The lure of a glamorous glittering life is hard to resist.
Filled with beautiful people who, it seems, never have a bad hair day and are able to float effortlessly from the red carpet to the ramp with a radiant smile and perfect pose, it’s Hotel California you can check out any time you like but you can never leave. But as we all know nothing comes easy, not even the lack of a bad hair day.
It’s hard work that makes that effortless glide across the red carpet and into the glossies. So this is the real story behind Fashion Pakistan Week (FPW). For starters, fashion week is not for the weak or faint-hearted. Pakistan only recently made its foray onto the global fashion stage only recently.
Maheen Khan, Rizwan Beyg and Deepak Perwani went to Milan Fashion Week in August last year, followed by Pakistan’s first ever fashion week, held in Karachi in November 2009, which became the number two story in the world for five days and showed the world a completely different side of Pakistan. The success of FPW spurred on others including Lahore’s Pakistan Fashion Design Council who successfully organised a fashion week in February this year.
The story of Pakistani fashion was out, it was necessary to build on the foundation laid by FPW1 and take the industry forward. A lot of people have a lot to say about the plethora of fashion weeks but this is all part of the evolutionary process and there is no reason not to assume that in time the industry will come together and follow international norms by holding two fashion weeks a year, showcasing seasonal collections.
But this is an evolutionary process and we need to nurture it, not kill it before it can walk. Fashion weeks are huge projects and lots of work. Good things happen, lots goes wrong and while one must ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated it is essential to build on whatever has been achieved.
Behind the glamour are hundreds of men and women in sweat pants and shirts hammering the ramp in place, putting up lights, getting the sound right, creating the look, dressing the models, churning that machine that ensures the show starts on time and ends on time without incident or breakdown, all the time dealing with beautiful, glamorous people be they designers, models or the celebrity audience.
So many feathers, it’s hard not to ruffle a few. Again this is part of the evolution. Ours is an entertainment starved country. In time we will evolve to a place where fashion weeks will not be seen as entertainment but big business. A day will come when we have all-day fashion weeks that cater to buyers and the fashion press. It is something we are working toward with a very clear agenda.
If we unite and work together as a community and have the government work with us we may be able to assure the world that security is not an issue in Pakistan. FPW1 saw the foreign press pull its correspondents off war desks and send them to cover the event. There were no fashion journalists or fashion photographers who came; their insurance did not cover fashion in a war zone.
But those who did, sent out images and stories that ensured Marie Claire came and did a story on FPW1 and Vogue came to fashion week this second time. Gains are incremental and must be built on. If you build a sand castle it will be washed away, but one with a strong foundation will survive despite us.
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