Fashion scene in Pakistan needs a bit of a rejuvenation since the designers are producing a lot of same ol same ol. Designers need to understand that people are going to wear with what options they are presented with and thus need to reassess what their presentations are consisting of. Innovation, creativity and commerce all need to come together. While some made a splash at this season”s Fashion Pakistan Week 2017, some failed to do so.
Day 2 saw another slew of designers putting forth a show for the evening. Of these only two came up trumps by staying true to their aesthetics. While we saw many bridals, a couple of brands also showcased pret a porter for the wedding season giving the much needed break from the usual desi wedding options.
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 Read the rest of this entry »
Mish Mash Mess
Fnkasia’s folk spirit collection left me a bit on the odds as to what to make of the collection that was presented down the runway. The opening horizontal striped number spelled disaster and set the possible tone for the collection that mish mashed so many strange elements together that it was hard to pin down the coherent thread. The collection titled folk spirit became disaster of quite epic proportions with use of some perforated materials, coupled with some dramatic accessories that were not needed in many places. The badly fitted blue maxi number, the odd first number and the dated yellow silhouette managed to bring things down quite a few notches. The blue knotted number with embellished tights and the last OTT number possibly hit the final nail in the coffin. Serious editing and quite the amount of control needed to be exercised by the designer since there was much too mish mash of so many things from elements of pret to wanting to go the high end route. Quite the disappointment for a fashion house who’s last two outings, esp the bengali one (yes I still remember that and it was more than a year ago) was quite a fresh take. The collection though had a two high points in the shape of the draped and belted yellow and monochromatic number and the black dress with a lace cape (but it was marred by the chunky accessory that it could do without). Ethnic legwarmers were another welcome addition and I did spot an interesting shalwar. Huma! we have seen you present way better stuff than this, esp for winterwear.
Designers Deepak and Fahad went the monochromatic way with their latest collection simply Siyah Sufaid. The collection that presented an array of menswear and womenswear was not without its share of hits and misses. While the menswear fared better than womenswear, the designers did display some serious potential and the ways in which they can take this forward. While they presented a number of fun jackets quilted and printed within menswear, the womenswear saw one breezy number and the rest on the structured end with dresses, gowns and jumpsuit. The black and white collection made quite a few people sit up and take notice of the duo, since they have gradually managed to improve with each passing presentation and learnt from it. This collection however it was not without faults. One of the leather jackets seemed like an odd intrusion in the whole presentation and stuck out. The white printed suit number also needed some serious alterations since the pants looked more like PJs and the last gown could have been better fitted. However not all was lost in the process and they did present a few some pretty interesting pieces. My picks had to be the quilted jacket, the printed sleeve shirt paired with that bandhgala nehru vest, the fading mini number and the jumpsuit with an embroidered bolero that scored high. All eyes would definitely be on them with what they come up with next.
Lets just take a moment and sit and go through the whole collection of what Mr Pardesy presented on the runway possibly peaking day 2 with his collection titled Labyrinth. Breathe In and Breathe Out. The monochromatic collection with a multitude of inspirations was perfectly balanced outing with the display of his love for craft and deconstruction of it. The collection was one helluva ride that, as expected, was one we did not want to end.
Possibly his most retail friendly silhouettes, Pardesy’s collection was not absent or compromising of his penchant for details of various crafts that included deconstructed weaving to embroidery to greek imagery. The collection was meticulously crafted, one that was obvious so much so the created an entire top out of weaving strips and that too patterned… *applause*.. that my dear is not an easy feat and that is the effort this perfectionist puts into his craft and excels at it. Apart from that, Pardesy combined a multitude of prints as well as embroidered images so fine that they were mistaken for print by some of the onlookers, unless given a second look. These combined with prints and brilliant mastered tailoring (not a thread out of place), Pardesy’s collection was chic, relaxed and fab. His experimentation with some of the silhouettes was remarkable while the control he exercised in others was pitch perfect. The menswear he presented, the black and white sherwani is bound to find takers *raises hand*. It is amazing to see how far Adnan Pardesy is willing to push the envelope every time he is to present, be it the gota enriched gilded collection or the denim one, the ralli inspired one or the summer sorbet that he presented. He just pushes those boundaries and loves doing so in his attempt to experiment with womenswear. Thank God he is not satisfied and I hope he never is, for then he can continue to seek excellence every time he has to present. Killed it man!!
