Fashion Pakistan Week (FPW) Autumn/Winter 2014 was one of the best editions of the event in recent years. In comparison with previous years, there were less mediocre collections on the ramp and the Fashion Pakistan Council (FPC) presented an event that was professional, well-organised and brimming with style.
The three-day event saw a series of aesthetically pleasing collections. Ather Ali Hafeez’s hip and trendy resort collection for SanaSafinaz, named ‘Venue: French Beach, Karachi’, set a fabulous tone on the opening night. Maheen Khan’s farewell collection, ‘To Karachi with Love’, was a finale worth lauding. Understated, elegant and exquisite, the collection was Khan at her best, her clean lines and artistry shining on the ramp.
Adnan Pardes. PHOTOS: TAPU JAVERI
Shehla Chatoor’s ‘Misaki’ collection was among the best, with the designer being notable for her intricate detailing and edgy glamour. She used leather weaving, gold beading and Balmain-esque touches in striking contrast with delicate thread work and oriental prints for a unique, high fashion look. Maheen Karim’s ‘Ravissant’ collection was a sensual yet classy rendition of stunning eveningwear.
Ayesha Farook Hashwani’s ornately embroidered ‘Baroque’ collection featured dramatic capes and belted wraps, the elegant cuts giving a chic look to the elaborate ensembles. Faraz Mannan combined tweeds and pearl-based embroidery in a cosmopolitan collection titled ‘Shanghai — the cruise collection’, which showcased his skill with cut and embellishment.
Sanam Chaudhri’s ‘Bano’ collection may have been a tribute to her grandmother, but it was a young and trendy eastern formalwear collection. Nida Azwer gave a fusion twist to her classic silhouettes, pairing saaris with wraps and lehengas with crop tops. Her use of geometric laser cut layers gave the collection a contemporary feel.
Mohsin Ali for SanaSafinaz’s ‘50 Shades Deep’, a wilderness-inspired collection, featured cleverly styled layers of silk, leather and velvet that translated into chic yet wearable winter separates. Deepak Perwani’s ‘Everything But the Girl’ was the most impressive of the three menswear collections at FPW. It combined sharp tailoring and original silhouettes with prints and quirky details. Nauman Arfeen’s ‘Royal Parade’ collection was more conventional but displayed technique and encapsulated the designer’s vision. However, Emraan Rajput’s subtle detailing in his ‘Alpha’ collection was lost on the ramp and it failed to make much impact.
Ayesha Farook Hashwani. PHOTOS: TAPU JAVERI
There were four monochrome collections at the fashion week, of which, Adnan Pardesy’s ‘Labyrinth’ line certainly stood out. Pardesy used weaving techniques, twists, drapes and hand embroidery in the collection. His detailing and craftsmanship took the monochrome concept to another level.
Sadaf Malaterre’s ‘Contradictions’ collection, based on simple lines and light embellishment, kept true to her minimalist aesthetic. While it was an adept collection, Malaterre’s relaxed aesthetic is a tad underwhelming on the ramp. Aamna Aqeel’s white-on-white outfits from her ‘Black on Fire’ collection were more impressive than the ones in black but the collection had merit in terms of cut and design.
Deepak Kumar and Fahad Yaqoob’s ‘Siyah-Sufaid’ collection felt amateur in comparison. While they showed some interesting ensembles, they needed to take their finishing and conceptualisation a notch higher to justify being on this platform. Zaheer Abbas’ ‘Neo Nude’ and Ishtiaq Afzal’s ‘Aurora’ were disappointing by fashion week standards. Both showed some talent but Afzal’s collection was fragmented and Abbas is capable of much more than such dull oeuvre.
High-street brands Gul Ahmed and FnkAsia displayed nascent ‘serious fashion’ credentials but ultimately failed to make a cohesive statement on the ramp. While such brands feel it is important to display a selection of their current stock, they need to acknowledge that ramp shows are about selling a vision. Levis’ ‘A Golden State of Mind’ was a letdown due to terrible styling.
People will remember Chatoor’s dramatic ensembles, Karim’s glamorous dresses, SanaSafinaz’s clever draping, Hashwani’s elaborate capes, Azwer’s laser cut layers and Perwani’s rooster prints. Most of all, they will remember Frieha Altaf and Attiya Khan returning to the catwalk for Khan’s last show. It’s fitting to see that a fashion week that said farewell to one of Pakistan’s most iconic brands also saw the coming-of-age of the energetic new board of the FPC.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 1st, 2014.