Karachi: Fashion week may have gotten off to a good start with Shamaeel’s solo show but it fell into a slump on day one. We come to fashion week to scout for new trends, look out for ingenuity with craft and wow moments – this day lacked all of the above. It could be because the Winter/Festive show largely entails creating market friendly wedding wear for the upcoming months. This means designers hold back on experimenting to ensure returns on big investments on these heavily worked outfits that inevitably cost a small fortune to create.
However, we desperately wish that the Fashion Pakistan Council would edit some of the collections and wonder why some outrageous designs were even allowed on the catwalk. The first day lacked star power on the ramp with only a couple of (relatively unknown) TV actors walking as showstoppers. The front row, unfortunately, was not star-studded either. With the exception of Sarwat Gillani, the front row seated a milieu of journalists, bloggers, socialites and sponsors. Where were the movie stars that make fashion week exciting?
Misha Lakhani proved to be the night’s saving grace for her collection was its usual effortless display. Misha Lakhani seems to have found her niche and is now happily building upon it with signature understated elegance year after year. The models walked in flats as has become her runway style and had fly away hair which made for a refreshing look. There were darker ensembles, pastels and most importantly flares and airy silhouettes that look good and feel great in shaadi season. A particular number that stood out was the triangle print dupatta on Rubab Ali and crushed cotton ensemble on Anam Malik.
Aamna Aqeel is a young designer who seems to be trying to find her signature. Each collection of hers so far has been different from the preceding one. Her Palace Wonderland featured thick pearl embellishments along with gold filigree. The colour palette consisted of whites, blacks punctuated with blacks and baby pinks. We do appreciate that Aqeel’s clothes have a somewhat decent aesthetic but the designer needs to find her signature soon.
Erum Khan’s lineup managed to perfectly demonstrate what not to show at fashion week with clothes were banal at best and garish at worst. There was over indulgence in poufy organza sleeves(?!), bad fitting, untidy finishing and beads that were falling off, down to the front row. The collection required editing or perhaps, could have been edited out altogether from FPW.
Obaid Sheikh’s Husan Ara collection was hardly cutting edge either. There was a confusing mix of embroidery and silhouettes that tried to toe the line between the traditional and modern elements but it didn’t make much sense. The menswear was better than the womenswear but the collection did not set any precedents or create trends.
Saira Rizwan’s Glitterati showcase started off with a black number donned by Rabia Butt that seemed interesting because of the 3D floral embellishment and there was a ray of hope for the rest of the collection. That quickly died when the models started coming out in flimsy lace pants, done to death sari pant ensembles and other ensembles that have been seen too many times before. It may do well commercially in the designer’s home city of Lahore, as the brand has been doing, but it certainly was not a notch up on her old collections.
Suffuse by Sana Yasir is another relatively young designer who got the feedback that her designs were heavily inspired by Elan, Faraz Manan and Kamiar Rokni, when she first burst into the scene. Two years later, Yasir has managed to prove her worth as a designer creating well-constructed silhouettes and easy on the eyes embellishment. Though her signature still may not be too original, she’s a designer worth watching out for.
To conclude, we can only hope the council members and organizers edit out collections bearing in mind the purpose of a fashion week. The business of fashion must have standards set by the councils. Here’s to hoping day two is better.
– Photography by Faisal Farooqui