As we walked into the marquee at PC Hotel for TDAP’S annual fashion show a renowned fashion magazine editor opined “Why are we here in the first place?!”. That’s exactly what I felt. Not knowing what to expect as neither I nor the foreign delegates sitting behind were handed any press releases or program schedule. Then it dawned on me with majority of people there being the Govt folks, their shadi-jora clad gold stiletto totting wives and obviously accompanied by their 8-10 yr old kids for quality family time.
Most of the designers showed same collections that they had presented at various past fashion weeks. So here is what was new among the mind-numbing parade with no breaks over two days. With the attention span of a common fly I will try to briefly touch upon everything like fat kid eating at a Ramadan buffet.
Zaheer Abbas’s Ode to Thar was a bit too literal in the beginning with chunri pieces, but his high notes where the white pieces in the end where he redeemed himself with his origami like folds, indigenous thari embroidery and minimalist drapes.
Sahar Atif’s collection was like PizzaHut’s Salad Bar serving an all-you-can-eat deal there was half baked and badly served heaps of Faraz manan, Aamna aqeel and Tariq road’s roadside Pathan stall.
Rizwanullah ‘s collection for Fifth Element Swarovski crystals, didn’t live up to the namesake 1997 film which had costumes by Gaultier. His were white bed sheets and that’s it! I suppose the collection would have spared better if he made his dramatic entry exits with bedazzled forehead few times rather the models.
I ordered chicken but got beef, and that’s what happened when Arsalan Iqbal known for his menswear showed eclectic printed womenswear collection called ‘Glam Punked’ which featured 90s prints and a silhouette which was very Feeha Jamshed. Far better than those jarring options at BCW.
Among various capsules there was a crisp paisley pant suit on Nadia Ali which I swooned over. Also the sequined sweatshirt tunics by Mohsin Ali for SanaSafinaz were clever and festive.
Ali Xeeshan’s luxury cotton collection was dramatic but would a woman want to look as if she has a wrapped a bedsheet around her? Big prints require a certain ‘Je- ne- sais-quoi’ to work, an ease which was missing. Anticipating a high-five on the face in 3, 2, 1
After attending that fateful British Council event to discuss policy and infrastructure of Pakistani fashion industry I have decided not to brazenly critique new graduate shows. I will try to present an optimistic outlook. In the collection by PIFD grads it was appreciative that they all had different design aesthetic starting from a dark romanticism heavy on grey tones, to denim patchwork that I believe would have been very hard to build on to(I really want one of those leather face harnesses) and lastly the use of sporty luxe with quilted pink satin.Bravo!!
Faraz Manan’s and Zainab Chhotani’s gilded fiefdom reminded me of momentous HumTv Bridal Weeks the bhaari pan the long shows, the bridals, the bridals, the bridals. The eno I need!
Nida Azwer returned to her sublime eastern pieces thankfully, after her repulsive FPW AW14 collection. The brand seems to be stuck in its humdrum signature. The use of marigold yellow and the house’s intricate embroidery was the only the laudable feat.
Nauman Arfeen had his usual structured menswear full of sherwanis and suits in black and tawny brown. If you forgive the ill fits on Abbas Jafri and other models, there were some good pieces in there with flashes of skin and variations in pajamas/shalwars.
Naushaba Brohi’s Inaya has had better days, the details become inconspicuous because of dark color palette. I liked the hem of tukka detail cape and the ensemble on Areeba.
While in Sadaf Malaterre’s chartreuse hued collection; the sole memorable piece was the short dress with pleats peeking out at the hem. The empire waist, the Grecian drapes and then cherry blossom embellishments I might as well need some Chartreuse or Absinthe for that matter.
YBQ found love in his ‘homeless’ place. The hobo-chic aesthetic does him well but i feel it needed more sophisticated fabric choices and striking hues in color palette. We know the times are tough but fashion shouldn’t look this pedestrian.
Speaking of pedestrian both FnkAsia, the proverbial ‘ethnic brand’ and AHAN,the NGO collective ended up needing crutches. FnkAsia had really interesting ethnic jewelry but missed out on shapes of silhouettes and AHAN with its beautiful embroidery couldn’t even stand on its two feet because of its bog-standard construction. Somebody send a Lady Health Worker to administer fashion polio drops. Where are Fahad Hussayn and Ali Xeeshan when we need em?
Lastly Kuki Koncepts closed the day-two as the finale presentation although I have my own prejudices in matters of art and of taste. Kuki made me ‘toss cookies’ with his soiled cookie. The tacky use of dervish ‘sikke’ caps and lace on men made me wish he swirls out of this materialistic fashion industry for good.
TDAP’s shows were long and hard (to sit through), there were no mid-breaks things went on and on like that annoying Mehwish Hayat sar dard ad. But the question remains is it entertainment? Do these designers have the capacity to produce and export or should they show whatever creative they can do. Would there be a follow-up analysis on what they achieved how many orders or requests for proposals were generated?