Fashion Week: Akif Mahmood saves the day

Published: November 11, 2010
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Akif Mahmood’s Kailash-inspired collection was stunning

Akif Mahmood’s Kailash-inspired collection was stunning

A whirling dervish opened the night’s first show by Nickie Nina Mohsin Ali’s work combined tradition with everyday apparel Stylised Fez hats at Nickie Nina didn’t help the outfits Akif Mahmood’s Kailash-inspired collection was stunning Iraj Manzoor and Rabia Butt opened Mohsin Ali’s show Fauzia Aamir models Saai’s loosely draped ensemble Designer Rizwanullah walked for Mohsin Ali’s show Sublime by Sara Shahid featured a palette of black, white and beige, which the designer said was the core of the label. PHOTOS: NOOR JAVERI/EXPRESS AND AFP

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

“Tribal militias!”

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)

Coming up…

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.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Anonymous
    Nov 12, 2010 - 1:54AM

    Wow, what kind of reporting was that?Recommend

  • Adnan
    Nov 12, 2010 - 5:24AM

    Seriously? Fashion and fashion disasters? is that really something that merits even a second of attention from anyone? Im sorry but the whole scene is fake, self congratulatory and meaningless to be honest.. Celebrities that cant even make rent? yes i know them personally! What a facade….Im disgusted by the whole ooh-fashion drama! Recommend

  • Aamna Haider Isani
    Nov 12, 2010 - 2:04PM

    I thoroughly enjoyed the narration of this story!Recommend

  • nabiha meher shaikh
    Nov 12, 2010 - 2:10PM

    Agreed Adnan. These fashion weeks are a waste of time and money. I know most of these apathetic elites personally too. They’re “helping” the flood victims through profit and turning their pain into a heroic rescue by the rich and powerful. I have personally known people (girls when they weren’t evel legal teens) who were used by these designers and never paid. However, HSY and Asmaa Mumtaz are 2 who I also personally know to be very chairtable. And Asmaa is one of the few not getting any payment for this.

    But what’s MOST sickening is that these guys harp on about defeating the taliban through skimpy clothes. Their idea of activism is truly, truly warped. “Look I have money! Look at my priveledge! Look at what a GOOD thing I’m doing. Oh take my picture. Oh worship me!” This is their attitude and I’ve witnessed it way too many times to count.

    Oh, and please stop, pause and think of the words “fashion for flood relief”. When I asked the organisers what the hell they were thinking, the typical parha likha jahil reponse followed: “YOU are reflecting your insecurities! You are etc etc etc”. Ad hominem as usual. Interpretation: “if you don’t agree with us you MUST be jealous and yet another low-life.”

    Express serioulsy, you may want to cater to your elite readership by publishing this, but now please provide a platform for those of us truly outraged and sickened by these fashion weeks in a poor and starving country. Recommend

  • pakistani
    Nov 12, 2010 - 5:03PM

    what i with everyone saying that Lahore and Lahoris are synonymous with “paindoo’s” and “drama”? what kind of discriminatory journalism is this? seriously! if you HAVE to get petty, then some of the best designers re from lahore….HSY being one…go and bite the dust… Recommend

  • Seher Ali
    Nov 12, 2010 - 6:46PM

    Well said Ms Shaikh and Adnan!Recommend

  • samia
    Nov 13, 2010 - 2:20PM

    great job akif!!! wishing you all the best!Recommend

  • Tamkeen Asim
    Nov 13, 2010 - 9:17PM

    Excellent work Akif !!!!! I am proud of you,,,,,All the best ,,,!!!!!!!!!Recommend

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