Showcase 2012: A vexing affair

The four-day fashion event received a mixed response.


Hani Taha March 31, 2012

KARACHI:


The recently concluded fashion week ‘Showcase 2012’ had rather mysterious origins which left one confused and annoyed at the same time. Prior to its actual occurrence, nobody quite knew whether the event would really materialise or not because there was no press release forwarded to media organisations. The event which popped out of nowhere, left the media perplexed over whether or not they should cover an event that they weren’t even invited to till the very last day. 


The excuse that the invites weren’t given out well ahead of schedule due to security, wasn’t plausible enough because frankly, we have seen three years of fashion weeks already to know the kind of organising skills it takes to make fashion events sail smoothly. Yet Ayesha Tammy Haq, in her capacity as the administrative head, staunchly claims that invites were couriered. “People have the right to do what they want and frankly speaking it’s entirely up to people to come or not,” she says alluding to two major fashion publications who chose not to cover the event.

When competition overshadows quality

With the rift between Fashion Pakistan and Rizwan Beyg, who is still part of Fashion Pakistan Council many would say it was inevitable that Beyg would surge forth with his own platform. And he did. But to Beyg’s credit, he is honest enough to state that, “I’m not claiming to be different. The Showcase is a platform for the youth. Councils like Fashion Pakistan and Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) will only promote fashion giants who can match their high standards.” Haq adds, “it’s just a platform and an opportunity. Maybe some of these kids will eventually join these councils.”

The issue with such platforms is that fashion inevitably gets beheaded quite brutally at its altar. Thus, what one had to bear with over the period of four days was questionable. But again, the designer who has mentored the likes of Adnan Pardesy, Fahad Hussayn and Zaheer Abbas, admits most readily, “the event was flawless, the decor was impeccable, the general set-up was aesthetically and technically sound, but the collections were debatable.”

For a creative director to blatantly and unabashedly concur that what he put out was bad takes guts. “Some people showed immense promise like Ishtiaq Afzal Khan but others needed the bad press to get their act together. There have been lots of complaints that PFDC and Fashion Pakistan tell people they aren’t worth showing. I’m not here to become the fashion police. I’m just here to provide a platform for designers.”

On the plus side

That said, the showcase also became the launching pad for Hello!Pakistan magazine as well as an initiative for ‘Ethical Fashion’.

A brainchild of Bangladeshi iconic model-turned-fashion designer, UN and Unesco Ambassador Bibi Russell, ‘Ethical Fashion’ will kick-start in Colombo in September 2012 to promote the cause for fashion for development.

“Ethical fashion is for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) countries to come together and transcend borders. It’s an initiative to keep the money home that usually gets sucked out by the large international retail brands that manufacture here but don’t empower the artisans in these regions,” explains Haq.

In addition to the above mentioned ventures, the platform has also announced a design competition for PIA uniforms.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2012.

COMMENTS (1)

Arif Ali Khan | 9 years ago | Reply

My admiration and support to BIBI RUSSEL. Keep up the good work madam. Joy Bangla.

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