The evening of June 9 saw a celebration of Pakistani fashion aesthetics with Fashion Parade 2014. Seven designers, six Pakistanis and one Indian, showcased sophisticated collections in the elegant setting of The Orangery at the Kensington Palace.
The intimate event was preceded by a reception and included prominent British South Asians from the business, fashion and media sectors. Also present at the event were representatives from the British Fashion Council and the Pakistani Embassy. Pakistani singer-actor Ali Zafar added a little filmy glitz and drew the raffle prizes.
Zara Shahjahan’s displays her ‘Love Bug’ collection from PSFW 2014
Brainchild of Sadia Siddiqui, CEO of Mustang Productions, and Ammara Hikmat, CEO of Encyclomedia PR, Fashion Parade accomplished its aim of providing a first-rate platform for Pakistani fashion. The fashion, too, lived up to the billing, despite the fact that the line-up contained a mere smattering of the biggest names in Pakistani fashion.
Faiza Samee is one of Pakistan’s most senior designers. She opened the show with a distinctly bohemian collection that featured floaty printed jackets and block print palazzos. Samee’s finale paired long-fitted embroidered jackets with dramatic palazzos for a look that was both striking and flattering.
Ayesha Farook Hashwani’s blingy fusion collection flitted from embellished capes to sensuous gowns. The heavily-embellished capes were paired with tapered pants. Hashwani showed a variety of other cuts including an exquisite embroidered kimono-sleeved jacket and some beautifully-made lace trousers. The collection perhaps contained too much variety to make a cohesive statement, but the individual pieces were polished and pretty.
Seher Tareen’s collection was an extension of the one she displayed this spring at Pakistan Fashion Design Council Sunsilk Fashion Week (PSFW). A strong debut, Tareen’s collection was based on the paintings of Gustav Klimt, particularly his painting The Kiss. The collection featured tunics, jackets and dresses in tones of canary yellow, pewter and black and Tareen’s use of leather and contrast kept the vibrant collection edgy.
Nazneen Tariq’s jewellery pieces paired with Romero Bryan’s designs
Multi-designer boutique Aashni & Co chose to present Anamika Khanna’s most recent collection. The deeply feminine and sophisticated collection comprised soft tones of grey and delicate lace juxtaposed with either black or pops of vibrant colours. Fitted jackets were paired with sharara-styled pants or dhoti pants for a look that was both romantic and fashion forward.
Zara Shahjahan opened the second half of the show with her ‘Love Bug’ collection from PSFW 2014. Shahjahan’s summery pastels and neon accents worked well with her trendy cockroach prints, bug embellishments and minimalistic cuts.
Nazneen Tariq’s bold ethnic jewellery line is inspired by traditional polki and jewellery from Jaipur. Tariq put together a collection, which was a modern twist on traditional jewellery, using traditional elements in long necklaces and statement earrings that would work equally well with eastern and western wear.
Tariq’s pieces were paired with British designer Romero Bryan’s designs. Bryan’s primarily monochrome outfits relied on cut to make an impact and their one-colour canvas was a perfect backdrop for Tariq’s extravagant jewellery. Bryan’s floaty chiffon dresses and more tailored pieces were masterpieces of detailing yet allowed the jewellery to take centre stage.
Nomi Ansari closed the event with his metallic collection from Fashion Pakistan Week (FPW) 2014. The edited version of his collection was more impactful and testament to the difference that styling can make. Edgy accessories and minimalist make-up added lustre to the collection, particularly to the peplum-lehenga combos that were one of the highlights of Ansari’s designs at FPW.
The Orangery at Kensington Palace is a stunning location, but not ideal for a fashion show. The long, narrow room had just enough space for a catwalk and two rows of chairs. That said, the space was well used and the event exuded intimacy and charm. The advantage of this very British style of fashion presentation is that you see the clothes up close and every detail is clearly visible. We hope that Fashion Parade becomes a regular feature of the Pakistani fashion scene.
Oxford-grad Salima Feerasta is a social commentator and lover of style in any form or fashion. She blogs at karachista.blogspot.com and tweets @karachista
Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2014.
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