Kicking off the year’s fashion trail, the spring/summer edition of Fashion Pakistan Week (FPW) helmed by the Fashion Pakistan Council, commenced on Tuesday evening at the palatial gardens of the iconic Beach Luxury Hotel with a celebration of the Pond’s Miracle Journey, where 10 mentors and mentees shared how their 2018 journey had impacted their lives. The PMJ event was followed by a breathtaking solo showcase by Sana Safinaz.
Breathing life into the philosophical masterpiece by Muhammad Iqbal, where he wishes to bridge the gap between the east and the west, the couturiers took inspiration from Payam-i-Mashriq for their extensive collection that fused eastern influences such as heavy embellishments of silver and pearl work with a mix of western inspired Charleston and flapper dresses amongst other designs. Adding onto it, playful sleeves, sleek silk pants, velvety tones, draping tassels in contrasting colours and pastel bows gave that extra oomph to each of the carefully designed ensembles.
Sashaying an approximate forty designs down the runway, the showcase was divided into different segments which visibly took words from Iqbal’s quatrains and breathed life into them as moving poetry.
From the mix of lehngas, and tapestry and Persian miniature inspired long shirts to ivory white wedding gowns, Sana Safinaz managed to create an almost perfect palette of colours and designs as the blush, deep reds, and subtle pastels juxtaposed with renditions of the flora and fauna on the silhouettes.
Amongst the designs, some which specifically stood out for their construction and interestingmix of silhouettes remained the ones where the couturiers chose to experiment. From adding belted bows over draped ensembles, tomixing in a playful array of accessories like a bandana and retro-esque shades, Sana Safinaz made it a point to create an east-west symphony, which goes beyond the banal layers of fashion.
Inmany ways, it felt like the designers also played an ode of sorts to their own journey between the east and west as well, as the designs interweaved narratives of the continental divide, which are comparable to the mix of cuts and designs Sana Safinaz so effortlessly intertwines.
Truly, there seemed to be a new energy in the fluidity of the concept, and once again the designers were able to display their inventive ability in couture.
While the applause meted out the success of the show, there were a few places where the collection became lost in translation – or rather in the grandiosity of it all.
For starters, one felt that the showcase could have been edited down by at least a quarter of the designs. One couldn’t help but feel there were pieces which one had seen before.
Additionally, the fact that Sana Safinaz had the whole of Day 1 to their name, the showcase could have perhaps expressed more cohesion with the concept of the collection.
There were moments where one wished for more cohesion with the words of Iqbal. It trulymade one wonder and go into deep analysis of the quatrains to find connection between the poet and his interpretations seen on the runway.
Having said that, Sana Safinaz know how to weave magic into their showcases and this Message from the East is proof of it. The show was signature Sana Safinaz, from concept to execution and it was heartening to see the duo take a bow with Mohsin Ali and the entire design team.
Once again, the designers have successfully given FPW an inaugural day to be proud of and that is in itself a victory for the fashion council and the couturiers.