Kukkar Kamaal Da!!
For all the reasons I just had to title the review of Deepak’s collection this… because .. those who understood it definitely got it :P. The collection ‘Everything but the girl’ was just that, nothing but Menswear. Deepak’s collection presented a variety of menswear with some interesting silhouettes for the Pakistani man who is a bit conservative to experiment much. However with Perwani’s collection there was pretty much everything for everyone. From suits to bandhgalas to nehru jackets to long coats to cheeky ‘rooster’ printed kurtas and pants (loved them, they instantly went onto my lust list) to some very interesting jodhpurs, the collection presented quite the range with embroidered and belted accents onto them. While one of the jackets with its OTT embroidery did take me back to the 90s, *shudders with horror with the reminder of what put me off embroidery*, thankfully only one such piece made an appearance. The collection also presented a belted sherwani and a bandhgala which made for an interesting styling choice. From OTT to minimal, the collection pretty much had it all and that is where possibly it seemed a bit inconsistent at points. The dip dye shirts and rooster prints (though my favs) as well as casual outings and coats seemed disconnected at points to formal suits and sherwanis presented by the designer. However the designer managed to maintain the whole vibe of the show and round it off before it had the tendency to go astray. Sikander Rizvi and Adnan Malik made for suave showstoppers and set quite a few swooning over them (trust me you should have seen my timeline during that moment).
*Images courtesy Tapu Javeri and his team
If you have been following my blog, during PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week, the title sponsors collaborated with designers to create limited edition bottles like last year. However this year instead of revealing the bottles, the designs were revealed wherein people guessed who designed what (read about it all here)
Well the wait is over!! During an event, the four designers behind these four bottles were revealed. Adding two new names to the list, Sana Safinaz and FnkAsia and retaining Khaadi and HSY made up the four Sunsilk Edition designer bottles. While I did have some idea of who designed what during Fashion Week, Sana Saf were the ones which were BAM! Out of the blue..Khaadi and Sana Saf went the lawn inspiration route with motifs from their lawn lines incorporating motifs onto their bottles (i liked Khaadi’s last year’s better), HSY went the glamour route, lots of glitter and bold gold or if done up in fashion black satin with a dash of gold and FnKAsia based their bottle on the “freedom of spirit that exudes from the women in Tharparkar as they are not shackled by urban laws.”.
Its interesting to encourage these collaborations that bridge the gap between designer and masses who could not afford luxury designer wear so its just a way for them to own a piece.
Aamna Isani tweeted, ‘This was a night to celebrate fashion, not judge it.’ Indeed it was. The fashion festival part of the Sindh Festival ( I am still not forgiving myself for not attending the movie screenings) , was one night that celebrated and how. The choreographed dance sections, the musical performances, the setting of the hindu gymkhana and the fireworks all came together in a beautiful array of a good show that was taut and timely ( a major task for these fashion events.. a big shout out to Tehmina and her team of take II).
A display section had live models acting as mannequins with creative styling done by Ehtesham Ansari with clothes by different designers. What I loved about what he did with the clothes. From the array of designers I was impressed with what he did with Adnan Pardesy, Nida Azwer (loved the top knot, septum ring and sneakers with the gharara), and Arsalan Iqbal (making that formal jacket go so casual). It was probably the best part of the night and had me swooning over the quirky styling. Loved IT.
The collections presented included an impressive lineup and some impressed more than others.
BUNTO KAZMI: Bunto showcased her brilliant strength of handwork in her heirloom worthy pieces of shawls. The 8 piece capsule collection of shawls was enhanced by simple black tunics and pants, popping up the embroidered shawls for maximum impact. The hand embroidered shawls were investment worthy pieces that were treasure trove for any collectible person.
FNKASIA: Old wine in new bottle, Fnkasia refurbished its old collections to make it more ‘sindhi’.. the collection was the usual funkasia with splashes of color and in-house made accessories that they are famous for. Though they did not offer anything new, what caught my eye was a mini dress with an embroidered panel on neckline. Also the brilliant styling of nabila’s of including the unibrow in the look gave the collection an unusual a frida twist.
AMIR ADNAN: Amir Adnan’s collection of sherwani, kurtas and waistcoats was classic, chic and as usual tailored. The dark themed collection featured a range of pieces however the highlight was people including, Shehryaar taseer, Tapu Javeri and Fakhre alam amongst others making their appearance on the ramp. The collection surprisingly seemed to have a youthful outlook while striking the balance with being classic menswear.
