nida azwer

Fashion Pakistan Week 2017 – hits and misses

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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.

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Fashion Pakistan Week – Winter Festive ’16

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For starters, I just fail to understand what will it take for designers to understand that winter festive does not necessarily means clothes for wedding or a bridals to be sent down the runway (you have a bridal fashion week for that). Yes, it is the upcoming ‘wedding season’ and people attending will want clothes but atleast give some worthwhile options… Festive does not have to mean you do the same old work in floral filgree over and over again – There quite a few that missed the ball altogether, others presenting rather meh collections and few managing to hit the right balance between wedding attendees and festive look. The collections that actually made themselves noticeable Read the rest of this entry »

Fashion Pakistan Week Day 1

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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.

Pretty Party
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 »

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.

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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

It’s a Jungle Out there

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The first thing that I asked Nida when I came out of the show.. Nida when will you not make NOT pretty… she laughed it off responding non chalantly ‘ I will NEVER make NOT PRETTY’ and rightly so. She has developed a signature her clientele abides by it and rather faithfully..even her quirky is pretty. Her take on Urban Jungle was possibly her best prêt presentation yet.

Graduating from Whites in her last collection, Nida Azwer’s this collection featured whites with tones of blush pinks, peaches, sepias and accenting them off with greys. Perfectly in line with summers she used cotton, nets, silks, chiffons and organzas in a variety of silhouettes that are pretty much on Nida’s home turf. Thank God there were no anarkalis this time around.. but from pretty saris, to flared floor length ensembles to skirts and separates with structured and layered tunics, the shapes were quintessentially the brand is known for. And now since she has her own stores, all of them and their trickle downs will make their way there. The understated but chic collection made use of sheer layering as well as

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The prints botanical and animal prints were the major and the hightlight of the collection from which the titled Urban Jungle was drawn. The detailed and finely done prints were a testament of her expertise on the craft of it. Be it the silhouetted foliage, the botanical drawings, the zebras or the birds… Loved ‘Em..The prints combined with other techniques as well as embroideries in those tones came together for a calm, collected and chic collection. The collections were done in various compositions and done rather well with attention paid to detail. The printed collection employed many techniques like cutwork (which has now NIDA stamp onto it), and foil printing (Thank God not in the same amounts as the last collection) and hand embroidered embellishments to add certain dimension to the whole outfit.

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The half and half one looked more like a half baked after thought of sorts since it looked a lil dated and considering the collection on such clean lines, it looked rather frumpy. Also I was on the fence with the hot pants under sheer skirts and maxi length dresses. Not the fact that the look was a bit 2012-ish, but while it did look good, at occasions looked like boxer shorts especially when with floor length maxi dresses. Possibly would have worked if the skirts would have been more delicate and streamlined than being bit voluminous. Minor gripes…minor gripes, they don’t take away from the fact that it was a good showing.

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My picks.. the cutwork blouse Sari and the zebra printed border were my top two picks. The Sari had to be there. The cutwork blouse with its full sleeves was pretty, delicate and had an air of aristocracy specially how that sari was draped. The zebra border on the accented dip dye was the pretty but quirk… a hard but fun to find balance. Loved the robins amongst foliage prints on the sari. I also liked the first look with layered tunic with a silhouetted leaf print. The asymmetric tunic was another one that caught my eye with different prints and the printed layered pants, instead of a skirt or a tunic were fun.

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*Images courtesy Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

White Wash

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Strung into a single color palate of bleached white (not my fav kind, I like it a bit soft on the offwhite side but that is just personal preference), Nida Azwer’s latest offering Arabesque came across as a breather from all the color people were exposed to since the beginning of Fashion Week. Nida Azwer’s models sashayed down the runway in messy side braids in white ensembles.

While sticking to the basic color white, Nida accentuated the ensembles with hints of beiges, silver, gold and white on white surface treatments. The silhouettes seemed right up her comfort zone of extra flared tunics layered in net, organza and sheer fabrics adding in interest and depth to the garment. While one did get to see some straighter one’s too, a sari and the jumpsuit the variety remained within the realm of pretty safe silhouettes that Nida is known for. What Nida lacks for in variety of silhouettes, she more than makes it up for in surface treatment of the ensembles with a variety of techniques of machine embroidery, zardozi, laser cut, prints and applique. The hints of silver and golds via the use of foil printing was another technique that she brought forth on the runway.

However even though it is the ramp, there were a couple of pieces where the use of silver and gold went a tad bit overboard so much so that the whole effect seemed too plastic-ky for it to be appealing. The over done blouse and inner fell into that category. Also one of the strapless flared tunics was marred by the highlighted crotch region with the use of via same silver. While one did spot a couple of patialas in the collection a high waitsed shalwar paired with strapless short top made the model look much more curvier than required.

