Maheen Karim

Fashion Pakistan Week – Winter Festive 2015 Day 2

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FPW15 - Day 2Day 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.

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FPW A/W’14 Day3 Part I

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Noir et blanc
Kicking off things on the last day, Sadaf Malatere opened up the day with a chic collection that was sans any unnecessary drama. The fourth monochromatic collection during the fashion week was still a-fresh due to its minimal and sleek approach in design. Accompanied along with controlled pretty chinoiserie cherry blossom details that just hinted and teased at points rather than going OTT over the garment. The pretty collection started off with clean lines it successfully evolved into fringed accented ensembles that broke the whole linear monotony but without looking out of place. The effortlessly chic collection had a range of fun basics, dresses, separates as well as some fun fringed pieces. The collection was restrained and well made (shouldn’t we stop mentioning it since it is the basic pre-requisite). The collection with its part french part jazz references scored majorly due to its control that it exercised. Tres chic.



Bringing back Surprises
Maheen Karim’s latest offering was luxe, glam and more. While the collection was not without its share of uh-oh moments, the vibe surely was high and the designer managed to deliver what she is known for. While a shaky start with a heavly embellished ensemble in blush pink… the things progressed for the better. A few DVF references in matt golds were hard to miss…A departure of sorts,not totally, from her usual serving of prints, Karim focused more on embellished details in moderation and some of her signature laid back luxe and resort vibe.  Though I expected the sole print she presented to be much more brighter in print, but nevertheless suited the winter season for which the collection was presented. The front short-back long tunic with glitter hot pants was rather an odd inclusion in the presentation. The presentation did manage to spring back some surprises (pun intended) and peaked most at the red jumpsuit with a deep cross over back, the black gown with gilded filigree detail that continued on the a fun cutout back that was unusual and sensuously luxe. Another one that stood out in the collection was a wrap drape that gathered up front. A good showing.



Renaissance Affair
After two successful pret runs earlier this year, Nida presented a Renaissance inspired collection moving away from the whites and pastels of summer, in an attempt to score a hattrick. She did manage to get halfway there. There was no dearth of fun and innovative renaissance inspired prints at Nida’s show in deep rich tones coupled with handworked embroidery. However she faltered on many counts in terms of silhouette and how the print and embroidery were coupled together, as well as separates that were put together. The metallic jacket with gharara, the black shrug, top and the layered gharara with different levels had some odd print pairings and looked more gypsy and carried a bit Ram Leela dejavu. Same was the case with saris paired with jacket (nothing wrong with that, I for one love the combo) with the two separates, not being in sync, and I thought she almost got rid of that front open floor length layered anarkali. While she started off strong with some interesting pieces thing went for a bit of an off balance half way through, but managed to end well with a printed slouched dress. Loved the black self printed pants with laser cut top and a tunic over a sariesque gown. Also a short printed shrug belted over a mouse grey gown (not an easy color) were some of the highlights of the show. Some great prints (as expected) but I wished they were utilized better.

*Images courtesy Tapu Javeri and his team

Sneak Peek: Fashion Pakistan Week A/W14 Part 1

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Fashion Pakistan Council decided to step things up a notch by thankfully not avoiding a Fashion Week this fall. While I may not be there in person, I will still be reviewing the collections and putting up previews and teasers.

Emraan Rajput Sketch 1509812_373113369515395_7337963935040764486_n
Emraan Rajput
The designer has taken upon himself the mammoth task of picking up the most over used and done theme to run through his collection. Military. Since I have seen some brilliant interpretations of it, Rajput has a huge task of impressing not just me but almost everyone since the concept has attained almost a classic status in modern times. Unless someone can bring something new or adventurous to the table with this theme, it should not be tempered with. Rajput has taken upon himself to shoulder this responsibility. With coats, belted jackets, trousers and even hoodies along with the use of prints, Emraan Rajput will present military inspired pieces in his fall offering atly titled ALPHA. Going for the tough look, Rajput hopefully will be able to do justice. We are watching.. No pressure 😛

FnkAsia has had its share of hits and misses onto the ramp with its previous outings that it showcased. While the brand skipped last fashion week to concentrate on business, Huma Adnan returns with a folk spirited collection as her latest offering. The collection, like her previous presentations is bound to present folksy elements and techniques that is synonymous with the brand. It is waited to be seen what folksy fun and silhouettes does the brand offer this time around since it has had some fun times in the past.

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Deepak and Fahad have steadily moved into the realm of womenswear from when they started. While they too skipped a season, it is surprising that the brand is going for a monochromatic look considering their past collections. The black and white collection or prosaically ‘siyah sufaid’ will be a mix of menswear and womenswear in stark constrasts of black and white. A quite a bit of texture play and embroideries are expected and something they would have to nail. A slight mistake and they would be under fire since they are playing with contrasts and there is no other option but to ace it or else their chosen concept might go all out against their own ensembles.

Nauman Arfeen
Known for his constructed menswear, specifically groomswear to be precise, Nauman Arfeen showcased a blue and brown collection last time around. Though his bridal outing was one of those better left unspoken of, the man is back with what he does best. Going the signature fine tailoring way, it is waited to be seen if he includes any womenswear (no surprises if I tell you everything). Going the black way with intricate needlework, Nauman Arfeen better make up for his last womenswear outing that he is still not forgiven for.

Nida Azwer -  The Renaissance Collection for  Fashion Pakistan Week
Nida Azwer
Fourth collection in a row in a single year, Ms. Azwer seems to be a on a roll. With two successful runs earlier this year, the fab Urban Jungle and Arabesque, and a bridal collection Ghalib, a lot is riding on Azwer’s shoulder to deliver a third hit in a row. The lady though seems unfazed. With her ‘Renaissance’ offering, she is sure she is going to deliver what the brand is known for and how it has developed over the years. While she experimented with prints and techniques a bit more earlier this year, the lady seems to be returning to her pretty roots with a richly toned collection with signature developed prints and detailed handwork. Will she able to continue her successful run?? We will wait and watch

Maheen Karim
Maheen Karim is associated with a certain eveningwear aesthetic that is attributed to her only. The designer who predominantly works with prints and details always manages to bring about a much much more fusion of seasons within her ensembles and this would be no different. Maheen Her Fall offering RIVASSANT is set to bring the glam quotient onto the ramp with its visual details and silhouette. The designer known for her sensual use of fabric, will not deter away from the usual and inturn set to incorporate some decadent embellishments in her collection. Will she hit the high note? We’ll know on Day 3 of the fashion week.

*Images belong to their respective owners

Hair Meets Fashion

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Sneak Peak of TONI&GUY HairMeetWardrobe Red Carpet at FPWS 2014 from TONI&GUY HMW on Vimeo.

Tony and Guy has been one of the major players in the hair styling and product industry. Britian’s most celebrated hair-styling brand, Toni & Guy Hair Meet Wardrobe collaborated with the Fashion Pakistan Council to bring forth the latest trends right on from the fashion weeks happening around the world.

Branching out into Glamour, Classic and Casual themes, Toni & Guy encapsulated the hair trends from the runways of London, bringing them right down to Karachi. Joining  hands with three celebrated designers Shehla Chatoor, Maheen Karim and Sadaf Malatere, the styling giant incorporated the styling along with celebrity muses for each designer.

Set at the fashion week, the Toni & Guy lounge with London themed lounge complete with a phone booth and photography session, along with live tweeting session for the tech savvy ones. The lounge was hosted by Adnan Malik and Frieha Altaf introducing a designer each day along with their muse. This was followed by a runway presentation of  four hairstyle along with ensembles during the fashion shows.

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Day1 saw Shehla Chatoor paired, rightly so, with the GLAMOUR theme. The ensembles complemented the hairstyles created by Saeeda Mandvivalla and team, to a T. Playing along the lines of fierce attitude and voluminous hair, was the celebrity muse HUMAIMA MALIK. In an off shoulder gown, she cut a pretty glam picture esp. with the gold tattoo on her back.

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Maheen Karim presented her capsule with TONI&GUY HMW. The hairstyles that the collection accompanied were styled using the classic range. With side parts (we saw a lot of them later at oscars) and statement waves with a twist, styled using  Classic Shine Serum HMW. While I loved the models, I was a bit skeptical about Ayesha Omer’s styling with red extensions, who played the muse for the day. Found it quite a bit overwhelming for someone so petite. A more retro vibe and shorter length would’ve worked better. Felt a bit disconnected to other looks as well apart from the red accents.

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TONI&GUY HMW’s third showcase was with Sadaf Malatere with the  Casual HMW range. Sadaf epitomized the vibe with poppy neons in gowns with young and edgy yet relaxed look. The laid back vibe worked well with the styling and brownie points for the choice of colors. Who better than the preppy Anoushay Asharaf  to be the showstopper for this section. The VJ with her fishtail braid looked very comfy and was quite relaxed.

Toni & Guy is a part of Unilever Pakistan and can be followed at: @hair_wardrobe and #HairMeetWardrobe on twitter.


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Maheen Karim’s Paradise titled collection could very well be a blend of luxury and resort wear combined. With fresh colors and digital prints, Maheen’s collection could easily be pictured at a resort party. I would not be surprised to see any one of them snagged up by the ladies for this summer.

Jumpsuits, gowns, seperates and dresses were what comprised of Ms. Karim’s collection. While many of the garments had ample use of embroidery, its the prints where Maheen Karim made an impact through her collection. Using hues of green, blue, oranges, yellow, deep maroons, and magenta, the digital prints splashed onto the silks were a visual treat on the runway. The abstractions and the dip dye effects were perfect for a summer outing at a resort. Loved almost everyone of them. The good part was that the silhouettes were kept simple bringing the prints in the limelight.

Where Maheen Karim made splashes, literally, with her prints, she faltered at incorporating embroideries at many occasions. While these silhouettes have been seen under embroidered effect, Maheen failed to do so in an aesthetic way.  While it wasn’t really an epic failed attempt as it worked on a black jacket, others did not succeed in coming through. Sometimes, and that happens with many artists and designers, that they need to step back from their work and give it an external look in order to edit it so that they may not overwork their garments.

My picks from the collection: The fiery print red hued gown, the sharp stripe printed long kaftan gown, the color splashed jumpsuit and the red merging with black pants.
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The season of Collabs

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Its all about big industry giants to collaborate in with designers to develop brands and that is what Bonanza did. Hiring Maheen Karim and Sanam Chaudhri for their brands to introduce pret wear, Bonanza aimed to reach a wider audience apart from the masses that they cater to.

Organized by Catalyst PR, the event also included a fashion presentation. While Maheen Karim stuck to her aesthetics roots, Sanam Chaudhri showed off her contemporary flair. Maheen Karim’s line bordered on semi formals and Sanam’s tilted more towards everyday lose tunics. Due to my personal aesthetics, I liked some of the tunics by Sanam Chaudhri, however Maheen Karim’s was not my cup of tea. Some of the prints were really nicely done. However if I had to be nit-picky, someone like Bonanza should have gone for to create their original prints rather than getting them from local market as spotted one of the tunics by one of the designers.

The overcrowded event was attended whos who of the fashion industry owing to it being one of the major collabs in recent times. It is now waited to be seen how these collaborations translate into sales and if bonanza is able to break into the niche market it has so far eluded.

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