NAUMAN ARFEEN: The black and white sherwanis of Naumaan Arfeen were styled brilliantly. With just two colors, Arfeen’s sherwanis consisted of embroidery of similar color, going in a self on self surface treatment effect. The menswear was wearable, chic and appealing. One of the pieces,a white on white embroidered kurta with a bandhgala offwhite waistcoat was fun and conservative at the same time. Also a big plus for making good aligarhi pajamas.
ZAHEER ABBAS: The man of the night, Zaheer Abbas was the only one incorporated ajrakh in his collection. Redeeming himself marginally from his last debacle of solids that he showed at TDAP, Zaheer made sure he delivers. Brilliant construction, excellent fittings, Zaheer’s collection was chic, with clean lines combined in with solid madder, white and black colors. The silhouttes moved on from tunics, dresses and floor length tops, to some fun constructed harem and crop pants. The capes and jackets of cotton ajrakh with solid pieces with minimum styling scored high on the style quotient.
UMAR SAYEED: Umar Sayeed showed off his couture collection of handworked garments with simpler silhouettes. However the collection was too bling. Was it OTT .. yes! but it worked for the show and attracted the maximum amount of eyeballs. He did not hold off any restrictions on the bling factor and what one got to see were safe empire line silhouettes that are replete amongst women for formals
The night was also filled with musical performances punctuated throughout the show which included Aktar Channar, Fuzon and well choreographed dance sequences. The night ended with an impressive display of fireworks against the brilliantly lit NAPA making it all look like a big Disney sequence from up close.
Nabila and her team’s creative styling was bang on point as she pulled off the whole show with aplomp. Be it the uni brows or clean side parted hair for men, she nailed it bang on. Omer Rahim’s dance sequences were good.
Tehmina Khalid and her PR company Take II was efficient and timely esp. starting the show on time and making sure everything was well done for. A big shout out for them for this impressive feat.
*Images courtesy Umair Mirza and Take II
Gulabi GULABO: Gulabo’s fun eccentric collection ecompassed and celebrated Karachi in all its glory. One of the major high street brands around, It showed its spunky fervor in its presentation. From prints comprising of buildings to truck art imprinted tunics and embellished berets, it was indeed a brilliant opening to Day 2. Keeping up the high energy vibe throughout the show, the array of tunics kept us wanting for more. While a couple of prints did make a reappearance, i did not mind it since it came together well. A special detail that caught my attention i.e. spray painted school p.e. sneakers that complimented the outfits brilliantly.
Deepak’s FRIDA goes to Kharadar: While one can catch my review in my coverage for FPW, Deepak took his frida notches higher from where he concluded as the finale. Kitschy, fun and vibrant, Deepak’s frida collection, while similar as well as an addition of a few more prints (the chainak (kettle) one), was fun at its best. Streamlining the silhouette to a much more sleeker and chic form, Deepak scored high on keep it minimal accessorizing with the frida printed bags. Sans any drama this time around, Deepeak toned down the OTT styling yet keeping the essence there, resulting in a fun collection that had everyone take up notice that he had taken his collection forward and made new pieces rather showing the previous collection
Mistress of SPICES: Starting off with a dramatic rani background song, Fnkasia’s latest presentation took everyone by surprise by its much more toned down treatement. With solid drapes coupled with streamlined cigarette pants and churidaars. These were enhanced with zari, print and applique treatements. Furthermore the tribal jewellery added to the ensemble just added the right amount of zing. Huma Adnan is aware of the concept of sending trickle downs of the runway shows to her retail stores. Furthermore she has been retailing abroad (Kimaya and US) that gives her that added experience. Doing shows abroad too, she has taken the brand to places. Combine that with fierce business acumen of her husband and you have a winner.
Debutante: Another debut on the runway, this time around it was daughter of Farnaz Mustafa (who showed on day 1), Umaima Mustafa. Unlike her mother, the daughter fared much on the runway front. Starting off with a nude plaette and moving off into neutrals, the show was pretty much a decent showing and like her mother roamed in the territory of semi formals and formals of though younger audience. Loved the bronze sequin pants cybil wore. However the fringed pieces and a peacock colored blue and green finale piece that did not belong in the collection and had the collection going all over the place. As a designer one needs to know where to stop or go all OTT.