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However there were some interesting pieces from the collection too. The beige printed jumpsuit was one of the highlights of the collection primarily because of its pairing with that laser cut shrug. Also what caught my eye was this organza button down shirt layered on with a white on white printed longer tunic with a cigarette capri pants was snazzy and chic. The sole menswear in the collection was a white kurta with a blazer (kurta with a jacket is a recipe for disaster) but somehow it works because of the similar colors (Is she hinting a move towards menswear??) The gharara crossed with bengali dhoti that Rizawanullah sports along though for the ramp, was one of my fav. pieces and I wouldn’t mind sporting it at all.

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*Images Courtesy Tapu Javeri and his team

Nida Azwer Atelier Launch

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Looks like the SEASON of STORE LAUNCHES is upon us. Nida Azwer recently opened up a retail store in the newly opened Ocean Tower. While I had missed out on the opening of her Lahore store, (comparision on the two later), I wouldn’t want to miss this one out. The Indus Valley Alumni had her (and mine) teacher Ms. Shehnaz Ismal inaugrate the store. While the claustrophobic mall was indeed in its early stages of having stores opened up, Nida Azwer’s white store was definitely amped up the floor. But its waited to be seen how much does the store holds up in terms of sale.

The clothes comprised of the Nida Azwer’s pret line THE WHITE LABEL, the fashion week collection which included tunics and jumpsuits with digital prints as well as her semi formal and formal clothing line which she is known for.  While i liked a couple of jumpsuits and digitally printed shirts, I wasn’t too excited about the studio screen printed tunics, that left much to be desired on the design front. While some had overturned buildings, others lacked in some quality of printing.

The store is a horizontal white store with two levels and echoing Nida’s chic sensibilities. However it was her Lahore store that she opened up a month before the karachi one, which was much more ‘exotic’ to say the least with its visual display of clothes and sectioning of areas of display. While this store, designed by the YOC’A team headed by Ahsan Jamil Bilgrami was chic and minimal, it lacked a certain luxe feel to it, which was in ample amounts at the Lahore store courtesy the caged mannequins and the 3D logo of Nida Azwer’s humayun/peacock hybrid bird. While I liked the clean lines of white and gold of the store, they missed out a bit and shifted away from the luxury-ness of it being a Nida Azwer store.

Two in a Row

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The young Zonia Anwer had her showing right after Rizwan Beyg, a tough act to follow. Titled ‘The Baronial of Kremlin’, the collection ’embraced women feeling feminine and having fun.’ With languid silhouettes and pastels and nudes, Zonia’s collection failed to induce a spark on the runway.

We have seen Zonia some pretty edgy garments and shapes and taking this route through this collection, really sort of surprises me how far is she sacrificing her design self for commercialism. Using chiffon as her medium, the collection was a series of chiffon draped pieces one after the other which made the presentation tad bit monotonous. Languid shapes and loose silhouettes, there was a variety of dresses presented. An interjection of stripes was interesting but was pretty much few and far in between. While the colors were inspired by Kremlin, the resort shapes in the collection were pretty similar to one another.

Buckle up Zonia, u have done it better than this.

NIDA AZWER: While I am familiar with William Morris’s work, I had to look up William Morgan to familiarize myself with his work. Nida Azwer’s collection, inspired by these two artists sashayed down the runway of Day 2. Nida Azwer, who’s pretty much the semi-formal go to designer for many people, still seem to struggle to handle pret wear.

The colors Nida used for her collection ranged from dark blues, turquoise, manganese purple, greens, Indian reds, and lemon yellows. Coming to prints, they were masterfully done. I could see the influence of the two artists (one of them, Morris, legend in almost all textile people’s textbooks) come through in the prints. Morris’s aesthetic coming together with Morgan’s Persian style came through the use of birds, florals, fauna and animals, by the designer, that were also used by the artists in their works.

However its the silhouettes where she failed to impress me as a designer. While a couple of silhouettes seemed that things might get interesting, Nida took on the safe route on the runway causing little success. The hemlines were still longer in many garments with lowers and one of the garments actually reminded me of her Foliage collection. A few draped tops and tunics were interesting in a collection that had long tunics and floor grazing lengths. Though not much of a success, there were some interesting pieces that deserved mention. I quite liked the knot silhouette that just incorporates print with the silhouette, the parrot embroidery within the drape was quite a cheeky touch by Nida, the jumpsuit was my one of favs from this collection considering how the print is strategically placed on the jumpsuit in a pretty composition. Also the black panelled optical illusion hem print tunic was another fav of mine. Also the print on the hem of the white tunic also was pretty interesting.

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*Images courtesy Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly