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:
Day 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.
Can only do so much
High street brand like Levis while introducing its products does not veer away from what it is. Even bringing on stylists like Rana and Ayaz, who can only do so much, Introducing yet another denim, Levis kept the look and feel of the show their usual self. Read the rest of this entry »
Amir Adnan’s royal collection was just that… Royal. Traditional yet modern though the collection did indeed bordered more on the groomswear category, there were many eastern menswear options that came to the forefront within a modern royal twist. Sherwanis, Bandhgalas, vests, waistcoats, kurtas all were present with brocaded fabric fit for a prince. My favorite had to be the bandhgala jackets that definitely are sure to fly off the racks, Read the rest of this entry »
After the break (that is her brilliant doodle collection), Wardha Saleem for her latest offering taps into another folk inspiration i.e. the camel hair art (its camel hair styling in pretty patterns). Combine that with vintage florals and roses in patterns and you have DASHT E GUL (Desert Rose).
With an earthen color palette, Wardha’s collection included a melange of digital prints of combinations of geometric patterns of the camel hair art and kaleidoscopic floral formations coming together with gilded details. While the floral provided the poppy color accents to the majorly brown tones, the gold riveted details gave the outfits a depth, a luxurious dimension to the outfits. The silhouettes ranged from gown, jumpsuits, many a dresses and various separates in a constructed mix in structured and draped fashion. Apart from digital prints some outfits did sport some interesting embroideries that meshed into the prints but stood out upon a second look. Mrs. Shehnaz Ismail (Wardha and mine mentor too) was the showstopper for her. However the last two looks , the shalwar kameez and the gypsy skirt seemed the pieces that could have been edited out. In a collection that bordered on quite a few dresses and jumpsuit, the shalwar kameez seemed like an odd fit. Also the purple jacket with that beige printed gypsy skirt did not come together well as a whole look. The styling too at most occasions worked for the ramp but at points seemed forced, but I understand the need to be uniform.
However I had quite a few favorites from the collection. The gilded riveted dress over a geometric patterned fabric worn by Sabeeka was brilliant. The pretty printed Sari, the brown jumpsuit with riveted accents and another gold dress with gilded armor shoulder pads also made it to my favorite looks from the collection.
*Images Courtesy Tapu Javeri and his team
When you have brilliant combo working for you, you often tend to rely on them while expanding your product lines. Wardha Saleem/Nubain- Jafferjees pairings worked the first time around with much success during Jafferjees’s debut outing last year. With a strong concept and clothes, the combo was lauded and it did not come as a surprise when the combo was all set to repeat their previous success. I had sneak peeks of how Wardha was going to use the logo of Jafferjees in the clothing, but was unsure how would that look but let me tell you, I was definitely impressed how it all came it together.
Incorporating Jafferjees’s logo, Wardha Saleem created an array of chic ensembles with clever placements of the logo in terms of print that one could would not mind wearing just those clothes with the logo. One could see how each bag was complimented, never overpowered by each outfit that it was accompanied with completing the whole picture. The line of bags was more relaxed and resorty, therefore the clothes too resonated the same easy and laid back vibe too. The bags sometimes were part of the whole garment and at the rest provided the perfect accent highlighting the fact that being matchy matchy is not the way to be. The bags ranged from luggages to everyday soft leather as well as structured shaped bags in a wide array of colors apart from the safer blacks, browns and tan. The more youthful vibe was very evident in the product line in terms of how it branched into small lady bags and frilled arm candies in greens, pinks, yellows and corals. Combine them with the clothes and they were successful in transitioning from the corporate vibe they seem to have built up over the years (and yes! I do own a Jafferjees wallet). Also to have something of that good quality and impeccable finish with a Made in Pakistan label and of the brand based here, everyone should be proud.
One of the bags that I spotted had a woven pattern on it similar to Bottega Veneta. Since BV had secured this weave as a trademark/patent (am still trying to understand it), am hoping, they have taken care of it while manufacturing it
My picks, I loved the octupus print with the logo in this Kaftanesque top to which the black and white bag played the perfect accent to. The logo is cleverly incorporated in the print of the relaxed top. Also I absolutely LOVED that white duffle bag. The finish and shape was effing brilliant event in pictures. I loved the last look primarily because of how it was all put together. The ombre dress had the brand’s logo all over but was so subtle and with that the green bag provided the perfect pop of color that it was just perfect look for a fashionable evening/dinner out.
*Images courtesy Tapu Javeri and his team
The good thing about a designer being actively involved in the design process is that it shows. I was recently invited to a sneak peek preview of the upcoming lawn collection by WARDHA SALEEM and witness the BTS of the shoot, that was being done by Tapu Javeri. After her last outing of lawn, I was particularly interested in how far Wardha had come in, after making waves into mainstream fashion, and I was so not disappointed.
