What happens when a brand takes one step forward and two steps back?? Gul Ahmed just did the same feat. While they showed some really good prints at FPW, the PFDC presentation saw them going downhill, as bad as before.
Their ethnic did not meet contemporary but rather crashed and rolled around in it without much success. The collection with its mishmash of vibrant prints seemed more like a confit of gola gandas (a crushed ice delicacy with colourful syrups) depicted in prints. The mish mash of of prints were at times tried to be balanced out with black and whites. The whole concoction seemed again like silhouettes and past collections of specifically Sania Maskatiya and Shehla Chatoor. The separates, the gold chain details, the tapered silk pants… Many of the cultural embroidery references and those pattern printed bangles reminded me of FnkAsia… if a brand has already done it and you can’t contribute nothing new to it..why would you want to do it. Also being a new entrant in the fashion scene, a good idea would be to formulate an original identity rather than emulating what already is on the market…trust me they are doing it better than you..it is difficult to dissociate Gul Ahmed from its textile based identity, which they are trying to do, but in doing so seem to be running around in circles without a clear direction. And what was with those straw sun hats… and that fitted overall OTT print on print dress/tunic with those sharara pants.., no woman is heading down to a beach or even a brunch in that outfit. The drapes were a mess and flared silhouettes with mini dresses and hot pants.. like really that is suited for a body type here… HIGH STREET presentation…ring any bells???
Menswear was another story altogether. The ones presented on the runway again… the jumpsuit was such a bad fit…after watching Bareeze’s … maybe designers at Gul Ahmed need to take some pointers since it was a downer…the printed pants were..lets skip that… and the cropped pants for men, were such a baad fit.. if u had to do it, do it with a good fit atleast .. and that whole ensemble reminded me of Ishtiaq Afzal… and not in a good way.
Also their press kit said that the collection was ‘a fresh take on layering and transperancy’… really i never saw any sheer fabrics..did the person writing the description ever was in contact with the design team to know what the collection was about??
The only part I liked was possibly the first piece which sadly was not commercial at all and the mens loafers.
*Images courtesy Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly