November issue 2002
A Show for all Seasons
Finally a fashion show where the focus was on fashion alone, as opposed to being linked with long, drawn-out charity dinners. As a show, Lawrencepur’s “Collection for All Seasons,” was almost flawless: a select audience, great music, tiered seats that made for good viewing and a simple, but effective, catwalk and backdrop. So far, so good. The choreography, however, while in keeping with all the ingredients of maximum sartorial impact, left the majority of the audience with perpetually craned necks, as the models strode past with just one stop at the end of the long and narrow catwalk. Welcome by its absence was the irritatingly slow catwalk sashay that predominates most fashion shows.
Using Lawrencepur’s luxurious cashmere wool blends and Swiss voiles, designers Ghani Chaudhry and Maheen Khan sculpted a contemporary western line for men and women.
The show opened with a dramatic swirl of unisex ankle-length coats, cut by Ghani Chaudhry and embroidered by Maheen, who replicated the embroidery from her Mozart line commissioned for a theatre production in Europe. Though impossible to wear in Karachi, the coats were a show-stopper, as were Maheen’s glamorous hooded capes inspired by the Moroccan burnoose. “The capes are a personal favourite,” says Maheen. “The fine wool fabric was wonderful and lent itself perfectly to the fluid, elegant shape.”
Ghani Chaudhry’s suits, coats and jackets were cut from an unusual spectrum of colours: smoky blue, old gold, pale beige and khaki, competing alongside the more traditional charcoal grey, black and brown. Designed for the trendy young male, the clothes were striking, particularly the jackets and mid-calf coats which were accentuated by unusual braiding, fastenings and textures. Ghani’s bete noir, however, were the shoulders which were far too exaggerated and made for some bulky folds and creases which marred some otherwise creative cuts.
As always, Maheen’s fortÃ© of a sculptured shape and silhouette with minimum embellishment, shone through this collection. Wide cropped pants were teamed with knee-length tunics, bias cut trousers with short, figure-hugging camisoles worn under long jackets, voile tunics embellished with wisps of crushed chiffon and an asymmetrical patchwork crushed organza tunic worn over wide-legged trousers.
An integral part of most ensembles were the long fringed chiffon scarves in jewel colours. “For me, accessories play a very important role,” says Maheen. “I feel that one must do away with the concept of the jora and concentrate on the concept of separates where one item can be worn in many different ways.” Lining too played a significant role. Most ensembles were lined in contrasting silk which gave the clothes yet another dimension and depth. Every element told its own design story. However, out of sync with the clean, uncluttered lines of the rest of the collection, was a voluminous velvet skirt ensemble that just didn’t gel.
With Lawrencepur making Swiss voile and fine cotton in a multitude of colours, both designers incorporated the fabrics into their collections. Ghani used it for shirts, while Maheen used it for summer tunics, pants, tiered skirts and saris. As Maheen herself admits, “The saris didn’t work too well, but it is a beginning to create market awareness of the many different ways voile can be used.”
And that in a nutshell was the idea behind the show: to create market awareness in Pakistan about high quality, locally manufactured fabrics and how diversely and creatively they can be used.