While Day 3 is usually touted to be the best day of the fashion week, there were quite a few surprises in store for me as the collections walked down the ramp. Some hits, some pleasant surprises and some misses, but it was a quite the satisfying day.
I almost fell off my chair when I saw this was the Khaadi Khaas show. So unlike them, it seemed like Sana Safinaz and Khadija Shah happened to Khaadi. While the collection seemed so much unlike what we are used to seeing from the brand. The brand took a much more youthful approach this time around with a very candy colored color palette with embellishments and bling, with nothing ‘ethnic’ happening on the runway. While it may the sign of changing winds, the decision to let go of such signautre – we’ll see where it goes. Swaroski embellishments accompanied the candy pinks and neon yellows in many of the looks. While there were some hits the disjointed collection had quite a few off-the-track pieces that did not sit well with the other ones within the collection. Being all over the place, while at one end there was a much more contemporary looks with white culottes, or striped pants, on other there were formal looks that seemed to have divided the collection into two mini capsules. While quite a few of pieces were quite nicely done and stood ground on their own, in the presentation. Some of the black and white prints used were fun but few and far in between. The floral piece stood out like a sore thumb a totally different train of thought from the already two that we were presented with. The cohesiveness that the brand had displayed earlier was missing. One showing that I was looking forward to but alas!! Sigh! And Shamoon walked in at the end for the first time.
Combining geometric elements with floral embroideries, on a canvas of tailored aesthetics, Saira Shakira’s collection was quite pleasant compared to their last showing. I found myself liking quite the few many pieces from their feminine yet strong presentation. The collection included a range of separates interacting with each other rather than just put together – something rare on the ramp. From capes and tops to pants, skirts and dresses, and even the fun layered take on the powersuit, the duo presented quite the impressive collection on day 3. My favorite actually are three from the collection. The powersuit, the dress with a big bow and print skirt and geometric print cape with floral embroidery and the blush pink pants. The cohesive collection was succint without any piece looking out of place yet diverse and together.
Slouched, laid back and oversized was the order of the day for Zara Shahjahan. Her easy relaxed silhouettes provided a much needed breather from the usual fervor of fashion week visuals that we are used to. Furthermore the designer seems to be veering towards a much more organic approach this time around, something we haven’t seen from the designer known for going the quirky route. However it was her embroidery and color palette that painted the whole collection a rather pale washed out look, something that could have been avoided. In happening so, her embroideries too failed her barring probably the last piece. I for one, loved the diamond shaped cutout tops and tunics. Very jammies, easy and relaxed approach, Zara Shahjahan thankfully did bring something more to the table than just OTT-ness of the fashion week, focusing much more on its practical retail potential. I for one loved the messy top knot with round sunglasses styling…just the little added detail the look needed.
What Khaadi did not do much of, Zonia did that in one sweep of her collection. Using central asian motifs within much more contemporary silhouettes, might not seem much but evolving them for a younger market, Zonia did an Inaaya with a much more commercial sensibility. You have to see her very scottish vibe campaign (i love that ginger haired model) to see how adaptable the clothes are and how upcoming designers evolve cultural design motifs within a contemporary setting. While not attempting to reinvent the wheel, This very boho collection reminded me of ‘free people’. The use of red and blues was smart and balanced and was good to see someone setting the cultural element in a contemporary setting. Boho, easy, breezy and flirty, Zonia knows that this collection is for women and out-of-teens girls alike and made it perfectly just that without resorting to shalwar kameez and gowns. The separates were easy to mix and match and would do well in terms of retail.
HSY loves an exercise in excess and he is mighty proud of it, but strip off the OTT styling and this collection of his would feature up in his more understated ones (yes!! ) and while there are some pieces are out there, there are many chic pieces, esp some drool worthy menswear. Bomber jackets, brocade and printed pants, and blue and white embroidered jackets and printed suits. The quilted womenswear pieces, cropped jackets and lace dresses also made an appearance albiet were a bit too excessive for my taste. Deep tones with some heavy handed embroideries were not my cup of tea and at times a bit too much to be combined with certain lighter elements like lace or sheer. A printed jumpsuit was nice and some printed pants too, but mostly the collection was let down by some odd styling and some too many elements put together.
I have always maintained that I hold a certain reverence for Kamiar as a designer because he is simply put the best out there. His decision to showcase, esp after his oriental labour of love last year, this was one of the collections I was looking forward to!! and Boy was I right. Pastel tones, rich fabric, contemporary treatments and inspiration traditional craft of rilli tukka applique embroidery, combining them all together within one collection is no mean feat, one that the designer does seamlessly. The fabric embroidery technique on clothes is not something I haven’t seen before, in fact it was infront of me that I saw it first ever being done during my undergrad, but not like this. In the deft hands of Kamiar, he combines brocade with the technique, a very tricky thing considering the fabric’s nature, and succeeds with flying colors – literally. The ready to wear luxe collection featured quite a range of separates, shift dress, tops, crop jackets, even a pinafore and my absolute favorite the brocade patchwork jacket. The brocades were balanced and could have been easily overwhelming, save for the color palette and how the designer balances them out with chic silhouettes combined with just enough dramatic elements. I could imagine some really hot and interesting editorials, to some very separate mix of looks from high street to luxe. Sign of a very diversely put cohesive collection.