FPW SS 16 felt a lot like top piece of the bread, a lot of designers played hard to get with their clothes when they’re already so hard to want. In my meager 5 years of writing about fashion in print and online on this blog, it was the first time I saw people around feeling fed up of fashion. Personally after two days I didn’t know whether to laugh or pity at it since I was made a blogger by this very platform 5 years ago. For the third and final day I sent a friend to “cover it” for me( I know it sounds pretentious as fuck but that’s what they call it these days)
Amna Aqeel’s high street collection was akin to “walking the street” with mish-mash of Alibaba quality Raf Simon’s Dior abstracts and a finally piece straight from Zuhair Murad’s Haute Couture Collection of Fall 2014. The fringe, the sripes and the abstraction of vivid colors could have been saved with better finishing, edgier styling or perhaps another designer altogether.
People like myself often say designers shouldn’t be a one trick pony but Zainab Chhotani’s dive into denim proved otherwise, there is no reason a perfectly good eastern wear designer should debase denim in this day and age.It also established that Iman Ali although still stunningly beautiful has had her day. I call the collection debasing denim 101.
I couldn’t make much of Zainab Salman’s dubious debut with a collection entitled ‘Moon Struck’, I kept asking myself is she a “pageant gown” designer, is she formal wear or is she just like any other designer making vague references to key European designers? With little signature aesthetic to register her own it showed her lack of conviction or being too eager to please.
Natasha Kamal’s ‘Luxxotica’ had everything from pastel pinks, to deep rich spicy greens even mustardy yellow juxtaposed with various shapes of pants. But Its very discomforting when you look at the clothes and see its like something but you are not quite sure then a newspaper is courageous enough and finds exact rendition of Columbian designers Johanna Ortiz’s recent collection up there. Like cigarette smoking some designer just can’t stop copying.
Amir Adnan’s collection was fondly called Pirates of the Kolachi by some and it played its bet on edgy styling and layering . I did appreciate the navy blue and white color palette.There were little in terms of newness, If you deconstruct the looks into individual pieces they were just traditional silhouettes like a kurta, the blazer, the shirt layered unconventionally and styled with braids and head scarves.
Another irony were the trend shows showcasing clothes as silos without any prominent trend so to say, editorial teams in fashion magazines deserve an A for effort because for 3 weeks down the road I still see spreads where they continue to do C-section of sorts, making sense out of them by lengthy verbose this trend that trend OMG so edgy
Maheen Karim’s floral print options reminded me of Elan’s Sauvage from previous season and one has to ask how many of these tropical birds plants on white base prints will we see. Not just the prints but the garments themselves in terms of silhouettes.It is like pulling out proverbial rabbits from magician hat.
Obaid Sheikh’s Thari colorful options for snug menswear paraded down the runway on Ayo re Maro Dholna made me appreciate virtues of traditional sobriety and restraint, since there wasn’t any in his collection. Embroidered sherwani wasn’t bad but the whole context forces you to not take things seriously.
Sanam Chaudhri ’s print pieces were more throwback thursday than forward thinking future, whereas I loved her last FPW winter festive collection, the only thing worth celebrating about her sleek contemporary cuts is that they looked too similar to Sania Maskatiya’s previous work. She is otherwise refreshingly honest I don’t know what happened.
Things were so apathetic, even designers like Nida Azwer who are a regular hit at every fashion week with strong collections showed things that looked like leftover food in plates at a shaadi dinner with her collection titled ‘Kirigami’ (a variation of origami that includes cutting of the paper rather than solely folding the paper). Dime a dozen dhoti shalwars in teals, mauve and greys made for yawn fest like a wedding that runs too late.
Counter intuitive textile folks Lala and Gulahmed tried their best to come off as Fashion with a captial F yet everyone agreed they deserved capital punishment instead. Strangely where common folks diss edgy designers to be out of touch with commercial realities, the lawn people are on the flip side. They can’t have their own fashion week because nobody but aunties will come. And no blogger or fashion press in general wants to write about lawn people unless they sponsor fancy lunches, and put advertising/paid shoot on their platforms. But since they have big bucks, lets just pretend all is well and they belong in fashion weeks.
Building on Viola Davis’ speech at SAG awards, a lot of people ask me oh we are looking forward to read your misses posts and how you are going to rip XYZ apart and some ask “don’t you worry you are creating enemies. Don’t you worry nobody is gonna like you or invite you to events?” I always think, ‘Why do I have to be goody two shoes? Why do they have to like me? Why do I have to get my photos taken in borrowed clothes on red carpet?’ My job as an fashion spectator (or a blogger) is to express my opinion about clothes to the best of my ability. Biased, ignorant, maybe not always likable. It is my job and I do it to the best of my ability, and I get so much joy out of being aamiriat.
I wonder when we will drop the sympathy “fledgling fashion industry” tag to describe Fashion in Pakistan,move to discourse which focuses on content creation rather than red carpet endorsements and petty insecurities of individuals. Leaning on to numbers from textile/lawn industry to tout exports from “fashion business” is misleading. In the past twelve months we have seen 2 huge sponsored fashion events busting where big names were supposed to show. Everybody I tried to talk to said they didnt have enough time to do better. It takes two to lie… One to lie and one to listen. So for how long?