Day 2 of PFDC Sunsilk Fashion week was quite eventful in terms of fashion. From theatrics to experimental shapes to just plain fun, it was quite the ride without a false note in context to keeping the audience hooked onto the presentations.
Ali Xeeshan returned to the PFDC ramp with his usual theatrical presentation. Strip the theatrics away and it was more about the fabric this time around than the experiments within the silhouettes that Xeeshan usually gets me excited about despite the unnecessary drama. Using neon greens and metallics as accents on a black and white palette, he presented a rather retro futuristic look but one that looked more likely could have been a depiction in seventies (same robot made out of foil to depict it on the screen). Expected a much better futuristic element from him to come through than being so arts and crafts. Of the ones that fared better was the menswear. Loved the black and white embroidered jacket and the silver greys chevronic sherwani/bandhgala jackets that looked like such a delectable interpretation of a modern day armour (hence the inspiration of police authorities that came through… but where was the extreme feeling of joy and darkness ?? ). The digital print bandhgala was also fun and am always a sucker for an overall print suit. Of the womenswear the long embroidered black and white dress with a pop of green neon scarf and the sporty silhouettes in relaxed shapes worked on their own brilliantly but not cohesively within the collection (one could easily miss them and edit them out and it wouldn’t have made a difference).
Karma went through the pretty route, nothing that we have not seen from working with sheer and embroidered within the usual silhouettes for the elite party circles of the country. It was not something that we have not seen with predictable silhouettes within a likeability palette. The embellished pieces were rather a snooze fest and lacked the running thread of oomph that is often associated with the brand. The girly factor did come through but with such expected pieces at a fashion week – I expected better from Karma.
It takes special kind of talent (read Cookie Lyon) for me to like animal print. While Mahgul wasn’t able to do that, it was to her credit that she had some intelligent train of thought behind her collection that came forth. It was good to see someone taking the high road to experiment even though in baby steps. The gender bender and androgynous pieces were the ones that were my favorites and wished there were more. The blue fractal print on just one leg of a white pant was an instant favorite. While some successful pieces she did have her share of lows with a tracksuit-ish knit look with a half print – half plain look didn’t work nor did the last draped piece that looked like too much of a mish mash of wanna be sari-gown. Some hits, some misses but still a mighty applause to venture out rather than stay within a comfort zone.
Still questioning their presence in the lineup.
While we did get a structured taste of Sania’s collection, going head on minimalist with structured details was the last thing anyone expected of her and something I personally wanted her to explore. She shut her detractors of her hiding behind the crutches of print. While there were hints and accents of her signature geometric prints, it was just that – an accent rather than an explosion of it that we are used to seeing from her. Her venture into a much more structured look though was very commendable, was not without faults. While quite a few pieces struck the right chord like the full blue ensemble and the green top, many did strike up an odd note especially in terms of construction and proportion. The top, bottom and outerwear in some of the pieces like the royal blue-print overlap or the serenity blue skirt-pant look was quite disproportionate. Even having said, she downplay many of her prints with some smart sheer layering and going all out with a much more slouched look that came to be known as her signature in her initial days. While what many expected, when a designer throws up an unexpected pleasant surprise like this, all eyes are now on the brand as to where it would head developing its design philosophy that has become it’s identity.
One person within Pakistani fashion, who when heads to the ramp knows how to have fun with fashion and has the skills to match up to them, Nomi Ansari is the only name that fits the bill. Known for his deft control over the explosion of colors, Nomi knows it and knows it well and flaunts it like no one else. While at occasions I did get reminded of Jeremy Scott and Dries Van Noten, it was more of an overlapping subject matter than anything else. Nomi’s exploration from emojis to mexican art and sugar skulls made for an impressive presentation with the right dose of nomi crazyness to it. I am pretty much jealous of the guy’s ability to handle color so well. From jumpsuits to some fun menswear jackets, nomi fun prints and even fun their interactions with the silhouettes. Digital prints and embroidery, the present day pop culture influenced collection was seamless, kitsch and fun to the core – something we all could use a little bit of in our lives. With so much retail potential Nomi should now open up an Retail flagship store.
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