There has been a lot of talk about the fashion weeks lately. One of those that I had been looking forward to for a really long time was Men’s Fashion Week. It was being delayed time after time, I was following them up on the Facebook page but sadly they always had some issues. Thankfully on 15th March the organizers pulled together a small preview of some sort, first things first the venue was sorta shady I almost felt like I was going to a rave in some dark corner of the city.
When I reached there it was even stranger to find only 5-6 people from the fashion fraternity, the rest were just hoards of those young kids with DSLR cameras, freshly pumped up wanna-be models and oldies to ogle at them. The biggest disappointment for me came in when I saw the runway, it was a basically sand pilled up in the middle and few rows of chairs on each side. The backdrop so thin you could actually see models lining up and yelling backstage. And oh how did we hear that? Because the guys handling sound didn’t know that one has to keep music playing to mask the sounds of both audience and the people backstage. The announcement script, shaky accents and poor choice of music further rubbed salt unto wounds.
The show started with a lot of hiccups, there were six designers that presented their collections. But sadly with the exception of Munib Nawaz all were relatively new. It started with a small speech by Munib about relevance of men’s fashion and the contribution to overall garments exports. As his ensembles were paraded down the runway, I wasn’t really amused. I wish Munib Nawaz could translate his own style and the way he dresses himself into his collections as well. As much as I dislike Mathira, her horrendous ruffled dress coupled with over the top expressions almost made me puke.
Second designer to show was Sameer Ali. Although I have never heard of him he had a few pieces with significant commercial potential.Only if the models were better and the collection had been styled more appropriately the pieces would have looked much better. There was an army green/grey printed blazer paired with black harem-like pants that reminded me of an ensemble by Deepak Perwani shown at FPW in October 2012.
Kamaliyat the 3rd brand on the runway was pretty banal and often on the verge of cheap.There were only 2-3 kurtas that I could see guys wearing, for example there was a powder blue kurta with a small tartan pattern accent , accessorized with red sandals. I can’t say much about export potential but I can see guys on sidewalks wearing these. The flowy fabric seemed a lot like Malai lawn that was yester year’s craze for women which I personally don’t approve of.
Then the designs took the turn for the worse,the announcement conspicuously mentioned designers Akbar and Baber “..design sleepwear..” and my jaw dropped. Punjabi music from the movie Majajan started playing, the men with drums came in and we were surely in for some entertainment. As the first model appeared on the runway I was really awestruck. they were presenting kurtas with printed sarongs(I wonder to whom will they export it to or who even wears these?). The models were made to do bhangra at the end of runway which was so forced it was almost painful to watch. The prints themselves were tad bit too interior Punjab or Shikarpur (and I mean it in a bad way). The colors such as the garsly orange they used nailed the coffin.
Daniyal Collection was the fourth one and thankfully the CRAZY was watered-down a bit. There was this desperate attempt to glamorize suits by associating them with James Bond, the music didn’t really flow smoothly rather it was an awkward medley of of all James Bond OSTs. Mathira made an yet another appearance in a revealing trench and it was equally tacky. I wished that the designer employed less gimmicks more serious thought into the presentation.
Lastly, there was a small tasteful and incredibly commercial collection of ensembles by Tayyab Bombal. The only part of the show which seemed to be no-nonsense tailored formal shirts in a multitude of colors paired with formal pants. There were a few simple Kurta options at the end as well. I just wish the cuffs were buttoned up, the open cuffs on what seemed like office wear didn’t really convey a polished look, the bags could have been a bit more exciting. It was a bit bland after all the craziness that I had witnessed earlier.
Conclusively, the event wasn’t pulled off really well. To alter Simon Cowell’s words a bit, If the organizers would be doing fashion shows like this 2,000 years ago, people would have stoned them. Although you would say how can I be so rude and harsh I would again reiterate what Cowell had said few years back i.e. “I haven’t done anything particularly harsh. Harshness to me is giving somebody false hopes and not following through. That’s harsh. Telling some guy or girl who’s got zero talent that they have zero talent actually is a kindness.”
If you can’t pull it off, it is better you don’t do it. It is times like these you start appreciating experienced professionals like Frieha Altaf because she has relatively less hiccups in her events.The models needed training badly, their walks and even their shoes were mis-matched and what was deal with sand runway? Some people and models on the red carpet were wearing better clothes than the ones shown on the runway.
Below are some of the ensembles that I personally thought were wearable (except the sarongs photo that was primarily for entertainment).
P.S. Thanks to Omer Qureshi and MovieShoovy for being kind enough to let me use their photographs.