December issue 2010
After a highly successful debut fashion week by the Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) in Lahore earlier this year, round two, held in Karachi last month, was also an unqualified success, and slicker to boot. Keeping in line with its philosophy of providing emerging designers a bigger platform to show from, as well as promoting Pakistan’s established fashion icons, the four-day event was characterised by much glitz and glamour. Fashion gurus, style icons and media from Pakistan and beyond made for an exuberant atmosphere.
Day one began with showcasing the work of Nickie and Nina. The designers’ collection was inspired by KÃ¶sem Sultan, mother to an Ottoman Emperor and one of the most powerful women in Muslim history. Beautiful, but not particularly novel, it was a soft start to fashion week. Luckily, others were more experimental with their collections, even though they too had their share of hits and misses.
The colour palettes varied largely from designer to designer. Some like ElÃ n stuck to dusky, subtle colours, and those like Akif Mahmood and Asifa & Nabeel played with the bright colours from the Kalash region. One thing that could be ascertained, however, was that cuts are no longer restricted to a particular shape or structure. From Muse’s jumpsuits to Ali Xeeshan’s billowing tops, and Feeha Jamshed’s voluminous ghararas, models displayed a wide array of silhouettes that strayed far from safe or typical.
One act called “Fashion Gives Back” was produced by HSY and styled by Asma Mumtaz in which each of the designers were asked to interpret black with an additional highlighted colour. The outfits were paraded on the catwalk while Fuzon played live numbers, which really amped up the otherwise dreary collection. These clothes went up for sale the next day at the Sheraton with the proceeds directed towards the rehabilitation of flood victims of the village of Hisar Qilay in the Malakand district of Swat, a village adopted by the PFDC.
While most collections are inspired and well put together, there are always those that add an electric punch to such events. In this case, it was largely agreed that The House of Kamiar Rokni took the cake as it dazzled the audience with ‘Folkistan.’ An amalgamation of the creative genius of Kamiar Rokni and Tia Noon, it revived traditional craft and used cultural imagery such as truck art, evil eyes and bottles on relatively wearable outfits. Other phenomenal collections included those of Feeha Jamshed’s, the ever-talented Teejays prodigy, and Ammar Belal’s in which he drew inspiration from the Manhattan skyline and its art-deco architecture to create an essentially unwearable yet undeniably dramatic line. An honourable mention must be given to Mohsin Ali, a PIFD graduate who hails from Hazara. In his collection, he depicted the nomadic lifestyle of Hazarans by constructing outfits out of multicoloured bags that ballooned out into floral prints indigenous to the Hazaran region.
Aside from the usual spotting of guest models on the ramp, a new face was seen strutting the ramp this Fashion Week. The Make a Wish Foundation fulfilled the wish of a terminally-ill young girl, Khadija Saleem, who aspired to walk the ramp. Her strut on the catwalk was heart-warming.
The final day featured a thank you note by PFDC chairperson, Sehyr Saigol, which also included comments by French journalist and fashion entrepreneur, Alexandra Senes, on her visit to Pakistan. Despite the bomb explosion on the second day of fashion week, which shattered and caused panic in the adjacent hotel where the foreign guests were staying, they remained firm in their commitment to the cause, and in the end the event went off virtually glitch-free.