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Which show will you attend? “The red carpet hummed on the first night of the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week (PSFW). Apart from the media dedicated to each show, there were participants who had come to certain designers. Everyone had their favorites.
With a massive cast of designers starting with Zara Shahjahan, followed by Sania Maskatiya, Hussain Rehar, Yahsir Waheed and a Fahad Hussayn finale, there was so much to see.
In fact, the PSFW assembly offers very interesting overall names. Kudos to the council for putting together a great designer lineup. And most shows on the first day did not disappoint. But before we continue to dismantle the collections, consider: What exactly is this in Pakistan?
The PSFW is a platform that has often been used as a pretext, but how do you define this genre in Pakistani fashion? Has it worked on a portable evening attire that could be worn on festive occasions? Perhaps. Is it lawn when it comes to cutting-edge turns, multi-layer trench coats and spectacular sequins, jackets and tunics?
I would think that. Is it Lehngas, who is worked with intricate embroidery and a bride, wrapped in sparkling flowers, covering his head, carrying a joomer, a teeka, and the whole bastard? Of course not. Or is it now? What are the thoughts of the Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC)?
Some gorgeous, highly desirable designs hit the PSFW runway the first day, but not all qualified as Pret. It is obvious that the designers’ inclinations towards profitable areas of wedding attire can not be governed. Ever.
Here are the despondency of the Pret, the not-so-pret and the non-pret-at-all last night at PSFW …
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What a Hussain Rehar! The clothes spilled out and sparkled with sequins that had their own head: they gathered in tufts on a white cape, swirling to abstract flower patterns, and turned into digital, futuristic patterns. There was so much to love in the line-up: the all-red jacket, the waist, the capes, the two-piece suits that worked entirely with sequins, the vertical stripes of color flowing over the clothes.
The show was high in both the energy and fashion industries – it’s great to see a young designer come to the fore with his own vision. There are so few of them.
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Sania Maskatiya’s “Isfahan” raised the catwalk in an intoxicating mix of pastel colors, blending florals with stripes of chata-pati, exquisite gota, and ethnic silhouettes that contained some modern details. This was Sania’s ode to the eastern clothes that sold so well in her stores, and the clothes ranged once again from the Dholki to the Eid to the official Ghazal night.
The finesse of Sania’s work must also be praised: the designer knows how to cut a clean silhouette and work with such a seductive aesthetic. There was also a bride on the catwalk – not exactly the pretext the PSFW speaks of … but very pretty.
Zara Shahjahan returned after a long time with a show that irrefutably bore her signature. It was almost like browsing her website or leafing through a catalog of her: clear, traditional silhouettes in subtle colors, worked with small patterns by Gota, Kamdani, Zari, and Zardozi.
The clothes were so pretty: the angarkha paired with a chooridar, the glittering paisleys, zigzag and florals, the translucent kurtas hovering over Harara pants, and the cigarettes with ghungroos at the ankle!
According to the designer, the collection will soon be available for retailers, and it has what it takes to become a hot seller, moving easily from formal evening wear, to dholki, to eid-wear.
However, what looks great in a catalog needs to be brought up to date to create an unforgettable experience on the catwalk. The designs were pretty in their own right, but could have made really strong statements with some drama in funky jewelry? Some twists on the hair and on the make-up?
However, it’s great to see Zara Shahjahan back in line-up at a fashion week. The designer worked very well with her traditional, traditional ethos.
Yahsir Waheed is one of Pakistan’s pioneers in designer lawns, and he has long been devoted to the fabric. He brought this love of print to the catwalk. His collection was a playful mix of color, print and texture. Particularly eye-catching were the light, airy jackets, which were lazily balanced at the shoulders and vary from printed to other, decorated with ethnic mirror work, and some statement pieces that have worked with tufts of emerald sequins.
The collection had its strengths – even some weak ones – but it is important that it has to be brought to retail. I hope that this was not one of the shows that were created just for the catwalk and then fade away. After all, Yahsir has a keen sense of what works in the marketplace. The shaking up of this lineup for retailers should be in its alley.
The collection was called “Suraiya Titanic” – you can always count on Fahad Hussayn to come up with quirky, intriguing titles and develop quirky accessories for the theme. I went backstage before his show and saw how the designer worked hard. The models’ hair and make-up were packed and they were already dressed, but at a show by Fahad Hussayn, there’s always so much more than just those tiny kittens. Chamak Patti headgear had to be fastened and a pair of sunglasses with attached Chamak Patti wings had to be worn. Fahad, notorious for his love of eccentric accessories, fastened her to the models herself.
I wish these accessories were more visible on the catwalk. The models ran much too fast to appreciate the details. It was not until much later, when they made their last walk, that I could see the designs and accessories more clearly.
The first half of the show, dedicated to the designer’s limited edition, the Fahad Hussayn Print Museum, was the highlight. There is always a peculiar kaleidoscopy that is unique to Fahad Hussayn’s prints, and this collection featured outstanding patterns inspired by the truck art: a parrot floating in the air, faces running along a tunic, arched clouds and interspersed geometric elements with each other. It was printed with a couture spin. Nice.
This was followed by the designer’s couture line, which consisted mainly of heavily processed Lehngas and Dupattas. The thoroughly intricate embroidery and deep color palette from the designer’s Heritage Revival range were beautiful – but totally out of place as they were part of a show that started with printed grass.