Amir Adnan’s royal collection was just that… Royal. Traditional yet modern though the collection did indeed bordered more on the groomswear category, there were many eastern menswear options that came to the forefront within a modern royal twist. Sherwanis, Bandhgalas, vests, waistcoats, kurtas all were present with brocaded fabric fit for a prince. My favorite had to be the bandhgala jackets that definitely are sure to fly off the racks, then again it is Amir Adnan… the design house is known for its impeccable menswear. But the standout piece had to be this suit with bejeweled tie that while I wasn’t sure I liked or not, definitely made the statement. One of my favorites one had to be the gun metal brocade bandhgala that was thankfully and masterfully paired with navy (trust me so many people I know would pair it with black). Perfectly tailored and executed, Amir Adnan’s show might not have been pret but was definitely fit for a princely closet.
Sanam Chahudhry’s collection was a mix of hits and misses within its presentation. While the collection began on strong notes and continued to do so, it sort of derailed midway making for a mixed presentation. Working with sheer separates and some interesting cutworks, the highlight of Sanam’s show probably had to be the amount of chic and detailed pants that she presented each one different from other and working perfectly with the tops they were presented with rather than going the matchy matchy route. The play of cutwork, sheer and opaque as well as 3 different layered within a single pant without making it feel overbearing is no mean feat and one Sanam achieves remarkably. However the problem probably started when there was an inclusion of net dopattas and floor length ensembles that felt too heavy handed. Net dopattas are not easy to work with and though she tries to integrate them, they come across a bit forced. The floor length and the exaggerated numbers too hit a bit of a false note with big tassled belts. It was her chic and streamlined approach that was much more successful compared to the exaggerated ones. Loved those pants!! Those looks were fun and flirty…Loved em.
Now why does not Wardha Saleem do something like this for her brand…One of the major highlights of day 2 was not the Jafferjees bags but the clothes that accompanied them and how Wardha can produce such chic and slick ensembles that are so far removed from her own brand’s aesthetics but everyone wished she produced things like these for her own label. From cutwork capes, jackets, fringed dresses, high waisted chevron pants (my personal favorite) all were so good and seamless within the presentation that it was very hard to find a flaw within the whole presentation. Kudos for the brother-sister duo team for pairing bags with dresses not going the typical matchy route making the product stand out for which the Jafferjees show was but man!! these clothes need to produced
There is one thing that is called pushing the boundaries and other to go completely bizzare without any aesthetics in place to produce such a presentation and that too on April 1st. Like really!! that seemed like a joke. While I am able to recognize at many occasions while reviewing where something might not sit well with my aesthetics, but does not mean that it is bad design since its balanced and has a universal aesthetic in place, Abdul Samad’s collection did not fall into that category. Pulling out some insane menswear numbers that defied a bit of logic, design and cohesiveness in the name of creativity seemed a bit too far fetched assumption that it would be digestable esp. by a Pakistani audience. From Lumberjack to Sherwani to suits, he gave us the variety in looks that like the last picture seemed far too ambitious attempt to cram everything within one collection. His simpler numbers scored waaayy higher compared to his attempt at being creative. Sorry dude!! no balance within design doesn’t account for that.
Drawing inspiration from Botticelli’s probably second most famous painting after Birth of Venus, Zaheer Abbas redeemed himself from his last neo nude outing. It was probably one of the major highlight of the whole fashion week. To understand how the collection was driven from Primavera, the painting, you need to see the painting. The white collection drew from the painting from the sheer garbs of the three graces to the transformation of nymph Chloris to a floral spring diety FLORA enveloped in floral vines. Starting off with plain whites, Abbas creeps in the details that definitely demand a second look and a closer inspection to be appreciated. It is as if he personified the graces and then made his way towards depicting Flora within his collection. The collection could also be interpreted as Chlori’s transformation from a nymph to a spring diety Flora. Whatever it may be, the collection had this certain lightness of being that gave it its ethereal charm. Abbas’s drapes were immaculately executed and one of the embroidered detail was definitely one for the keeps. My favorite look however was the much more of a depiction of flora. A floor length, full sleeved print ensemble primarily because of its strong lines and shoulders that gave it sort of an authoritative look but not taking away the femininity off from it. Another feature that struck out were Zaheer’s accessories.. those spherical clutches were an instant love on the ramp and perfectly complimented the looks they were paired with. Zaheer! That was one freakingly good presentation.
Caanchi and Lugari
While it did escape me why did a brand like Caanchi and Lugari showed at the fashion week!! well everyone does want a spot under the spotlight. The collection was pretty much a regular man’s wardrobe but with quality shoes (trust me you would want these modern day classics). While clothes were nothing major to boast about, shoes definitely went on my lust list. However, with just good shoes sadly the clothes did not match up and it seemed like one of those presentations that a bit too simple to make a mark in their given slot!!
Old wine in New bottle
Gul Ahmed might be established as a major textile mill but is yet to find its footing within as a fashion brand and it is surprising why is it unable to do so with the amount of investments at its disposal. Possibly second or third white collection of the fashion week, surprisingly Gul Ahmed showed restraint with its color palette unlike last showings of carpets and some really unappealing colors. While it may have drew away from colors this time around to present a much more cohesive look, the silhouettes is where the brand lacked. I could literally point out the reused silhouettes from others as well as their OWN showings from the past. Also with many contemporary silhouettes, what was an anarkali doing in the middle of all those. The collection definitely required some serious editing and a second look by its makers who need to find focus which way to steer the brand into. In the last few showings and presentations, the it is still unclear where the brand is headed and what is it trying to do…. too many cooks spoiling the broth maybe??
The collection DOMINIONATRIX –DECODED delved into what Fahad does best, the darkness within ruling. One could imagine the evil Queen and her wardrobe within the whole collection that had such exquisite details outlining the corruption that comes with power. Working with pagan symbols, structured details and floral and fauna symbols, Hussayn worked with a number of sheer and opaque play of details that sort of depicted the power play and transparencies within a kingdom and could very well be a social and political comment towards the governments today. Combining structure and draped forms together to create hybrid silhouettes of dresses and jumpsuits, which he calls ‘recreations of classic renaissance aesthetic molded into modern wearable silhouettes.’ The collection featured predominantly Fahad’s unusual approach to embroidery within those silhouettes going with the opulence that is usually associated with the demi-coutureness of Fahad. Dark, delectable and definitely not without the Fahad Dramatics, the collection’s modern medieval vibe definitely struck all the right notes.
*Images courtesy Tapu Javeri