zaggy collection was truly artistic. The colour palette remained in shades of red and black with a touch of beige on silk and chiffon.
Trends to remember: Off the shoulder kameezes, short hemlines upfront with longer hemlines at the back and metal details using gold buttons
The feel: Urban and cosmopolitan
The look: For urban girls or desis residing in NewYork City
This PIFD’s graduate made his debut drawing Pakistani rural heritage on his designs. At his second showing, Ali remained within similar cultural boundaries and touched on the rich festival of Jamat in Punjab. Akin to his first collection, the look was very Punjab-centric with a rich palette of solid loud colours that have also become hallmarks of designer Mohsin Ali.
Trends to remember: Stratified rainbow backs, A-line kameezes, Teejays like bubble punto and embellishments featuring tilla and gold polish mark work.
The feel: Going back to the rural heritage
The look: Festive and desi
The designer’s ‘Revenge’ collection, remained true to his signature style and focused primarily on femininity and timeless elegance. With silks and chiffons in dark hues of brown, olive green and yellow, this was a truly awe-inspiring western collection.
Trends to remember: Cat-ears sleeves and metal-stud detailing.
The feel: With metal jewellery on the faces of the female models, it seemed that Cleopatra had reincarnated on the ramp.
The look: Old Roman Gothic appeal
Azwer’s ‘Parinda’ collection was a peculiar mix of all that she does and is known for — from angarkhas and bridal wear to embroidered coat and saris — nature remained in focus with peacock motifs highlighting some of the garments.
Trends to remember: Peacock-motif saris
The feel: A touch of Persian relics and tapestries
The look: Semi-formal line meant for young brides.
Model-turned-designer Wakeel, who graduated from the London College of Fashion, showcased his ‘Draped Modern Kouroi’ collection. This collection was disappointing as it seemed like the designer had no wearability factor in mind while designing. It was primarily designed for the ramp. Black was the predominant colour in most of his designs.
Trend to remember: The draped uppers and jackets were interesting.
The feel: Raw, unabashed and unsettling parade of masculinity
The look: The Dark Knight
Five students from Asian Institute of Fashion Design (AIFD), showed their refreshing take on western outfits. It was nice to see that AIFD graduates have finally evolved beyond the fluffy Southern belle gowns and had begun to focus more on the construction side of designing in order to stand at par with their Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design (PIFD) peers from Lahore. From mini-skirts to long dresses, the entire collection was in black silhouettes.
Trends to remember: Net-covered faces of models and heads adorned with hats
The feel: Subtle, edgy, modern and contemporary
The look: Moulin Rouge
Hira Lari moved miles away from her lawn collection with her western-inspired ‘Nostalgia’ collection. Looking back, we still can’t figure out if this was a modern take on 1880s southern belle look or a collection inspired by the ghettos.
Trends to remember: Shimmery, sequined tights with sheer tops
The feel: Ghetto-chic
The look: Teenage rebellion
‘Warda Experience collection’ was the only lawn summer collection on display. However, the lawn was styled and cut in western outfits, with the colour palette including various shades of greens and blues.
Trends to remember: Outfits with small floral prints or large Balochi motifs were brought on the ramp
The feel: Oddly-styled lawn that neither looked high street or high fashion
The look: A western persona given to the traditional lawn.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2012.