Fashion Pakistan Week: Day 5

April 09, 2010

KARACHI: Fashion Pakistan Week came to an end as the biggest platform for Pakistan's fashion talent strutted their creativity.

Hats used to be the sign of the genteel; and headdresses a sign of the rich and idle. But in a country with searing hot weather like Pakistan, and rarely an event to wear a hat at, what is up with all this headgear at Fashion Pakistan Week?

For the past few days, the runway has seen a multitude of hats, helmets and headdresses that have left one baffled. From a tame attempt at wide brimmed hats (Monia Farooqui), an amalgamation of zebra stripes with a gladiator helmet (Shakeel Saigol), deer antlers (Kuki Concepts) and giant birds (Fahad Hussayn), the headgear has been the focal part of the shows’ styling. But does any of it even make sense, from a style or a cultural standpoint?

While turbans (now overdone), parandas and headscarves are all part of our cultural fabric, the plethora of random things being stuck on model heads is not even an ‘inspiration from the west’. It just harks of unnecessary dramatic value added to a collection that perhaps is not that great.

But even the faces of models are not left unadorned. Unlike designers Marithe Francois Girbaud and Jean- Charles de Castelbajac, who tried to make a statement about the French government’s plan to ban the burqa in the country by showing models with full veils and fitted masks, Pakistani designer Summiya Warsi’s collection featured models with sheer bags over their heads.

Even if it was just for the sake of fashion, it would have made a statement had Indian designers Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna not done the exact same thing at Wills India Fashion Week earlier this month. Given that images of fashion Pakistan Week are carried worldwide, it is only a matter of time before the animal rights activist group People for Ethical Treatment of Animals gives some Pakistani designers a call.

Kuki Concepts’ finale featured a deer’s head, antlers and all, and Fahad Hussayn’s headgear comprised of blond wigs merged with feathers and what looks like a bird. Given that a cat suffered intense shock at being dragged out on the runway, one can totally expect PETA to be campaigning outside the venue for Pakistani fashion weeks.

While the styling last year’s Fashion Pakistan Week showed innovative ways of wearing a paranda (wrapped around the forehead, hippie style) and motia flowers (strung as necklaces), the only thing one has learnt at this year’s event is how to flog a dead animal’s remains. Where is the fashion police when you need it?