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Fashion Week 2 Haute off the Runway

Fashion Week 2 Haute off the Runway
A quick round-up of collections shown at Fashion Pakistan Week 2 beginning with the best, passing through the potentially strong and surpassing the ordinary.
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Source:  Aamna Haider Isani
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  • Fashion Week’s Prized Treasures

  • Karachi’s high-design definition is what gives Fashion Pakistan Week the confidence that it enjoys. And there were many names that came forth with the experience and/or design maturity that you can associate with brilliance.

  • Sana Safinaz made their fashion week debut in Pakistan with a bouquet of everything that falls under their brand umbrella. They opened with elegant chiffon shifts & followed with their diffusion line. A little haphazard for a coherent collection, every piece was nevertheless flawless.

  • Shamaeel, another name that has been synonymous with sophistication for around two decades, built upon her last showing & presented artistic perspective on Balochi fashion. She printed silk with Mughal miniatures and added extra dimension to already textured silhouettes.

  • Maheen Khan showed twice: once for the lawn she has designed for Nishat and the next day for her classic line. Both times “Mama Coco” (Eric Choong from Malaysia kept referring to her) came 4th with her signature simplicity.

  • Deepak Perwani’s Amrita Shergill collection was a radical shift from his last showing. This time he chose elegance as his USP & presented a collection that spoke for the artist who ranks amongst the Nine Masters of India’s acclaimed art treasures. Some pieces in Perwani’s collection did appear to be miscast in this style narrative but they were intended as the Hungarian aspect of Shergill’s personal style.

  • Faiza Samee’s ‘Summer/ Autumn’ collection was this couturier’s vision of what to wear formally through the season in which temperatures rise high yet occasions come plenty. Beginning with whites perfectly set off by fragrant motias, which the designers wears in her hair herself, Samee proceeded to her traditional Kuchi kurtas and then formal/trousseau wear, which she does best.

  • Beyond the old guard, there were some relatively new names that left a long-lasting impact:

  • Shakeel Saigol may have made his runway debut but the man is an institution where art is concerned, and he brought that depth to fashion.

  • Nida Azwer, nominated as one of Pakistan’s emerging talents last year, walked that line and crossed over as one of fashion week’s best.

  • Similarly, Adnan Pardesy finally found his balance in a collection that was experimental yet wearable. His quilted jackets were the work of a master craftsman. It can be said that in two entirely different realms, Nida and Adnan have added immense strength to Pakistani fashion.

  • And last but not least it was Kamiar Rokni and Tia Noon that emerged as integral to the event. Not only was their collection spot on for ready to wear, affordable yet tasteful summer fashion but by showing in both cities they proved that fashion weeks need to be about making business sense. And that was as important a message to send out. Kami and Tia sell well in both cities, and therefore to them it was essential to show in both. One hopes designers both sides of the fence are listening and learning.

  • All collections shown at FPW2 were styled by Sabs (women) and Khawar Riaz (men), who was unarguably the more creative of the two. However, as event organizers pointed out when questioned about the repeated use of only these two stylists, Sabs has the infrastructure to take on this kind of a project, is easy to work with and she can easily translate a designer’s requirements without interfering with her own vision. Khawar of course is the country’s best stylist when it comes to men; no surprise then that the male models came out looking picture perfect.

  • Rising stars

  • Following haute on heels of fashion’s top names were numerous rising stars that have shown the potential to shine very bright.

  • Rizwanullah made the strongest statement by showing an avant-garde black and white collection, replete with burqas and contemporary imagery. It reflected the designer’s own style and he now needs to make sure his clothes are available to sell. That’s the only way people will take him seriously as a designer rather than a showman.

  • The same applies to Ali Zeeshan, who needs to repress the urge to entertain his audience and translate his vision to wearable clothing.

  • Fahad Hussayn showed some well-embellished jackets and he presented them in an ode to the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, which I must say was one of the best out of the many tributes paid to him at FPW 2. Showing twice was another talented designer from Lahore, Kuki, whose menswear its warrior frame of mind was stronger that his women’s wear. Both Fahad and Kuki are forces to reckon with.

  • Munib Nawaz presented a well-executed all black menswear line whereas Rana Noman (Chinyere) wowed everyone with his creative vision for Bareeze couture.

  • Shehla Chatoor, making runway debut after operating her own atelier for years, also emerged as potentially strong player in the style arena.

  • A special mention to Trial N Error, Chamak, Zaiena Haider, Abdul Samad, Datch, Unbeatable, Fnk-Asia, Zarmina Khan, Zaheer Abbas, Fayez Agariah & Sanam Agha for showing glimpses of creativity that may have fallen short of wowing completely but certainly had the potential to grow in one way or the other. Many of these labels have a stronghold on design whereas others have the power of retail but it is essentially the union of both these characteristics that can make a good designer great.

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