KARACHI: When designers say their collections are influenced by indifferent cultures, one should cross their fingers and prepare themselves for a monstrosity or a masterpiece. Nickie Nina’s show, which opened the first day of PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week, is an example of the former.
Their Turkey-inspired collection was a horror show of sorts. It opened with a whirling dancer — proving Lahore-based designers’ penchant for injecting as much drama as possible - and one wishes the dancer had kept whirling. Stylised Fez hats accompanied heavily embroidered outfits, proving that this was a Turkish delight that should never have left the oven.
While even stylist Asmaa Mumtaz admits that headgear is something that will never catch on in Pakistan, and the styling was part of the runway experience, Fez hats may have reached an overkill status on Pakistani catwalks after being used by Nauman Arfeen (Autumn/Winter 2010) and Adnan Pardesy (Spring/Summer 2010). After all, no one actually wears Fez hats other than actors in Turkish and Syrian soap operas.
On the other hand, someone who did use culture well was debutante Akif Mahmood, a graduate of the Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design. He had pared down his graduate collection, themed on the clothes worn by people in the Kailash region. His use of the colour scheme of the Kailash valley on wearable garments made him the star of the night.
Sublime by Sara, according to designer Sara Shahid, “went back to its core” and stuck to a simple black, beige and white palette – with some beautiful pieces including a sequinned jacket.
On the other hand, Saai moved to chiffon from last season’s chikankari. Saai’s collection aims to cater to the western market, which showed from the ruffled pencil skirts to the tie-up tops.
The other debutante, Mohsin Ali, showed a collection themed on the Hazaras. He had a strong opening with four models dressed in black, trailing, abaya-inspired outfits but then the collection went awry, as a multitude of gowns and dresses in colours followed the four.
Overheard at fashion week
“Let me handle that for you”
A boy offering to hold his female friend’s handbag
“Bas bhi kardo”
A fashion editor’s annoyance at the whirling dancer at the Nickie Nina show
“It wasn’t that bad”
A girl walking out after the shows
A designer on her collection inspiration
Spotted at fashion week
Leopard print accessories (Maria B sported animal print shoes) and clothes (Safinaz Munir wore a printed top), geometric prints and funky statement jewellery (Iman Ahmed)
Feeha Jamshed is going back to the archives with her collection for Teejays and will focus on three themes of Pakistani fashion history and Teejays designs. Given that she was roped in at the last minute, Jamshed says she feels “numb”.
HSY says his collection is about metamorphosis and will be themed around “all the great vacations I’ve had over the year”. Yasin told The Express Tribune, “I’m a party boy. I just want to show clothes that people can wear and have a great time in.”
Quote of the evening
“I’ve seen Karachi shows. They have socialites walking out on the runway as well as actors and rock stars and TV hosts. The difference is that I had a musician singing (Ali Zafar performed during HSY’s show at fashion week in February). Maybe in Karachi they couldn’t afford to have them sing.”
Designer Hassan Sheheryar Yasin, when asked if PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week in February had too many “bells and whistles”.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2010.