New designers steal limelight at finale

Funky fashion and dramatic designs make the show worth watching.

The top three trends for the season are monochromatic tones, lime green and everything striped. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK/EXPRESS


The final day at Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) Sunsilk Fashion Week was packed with excitement as far as drama went. When it came to the business of fashion, the first act presented far better collections than the second act. Surprisingly, this year the emerging talent collection stole the show with their fun, creative and vibrant collections. The top three trends for the season will have to be monochromatic tones, lime green and everything striped.

Faiza Samee

Faiza Samee presented a collection of print-on-print. Her vibrant prints opened the first act of the finale with flared pants and gypsy tops. Ranging from monochromatic pants paired with funky prints, Samee made it all work. She is most definitely better at luxury prêt and bridals. Faiza’s prêt line is wearable and fun which most Pakistanis can relate to — not something we can say for other designers.

Maheen Karim

This designer opened her Paradise collection with a stunning monochromatic web-like printed dress on Fayeza Ansari. Maheen Karim’s infusion of brown tones into the monochrome added to the look and set her apart. She focused more on her swirly Roberto Cavalli-like prints and cuts. Only she could merge all the warm colour tones into one outfit and make it work. However, her embellishments need more structure and time. The collection overall was cohesive, with the elimination of the embellishments which weren’t as exciting as one would have expected from Karim.

ZONG promotes new talent

This segment takes the cake for creativity and structured designs. First up Mahgul for Nasreen Sheikh presented her Archival collection based on the images from the civil and military gazette. Appliquéd images on pants and sheer organza tops, the collection was monochromatic and made a statement. This no-fuss collection was simple and yet made the impact on the ramp that any collection needs to make.

Arooj Ahmed was another shining star in this segment with her funky prints. The colour palettes in the collection majorly consist of blues and oranges, with other vibrant shades used to accentuate the palette. Ahmed has played with the basic silhouettes by cut lines to make them more altered and inimitable, giving a contemporary look to nature’s beauty. Ruffled tops with almost a fan-like effect added drama to the collection and that is what one likes to see from an emerging young designer.

Mohsin Ali presented his Sustainable Fashion collection. The aesthetic inspiration for the women’s wear collection is drawn from traditional basket weaving which was reflected in the silhouettes and textures of the garments. He played around with woven fabric in white and grey but added character with his cane accessories. From the shoes to head gear, his collection was all about making a statement with the accessories.

Daniyal Mubarik’s collection titled Global Culture took inspiration from different cultures around the world and merged it together. Outfits with British notch collars blended with traditional Japanese kimonos and Indian saris mixed with Arabic turbans and African drapes among many others. Indeed, the depiction of different cultural motifs is demonstrative of the yin-yang philosophy and shows how seemingly contrary elements can exist in artistic harmony.

Khaadi Khaas

The second act opened with Khaadi Khaas’s tribal-inspired collection. While the collection had some great elements along with funky internal linings, there were some pieces that had the typical Khaadi aesthetic. The Afghan inspired jewellery deserved a shout out. Metallic belts and shoes were all the rave. While they kept up with the monochromatic trend, Khaadi Khaas incorporated blue accents merged with maroon in their collection.


Each year it seems as if Muse uses the same techniques to create new motifs. And while we all love recurring trends, there comes a time when these trends become redundant. Even though Muse uses top quality fabric, their latest collection European Palaces didn’t do any wonders on the ramp. The rosette filled blouses were done three years ago and now they have just become boring to see. With so much potential, Muse needs to step away from the yawn-factor and try something new and different.

Wardah Saleem

Wardah Saleem colour blocked her monochromatic aesthetic with vibrant prints. In her collection, she uses flamboyant colours like yellow and turquoise while infusing appliqué accents. However, the most interesting parts of Saleem’s collection were accessories and shoes. Multi-coloured accessories with Charlotte Olympia’s cobweb patterns on the shoes. It is fun to see how designers are now expanding their range into accessories and shoes to complement the look of their collection. From jelly sandals to formal shoes, Saleem had it all.

Ali Xeeshan

This designer closed the first act with his all white collection. Sometimes it is important to understand the extravagance that can be created with just one colour makes the impact one wants. What worked for Ali Xeeshan, apart from the drama, were individual pieces from the collection. The embroideries carried on from his bridal week collection, with a similar aesthetic. His over-the-top style might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it is undeniable that Xeeshan knows how to put up a great show.


PSFW came to an end with HSY’s dramatic collection. HSY knows how to rock an event. Male models walked out in I Love HSY T-shirts and the ladies in shirts with his signature emblem emblazoned on them. It was not the collection of the evening but HSY created drama with crushed chiffon, embroidered pants and Patiala shalwar-inspired jumpsuits. Male models came out carrying oversized travel bags that added to the collection.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 1st, 2013.                       

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Palvasha von Hassell | 8 years ago | Reply

Sight for sore eyes. A1 models, fantastic creations. Pakistani fashion scene rocks. Thanks.

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