Given the retro mix (barring baby doll), and collection’s name I just had to have the Elvis Presely song as the title. When you are set to attend Ali Xeeshan’s show, you kind of know the whole pattern of how it is going to be. Theatrics on ramp- check, OTT clothes – check, Inappropriate song choice (the trend since last show)- check. This time around however, Xeeshan surprisingly tones down the volume in terms of drama. With an almost…stressing on the word almost… single file show, Ali Xeeshan gave the curtain call with his collection TROUBLE (i want to know how does he title his collections) on Day 1.
The predominantly black gold and nude collection, with turquoise accents, played upon a much more streamlined look with tailored and sheer trends. Grooving to the retro hits of Lollywood, the clothes actually seemed to be in sync with the music (not the baby doll though). The embroidery comprised of black lace appliques and gold pitta (which I was later told was oxidized ribbon in gold leafing) embroidery accented off with turquoise stones was pretty at many occassionas. The baroque motifs and vines were used liberally throughout the collection tying it all together. The silhouettes moved from pencil skirts and body con dresses to loose crop tops, high waisted flared pants and embroidered capes. Menswear included sherwanis and shirts in patterns and embroidery. One of the firsts for me, Xeeshan showcased a trenchcoat sherwani, which was quite intriguing definitely made it to my list (he wasn’t the only one to show it during the fashion week).
The only drama that came in the presentation was in the form of the buntings constructed straight plane oversized hats that actually went with these. Had the Polo matches that happened in lahore a couple of months back happened after this show, many ladies would have flocked him for that whole Royal Ascot dressed up feel for it. For once there was no drama compared to the usual theatrics Ali Xeeshan is known for. Simple, straight single file show sans any drama according to Ali Xeeshan standards. One of the major things that he aced at was the impeccable construction. There was no seam that puckered, no fittings that were off, and everything cut to perfection. Hell!! he did not have seams puckering when combining two different fabrics like organic and hand woven raw silk with lace inserts and appliques. Also, without taking any names, but you know a designer has done good when other designers actually talk about the brilliant construction behind their back.
However the whole patterning of the embroidery were quite the deja vu moment of dolce & gabbana’s collection. While there is no harm in evoking that sort of moment since the designer did his own take on the whole vibe of it, still being so fresh in my memory, it tends to evoke that sort of reaction of the collection being too ‘heavily inspired’. Same was the case with the file of male models wearing identical t.shirts with embroidery seemed like a rehash of HSY’s 16 men last year. These were completely uncalled for in a quite cohesive collection. Also I know Baby doll is the ‘it’ song but with your presentation why would you want it, if your mix is all retro songs. It looked forced and ruined the sync for many. In a collection that was high on baroque and lace patterns, the two menswear shirts with ajrakh patterns looked out of place. Next was while I love the pants, the boobie shirt didn’t quite really sit well with me and also did feel like a placement repitition from JALAL. Also I did not understand the inclusion of the gharara in a collection that was very tailored. I liked the fact that he left the top plain with just the statement necklace, but why include it in a collection that had clean lines.
What caught my eye were the clear box clutches with prints inside, also the embroideries, as mentioned above, were very good. Kudos to him for doing that to the ribbon how he did that. Another favorite of mine was the trench coat sherwani. Also made it to my list was this boxy tunic with gold ribbon embroidery details. What I liked about it was that it was just the right length to be paired with those flared pants. The lace/net fabric suit was fun, but should have made Mohsin who wore it better than the model the next day :). I also liked the sheer cape that was embroidered…not as finely as INAAYA at fpw but made for a good look with plain underneath letting that embroidery shine. Also one one of the body con dresses, with a sheer on top of the bodice and sleeves, something I would like Queen Vicky from REVENGE to wear at an event, that woman would rock the hell outta that dress.
*Images courtesy Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly … and me