By Muhammad Asad Ullah
In Pakistan, Lahore is traditionally known for its young designers and one can accredit that to the relentless endeavour of Sehyr Saigol who has very cleverly created a bridge between the Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design (PIFD) and Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC), especially when you take into account that PIFD is the biggest fashion school in the country. However, fashion industry in Pakistan is not contained to a particular city. In recent years, the success of the Fashion Pakistan Week (FPW) and Fashion Pakistan Council (Karachi) has turned fashion industry of Pakistan into a much more dynamic affair. The electric tension between huge power houses and emerging designers makes for an unpredictable week, especially when in recapitulation it has turned out to be a tale of two cities.
The way Lahore functions and their week is structured, each designer knows what the other is up to and how they operate. They are very well knit together and presents the perfect face of one big happy PIFD/PFDC family. From Selina, PR for PFDC, to Saad Ali, CEO of PFDC, everyone is well synced with each decision. Atleast that’s what we feel.
However, Karachi is not out of place itself either. It’s a totally different beast altogether where everyone is too busy doing their own thing to know what the other is up to. Everyone’s a big player up to their own big game.
For what one has noticed PFDC only nurtures PIFD graduates, well mostly, so if you’re unfortunately not a PIFD graduate, you’ll have to pull a lot strings together to make it to the ramp of Sunsilk Fashion Week as a designer. The senior designers of PFDC, including HSY, Maheen Kadar, Kamiar Rokni, Maria B, Ali Xeeshan, Mohsin Ali are all PIFD graduates and new young designers from fashion school like Husain Rehar are being fostered to be a part of the game. Well FPW also nurtures young designers, like an incubation centre, but what’s best about them is that the council does not restrict itself to only entertaining graduates of a particular design school. They keep their purview open. Which is a good thing. It gives an opportunity to all those young bloomers that PFDC doesn’t probably pay attention to.
Well PFDC and Fashion Pakistan Council has recently announced the dates for upcoming spring/summer fashion weeks 2019. PFDC is set to host an extravagant four-day PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week (PSFW19) scheduled to take place from 11th to 14th April in Lahore and Fashion Pakistan Council to host FPW from 12th to 14th March in Karachi. Both the fashion weeks are just a month apart from each other. Since the schedule is still not out, what concerns me is that which fashion week will feature bigger designers of acclaim. Also if there’s an overlap of designers showcasing on both the fashion shows, will we get to see the same collection again or they’ll design something new? Looking forward to how the designers play along.
Where it’s the 18th edition of FPW, PFDC is celebrating is 20th consecutive fashion week divided into three categories, including Luxury Prêt, High-Street prêt-a-porter shows and Lawn.
Keeping up with its tradition of scouting and nurturing young designers, this year the ‘Rising Talent’ platform will yet again open doors to promising talent at PFDC.
If you follow fashion circuit of Pakistan, then you probably know that Trade Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) regularly partners with FPW for foreign buyers, but this time round TDAP has partnered with PFDC for a rather new concept, TEXPO 2019. The exhibit will be happening simultaneously alongside the fashion week at the Expo Centre, Lahore. The aim of the expo is to attract approximately 400 professional – local and international – buyers this season to Lahore. With TEXPO, PFDC is now aiming to draw more buyers for the local fashion industry along with fostering creation and style. It is one step ahead to reposition Pakistan’s fashion culture in the global fashion economy.
Let’s see what the two councils present. Well, as London Fashion Week is just underway, which will be followed up by New York, Paris and Milan, just remember we’ll be keeping our tabs for what’s the ‘it’ trend for spring/summer 2019. And we’ll definitely draw a parallel for if designers this season brought international fashion inspiration to Pakistan or not. Bisou Bisou!
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