Fifty Shades of Chocolate

September 6, 2015

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but fashion and chocolate have to be her two biggest addictions and that’s what the Magnum Party 2015 rolled out for the fetishists

Fifty Shades of Chocolate

Brown, let’s be honest, isn’t the sexiest colour on the palette. It reminds you of men in non-descript, staid uniforms, working their days in and out behind bulky wooden desks. Brown is pedestrian at best and boring at worst. There’s a reason why Chanel created the Little Black Dress and not the Little Brown Dress. But ask a child and the mention of brown will bring a beaming smile to his face; to a child the colour brown is synonymous with chocolate and most definitely chocolate ice cream. And chocolate brings out the child in all of us.

It’s no wonder then that the Magnum Chocolate Party was fifty shades of tasty pleasures: walls that oozed molten chocolate, edible displays of chocolate accessories, canapés dipped in caramel, cream, toffee and dark chocolate and playing to the choir, men and women dressed in shades of brown. One has to admit here that brown also isn’t the most flattering shade for our Asian skin tones; most of us cannot carry brown even if it were handed to us in a Bottega Veneta handbag. So while the Magnum Party was very high in taste, it was equally low in style on the red carpet, which was predictably - and unfortunately - also brown.

The chosen designers, however, had allowed their imaginations to run wild with the directional collections they had created for the show, and that’s a relief. Nomi Ansari, Khadija Shah (Elan), Shehla Chatoor, Maheen Karim and Omar Farooq (Republic) designed Belgian chocolate inspired capsule collections whereas Fahad Hussayn and Ali Xeeshan created installations that were put on as displays all evening.

What’s the big deal about a chocolate party, you may be wondering.

But think of it this way: for the past few years Pakistan’s fashion industry has been in a fashion week spin cycle. It’s one we fully approve of but it’s also very utilitarian – the spin cycle being design, showcase and retail, over and over again. Designers are barely managing one or two showings (at fashion week) a year; the pleasure of seeing creativity that blows you out of the box is lost in the quest of fashion week commitments and a focus on sales success. That is the way fashion weeks are programmed. International designers have the advantage of experience, infrastructure and massive budgets; they often manage to blend commercial success with outlandish creativity in showcases (think of Chanel and Dior shows) but in Pakistan it takes an orchestrated effort to think beyond the till. A directional show like this one at least breaks the monotony. It’s meant to showcase unapologetic creativity. Who’d wear all these clothes, you may also be wondering… maybe no one but then directional shows are meant to create a fantasy and nothing more.

Take it to the next level:

These collections may not have a market beyond the red carpet; the clothes may end up on mannequins in a designer’s showroom but they could also serve a higher purpose. It would be awesome if organizers of this decadent chocolate party held an auction for all these garments and then put up a child friendly chocolate wonderland party for underprivileged children. With Eid around the corner, that is precisely the kind of spirit that this chocolate party needs!

Nomi Ansari showed us the best of the evening; his was a collection that followed the brief while working beyond the theme just as well. From gowns in grades of chocolates to jumpsuits that appeared to have been rolled in multi coloured sprinklers, his was a creative candy land.

The most architectural collection came from Khadija Shah, a designer who’s riding the wave with Elan and Sapphire and has proven her worth when it comes to construction, creativity and commercial success all in one stride. Her Magnum capsule touched upon all delicious shades of chocolate, from white, caramel, toffee to milk chocolate and ultimately, dark.
The most architectural collection came from Khadija Shah, a designer who’s riding the wave with Elan and Sapphire and has proven her worth when it comes to construction, creativity and commercial success all in one stride. Her Magnum capsule touched upon all delicious shades of chocolate, from white, caramel, toffee to milk chocolate and ultimately, dark.
Shehla Chatoor went down theliteral route to emblazon her luxurious gowns with Magnum bars; it was a tongue in cheek approach to luxury and it worked. The opening gown, constructed in a wrapper print set the mood for the evening and it screamed out one simple message: why must fashion always take itself so seriously? Time to have fun with it.
Shehla Chatoor went down theliteral route to emblazon her luxurious gowns with Magnum bars; it was a tongue in cheek approach to luxury and it worked. The opening gown, constructed in a wrapper print set the mood for the evening and it screamed out one simple message: why must fashion always take itself so seriously? Time to have fun with it.
A designer known to have a penchant for luxury, Maheen Karim’s capsule was close to her heart. It touched upon gold as core colour and the innovative use of Kiran Aman’s gold jewelry - worn as eye pieces - uplifted it from cool to kitsch. Kitsch is always more interesting!
A designer known to have a penchant for luxury, Maheen Karim’s capsule was close to her heart. It touched upon gold as core colour and the innovative use of Kiran Aman’s gold jewelry - worn as eye pieces - uplifted it from cool to kitsch. Kitsch is always more interesting!
The most understated capsule of the evening came with Omar Farooq’s menswear (Republic) and while we would have loved some tall, dark and handsome drama, we’re just relieved there were no brown and gold jamevar sherwanis and turbans on display.
The most understated capsule of the evening came with Omar Farooq’s menswear (Republic) and while we would have loved some tall, dark and handsome drama, we’re just relieved there were no brown and gold jamevar sherwanis and turbans on display.