The best fashion weeks showcase a country’s top designers and their visions for the coming season. They present a platform for designers, buyers and the media to interact and attract sponsors. Did Fashion Pakistan Week 6 deliver? Almost!
The new board of Fashion Pakistan Council has not only worked well with the senior members of the council, they have attracted a strong contingent from Lahore, notably HSY. HSY is arguably the best in the country at choreographing and managing fashion shows and he is also a founding member of PFDC. The fact that FPC asked HSY to choreograph the shows, and his acceptance, speaks volumes of the new atmosphere of camaraderie within Pakistani fashion.
Where FPW6 perhaps fell short was, in showcasing enough full collections from top designers. Half the board members were only represented by capsule collections, either for Maybelline or Toni&Guy. While it was great that Maheen Karim, Sanam Chaudri and Sania Maskatiya did show something on the ramp, FPW6 missed the full collections showing the Spring/Summer 2014 direction from these designers. The event needed established designers like Shehla Chatoor, Sara Shahid and Sadaf Malaterre to show more than a taste of what they are capable of.
That being said, we saw great capsule collections from pretty much everyone. Shehla Chatoor’s sexy, glitzy red carpet collection, Sadaf Malaterre’s fun, breezy dresses and Sania Maskatiya’s earthy ensembles were all fabulous teasers of what these designers are capable of.
There were plenty of brilliant full collections. HSY with his powerful Venom collection, Nida Azwer with her intricate, crisp white ensembles and Wardha Saleem with her impressive showcase. Shamaeel Ansari’s Tughra collection was simply beautiful while debutante Inaaya made an impact with a Rilli collection that was creative and sophisticated.
Tapu Javeri’s, Tapulicious collection was one of the highlights of FPW6. With capsule collections by Kami, Mohsin Ali and HSY, the collection featured prints designed exclusively for each designer.
Fahad Hussayn showed some fabulous pieces including embroidered luxury pret, structured outfits and beautifully draped printed dresses. A few changes would have made a stronger impact, but overall his was an excellent trousseau collection.
Deepak Perwani’s elegant collection was a million miles from his equally brilliant Frieda collection — this was resort wear at its best. Adnan Pardesy’s, Gotta Weave collection was innovative and sophisticated.
Nauman Arfeen and Zainab Chottani showed solid, cohesive collections. Arfeen’s chocolate brown ethnic wear and Chottani’s vibrant embroideries paired with black and white were well executed. While neither set the ramp on fire, both showed technique and creativity.
As for the rest, the collections were a mixed bag of hits and misses. Aamna Aqeel disappointed with a few exceptional pieces but an overall lack of cohesion. Nomi Ansari and Ali Xeeshan provided plenty of theatrics but precious little fashion.
Faraz Manan’s resort collection flowed from pale rose to deep coral. It was perhaps a resort collection for a destination wedding with too much embroidery on display; however, it was an intricate collection that will probably sell well.
Two brands showed accessories at FPW6, high street brand Jafferjees and Mahin Hussain. While Mahin Hussain had an interesting, poetic concept her finishing didn’t match that of Jafferjees, who are possibly one of Pakistan’s most under-rated brands.
While FPW6 did have its share of high street brands, this didn’t detract from the event as feared. The high street brands all understood that fashion weeks are not lawn launches. We were thankfully spared parades of models in unimaginative lawn tents. Even brands that did show lawn, like Kayseria and Lala, made an attempt to treat the fabric differently. The ethnic, village girl concept may be a tired one but Kayseria’s styling of their lawn as crisp saris was an unusual take on the concept.
Gulabo is high street in terms of price and availability, but they invariably stray into the realms of high fashion on the ramp. Their map and cityscape prints in fabulous, slouchy silhouettes were exceptional.
Other high street brands opted to show evening wear, with varying degrees of success. Daaman was undoubtedly the star of the high street section, with a strong concept, chic outfits and modern silhouettes; Sheep was at the other end of the spectrum. Their eveningwear collection included some pretty outfits but many shockers. Gul Ahmed’s digital collection was elegant with its tapered pants, jumpsuits and printed jackets. The collection contained echoes of Shehla Chatoor and Sania Maskatiya, it’s great that brands like Gul Ahmed are bringing designer looks to the high street.
FPW6 also featured a segment for emerging designers, which showed some promise but also demonstrated why it’s important to have a selection process. It’s great that this fashion week featured none of the mediocrity that has made some previous FPWs painful. Hats off for the new board, for putting together a great fashion week.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2014.
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