CONTRASTING ELEMENTS: One of the impressive shows of the night was by Fahad Husayn, who’s much more demure color palatte was combined with his usual fierce and structured elements. He brought together two elements of being feminine and edgy together. He played around with layers and one of the interesting features was the pants with contrasting materials coming together giving off an illusion of knee length boots. Well played Mr. Husayn. However the inclusion of a sole male model seemed a bit contrived and forced. Also could have done away with the usual OTT headdresses. The collection was effective on its own.
BHAM BHAM: Ahmed’s Bham’s take on the chic evening wear suits was a perfect fit for every model that was wearing it. He knows his fit right and had it going on for him, for the most important thing in any garment has to be the fit particularly a suit. The patterned and solid separates, jackets and vests were bang on simple without much drama to let the clothes do all the talking. Also one of the better choreographed sequences, the presentation was a winner all the way
NOT UPTO THE MARK: Ayesha Ibrahim was one of the WHAT THE HEYY moments on the runway. The clothes sort of felt dated and while one could see her attempts at layering with net, it went all the wrong way bordering towards naughty lingerie and satin robes that were pretty tasteless and failed to make an impact. The applique and embroidery techniques combined with that silhouette didn’t appeal to much. The treatement of the fabric along with the silhouette went awry, and let almost everyone to think why was she shortlisted.
SHAMAEL: Shamael’s OTT presenation was one of those moments that had me going on again ‘this is not a fashion week’ … while the oriental prints and loose tunics and silhouettes were a reminiscent of her last collection shown at FPW, the flower accessories, the choreography seemed to be too dramatized and seemed rather forced because it was a finale. One should have enough confidence in the clothes for them to be showstoppers with complimentary styling rather than going all drama. While there were fewer pieces compared to others, it was a typically shamael showing. However what was a concerning thought was, that while she caters to select clientele, how would the veteran fare in retail
The 2 day show was pretty impressive considering the lineup of the designers with more hits than misses. The timely beginning and end of both the days was bang on, ending up at decent time, which is no mean feat considering the two fashion weeks. The timely PR by Tehmina Khaled of take II did a fab job. While HSY’s choreography is always as good, this time around, at occassions, i felt there was a need to be simpler, rather than exaggerated. The makeup however was a letdown and could have been better by miles. While the production values of blinding lights was not as good on day 1, day 2 was better with the back to back shows running smoothly.
Having said all of that the purpose of this trade show, i.e. to propel business, should actually be the purpose of the two fashion weeks that occur in the country. However reducing them down to entertainment doesn’t cut it since at the end of the day it is a serious business.
Fnkasia’s Bengali collection made its way onto the PFDC ramp with the bohemian vibe that the brand is known for. Titled East of Bengal, the collection was presented starting off with one of my fav songs Ekla chalo re, written by Rabindranath Tagore (but why the tamil music??) . Inspired by the the lush rainforests, tree plantations and ancient culture of Bengal, the collection presented a range of silhouettes in a myriad of colors albeit with hits and misses.
Starting off with sharp hues, Fnkasia ventured off into mature solids. While the colors ranged from Sappy greens, oranges, blacks, saffron and reds. On an impressive note, they nailed the tone of red and saffron… though here in pictures its not the same, its the perfect sharp hue of red that was needed. Using a multitude of prints, Fnkasia deconstructed the sari to give it a new twist through a range of draped tops. A bit of a Kolkata nostalgia for me. With interesting lowers adding to the effect, the brand presented an interesting mix of draped and constructed silhouettes which consisted of lowers, skirts, tops, dresses, togas.
However there were a few misses too..the pale blue color did not fit into the scheme of things (though the garments were interesting and fun drapes) , nor did a green top with black panel on the back. The white top with tiered pants, and the orange lowers and green top seemed off the grid too and lacked to gel into the collection. Also the contemporary print on black did not seem to fit into the traditional textile palette which the brand used and therefore stuck out. The glittery embellishments are something that I have not seen fnkasia do so that was an unusual turn (though not my cup of tea but does not mean its not everyone else’s…liked it on the yellow though).
There were however some fun things that I really liked from the collection. The first Sari was as kitschy as the brand gets, working that sheer trend with a sheer black top over orange jumpsuit, the printed black shalwars and the red solid toga top with lowers. I also liked what Huma herself walked out in. the yellow and white drape with black blouse (masaba deja vu but worked)
*Images courtesy Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly