After exactly one year PFDC managed to roll out the Sunsilk Fashion Week on time yet again. Although it was very likely that I was going to attend it, but somehow my career took a new direction and the fellow travelers didn’t allow me a quick picnic. I am really humbled by the fact that organizers invited me and even proposed to streamline my travelling. But sitting at home, watching it on live stream (and that too with the help of a special correspondents in Lahore whatsapping me things) made it all much more hassle free. As for the designs themselves obviously there were both hits and misses.
Starting with Maheen Kardar‘s MK Nation titled ‘style squad‘ it was a lukewarm beginning. Last year when they rolled out those Imran Khan kurtas probably it was a timing thing and this time around it didn’t really nail it probably. Their was use of applique inside translucent fabric is a craft common in lower Punjab and Sindh. Also I think I saw use of susi fabric (which is a woven striped textile). Probably when FnkAsia did it almost a decade ago it was good, but this time around besides the parrot print(didnt like the dress) and embellished susi palazzo pants nothing excited me. And no please that dress doesn’t look anything like Chanel’s.
Pareesa by ChenOne designed by Sahar Atif was next one to follow, and predictably it went down hill. I am curious to know who really buys this shit, the prints look so tired and old. It feels as if some brand rejected the prints 20 years ago, and Chenone folks printed them. Not only were the blush hued vintagy peony prints quite bleh but they also tried and miserably failed at making them interesting. Embellishing garment by using flowers made of fabric? Had the designer watched Project Runway they would know its a death trap. NEWS FLASH chenone has got laser cutting machine and they know how to operate it! Saving grace were few simpler western looks.
Ittehad Textiles with a collection titled ‘Neoterica’ presented the other side of the dilemma i.e.when a brand hires a new design graduate and he has watched a lot of project runway seasons. The ideas were “FRESH” and prints very ‘rainbowy’. “I will make a gown, and yes I will make a cropped jacket, waist coat hmm that’s a good idea and yea why shouldn’t I make few men’s kurtas for my non existent mamu’s shaadi” was probably the conversation going in the head of the designer.
Mohsin Ali presented a collection for Libas label, titled ‘Crystal Macaroon‘. Taking inspiration from Paris, I felt that his use of running shoes with eastern ensembles was a very ‘Chanel Couture’ gimmicky. As for the clothes themselves I did liked some of the white pieces, the highlighter green and orange could have been toned down perhaps. I was generally quite fond of the use of sheer ,and his use of crystal beaded strands on the heads (probably referenced from the image of chandeliers in Versailles). It would be interesting to see how real women wear these as not a lot of women are open to sheer and white options. But then I do like whites so maybe I am biased.
Lets just say thatNickie Nina’s ‘Katcha Tanka’ needed a bit more cooking *all the pun intended! Apparently I have heard these women make tones of money but somehow the beauty in their concepts misses out in finesse in execution. There is this element of “Dubai based” in their aesthetic (yeah I mean it in a derogatory way). Some of the pieces were quite brilliant in terms of concepts, they also dipped their toes in their use of sheer fabric and western silhouettes. But their pants were cut in such an unflattering way that they made a model like Faiza ansari look fat around thighs. The long skirts had an awkward short hemline that ended weirdly near ankles, then there was ballooning on some seams and frumpy breasts. However I must say it’s a HUGE improvement too, away from their shadi joras!
Sania Maskatiya traveled to Africa for her latest collection titled ‘Kuamka: Awakening‘ away from Islamic prints tag they are often stuck with. I must say they have carved this niche image of printed tunic and pant combo so much that I often find myself using the brand name as an adjective. However their foray into menswear drew mixed feelings from me, I only liked the pieces in which they paired prints with white pants or some other solid color, the men’s jackets with printed fabric as accents were cool though. But then prints are difficult to pull off on men.
Arsalan Iqbal being the sole menswear designer showed a collection titled ‘Cargwar‘ meaning utility in Urdu and also a marriage of the words cargo and shalwar. Yes there were plenty of these hybrids in the collection with a few womenswear options thrown in as well. With the collection primarily based on twill and cotton, it attempted to show utility and casual ease. I liked the fact that there were options that could be sold as separates but I wasn’t too fond of rivets and metallic zippers per se. As collection progressed one could easily see Fayez Agariah‘s influence. I loved the eye wear men were sporting I hope they retail it. But some pieces moved from casual chic to homeless chic.
The day ended with reigning master of theatrics Ali Xeeshan, whose collection titled ‘Trouble‘ was supposedly inspired by dreamlike world of silver screen ala 60s and 70s. Music started with a slow hum drum Lollywood song and the women looked like Dolce Gabbana models stomping on a fast tempo, the clothes were beautiful but then again it made me recall the baroque inspired collection of Dolce and Gabbana Fall 2012. I really liked the hats but as the show was progressing the song changed to Baby Doll men soney di abruptly making the experience worse. There was a strong signature of Ali Xeeshan in all the pieces, particularly his use of big embroidery in contrasting colors. I responded favourably to the sherwani’s with embroidery on the sides. I just wish he washes the drama a bit especially the music and those rows of male models walking in wearing nude t-shirts with black beads were a tad bit too much. I suggest he leaves that to HSY.
So overall besides Ali Xeeshan and Mohsin Ali, nothing was up to the bar I had set for PSFW 2014.I hoped that the following three days would be ecstatically beautiful.
p.s.It was indeed different to see the clothes live in motion (As someone had previously told me) and YES with bad music they seemed more awful(NOT BETTER!!). As I sat down to write this blog looking at the photos I seemed to respond more favorably to them.