What piqued our interest at FPW

With a great designer line-up, upcoming event expected to be spring of hope for upcoming winter wedding fiesta

Saadia Qamar November 18, 2015
With a great designer line-up, upcoming event expected to be spring of hope for upcoming winter wedding fiesta. PHOTOS: PUBLICITY


It seems that fashion will keep us warm this winter as Pakistani designers have been gearing up to show their best at the upcoming Fashion Pakistan Week (FPW) Winter Festive. After a slew of fashion weeks and the twists and trends the industry witnessed this year, FPW is expected to be a fitting culmination of the fashion seasons in Karachi.

As the Fashion Pakistan Council snowballs into a greater platform with every passing year, its designer line-up continues to show more promise. With a string of designers to choose from this year, we have picked five whose collections we feel will be the spring of hope for the winter wedding fiesta.

Hisham Malik

Collection name: Eternal

Making a feisty debut at FPW, Malik is certainly one to look out for on our designer radar. “I’ve only shown a ready-to-wear line for the Pakistan Fashion Design Council once. This is a full-fledged bridal couture collection,” states Malik. Going poetic for the line, he takes inspiration from Alexander Pope’s Eloisa to Abelard, translating it to the colour palette. “It’s a romantic line that reflects my stylistic preferences,” he states.

“There’s floral appeal in my designs with a European feel to it. There’s nothing oriental about it,” Malik goes on to say. “There will be volume in the lower half with sleeker tops and Parisian detailing,” he shares. It’d be interesting to see how Malik makes the collection relevant for a South Asian woman. The collection is in line with the designer’s signature aesthetics, with its colour palette inspired by hues of a flame – steel blue, peach, orange, gold and white. We hope ‘Eternal’ lives up to its name just like Pope’s poetry has stood the test of time.

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Maheen Karim

Collection name: Tempo di Festa 

Karachi takes centre stage in Karim’s collection as she celebrates the vivaciousness of the metropolis through Western party-wear. “This will be a glittery and glamorous Christmas line of full-on evening-wear,” says the designer. “This is the most happening season and that’s the inspiration behind this line,” she adds. The line features rich, opulent fabrics such as velvet and net with embroidery.

What sets the collection apart from the preceding one is her use of heavy embellishments. “The previous line just had a hint of embellishments but ‘Tempo di Festa’ is all about them.” Amid a series of bridal collections, Karim’s designs captivated us for having a well-rounded appeal. The line features culottes, jumpsuits, jackets and draped dresses. “I’ve played with crystals and a lot of black in the collection suitable for Christmas, which is just around the corner.” Santa applause, we say.

Wardha Saleem

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Collection name: Zar Gul – Festive ’16

With the bridal range, Saleem aspires to bring forth anything but garden variety. Featuring traditional dabka and qora work, the collection is expected to rivet the attention of brides looking to don a classic, regal look. “The collection essentially comprises kaam from the days of yore. The richness of the embroidery and embellishments popular in the olden days made me come up with this collection,” says Saleem.

In the wake of designers over-experimenting with colour palettes, hinging more on the contemporary, a line that exudes a classic vibe is a breath of fresh air, pardon the oxymoron. “I’ve never restricted myself when it comes to playing with colours. You’ll find dark hues such as magenta, burgundy, purple, green and maroon in the collection,” she shares. “I’ve also used a variety of techniques such as block and screen printing.”

But Saleem’s mindful of how it should appeal to the modern woman. “We’ve incorporated our signature style into the line but with contemporary silhouettes. Women of today will surely enjoy sporting the range,” she notes. Staying true to her signature aesthetics, she attempts to translate luxuriousness to her designs. “My personal style is evident in this collection. It’s happy and vibrant,” she states.

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Nida Azwer 

Collection name: Mystical Garden

It seems like Azwer will give yet another dose of her aesthetics that are inspired by nature. “You’ll see all the animals and insects you can find in a garden, such as deer, birds and grasshoppers,” she shares. She is getting set to present a bridal line that will feature hand-crafted designs. “I’ve used a lot of pearls and crystals to further accentuate the richness of gotta, resham, zardozi and kamdani work on my pieces.”

Interestingly, Azwer has included the classic dhoti shalwar along with a variation of jackets to her collection. Making use of layering and 3D depiction of animals and flowers, the designs exude femininity that Azwer says we’ll just have to come and see for ourselves.

Zaheer Abbas

Collection name: Baad-e-Naubahaar

Coming into blossom at FPW is Abbas’s range inspired by Faiz’s timeless Gulon Mein Rang Bhare. He aims at revisiting the breeze of spring this winter with a collection that he describes as “not playful.” Interesting paradox, isn’t it? We’re intrigued to see how Abbas depicts the theme in his designs. “Longing for one’s beloved is the crux of the collection. It’s not a playful line and begins with presenting the colour black, portraying the gloom it stands for. But the collection goes on to feature lighter hues, which signify hope. It’s a progression from dark to light.”

Taking inspiration from the poem, he will showcase a world of flowers through his designs. “There will be no geometric patterns, no paisleys, just a hope for spring [shown through floral prints],” explains Abbas. The colour palette will feature both dark and light hues, such as black, maroon, pastels, gold and silver. “This is my signature bridal collection with an ethnic yet a contemporary feel. You’ll see a lot of shalwars in the range.”

Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2015.

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