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26 Oct

FAO: Pantene and Style 360

 The W in BCW is weakening a brilliant platform

Moammar Rana and Nadia presented the finale for Nilofer Shahid at the first edition of BCW

First of all I can’t call a two-day event a ‘week’. Two days, when falling on a Saturday and Sunday (or otherwise, depending upon where you live) can safely be referred to as ‘weekend’. Second, I refuse to call a fashion event managed by a TV channel ‘fashion week’ at all. Fashion weeks are trade events organized and coordinated by fashion councils, thereby assisting the fashion industry to grow. There HAS to be council involvement; that’s exactly what councils are here for. So to solve the Style 360 and Bridal Couture Week conundrum, I suggest that organizers either change the title or form a council, neither of which will be unreasonable propositions given Pakistan’s history of fashion events and fashion councils. What’s another one in the larger scheme of things!

Imagine what would happen if BCW inspired other channels. We’d be left to deal with BBC-D Fashion Week (as in British Born Confused Desis, of which we have enough to demand a separate homeland let alone Fashion Week), MASALA Fashion Week (and I believe dance routines from BCW would work very well here), FILMANIA Fashion Week (at least film stars would have a platform this way) and more from the Terrestrial and Satellite (as Lux Style Awards like to refer to them as) channels. Throw in GEO Fashion Week for a parody (as opposed to parade) of politicians, and you’d have a delightful calendar of events!

Forget TV channels for a second. Imagine what would happen if BCW inspired other sponsors to drop their annual activities and start a fashion week of their own. I’d say Veet has been very naïve in investing in their annual Celebration of Beauty. So what if the Veet model hunt has become one of the most popular fashion programs on TV? So what if the Veet Celebration of Beauty has actually emerged as a dignified platform for formalwear in Pakistan? I’d blame Frieha Altaf for this grossly neglectful oversight. She should have suggested a Veet Fashion Week (a hair ‘raising’ – not ‘removing’ – event no doubt!) to Veet.

But seriously, one appreciates Veet for staying away from fashion week territory because companies and channels do not do fashion weeks. They sponsor fashion weeks organized by fashion councils. Period. Cases in point: Sunsilk and now L’Oreal. Reckitt Benckiser got the formula right with Veet and Pantene and Style 360 got the name wrong with BCW. They’re huge players; they need to fix their strategy before they lose the game to others. There are other, more credible fashion weeks on the horizon.

Style 360’s bridal weekend could have been such a fabulous platform for young and upcoming bridal designers. There are so many of them in need of a launch-pad, which they probably will not be able to afford/entertain at the upcoming PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week scheduled to take place in November. Moreover, designers like Fahad Hussayn admitted that showing at BCW was a business move as the kind of mileage BCW gets by running and rerunning on Style 360 is unparalleled.

BCW would have been the ideal stage had organizers dropped the W for Week from the title. This W has just weakened their entire effort.

The Bridal Asia model would have been so ideal and one had even suggested that to organizers (before the inaugural event) who unfortunately opted not to give it a second thought. If the term Fashion Week had been available so readily, rest assure Divya Gurwara would have taken it up years ago when she had the Bridal Asia brainwave.

All activity is good, and needless to say, good has and will always come out of BCW too. I haven’t attended/covered the last two events, but I hear good things coming out of it too. Apparently Ali Xeeshan rocked the floor. There were celebrity appearances that brightened up the star quotient. The organization was good. And new bridal designers that one had never heard of before were given a chance.

But even all of that does not a fashion week make.

“There were no components of a fashion week at BCW,” a young fashion journalist spoke to me after the show. “They was no exhibition area or buyers. The shows were for an audience and even dances were organized for extra entertainment. It was a show orchestrated for television. The organizational skills were brilliant but it technically was not a fashion week. We have discussed the need for an alliance with a fashion council with the organizers. They said they were open to our suggestions and also promised that changes would be executed from the next season.”

Will that change come in the shape of a new title or in the alliance with a fashion council – an understanding with Fashion Pakistan Week, perhaps? Will that change come at all. Only time will tell.

The Haute Team

This article is written by one of our competent team members, who probably didn't have enough to say to own up to it.