By Day 4 I was exhausted, as the approaching Sunday meant a lot of household chores for me. Also most of the designers that I was looking forward to had shown already, now the rest were like ‘khurchan’ (the rice that get stuck to the base of the cooking pot). But then there was HSY, which I know would share some menswear options. I wonder what is this man on, he is like doing so many things yet hitting the gym regularly tweeting, designing, producing shows and always manages to smile for photos looking dapper as ever. Looking at the lineup I wonder why did the organizers put up everybody on day 3 and left day 1 and 4 looking so banal/bekar in comparison.
The day started with Five Star Textile Industries showing their line of collections titled Vogue, Divine, Classic and Larose. Vogue, is based in digital prints comprising of graphic florals, flowing silhouettes and paisley motifs. Divine comprises of festive prints with a blend of color and patterns. The Classic collection is Five Star’s celebration of their signature classic prints transitioning from traditional to classic chic. Larose is Five Star’s standard category with floral prints and intricate design details.It is a shame that they filmed an TVC with Katrina without a marketing strategy or a design vision. It would have been better if they hire a horse cart with loud speaker to roam around in the streets Sarghoda, Sanghar and Sibi announcing their new collection instead.
Warda Prints were next,their ‘Glamorous Hattie’s’ collection was supposedly inspired by “historical textile patterns, historical walls and floor tiles from the Middle Age, the Renaissance, later European and Islamic cultures”. Further more press release uses the words “conspicuously bright color palette”.For me it was like a sandwich made from leftover food in the fridge. A bit better than giants like Gul Ahmed I must say, I quite liked this brown off the shoulder dress on Amna Baber otherwise it was just leftover food with ketchup of bright colors.
3rd in the row was Nimra Textiles‘ Nimsay with ‘Flora‘, their prints were mostly based on folk art motifs and the usual hum drum of 1990s ki prints. Press release says that the key trends being highlighted in designs are flora, fauna, tribal, Latin folk and Ethno. What the hell ETHNO? Yar kuch to khayal karo people might not read these but they do have functional eye sight. Where and how the hell can you connect these dots? Wouldn’t it have been better if they showed the slideshow of catalog on big screen and then held a exhibition sale in the lunch area for the aunties.There is no design no excitement just waste of everybody’s time/energy.
Lakhani Silk mills was thankfully the last one in the segment and was marginally better than its predecessors. I say better because the prints were cleaner, there wasn’t this visual vomit of 10 different things going on. But then probably their target market is more refined or dare I say older. I liked the joras on Fouzia, and Faiza but after 4 days of similar porridge like lawn shows a question begs to asked : is lawn worthy to be shown on runway in such states? Aren’t we a little too “fashion show obsessed”?? but then agar frozen yogurt ke launch pe show hosakta hai to PFDC men lawn kyun nahi :p
Thankfully the lawns were mowed down, and it was time for real designers to show. Rizwan Beyg showed more or less the same truck art collection that he showed at PFDC and TDAP Fashion shows last year. The garnish of a difference was that this time it was all digitally printed whereas last time it was painstaking handcrafted. No wonder he is great at what he does, his signature shapes were there .You can’t turn a blind eye on the fact that digital prints of truck art have been done to death by Maheen Khan’s Gulabo, Khaadi and many others. So I ask :Are his digital prints really needed in the market? Also if you consider that Mr.Beyg wanted to make it accessible but unlike the two aforementioned brands he doesn’t have namesake retail stores or even an online store. I miss Carnival De Couture wala Rizwan Beyg
With the name that reads like a Columbian hip shaking singer, Saira Shakira turned out to be Shaaakira. Talk about a disappointments huh! Their collection was named ‘Cirque du Vanite‘ (circus of vanity) and circus it was. I liked the fact that somehow they managed to roll out a theme consistent to the literal meaning of the collection’s title. There were ruffles, harlequin diamond pattern, the big frizzy hair and hats but I felt they fell short of exaggerating the shapes, probably the ploy to make the designs wearable killed them. It would have been nice if they borrowed some drama from Ali Xeeshan in this instance. And surprisingly they are not new folks with money kinda designers, apparently they teach/taught fashion at some school.
The much loved Khaadi Khaas was a welcome relief. Their collection was primarily white with flowers either embroidered or printed on them. The heavy floral prints reminded me a lot of D&G’s Spring 2011 dresses, and also some other designers did similar stuff from 2009-2011. I like how there were so many different silhouettes, the music was perfect, models carried these amazing whimsical bags repurposed from boxes, paired with gold charms and chains it painted a scene of a serene stroll in the park. I hope they retail these accessories and wish that they do something like this for menswear.
IT girl Zara Shahjahan showcased her prét a porter collection ‘Love Bug’ taking inspiration from creepy crawlies, jungle, and foliage. I applaud her audaciousness to use things such as insects because they are usually considered ugly. McQueen, Cavalli, Lanvin and Azede Jean-Pierre all have done the bug proud and in Pakistani scenario Shahjahan also managed to make the bugs look good. I might not have been fan of her eastern wear but she does a fairly good job at western silhouettes. There wasn’t anything ground breaking but considering her PR expect to see her designs everywhere.
Akif Mehmood redeemed himself with his ‘Matadora’ collection, which took inspiration from the Spanish bull-fighters, and drew varying influences from Spanish culture. He reinterpreted the bull fighting costume’ traje de luces‘(suit of lights) fairly well using our local gotta and dori trims.The baroque aesthetic of using flowing gold embellishments on black could be referenced back to D&G and Cavalli. My favs were the jacket and pants shown as the opening piece. I just adored the head-gear made to look like ‘montera’ hat.
HSY the showman of Pakistani fashion has many feathers in his cap that has overtime become an avant-garde derby hat with 200 feathers. His collection titled ‘Sher‘ had an interesting CSR angle of helping out a charitable organization called Anjuman-e-Khuddam-e-Rasul Allah (AKRA). The collaboration would entail support in terms of empowering women through education, skill development and poverty alleviation. As for the collection it was a welcome departure from his signature bronze gold black heavy palette. The shapes were contemporary and layered not body hugging and extravagant. I liked how the colors he used seemed to contrast and not jell into one another on a garment.Another first was the use of geometric grill patterns indigenous of Mughal architecture. I would love to own one of the washed blue-green kurtas and the shawls men were wearing with multiple trimmings looked kinda cool.
So the fashion week ended. I must commend HSY for his patriotic and socially responsible message in which he emphasized on lighting a candle than cursing the darkness. Also the PFDC team, Fareshtey from Gollin Harris, Lotus PR for their promptness, and everybody who joined me on twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp while I watched these collections. And lastly people who come to read my blog time after time.