The recently concluded Fashion Week had quite a few moments… some good many uh oh they didn’t . With its title sponsors as Telenor, the Fashion Pakistan Week, even though managed to pull off a fashion week, had a moments few and far in between. A stringent screening of collections would have helped and narrow things down to a much more gratifying fashion week.
The thing about Nida Azwer is that when she restrains herself to a limited color palette, she scores major brownie points within the pretty arena. Kicking off the fashion week, Nida went her usual pretty route with a french trellis inspired collection that rested on a neutral and metallic color palette with some very pretty embroidered treatments. Like I said earlier about Nida… She will never do NOT PRETTy and she stuck to her guns. Barring her last outing, out of the three collections she showed last year, one can credit her team for pulling out all stops for producing that variety while remaining true to her aesthetics. Capes, full skirts, saris, jackets, separates, all within a luxe tone made their way onto the presentation that seemed very much like what we have seen from Nida. One piece however stood out of all was a black jumpsuit with a black and white crop bolero that made me sit up and take notice. Also one of the peacock embroidered around neck blouse was worth noticing, even though it reminded me a bit of bjork’s swan oscar dress but this one was so much subtly better (the sari was really odd in pictures). She also had some interesting capes. A seemingly good kick off to the proceedings
This Bank Alfalah segment, unlike last time when it had a separate event of its own, was probably one of the weakest ones ever since they have begun the whole promoting new talent. The collections needed a much more severe crtitical screening since, lets face it, its the real world and you are expected to deliver it bang on!!! and after four years of education, your creatives should not be delivered as costumey on the ramp. The only one that I probably responded to was Hassan Riaz who’s leather and denim capsule with some serious statements coming at the heels of 50 shades of grey movie was possibly one of the more successful moves on the ramp. It was within that when fashion, popular culture and film probably came together…or am I joining too many odd dots here. To top it all it was actually well constructed and achieved the statement it set out to make. Momal Zia was probably too commercial for a runway presentation however was much more ready for a retail outing. Rishma Shakir’s textures and clothes lacked the needed finesse and completion. Shehza Azhar… too costumey and hardly offered anything new in terms of technique. It seemed very much like it was intentionally wanting to be costumey rather than coming off as one. Not a good move.
Boring prints, lazy silhouettes, and some serious lack luster appeal in clothes. Lala’s slot was pretty much a waste of the slot itself. The prints and clothes seemed outdated and put together last minute. Except for probably one look which was a front short back long blue print paired with coral pants, the lawn look pretty much pedestrian at its best. Lawn is such a versatile and so easy to style up considering the amount of stylistic opportunities print provides, and that I can say because I AM a designer, but for some strange reason this logic defies people exhibiting lawn on ramp. Instead of going high fashion and treating the fabric like that, they resort and fall into the trap of mediocrity every fricking time.. sorry for the language but that seemed to be like the sad truth. There seemed to be no effort put in to uplift a pedestrian fabric like lawn making it a shackle, just as pakistani fashion is beginning to throw off its dopatta.
Stitching it in
Paying her tribute to the fine art of tailoring and the craft of stitching itself, Sania Maskatiya’s ‘Khayat’ collection was full of such references in terms of prints. Juxtaposed with a multitude of splashed prints, along with the needle sewing threads and measurement tape prints, reminded me of one of the things I designed in the past with measurement tape as a belt to the dress…this however was a much more extravagant homage. What I like about Sania is everytime her and her team’s ability to come up with innovative concepts and themes for prints, a strength that the fashion house is now proudly known for. What is more is that they match up this creativity with a perfect balance of retail and therefore there are no comments about them going.. where are we going to buy this from?? They manage to bridge the runway to retail pretty seamlessly (all puns intended). The prints were more in line with Sania’s usual signature compared to that interesting burst of African inspired prints that happened last year ( I missed that sort of spunk), but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the prints were done well. The silhouettes were the usual Sania with jumpsuits, jackets, front short-back long tunics, separates and print on print looks. That probably is the only thing I have with the design house is their experimentation within the silhouette… would love to see them experiment and push the boundaries a little more for the runway than its retail counterparts.
Turning the volume down
In a surprising turn of events from its last outing, Fnkasia did a turn around to turn the ethnic volume down with their latest outing going all solids with laced fabric but not yet giving up on the bohemian vibe of the brand. While Huma Adnan can be applauded for going on in a much more subtle direction, the collection was not as impactful. The last good collection I probably remember by the brand was the bengal inspired one, one that was high end and creative but this one sort of missed that mark. Dresses, maxi dresses, separates all with laced fabric insertions in one way or the other in solids of white, yellows, blues and oranges made for a bit of colorway and lackluster presentation. The only redeeming one probably had to be the finale look. Still waiting for the AHA! moment
Oh man!! what expectations I had from my fellow colleague Madiha. After her dazzling debut last year winning a slot this fashion week, Raza failed to take her flight off the ground (all puns there). I was hoping to be presented with an extension of her capsule with a much more refined and developed collection and was expecting to be blown away in similar breath like I was in the capsule outing, instead what I got was more of a half baked concept that needed a lot more development. While I did get that the laser cut was her thing, it seemed to be not explored to its full potential compared to her birds inspired collection. The lasercut came across more like a stencil cutouts rather than exploration of laser cut. A repetition of it too again and again seemingly became monotonous and at points felt a bit too gimmicky. The floral prints too did not really generate an appreciative appeal with the color palette seemingly more of a mish mash. However I did like the fact that with every look there was a variety of bags that she presented. What was worth noting was the experimentation in shapes even though they did become a bit matchy matchy with the outfits… With such a brilliant theme of birds with her it fails to be understood why she sort of switched gears because of the potential that I personally know that she is capable of..probably because of commercial pressures and wearable aesthetic…as Miranda Priestly would say…Florals for summer!! Groundbreaking
Maids of Honor??
Bridesmaids… that was the first word that came to my mind when I first saw the whole collection in its totality. Its such a pity that a designer like Sadaf Malaterre who was just finding her footing with a certain restraint within her aesthetics, went the bridesmaids route (trust me I heard worst reactions). Dresses, Dresses and more dresses within a varying lengths with a same tone of tea blush pink made their way as the last show on day 1. Draped, layered and with pearly details, the silhouettes could be described as more of an easy breezy nature. Lacking drama and any interest of sorts the whole bohemian with a floral accessory contributed further to the bridesmaids idea. The only dress I probably liked was the last fringed dress… though c’mon how many times and how many versions of it have we seen. It was sad to see that it was a bit of a missed opportunity.
*Images courtesy Tapu Javeri