PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week Spring Summer 2016 took place earlier this week in Lahore with a huge runway that suggested a sports activity rather than a fashion show, hair and makeup was done by Nabila and N-Gents & choreography by HSY. Some big names like Elan, Fahad Hussayn opted out of it this season, but regardless here the picks of designers I deem hits this year:
HSY limited for Kashf Foundation is particularly close to my heart as it is fashion with a purpose: employing women from destitute backgrounds. With interesting textures and embellishment technique, the draping made for practical yet chic clothes in muted grey, faded blues and earthy browns.There was barely any piece that I hated.
MUSE with their #LastNight collection drew on the glittering night life of Milan with heady mixture of dazzling metallic accents in restrained evening wear silhouettes. Starting with trendy sweatshirts, trackpants moving on to decadently sequined and beaded dresses. I loved the jacket paired with long dress on Sunita Marshal. Whereas the menswear which was a first for MUSE didn’t really fly with me, it still reeked Elton John than real menswear fit for men If you know what I mean.
Mahgul made a mark with its new accessible line of luxury and formal wear ORO, although conceptual in its inspiration the designs remained practical impeccably accessorized with bags, khusas, sneakers and most importantly jewelry by Zohra Rehman. From loungewear to resort and eventually evening pieces it was profound while being non-fussy. I loved the centipede-like metallic accent on the back of long dress and I dearly wish that someday I get to wear menswear by them.
Sania Maskatiya greatly simplified their signature aesthetic of prints with streamlined silhouettes and embroidered textures.Non-literal interpretation of Art Nouveau prints and the fact that all the pieces could be mixed with others as separates did the deed for me. The asymmetric cuts coupled with an array of pants made for an assertive statement. The presentation clearly referenced the Sania Maskatiya woman as powerful, in control and independent.
Voodoo collection redeemed Ali Xeeshan the designer, with its metallic embellishments over the color palette of grey with pops of neon green. Although his press release informs that its conceptual inspiration drew from the journey of a man who goes from lowest depth and then going on to highest of glory. Theinterpretations i.e. clothes themselves were maybe too abstract for me to decipher the connection. There were some great pieces that involved folds and tucks with clever use of print to add depth. I could wear the suit on Jahan E khalid or the cossack clerical collar outfit on Hasnain Lehri right away
Karma Pink’s Studio 54 was a bit too riskless for me If I was to say so but it definitely had its moments. Referencing the Manhattan discothèque, Karma did a good job by having a contemporary take on sequins, beaded fringe and sparkled accessories, but the silhouettes lacked the newness. The whole collection was a bit cautious and unenterprising. Wouldn’t it have been better if they were a bit risqué or complex like Bob Mackie for instance.
House of Kamiar Rokni celebrated art of elegance and luxury by their eclectic sensibility. They used a mix of Tukka Rilli applique technique on organza and paired it with heavy jamawars and brocades. The juxtaposition of western shapes adorned in very traditional eastern textiles was a hit for me. I particularly liked how they layered a dress shirt with a jacket and jamawar pants on model Anam Malik and Rabia Butt. I cherished the use of the muted color palate of golds and beiges with just pops of pink and blue.
Collection of Hira Ali, one of Bank Alfallah Rising Talent was light , youthful and fuss free. An air of clinique cleanliness with Calvin Klien NY sensibility. Good to see that young designers like herself have realised that they dont need to go conceptual and profound with their debut collections. Just showcase your skill in a simplified sell-able way. She gets my vote!
Nilofer Shahid x Ittehad Textiles show is worthy of mention because although it was a lawn show, showcasing the designer’s new collaboration; it was anything but lawn. Pieces used couture techniques fusing, folds draping and complex silhouettes. No fluttering dupatas with short shirts and straight pants in sight. Amen
Zonia Anwar ‘s delved into Central Asian design elements with practical shapes. Multitude of tan leather bags and tribal-esque thread jewelry were much adored. I just wish she takes a few more risks with her shapes and the complexity of the whole ensemble.
All in all I missed innovation, every collection focused on sportswear; white sneakers and sequined looks were dime a dozen. It’s good to follow trends but it’s even more important to have a distinct voice that progresses forward.