September Issue 2008

By | Fashion | Life Style | Published 16 years ago

The night sizzled with power-packed glamour as the glitterati trotted up to the entrance of the venue, flanked by vintage cars. As cameras flashed and chatter filled the air, they produced their passports to the event — the highly sought-after invites to the launch ceremony of Eye Television Network’s lifestyle channel, Style 360, the network’s third excursion on the Pakistani airwaves after the very successful Hum TV and Masala.

After all, if the pre-event buzz doing the rounds in the fashion and media circles was anything to go by, the country’s top designers were expected to feature in the event titled, Lux Style Fantasia 2008.

Style 360 elbows its way through a barrage of private TV channels. The station will broadcast shows on everything from cars, cooking and image-building to health, beauty and fashion — just about anything that perks up one’s lifestyle. But how will the channel beat its rivals, many of which specialise in the themes that Style 360 will work on? Supermodel Vaneeza Ahmed, who heads the channel, claims it is the channel’s focus on the finer details of our lifestyles and the attitude with which they will carry it forward, that will outsmart their competitors. “Hum daal bhi banainge tou style se banainge,” she quips.

And stylish it was — the décor of the venue. The sprawling red carpet area made extensive room for the media and the celebs to interact. Further down the hall, a dimly lit waiting area, done in soothing hues of cream and grey, opened up to the arriving guests. The area was strewn with comfortable leather sofas and coffee tables, in contemporary fashion, while the waiting guests were treated to cool pina coladas and scrumptious prawns and calamari.

The show marking the launch of Style 360 took off on a high note, as acrobats from a British troupe wowed the audience with the agile manoeuvring of their bodies on the trapeze, their twirling ribbons and an impressive juggling display. A local troupe, Team Chaos, also gave a performance, a fusion of hiphop and acrobats. The entertainment programme also included a salsa dance routine by Wahab Shah and his female dance partner, model Fiya Khan.

But it was the much-awaited fashion segment that really set the stage on fire, making it the hottest thing around. Hassan Sheheryar Yasin (HSY) took the ramp first and produced a splendid collection of formal wear. The fine silver embellishments, worked into beautiful motifs against rich-coloured fabrics in black, red and gold, and cut out as gowns and long kameezes, were typical of HSY’s exquisite design sensibilities and skill in fusing traditional designs with modern cuts. He clearly outshone the rest of the featured designers.

Iman Ahmed of Body Focus was refreshingly unconventional. She used screen prints to fashion her tunics in loose silhouettes and layered chiffons, often bunched up on one side at the shoulder, and paired them with billowy gypsy skirts and accessories such as belts and scarves — a welcome departure from the fashion norm of designing bridals. Next, the models sashayed down the ramp in elegant long, layered kameezes and culottes that were notable for their texture, prints and pleats rather than the traditional bling.

But traditional bling is what one expects from Nomi Ansari. His slot promised much more oomph as models appeared in flashing electric-bulb headgear. But he failed to make a statement — his designs were typical and tediously safe. The outfits were loud and colourful, with traditional needlework on long kameezes worn over cigarette pants, Dhaka pyjamas and culottes — a staple in Nomi’s creations.

Umar Sayeed started his ramp presentation amid a roar from the crowd. His design palette was perhaps the most scattered, as his outfits ranged from modern-cut ghararas and saris to trousers and western gowns. The most striking feature of Umar’s creations was the ingenious use of pleated fabric and elegant backless outfits, and his delicate silver embellishments with hints of red, over sheer fabric in pastel hues, black, brown and maroon.

Next came a dramatic costume, hair and make-up show designed as a tribute to theatre — the first of its kind on a Pakistani ramp. Models showing off dramatic eyes and luscious pouts, with over-the-top wigs and headgear, courtesy stylist Shahzad Raza, and opulent dresses in blacks and reds by designer Mehdi, took the audience on a ride to another era altogether.

Preparations to launch the test transmission of Style 360 by the second week of Ramazan are underway, Vaneeza informed Newsline, while the channel is likely to start its regular transmission after Eid