KARACHI: Noticeably missing from this year’s PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week (PSFW) was Ali Xeeshan. Having shown his dramatic ‘Bhagawat’ collection at PFDC L’Oréal Paris Bridal Week last year, the designer didn’t fall short of drama when word got out that he reportedly manhandled journalist Raheel Rao at a fashion week after-party. The Express Tribune explores why PSFW was missing the X[eeshan] factor this season and what he has up his sleeve on the fashion front.
The Pakistan Fashion Design Council asked Xeeshan to sit it out this season in the wake of the unfortunate occurrence, largely criticised as disgraceful, especially for a designer of his stature. When the incident took place, the council didn’t interfere as they maintained it was a personal matter and did not occur at the venue of the fashion show. He claimed the matter was ‘sorted’ now, clarifying that he acted purely out of agitation, since the said journalist made a personal attack. “Rao used abusive language against me on social media. One is completely allowed to criticise my collection, but certainly not permitted to be offensive. I got infuriated, thus reacted,” he said.
Terming it, “a weak moment in [his] life,” Xeeshan claimed he needs to be a better person and a far better designer and that everyone deserves a second chance. By not participating in the showcase this season, Xeeshan said that, having viewed the situation from a third-person’s perspective, he feels this was an experience that has helped him understand himself. It turned out to be a ‘blessing’ for him as he got the chance to analyse his personality and determine his strengths and weaknesses.
On a personal level, he felt flattered that people missed him showing and messaged him saying that his absence was felt by his fans and colleagues, stating that media personnel rated his collection as one of the best last year. He shared that the fashion fraternity has been supportive towards him and that he was recently given the opportunity to show in TDAP, held in Karachi.
On the fashion front, Xeeshan is gearing up to introduce his bridal collection for next season, titled ‘Toofan’. “Toofan will have great energy. It will be a dominating collection and will be very strong, texture-wise.” He feels his work has improved and plans on opening his next studio in Dubai by November this year.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2015.
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