Lahore: Pakistani fashion, as with most things produced locally, oscillates between two extremes; when it’s good, it’s very, very good but when it’s bad, it’s genuinely cringe-worthy and often leaves the audience wondering, “What were they thinking?” The last two days of PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week 2018 had many such moments – there were collections that enthralled us with their innovation and aesthetics and others that left us confounded. Over time though, one learns to unsee the pieces that tend to mount an assault on the senses, washing away the bitter after-taste with a round-up of all the apparel that formed the day’s highlights.
With this review, we attempt to do the same – we present to you the highlights of day two and three, a brief mention of the collections that didn’t quite make the cut notwithstanding.
The day shows on day two featured high street brands that were, for the most part, bearably generic and inoffensive in their aesthetic, with the exception of Rici Melion that truly left us at a loss for words. Without dwelling too much on the mish-mash of misguided Dolce and Gabbana inspiration that saw stuffed tigers sewn on badly fitted suits, we would like to add that the council should certainly have a filter for allowing clothes (we refrain from calling it fashion) of this caliber on their esteemed platform. It does neither the brand, nor the council any favours.
The lawn/voile shows on day three also didn’t really leave any indelible impact – we missed the origination that brands like Generation bring to high-street wear.
Among the remaining pret-a-porter designers the names that really stood out included Nida Azwer and Saira Shakira from day two and Republic, Zonia Anwaar, HSY and Fahad Hussayn’s menswear from day three. Here is a detailed look at what worked for each brand.
Sticking to what she does best, Azwer’s latest collection was a pastel toned ode featuring an array of semi-formal wear that could also easily be considered appropriate summer wedding attire for those who tend to eschew bling for a demure aesthetic. Shades of navy, light blue, gold, ivory and lavender dominated the runway while Azwer played on texture and with different mediums of embellishment within the collection. Azwer’s show was also the only one to feature celebrity show-stoppers. The cast of Cake, Aamina Sheikh, Sanam Saeed and Adnan Malik took to the runway, killing two birds with one stone by amping up the glamour quotient while simultaneously promoting their upcoming film that releases on March 30.
Saira Shakira’s Blank Canvas collection was easy, breezy and definitely resort-wear worthy. The colour palette was fresh and presented a departure from the duo’s usual penchant for pastels. The oversized, deconstructed floral print, paired with Pollock inspired paint splatters was well utilized with slouchy trousers, belted cape tunics and sheath dresses. We loved the contrast of contemporary tribal accessories with a minimalistic, feminine collection and the customized bags added a nice touch of detailing to their show.
Another young’un who’s proving her mettle with each new showcase, Anwaar presented a fun, innovative collection that played well with her tribal aesthetic. As with her peers from fashion school, who also claimed success this season, Anwaar’s background in design definitely shown through in a collection that was cohesive, inventive and original. It’s delightful to see upcoming designers who are abreast of international trends and can take inspiration from the global circuit without presenting collections that seemed to have been designed entirely from Pinterest references. We particularly loved the orange and purple ikat inspired printed trench and the yellow wrap skirt on Nooray Bhatti, which would look great on a Maldivian beach.
Republic by Omer Farooq
Republic rarely ever gets it wrong. Omer Farooq is without a shadow of doubt one of Pakistan’s best menswear designers and each runway outing for the brand simply continues to exemplify his genius. His collection this season was young and hip, incorporating edgy styling with contemporary cuts and provided a break from the usual three pieces suiting that tends to characterize Pakistani menswear. Farooq has also consistently brought on a stylist on board for his shows and the collaboration speaks for itself; Yasser Abdul Aziz and Haseeb Sultan levelled-up Farooq’s inherently trailblazing designs and the result was a well put together collection that even made us want to own a piece or two from it.
Fashion’s reigning sweetheart returned to claim his grand finale spot at PSFW 2018 with a collection that once again presented feminist undertones. Titled Be Your Own Knight Yasin’s collection nodded to female empowerment and presented his signature aesthetic with an invigorating contemporary update. We loved the drama of his opening, the runway this season was woefully lacking in theatrics that designers like Ali Xeeshan or Nomi Ansari bring to the table but Sheru’s closing act had enough dusting of drama to keep us enthralled. Black ruled his collection with hints of crimson, gold and silver peeking through, we particularly loved the embellished jumpsuit that Giti Ara sported.
Styling Hack: Most successful shows this season featured the return of the ’90s fanny pack with modern update and the belted tunic was revamped with a half-belt, giving it an air of insouciant.
Photography: Faisal Farooqui and his team @ DragonFly