I know I know I am late on this one, but better late than never right!! LIFE does get in the way and did I mention, I graduated and officially a Masters (you probably know that if you follow me on instagram 😛 )
While not averse to the idea of two fashion weeks, a full fledged and succinct fashion week with 5 days for all designers over the country would make much more sense, but I will not get into the politics of fashion, all I’ll say is that it is the case over all the world so Pakistan fashion industry going through it is no anomaly. The Fashion Pakistan Week that took place in Karachi showcased a multitude of designers showcasing their collections. From them, here are my picks:
Maheen Khan’s swan song show warranted atleast a post of its own. The doyenne of pakistani fashion, while will remain head of Gulabo, presented the last collection from her eponymous label (all the more sad moment for me coz I wasn’t present there). To Karachi with love was her inspiration and ode to the women of Karachi from the sixties and seventies and how the city was back then. The finale collection was an ode to Karachi with hopes of it reverting back as glorious as its past.
The collection started off with a cloaked model who revealed a hand woven liquid matte gold sari worn over shalwars to Hira Tareen’s mix starting off with Baby shot me down. The contemporary take of the weavers from banarasi colony is an initiative taken up by Maheen and to no surprise she included the luxurious hand woven silks within her collection. The silhouettes were simple, sleek and chic with understated glamour and form quintessentially Maheen that is sans any crutches of unnecessary dramatic surface treatment. It was about form, refinement and the simple and clean faultless details that are usually overlooked within the drama. Maheen however thrives on perfecting those and bringing them forth establishing ground rules need to be stronger to build up anything. Her silhouettes were fluid but not drowning the female form of the models. She showcased saris worn over shalwars, kurtas, capes, layered ensembles and some fun shalwars. Maheen has always been an advocate of the shalwar kameez and how it can be altered within changing times with contemporary versions and twists. She certainly showcased that in her collection that was contemporary and fresh with her draped and structured forms, so chic that I would not be surprised if she would present this anywhere in the world and it would not strike a chord, that is how barrier breaking her approach is. With sheer and silk fabrics, her seams were faultless and the ensembles luxe without being overbearing under embellishments. There were woven organzas, golds and rich tones of silks that she worked with in a collection that was classic in taste, contemporary in approach and nothing but Pakistani in its vibe. The veteran showed off why she is with some brilliant finishes (one very few people can boast of) with no threads and her control over fabrics. They moved as if every move was choreographed and Maheen knew exactly how it would react when walked in. I for one loved the striped gold fabric which was draped in a sari.
The models sashayed down with a simple styling, red lips and chiffon masks over their eyes. Powerful and evocative, laced with subtle yet strong symbolism.The Maheen Khan woman is a self assured understated glam chick. Iraj, Frieha Altaf and Attiya Khan were showstoppers for the last outing of one of the most senior designer of the country. Do yourselves a favor just play the music above and go through the collection…
*Images courtesy Tapu Javeri and his team
Tapu with his kitschy prints had always captured the attention of his audience. Be it Karachi or Paris, the guy never fails to impress. Evolving from the ‘KARACHAKRA’ the collection this time around explored the realms of japanese, spanish art and animal prints. The signature Tapulicious prints this time around were divided into three distinct separate capsules for which three three designers namely Kamiar, Mohsin Ali and HSY were broughy on board to design ensembles using these prints.
KAMIAR’s ORIENTAL TALES: Fresh off the success of his Orientalist collection, made Kamiar a natural choice for the collection inspired by Japanese murals. The japanese paintings by Tapu’s Aunt Mariam Syedullah, were converted into prints and juxtaposed with small shots of Karachi giving a kaleidoscopic twist to the paintings. The silhouettes echoed Kamiar’s last oriental sensibilities with chic separates, dresses and kaftan styled in a minimal twists of styling, were simple and non fussy. Possibly the most commercial of the lot. The print bags and clutches were a dominant feature in all the outfits and complimented the outfits rather than taking away from them.
MOHSIN’s KITSCHY WARRIOR: The vibrant prints inspired by Spanish artist Joan Miro fell into the kitty of edgy Mohsin. The prints with their vibrant shapes and linear elements reminded me of artists Alexander Calder and Wassily Kandinsky’s paintings. The prints were combined with geometric shapes and made into a range of body con dresses and two separates. I was just backstage during the frenzy and prints are amazing. Mohsin intelligently color blocked the prints in geometric solid elements and also paired them with geometric shape prints to tone down the print and add a certain layer to the whole garment. My picks were definitely the body cons with a bit puffed up sleeves ( I liked the contrasting elements) and those polka dotted pants. The double tape warrior masks finished off these sections in terms of styling.
HSY…nuff said: The prints juxtaposing HSY, Vaneeza’s eyes, animal prints and chevrons all came together in a monochromatic black and white to create sort of optical illusion prints. Majorly menswear, I wasn’t too sure about the loose palazzo pants that were created for menswear. They seemed sloppy and were not appealing. Also the addition of that hat with that jacket and tiger pants was unnecessary (sexy policeman deja vu anyone???) While the menswear usually consisted of jackets and bandhgalas, both the womenswear, the dress and the romper were aces in my book. While I loved how the whole look came together in the charcoal grey dress with the styling, the romper was impeccable in its fitting.
*Images courtesy Tapu Javeri and his team
Gulabo by Maheen Khan has been a pioneer in deriving inspiration from the vibrant city of Karachi in many ways. With the collections, she and her team seem to be at play everytime they have a presentation to make. Primarily because of the fact that they enjoy what they do in having fun with fashion and it shows without being uninhibited by anyone in the vicinity.
The high street brand’s design philosophy has always centered around being young, youthful and yet deliver the love for the city of Karachi and more particularly Pakistan. Gulabo’s colorful ode to Karachi moved on from the truck art prints down to the Karachi road maps, drawings of monuments and vehicles juxtaposed with paint splashes bringing out the undying vibrant spirit of the city onto the ramp. The black sketches contrasted against paint splashes were a brilliant uninhibited highlighted ode to the city. There were a couple of camouflage prints done in grey, a sort of comment on the unrest situation of the city at occasions but continues on with the resilience against giving in to the situations.
The silhouettes were relaxed tunics letting the prints take the center stage in every piece. They were chic and laid back without trying too hard. The pants ranged from shalwars, wide legged ones and slouched trousers to fitted tights and cropped pants all finished off with khussas. While I was a bit over the fence with the styling, like it’s tagline they were having a bit of fun on the ramp, and why not!! it did remind me of a stage production of Shakespeare’s fairies from A Mid Summer Night’s dream. Many of the pieces were accessorized by signature Gulabo bags.
My favorites has to be this tunic of with the sketch of Merewether tower juxtaposed with vibrant splashes of color made into this colorful print of sorts. Also I loved the road map print and how the whole ensemble was put together. Though easily could be worked as separates, I loved the colorful road map printed pants with just a hint of print on the shirt (I so wish that shirt would have been in menswear, would have loved to wear it). Also I absolutely adored the cross body bags, Maheen Khan was carrying one too, with the ajrakh prints. Now who ever has been through my instagram has seen me in an array of ajrakh kurtas. I just love the print and this time, in a bag, …I soo want one.
*Images courtesy Tapu Javeri and his team
And she does it again!! There seems to be no stopping Nabila, who officially launched N-gents with much fanfare. The event as expected was top notch and had one wonder what this woman would come up with next. While the space had its soft launch earlier this year, an official launch after the completion leaves you completely in awe as to where this lady will venture out next. Located almost next door from this another moustache place… Continue Reading
*Published at http://www.bridallounge.com/n-gents-official-launch/