Lawn is a pretty tricky affair and its tentatively much easier to fall into the ‘pretty’ trap rather easily, so much so that it becomes difficult to distinguish one from another label’s (which happened pretty much with many of them this summer). After Kamiar Rokni, Wardha Saleem is probably the only designer I came across, who successfully translated her design sensibilities of her collections to the much more affordable lawn. The signature design aesthetic showed off brilliantly in her designs which were derived from her works in the past couple of years. Avoiding the trap altogether, Wardha has stuck to her guns and has not compromised on the designs just because mediocrity sells. Wardha Saleem clearly realizes that in the wake of so many brands coming up with lawns and various other derivations, it is important to make one’s mark via their signature and maintain that identity, rather than giving in to the pretty demands. And trust me, people are not complaining.
At the shoot met Shariq from Shariq textiles. Finally can give face to the name. According to Wardha they gave her the complete freedom to design as she wished without any preconcieved fears of costs of production without compromising the quality. Kudos to them for showing that sort of faith in the designer, since these days many of them seem to be just in the business to mint money resulting in what I call ‘phool khile hain gulshan gulshan’ (hehe pun totally intended).
Ranging her designs from kitschy and playful to the ones for who stick with the florals, this is one collection that people better be lapping up or my faith in Pakistani women as fashion concious nation is definitely going to dwindle. Priced at under 3k, the designs are a steal for anyone with good taste and a limited budget. Drawing upon her past collections of Folk Play and Doodle Junctions as well as her block print lines, Wardha’s lawn is a testimony to good design with psychedelic and retro elements coming together overlapped with a sense of just the right amounf of traditionalism with the contemporary twist. The result is that you just not get embroidered necklines and silk trims and panels ( the norm for lawns) but more than that with embroidered motifs as well as a variety of prints within one design.
While you get visual drama in black and white and sharp contrasts in one, you would have the DALI-esque surreal doodles in other, to soothing pastels in others and traditional motifs in another, she covered pretty much quite the range. Now one might feel overwhelmed with the amount of prints, but its all been taken care of since it all comes together in a visually balanced design. BROWNIE POINTS for her to sticking with her playfulness of prints yet realizing that it has to sell therefore makes it mass friendly and striking that balance correctly. She sooo needs to move into menswear its not even funny.
Roping in Sanam Saeed as the face of Wardha Saleem Lawn was a good idea, given the popularity of Zindagi Gulzar hai. Sanam Saeed being a thorough professional, changed in and out without complains. What I also liked about her was that she was fuss free and bore the unbearable heat without complains and posed away in different looks from top knots and up-dos to buns and open hair. While the Fashion Film (below) and style presentation was done by Nubain Ali, Wardha Saleem’s brother, The makeup and styling was done flawlessly by N PRO.
The Lawn will be available in all leading Lawn Stores from the 27th of June including not only Pakistan but also Bangladesh, India, UAE, USA, Canada and Australia. Plus they will be available for online sales as well.
Now its really hard to criticize a collection of someone who has been your teacher and a friend and you have seen her grow from strength to strength as a designer. While being the one who has no patience for favouritism or taking sides for no reason I do try to be as logical with reason, for my reviews with whatever little I know, as possible. Therefore I will come right out and say it. I FREAKING LOVED IT. The doodle collection, was by far one of the favorites of mine this season. Starting off with a very cute video (which I was told was made in a day), what followed was a fun collection that has all the Wardha elements that I have known her for.
Wardha is one of those designers who have managed to surprise us everytime with her outing. Be it the vibrant SINNED, the understated JHIRKI or the fun FOLK PLAY, she has managed to keep our interest alive as an audience, making us wait for her next outing every time. With her fun and contemporary design sensibility, she has managed to come out trumps everytime. Showing off a variety of silhouettes, she presented a range of short tops, tunics, dresses, skirts, jumpsuits, pants, summer jackets and a delectable SARI (that had glares of all the ladies in the audience) . She also threw in a pant suit that completely blended in the collection without looking like a miscast.
One of the few, who mastered the art of blending in embroidery and print in an aesthetic manner that, at the same time, is wearable. Her colourful embroidery combined with the black and white doodles were not only fun but had us wanting for more. The surreal doodle prints could easily be a figment of someone’s imagination taking in to their subconscious world lending in a sort of alien quality to the prints. The embroidery too however was unusual. Apart from the usual materials, incorporated in design amongst all also were computer chips, metal wires and going as far as wood. Combining that effect masterfully within her garments, Wardha put forth her best foot forward succeeding with flying colors.
Also loved the fact that she is one of the few designers to pay attention to accessories and their details. Loved the geometrical wooden earrings with carved in doodles.
Brownie points for no drama, theatrics or anything of that sort and let clothes be the stars of the show. One of the very few collections where I liked almost everything therefore cannot pick a singular look and for the same reason am layouting the post in a way that all can be enjoyed in continuity.
Lately, a preview of some of the designers namely Mahin Hussain, Wardah Saleem, Nomi Ansari, The Pink Tree Companyby Mohsin Saeed and Shehrnaz was held at Ensemble. While it was open to public the launch was much more intimate, which allowed one to move around and check out the collection comfortably. While Shehrnaz showed her inhouse line that she does for Ensemble, Mahin Hussain’s Moroccan inspired collection along with the VOTE bag was quite the highlight of the preview. While Mohsin Saeed stuck to her clientele of on the go women, giving them the chic options for their lives, Wardha Saleem showcased her delightful FOLK PLAY collection that received rave reviews.
*image courtesy Maliha Rao