As bridal fashion week was in full swing in Lahore, the city of lights saw its own two day fashion show.
As part of the annual Expo, a trade fair that bills itself as a platform that showcases “the very best of Pakistan”, the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) organised a fashion segment — a feature of the Expo that has become popular with those with an eye for what’s in vogue. As international and local buyers gathered under the Pearl Continental Marquee on October 4 and 5, designers such as Faiza Samee and Sonya Battla, along with artist Amin Gulgee presented some interesting work that reflected their signature style. While there was, of course, one hopelessly outdated collection, the majority did generate some fashionable numbers that could easily find a home for themselves in your closet. Here are some things we loved:
The runway saw some colourful and well-tailored jackets that can easily be thrown over a basic white top and rocked at a party. Short structured rilli jackets for men from Kuki Concepts’ ‘Flamboyance’ collection and beautifully embroidered fitted jackets in neon colours by Rang Ja were the most attractive. They boast skillful Pakistani craft and are definitely items that can dress up an otherwise plain outfit. Sonya Battla’s chiffon cap sleeved jacket with worked edging was a soft, flowy option that could be paired with a casual shirt over wide-legged pants and palazzos. Zubair Lakhani’s venture Maxco had soft leather jackets in dark brown that are also being exported to Italy — a good buy for those looking for smart winter wear.
Instead of just the regular chiffons, cottons and silks, designers experimented with some unusual fabric at the TDAP fashion event. While Adnan Pardesy used denim to create flared shirts and a structured sherwani style kameez for his ‘Working Women’ collection, Kuki Concepts and PIFD students played with wool and feathers. Nova Leather put a sexy green leather number on Iraj, who rocked it on the ramp in black tights and boots. It was interesting to see the same cuts and styles in atypical material.
Another trend spotted on the runway was layered kameezes and dresses. Faiza Samee created layers with richly coloured block prints in chiffon, and made screen print contemporary and different by mixing vivid block prints with animal prints and solid colours. Sonya Battla churned out beautifully stitched shirts and dresses for her ‘Mystique and Glory’ collection, which primarily used karandi and linen in light colours. Kuki Concepts’ one shoulder floral printed dress modeled by Maha also used a red layer to add volume. It was interesting to see designers play with colour when using different layers, but Sonya Battla chose to stay true to her signature subtle tones, creating a less flirty, more sophisticated look.
Tribal prints and frills were all the rage. While Faiza Samee presented fresh tribal-printed pajamas in silk that can be worn with a solid colour kurta, the PIFD designers pieced together tribal headgear with buttons at the neckline. Rang Ja used ethnic, rilli-inspired embroidery for dresses and Sonya Battla played up her muted colours with raggedy cloth necklaces.
Breaking it up
More than one designer chose to add a belt to their outfit. Faiza Samee paired an embellished slim belt with a lovely screen printed tunic in orange, maroon and black. A PIFD designer and Rang Ja added braided belts to dresses, whereas Sonya Battla added a raggedy cloth belt to a layered kurta.
You can always expect Amin Gulgee to wow you with eccentric statement jewellery. Not only did his copper and bronze leaves and chunky choker necklaces impress foreign buyers in the crowd, they also make for very interesting fashion statements that can instantly glam up a long black dress. Maxco added a bright pink scarf to their menswear, which was a welcome change from the regular earthy colours. Nova Leather’s long chained bag and smaller yellow handbag are bang on trend. Rang Ja’s multi-coloured necklaces worn in bunches added extra spunk to their super funky outfits.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2012.