It’s all moving so fast now that there’s no room to flake out – shape up or ship out. If you have what it takes, no one can take it from you, and if you unfortunately don’t, no one can put it on you. The oozing allure and grandeur of Fashion Pakistan Week 2016 (FPW) kicked-off lambently with designers illustrating their latest collections and awe-impelling fashion ruffles plodded over for months.
In collaboration with TDAP (Trade Development Authority Pakistan), PR by Take-II, and organised by Karachi Fashion Council, the FPW was a revelation as to where it’s heading as the business of fashion gets real.
Fashion needs hoopla and Maheen Khan of Gulabo pulled that off on Day 1 with her ending, playing with a lot of vivid reds and black and white incorporating a concept of wearable collection that was cohesive and well-accessorised. With modern silhouettes, Gulabo featured jumpsuits, plated flared pants and crop tops. Maheen Khan’s collection was the only one from Day 1 of FPW 16 that could live up to its puffery — the first day of the fashion week sustained such unfathomable respites that half the audience walked out mid-way through the show.
Designers before Maheen Khan couldn’t put forward their best foot on the ramp either — fashion wise. Deepak Perwani opened the night with his “Fix It” collection, as an ode to Karachi — opening with off shoulder silhouettes in the floral prints and pink; the embellished “Fix It” motifs on jackets, trousers and overcoats was something new coming from the designer house, but he just added four new outfits to a collection he had previously showcased at PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week- Lahore (awkward!). It won’t be erroneous to call Deepak a wiz and Karachi as his playing field, but FPW wasn’t an impeccable count for the designer this time.
The two textile brands Kayseria and Lala also showcased, but not creating the necromancy expected of them. Where Lala tried to create a terrible mesh of East and West, Kayseria tilted more towards the Bridal Couture featuring ghagras and shalwar kameez in lighter tones with duppata on head. Why waste time of the audience, when you’re not even able to understand the protuberant line between prêt wears and formals? Consider the question please!
Wardah Saleem is another very welcome addition to the fashion world. After a hugely successful DNA London show, the fabric lover has taken a plunge into fashion featuring mini-skirts and overcoats with florescent prints in a fine colour scheme paired with hand-painted bonzer bags, in collaboration with Jafferjees. This girl has a crisp that presented a rare, plushy collection coagulating marvellously on the runway.
FPW started on a low note; but a fashion journalist has a responsibility not to crib over what’s being showcased — and to sit back and review later. A voice coming from the editor of a renowned newspaper was quite surprising and a turn-off: “How terrible it feels to sit and watch the crammed shows put on the runway that faded the serious business of fashion when you’ve spent the previous weekend interviewing SRK.” You don’t say that, bespectacled journalist! You cannot compare fashion with entertainment unless you’re there just to pick up the front-row placed courtesy bags and not even attend the entire day one line-up.
A runway show is undoubtedly an icing on a multi-layered cake and the applause the cherry on top. There are so many designers and ideas that a day where everything is perfect is almost impossible. FPW got its groove back with a breath of fresh air on Day 2, with some collections that shined like a beacon.
That said, I did not particularly care for Zaheer Abbass’s “White on White” collection. The collection was feminine with superb western cuts paired with layering, keeping it simple with sunglasses and necklace wears — he is one designer who does fierce very well, but this was certainly not him, not something Zaheer Abass could come up to the ramp with.
Jafferjees showed what a master of design they are, celebrating 135 years in business. In collaboration with Wardah Saleem, they came up with a flashback to vintage trends featured travel bags, briefcases and purses with bold maroon for men and brown for women. The best thing about Jafferjees is that you get all they showcase on the ramp in their stores.
Gul Ahmed is as exciting when it comes to prints as Sania Maskatiya or Deepak Perwani — but losing owns comfort zone wasn’t really an idea worth the venture for the brand. Multi-coloured Sindhi embroidery here and pom-pom accessories with chunri pants and chappals there wasn’t something to look forward to from the retail brand. Their shalwar kameez’s have been really lovely, smart, sassy, modern, edgy yet awami — with prints catching attention and everything on spot since it started, but the loss of identity was right there this time, more “Rang Ja” in nature.
In perhaps the biggest and best FPW success story from Day Two, Amir Adnan and Huma Adnan presented a stunning collection, their best yet. Letting go of his signature designs of sherwanis (particularly bridal wears) the former got out of the box, giving a feel of freedom featuring three-piece suits, shin-length trousers paired with layered kurtas with “Escape” for men. With a whole new level of crafty silhouettes, with the use of cotton for prêt wear in the shades of blue, beige and white, Huma Adnan stole the show meshing the desi inside of us with cropped waistcoats and embroidered shalwars that looked like a million dollars, easy breezy and wearable with many a standout pieces. What was on display was masterful and truly one of a kind.
The final day of FPW 16 was the most significant. Karachi turned out in full force to support the retail brands – Generation and Alkaram and, of course, the grand finale that unveiled the populist energy maestro force of Shamael Ansari playing with a lot of red, brown and yellow. The day opened with Attiya Khan in a hot brown cinched waistline and flared pants and ended with Zhallay Sirhadi featuring her sumptuous exquisite drama inspired by Japanese craftsmanship.
Although Alkaram showcased nothing new but digital prints paired with western silhouettes, the off-shoulder tops and jumpsuits in black, beige and white with floral prints and geometrical designs played easy for the brand – setting trends for summer rage.
Generation is a retail women’s wear brand working for more than three decades now. Envisioned by husband-wife duo of Saad and Nosheen Rahman, the brand conquered the three nights of runway with the duo’s daughter Khadija’s debut collection “A dot that went for a walk.” Generation still gives every women’s wear retail brand a run for their money, Khaadi even.
Featuring dorri embroidery with boho-chic appeal in cotton with beautiful hues of tea pink, green, blue and white was a new sexy identity for eastern wear. Where many people go for Khaadi these days, believe me, the designs Khaadi is producing today were exactly featured twenty years back by Generation.
There could not have been a more perfect collection that this to the most fashionable day of Fashion Pakistan Week 2016.

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