FPW thankfully didn’t miss the season this year and managed to take place towards the end of November with a fascinating new theme called ‘Winter/Festive’. As commercial interests had taken priority in the name of being ‘market-savvy’ the festive more or less turned out to be bridal at the end of the day. It’s full circle moment as not so long ago I recall someone shrugged off BCW as a “celebrity mujra” and joke in the name of serious fashion. With bad make-up on models and bad lighting making it look like an episode of ‘Tubelight Saga’. I exclaimed “Ahhh such is life!” as I sat through 3 arduous days in the words of Justin Bieber “ Never say never….”
Ayesha Farooq Hashwani‘s ‘Ellada‘(basically Greece in Greek) was nothing more than proverbial ruins with little that could be salvaged with the baroque prints and brash purple yellow color palate, all the shapes reminded one of other designers. However, FnkAsia with their love for Tuscany certainly made me google it, second guessing my geography lessons and all the things I love about Tuscany. All the more this highlights the fact that a lot of Pakistani folks get their Schengen visa applications rejected and end up imagining Tando Adam and Garhi Baho in lieu of Tuscany and Greece with such deranged wasteful of Jamawar and baroque prints.
Elan’s Sauvage was certainly ‘tamed’ with riskless silhouettes replete with wild fauna and flora in tropical color theme. Beading was exceptional, and there were pristinely finished pieces but that was it. Alongside were awarded designer label Sana Safinaz who had little excitement to offer besides the jackets, the same old colorful patterns on velvet,palachhi and silk. The worst sin here is not that that nothing new was said or that things haven’t evolved enough; it’s that both have gotten so lazy and complacent by adhering to such a rote consistency.
It was Faraz Manan ‘s ‘Imperial’ that made one wonder where did my forefathers go wrong with their financial decisions and I ended up being poor. One could gash about the beauty of shimmery clothes in subdued cream and nude shades but his true achievement is using swaths of Swarovski crystals yet his clothes still manage to look decorous and light. The outfit on tooba was empress-ive
In a country where anyone and everyone can become designer the overqualified debut Hisham Malik’s clothes were excessive to say the least. It seemed that the techniques he had learned across his academic career were regurgitated on star-crossed color palate. But his dabbling into couture techniques assures that in time he could well be one of best there is to offer.
Maheen Karim ‘s party time (Tempo di fiesta) ended early with her black numbers, as the embellishment techniques and metal belt made one remember Muse , then the prints on satin she has been doing since Flintstones looked tired at best and then that J-Law Golden Globes dress reference made one wonder If I could get better generically trendy red carpet pieces elsewhere why don’t I go and attend another ‘real’ fun party?
Sole menswear designer in the 3 day lineup Nauman Arfeen’s Legacy will surely be remembered with his namesake opulently draped pagris akin to Derby headgear but the winners were his pastel hued velvet jackets and the expansive range of shalwars, pajamas , dhotis and jodhpurs.
Couturier Nilofer Shahid’s Runaway Empress collection inspired by dutch artist Rembrandt was lyrical and complex I feel critiquing it would be sacrosanct. The embellished cream hued cape on Cybil was to die for but I strongly feel that her showing these incredibly theatrical costumes in the same setting as designers showing very Tariq-road bridals wasn’t the right context. Another legend Umar Sayeed with his ‘Elysian’ took a wiser decision to show his more earthly creations i.e. his magnificent bridals in the prettiest of pinks, purples and creams. Some criticized the two for being stuck in their eras but you can’t imagine singers like Lata to do remixes with Himesh Reshamiya. Can you?
Obaid Sheikh and Delphi proved once and for all that how harrowing unhinged creativity can be. I promise you that If you send it to Express News ‘Shabir to dekhe ga’ even he’ll refuse to watch these go down the runway. I got a call from Shikarpur while I was writing this, and they said they would want some of that for tableware, they loved the new garsly green/pungent royal blue crochet and golden table runners.
Teena Durrani ‘s Omorose was graceful, wearable and fun, models came in twirling and smiling. It may not be high on originality, but these are the range of clothes a whole upper middle-class family would buy from the daughter to mother, even the pupho who didn’t get married. Much like freshly-baked patties in a bakery everyone would buy no matter how fitness conscious or in this case fashion forward they pretend to be.
Nida Azwer’s ‘Mystical Garden’ got a lot of flak for its overly embellished layered looks that had beads falling off of them as models walked the runway. But keeping malfunctions and uncurbed use of embellishments aside, you can’t dismiss the detailed workmanship and the range of modern silhouettes. Only if she had edited it to fewer pieces and restrained herself naysayers would have praised her too.
Sania Maskatiya’s contemporary blue green purple separates hit the right spots, the capsule collection for Toni&Guy was practical yet edgy. And the best part it is available for retail rightaway.
Her fellow designer Wardha Saleem’s ‘Zar Gul’ which was listed as ‘who is who’ in all major print reviews, showed up more like ‘whats that?’ in mine especially because of the Manish Arora like full skirts or the weird abdomen exposing shapes in the start, her traditional ones fared far better because of the embroidery. The 3 full bride looks were my only favorites in the presentation.
Shehla Chatoor celebrating 20 yrs in fashion with ‘All the Raj’ did all the right things, innovation by use of leather, wearable sensual silhouettes, incorporating prevalent trends and addition of luxe elements by use of fur. I just wish she had edited out the ill-conceived Jodhpur on the male model. Some saw Sabyasachi some recalled other well-known names but even if she did, I think it was undoubtedly the best collection of all at FPW15 winter festive.
Zaheer Abbas’ “Baad e Naubahar” proclaimed that a designer can in turn do both western contemporary pieces and dab his toes into more commercially-receptive and tastefully restrained bridal wear. Wouldn’t it be great if there were more of the black opening pieces, like my favorite was the outfit on Areeba Habib.
Dilruba by Zainab Chhotani’ was rather innocuous be it her use of rich colors or the mass-friendly cuts catering to the merchant classes without making any fancy qualms about it. Her menswear on the other hand was so understated yet suave that even I would want it.(Just FYI I am not merchant class, I am further down the economic food chain)
Quoting Tom and Lorenzo: “It’s hard to write a review as relentlessly negative as this one’s without people mistakenly believing that you’re angry instead of simply disappointed.” You all know that I could make a monkey out of most of people, but why should I take all the credit? As someone really witty in the fashion industry recently told me that if you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague. And that’s what I precisely attempted to do here.
In all seriousness, it’s my visceral feeling that at this point of time our fashion industry needs to be shocked out of its complacency as so much of this bridal banalness has stacked up this season that it’s kind of hard not to come off as cynical.