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The second fashion week of the season, The fashion week from Lahore had quite a few interesting collection that did explore the fun and business sides of fashion. The collections both by debutantes and established designers definitely had people sit up and take notice how pret is evolving within fashion. While there were a few that stuck to the formulaic commercialism, others did dare to venture out, pushing the envelope and making a damn point.

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17. Links à la Mode Feature

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Always a good feeling when your writing is noticed 🙂


‘I have a picture in my mind. An entire scenario. And sometimes dialog. Yes, even that. For what? Gift giving. After the brainstorming, shopping, purchasing, but then to get a puzzled face in return. Where did I go wrong?

IFB bloggers continued to share some of their favorite gift guides, which I clearly need.  Useful gifts, festive gifts, gifts under $15, neutral gifts, some with a bit of glitz, and for our domestic animal friends, gifts for furbabies. I’ve certainly heard and seen it all now.

Fashion trend themes are about dressing in neutrals for the holidays, layering with a kimono, leather pants, and glam oxfords or retro wedges. Also included in this roundup is a DIY project, a beauty care review, a bloggers social media dilemma and a no holds barred review of the Pakistan Fashion Week. Helpful advice is given on purchasing and authenticating second hand handbags, and what it means to be ethical in fashion. Now, those are gifts unto themselves.

May all your gifts be received with joyous expression, excitement, and the words, “nailed it!” be heard.’

Links à la Mode, December 17

SPONSOR: Amazon’s Shopbop findersKEEPERS, 3×1 Jeans, Vince Sweaters, Stone Fox Swim, SALINAS, OYE Swimwear, Black and White Blouses, Statement Jewelry, Evening Gowns, Men’s Belber

Fashion Pakistan Week – Winter Festive 2015 Day 3

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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.
FPW15 - Day 3

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Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia Day 3

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Reflection  -Akira Isogawa
Stop!! take a breath, a moment and do yourself a favor..just go through this collection and let it sink in.

Now where does one start when reviewing a show that showcases 20 yrs of a designer’s work. Akira Isogawa in his and MBFW’s 20th year took a step back showcasing and reflecting on what has transpired within all these years. For a designer that sings to his own tune, is loyal to his aesthetics and Akira is one of those designers who’s passion shows within his clothes. 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

FPW A/W’14 Day2 Part II

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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).

FASHION FILM – DEEPAK PERWANI FPW A/W 2014 from Nubain Ali on Vimeo.

*Images courtesy Tapu Javeri and his team

Digi-tally Inclined

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As an ardent fan of knowing what the veteran designer Rizwan beyg is capable of, I was a rather bit disappointed in his presentation. The Digitruck, was an extension or rather a translation of his last collection. Having already done that brilliantly, it was a rather lacklustre opening to the last day.

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Taking his last year’s collection forward, this year’s too featured a concoction of vibrant hues on fabric namely silks and surprisingly denim (the first…actually second time I saw digital print on such hard fabric) for men. The collection carried a seventies vibe with bell bottoms, flouncy silhouettes and some exaggerated shapes, were part of the whole presentation. The collection did not find any takers in me but there is no denying they were made well. The Digitruck was the extension..or rather translation of his last collection that he showcased at PFDC. The difference being the earlier one was handcrafted peel offs whereas this was digitally printed onto the fabric. Though it is difficult to manage the same vibrancy of the color when translating from images and scans, he does it, especially on denim. Because it was the same theme, the comparasions were inevitable. I definitely felt that the last one was much more superior to this one. I missed the bags, the shoes for men..

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Obviously if it appears in any of the stores I would be the first one in line to buy these. However the big question that everyone was asking was instead of showcasing his collection at pfdc, this should have been the translation of his last collection for the stores where he stocks at. Because we know he is a genius and great at what he does, we wanted to see something new from the designer to see what is up his sleeve next. Also retail brands like Gulabo and Khaadi have already done and sold volumes of truck art themed womenswear so the question does arise how would his clothes fare in terms of Pakistani market or is the theme done and dusted with?? Or will people (like a small minority though like myself) flock to get one of the pieces of the collection?..though I have been told, he has incurred orders in various showings that he have had over destinations.

We want the genius Rizwan Back!! bass

Rizwan Beyg 13-4-14 (46)


Images courtesy Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

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