It was a mixed bag of fashion week with many veterans and experienced designer stumbling onto finding a contemporary footing with some traditions that are ingrained within their audience. The final and Day 3 was no different either with designers putting on a show. With Zaheer coming out on trumps with his succinct collection and Nilofer Shahid showcasing her technical finesse, balancing the interpretation and tribute facets within her collection, the concluding day rounded off with an interesting note of sorts; with a lesson for designers for the need to step up their game seriously instead of mediocre offerings.
Where the wild things are
With a match made in fashion heaven of outhouse jewelry and Mohsin Ali for Sana Safinaz, the collection that was about all wild things and translated into luxury pret ensembles. Mohsin brought in a certain sense of bravery within this offering from the house of Sana Safinaz flexing his muscles into a well established brand. While a few Haider Ackerman moments ensued, Mohsin pretty much nailed the collection with interesting drapes, some deliciously dark and luxe color palette and unusual embellishments. Barring any usual evening wear outing, he went for boxy silhouettes, oversized boyfriend shirts, suits and tops that could easily be seperated or synced in together. Inspired by wild jungle, the prints in greens and browns accented off with unexpected purples and lapiz blues and bright oranges were a perfect delicacy for the winters. The collection had quite a few wrapped shrugs and tops, fuller printed skirts and the power suits, esp the printed one meant that this woman meant some serious fashion business. The fierce collection was complimented by equally fiery accessory pieces by Outhouse jewelry. The quirky pieces added a lot of character and depth to an already fun ensembles and were a perfect match that added onto the look. The evocative, sensuous and delectable collection was one of the major highlights of the fashion week.
Bang Bang Tang
The only Lahore designer Faraz Manan to showcase at the fashion week, Faraz’s collection had me over the fence whether to completely like it or not. While it had some interesting pieces, the shanghai-ness seemed to be missing. He played with quite a few sheer, distressed and his favorite pretty bling details in tops dresses, seperates, jackets, crop tops and skirts. While he was in his usual luxe element, the pieces esp the ones paired with distressed denim could have been styled much better. There were quite a few moment that I did feel that I have seen so much better work from him. With some brilliant highs, there were a few basic (pun intended) lows that just could not match up to the peaks in the presentation. However all was not lost in the process. The chevron gunmetal wrap dress was completely lust worthy. He picked the right shade and the perfect pattern. The gunmetal bandhgala was another winner. Not many people do pink jacket well, he for one did it, one that makes me want to own one just because his was soo well made (could have been styled better though).
What has Nauman Arfeen not shown in menswear that he has not showcased before. Known for his classic approach towards eastern menswear, Arfeen remained true to his element this time in tones of browns and blacks presenting a modern yet traditionally rooted nawabi collection. While I partly expected him to go much more contemporary after his last showing of blues and browns, he did remain in his zone for the most part of his presentation while experimenting withing that arena. . While I was ok with the black ones, one of the pieces was odd with a fringe arm band detail, and another one without an inner to the sherwani (that exposed shalwar pants was not a good idea) and the some of the embroidered pieces needed to be toned down heavily from their nineties-ness.The browns and bronzes fared better showing quite a bit range in graded printed jackets and print on print suit that were an absolute favorite and almost a perfect compliment to Sabyasachi’s modern maharani gayatri devi interpretation (here). I would definitely like the designer to step out a bit more even though it is fair enough considering the desi man is not that experimental, but unless he is offered something, how would he know unless he tries.
*Images courtesy Tapu Javeri and his team.
P.S. A shoutout to Latitude PR for keeping things running smoothly and remarkably on time breaking myths of shows not being able to end before 11pm.. not a mean feat.
Nauman Arfeen has been known for his well tailored, safe but nicely made, menswear that he has been showcasing in the past. His blue and brown concoction, titled HAUTE AFTER DARK was the latest offering from the designer’s stable. Inspired by Persian Pickle art, the persian paisley makes an appearance on the ramp.
The sole menswear collection of the fashion week, Nauman Arfeen presented a visually compact collection by resorting to just two colors. Usually the one to delve in subcontinental silhouettes, this time around along with sherwanis, waistcoats and kurtas, he also presented a range of jackets for men. Also introducing a range of leather bags and shoes, Naushemian’s presentation was clean and non fussy. There were quilted jackets, cowled kurtas, variations of streamlined kurtas. The self woven fabric and self colored embroidery helped the collection appeal to the average Pakistani man. What I loved were the range of pants from jodhpur-churidaar hybrid, the drainpipe churidaars, the perfectly fit straight pajama and the tailored pants all made it to my fav list. Also a front short back long kurta was an interesting take to see in menswear. The outfits were paired with leather and fur bags, cross body bags and brief cases. A tiny detail to note were circular earring for men. I wonder if i can get them and pull em off… hmm *worth a try*. He also brought forth Deepak Perwani and HSY as showstoppers.
However there were some odd shaped pajama that enhanced the pelvic region quite circularly and moving to being super skinny and the only womenswear ensemble seemed a bit forced.
Note: The post has been displayed in such a way because I felt it would be interesting to have alternate colored pieces all together.
*Images courtesy Tapu Javeri and his team
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
Nauman Arfeen’s collection Sands of time had a serene calm prevailing on the overall collection. A menswear collection that was stylish and understated at the same time. The collection’s eastern ethos worked nicely while the presentation was kept simple.
The structured silhouettes mainly comprised of sherwanis, bandhgalas, shirts, churidaars and straight pajamas. While the fabrics used were Irish linen,cotton, blended fabrics, polyester and woolen threadings . In neutral tones of sandstone, the collection was pretty cohesive with a few hiccups. A draped waistcoat felt all wrong (the description I gave to my work colleague was too explicit to mention ) , sherwani worn by Nadia Husain had really bad fit, while another ensemble which was cross between a sherwani and an overcoat looked too overwhelming and cut off on a wrong length, while the midriff barring was look was not
Subtle accessories and styling were strewn in the collection. Special mention to the hourglass. From this mix of rural sophisticated bag I liked, a grey kurta-churidaar look paired with a waistcoat (though I still would not go with that zipper), the patched sherwani look, the overlapped sherwani-ish coat with kurta, churidaar and the hat was a perfect blend of turkish sufi going to a mushaira. Also a ‘desi pirate’ look had all sorts understated quirky going for it.
*Image courtesy Faisal Farooqui at Dragonfly and Kashif Rashid