LAHORE: The few seconds after the last model walks out at a designer’s show are a make-or-break moment. Stunned silence means going back to the drawing board, while applause signals deserved appreciation.
It is the latter that a new crop of designers, who will make their runway debut at the upcoming PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week, will be hoping for. Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design’s gold medallist Akif Mehmood and bronze medallist Mohsin Ali will be making their runway debut. Omar Farooq of the menswear brand Republic and Imbisat Kurieshi of Rano’s Heirlooms, who already have retail operations, will also be showing at fashion week for the first time.
Akif Mehmood stole the thunder at his graduation show with his thesis collection ‘The Colourful Kailash’ that focused on the traditions of its namesake. Against a backdrop of plain raven fabric, Akif displayed the vibrant embellishment that characterise the Kailash, in ensembles that had a more western aesthetic. The collection scored high in terms of imagination, creativity and most importantly, wearability.
Collection theme – Kailash:
Mehmood will show his thesis collection with a few more additions which he feels are “sellable and not very experimental. They play with embroidery and patterns but follow current trends.”
The designer, who operates under the label Rano’s Heirlooms, seems to be Lahore’s answer to Shehla Chatoor. Her exquisitely crafted ensembles are gleaned from world’s traditions. Whether the inspiration is from Pakistan, Japan or Turkey, Kurieshi enjoys creating pieces that reflect her research into cultural heritage and says the “embellishments are all hand work and a labour of love.”
Collection theme – Gold:
Watch out, retailers and trousseau hunters. Rano’s meticulously crafted and structured collection ‘Gold Rush’ looks set to spark a buying frenzy.
Omar Farooq understands that a sloppy man is no longer desirable. His retail store Republic offers coats and blazers, shirts, shoes, totes and belts for men who want to dress well. With his understanding of men’s fashion and retail, it would be interesting to see how far Farooq manages to push artistic boundaries without compromising on his business.
Collection theme – Colour:
Farooq’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection ‘A Mediterranean Affair’ features a liberal use of colour, which he says is “very pret, very wearable and will go straight to the racks.”
Mohsin Ali has support from designers such as Kamiar Rokni and Nickie Nina. His use of layering in his graduate collection is coincidentally a key trend this season. Ali’s creativity and quirky sense of style make him a player to look out for.
Collection theme – Hijab:
Ali will be showing ‘Peivandi’, a contemporary version of his thesis, inspired from his mother and sister’s hijab.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 5th, 2010.