Just few weeks after I had the privilege of blogging about FPW in Karachi. I got my hands full of office work hence the lack of posts here. But as soon as it was over there was the humdrum of designers flying to London for another one called Pakistan Fashion Week. Its the 3rd its time taking place and events such as these stand testament to the fact that despite of all the negative propaganda Pakistan as a nation is lively filled with unshakable optimism.And I guess its a good endeavour to showcase our designs to large chunk of South Asian population residing there.
The designers that showcased featured a good mix from veterans such as legendary Maheen Khan of Gulabo fame, textile giants GulAhmed and Alkaram to relatively newbees like Zeeshan Bariwala. The ensembles that walked down the runway exhibited a similar diversity interms of presenting both our rich cultural heritage and also showing a contemporary western outlook. It took me about 2 weeks to go through the large number of photos that were sent to me, so rather than posting them all here I will cover the HITS in this post and MISSES in another(If I deem it necessary).
Lets start in alphabetical order, designer Ayesha Aejaz presented a nice mix containing pieces that one can transition from east to west, the most interesting bit was a the draped pieces with ribbon tie ups on the shoulders. Ayesha Farooq Hashwani presented her signature pieces in regal colors and majestic embroideries,the lady has somehow managed to land a distinct aesthetic image for her line, her pieces are exceedingly international(not western). Ayesha Ibrahim‘s collection also had good mixture of eastern and western ensembles, I particularly loved one piece which had clever use of pink accessories to amp up the outfit. Although Bombay Store had a very salad like collection with everything thrown in together, there was one long off the shoulder dress in pastel pink which really should have been augmented into,I guess their line had no story or the story had too many characters.
Moving on textile giants, Alkaram had a pretty insipid collection I would rather flip through their catalogue than watch their pieces walk down the runway.There was no value addition no story no drama.It was like a parade of ordinary women walking down the street on Tariq Road Karachi. GulAhmed on the contrary rose up to the occasion there was variety, they took the same textiles shown in their catalogue and made contemporary garments that also paid homage to our South Asian craft. Lala Textiles however relied on intricate ethnic prints to create an illusion of heavy embroidery but clever designing and styling amped them up too.
Denim Diva Hasina presented denim in a lot of contemporary options,some of the which I felt had a lot of commercial potential. Hinash presented a long dress in deep pinkred velvet which was a to die for, you only see such pieces on international runways. Legendary Maheen Khan used her Gulabo signature truck art prints and graffiti motifs, the collection comprising of practical separates looked both chic yet fun and very youthful. Their was nothing really outstanding at Mona Imran one of her pieces with black skirt and embroidered shawl wrapped around like a saari reminisced a very Indian trend(I guess I have seen similiar stuff at Sabyasachi or something).
Next inline Najwa Imran, I must say I have never seen such simple garments with such clever use of prints after DVF. Nomi Ansari followed a close second with his use of large prints that reminded me of Roberto Cavalli, a short white skirt with metallic embroidery of botanical motifs was one of the best from his collection. Dresses featured in Rabs by Namrah collection were sublime, filled with clean lines and very elegant colour pallete of sombre tones. Rana Noman‘s proved to be the festive queen as it was all about regal opulence and liberal amount of layering all the outfits in shades of deep red colour . Reet sadly had a lot of mediocre hodgepodge going on, only one dress with the Chinese paper fan print really stood out for me. Rizwan‘s collection comprised of traditional south Asian garments, his white floor length skirt with tonal embroidery turned out really beautiful, a proof that one doesn’t have to re invent the wheel.Tradional can also be great!
Sadia Mirza‘s collection made up for the lack of drama in the plethora of bridal joras, one of her pieces resembled Alexander McQueen‘s Fall Winter 2008-2009 piece , She even used masquerades take the clothes up a notch. and she didn’t disappoint there were dresses fit for red carpet in tones of milk embellished with traditional embroidery. And only 3 pieces by Shamim Bhatti‘s work managed to stir up interest in me 1st one was a orange brown gradiant piece, 2nd being the one with peacock print on the back and last one was a traditional white paneled kameez with egg yolk colour patch and dull gold embroidery. Shariq Textiles’ one hit wonder was multi tiered dress, I must say it was very well executed.While Sofia Mehta’s whole collection featured white ensembles with rich woven silk shawls in North Indian patterns.
2nd last but not the least was fashion critic favourite Zaheer Abbass, he showed the same ivory collection that walked down the runway at earlier fashion week. As you might have read earlier too, I have been gushing about the sheer subtlety and no fuss attitude of his aesthetic. I see him as Pakistan’s Alber Elbaz or Marchesa. This time when I looked closely at one of his pieces reminded me of Dior‘s new look even the proportion’s are different but I guess his designs are also heralding in a new era of femininity. Designer Zainab‘s collection featured rich silk thread embroidery, there was an interesting perforated gown in Gold fabric, a really nice shalwar kameez in grey with bold red flowers embroidered on them and also white ensemble with with long sleeves that reminded me of Ms.Hashwani.
That’all folks.I hope I get to write about Misses too(Which I know may ruffle a few feathers but hey somebody has to call a spade a spade) :p
Special thanks to Saima Rao and Lollypop for all the info and support.