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10 Apr

Fashion Pakistan Week 2: Conclusion

Fashion Week in Karachi is over and it has been an exhausting run of 53 shows. I have given no details because honestly, I haven't had the energy but in a very small nutshell, I would like to draw a conclusion. Repeating what I said in my article and previously on my blog, I'll reiterate that Karachi does have an understanding of design and fashion that no other city of Pakistan has. Experienced designers like Sana Safinaz, Shamaeel, Maheen Khan, Deepak Perwani, Faiza Samee out of a much more vast pool of those who couldn't show (like Sonya Battla, Rizwan Beyg, Body Focus - who showed in Lahore this time - Nomi Ansari) have given the city a concrete foundation. The...
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9 Apr

FPW2: Day 3 hops between the good, bad and downright ugly

After much contemplation I have decided that I haven’t the energy to comment on every collection in detail anymore and I will conserve my words for the story I am officially writing. However, there are random thoughts that are bubbling in my brain and I have to empty them before I go back to the arena tonight. I don’t think any editor will entertain these rants… Okay, so I have great respect for Rizwan Beyg as a designer. They don’t come more brilliant than him and the man lives style. Dinner at his house before fashion week started, which he magnificently cooked himself, was bliss. So when Riz once said he wanted his council to be the Sindh Club of...
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8 Apr

FPW2: Day 3 When it was bad it was horrid

There were OMG moments and there were WTF moments. If you thought day one was bad in terms of designer lineup then you've got another thought coming. I have never, ever seen such an excess of bad fashion crammed into one day. With the exception of Fahad Husseyn, Munib Nawaz, Maheen Khan for Nishat and the marvelous Adnan Pardesy, this day crash landed fashion and brought any buzz generated on Day 2 to a screeching halt. Whatever has happened to the fashion council's sense of design excellence and subsequent selection process? I cannot believe for a second that any of the council governors - Rizwan Beyg, Maheen Khan or Deepak Perwani - could possibly see any potential in so many...
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7 Apr

PFW2 Day 2: Getting high on hopes and hemlines

The only thing on my mind right now is that I lost my notebook last night. But thankfully I had documented the first day, remembered most of the second and the third is yet to be experienced tonight. This is me shaking the loss out of my head. #$%^&*#@ Okay…so Day 2 was infinitely better than Day 1. A bit more settled and more easily transitioning between good and bad collections. There were bad collections…oh yes, hell there were some evil clothes, but the taste we took away at the end was all good. Shehla Chatoor: Shehla has been designing for many years and has a niche clientele in Karachi. She has never shown before (and doesn’t stock anywhere either) but after...
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7 Apr

FPW2: Day 2 and the buzz is back!

It's midnight and I haven't the energy to write out details of tonight but all I'll say before signing off is that the BUZZ was BACK in fashion tonight. What a strong opening statement by Shehla Chatoor; her serpentile gold chains were pure temptation. Nida Azwer showed a collection much stronger than what she showed in Lahore two months ago; a throwback to ancient civilizations, this one had interesting motifs and imagery. Two designers who showcased very disappointing collections at FPW1 - Sanam Chaudhry and Abdul Samad - evolved much, much more stronger this time. Their enthusiasm to fight it out was appreciable. And Shamaeel's finale was magnificent. Paying homage to rich Pakistani heritage the collection, embellished with imagery from...
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6 Apr


Karachi: To initiate a fashion week is one thing but to sustain it in terms of quality is completely another. Much to one’s disappointment, FPW2 started off on extremely weak footing yesterday. With very high event management standards set up by Lahore two months ago, one had hoped to see this take the game a step further but in reality it was a case of two steps forward, one step back. The core of the issue: bad or irrelevant collections that should have been edited or streamlined out of the show. As I said on the red carpet, fashion weeks should be about building quality, not quantity. Eleven collections were shown on Day 1 and out of all of them...
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5 Apr

Here today, lawn tomorrow

  Published in The Review, Dawn, April 4 2010 “Lawn is the true prêt of Pakistan,” Sana Hashwani said in her office several days before the insanely successful Sana Safinaz lawn exhibition was to open in Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad. This statement is something designers have been reflecting upon for years but not many have managed to execute the theory as neatly as SS have. The prêt or ready to wear game is in big numbers, in volume as opposed to exclusivity and high prices and in a country where women are barely getting used to the idea of ready to wear clothing, lawn is the next best bet. In this respect textile manufacturers have indeed given fashion it’s much needed piggyback....
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1 Apr

Colour coding summer

(Published in The Review in Images, Dawn)   A glorious summer sun has already started washing the harshness of winter away from many parts of the country and while winter is experimentally exciting for fashion in the western world, here in Pakistan we look forward to summer with the same enthusiasm. Not only is it the longest season of the year, it is just as versatile. Summer hikes through the blazing heat and swims through monsoon downpours. In most parts of the country the atmosphere gets humid enough to pass for a sauna while on coastal shores, it blows in a gentle summer breeze. Cottons, lawn, voiles, muslin and even chiffons and lightweight silks work well with all these variations. This versatile weather...
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31 Mar

Sara Shahid relocates Sublime in Karachi

Summer blues: Me, Sara Shahid, Fareshteh Aslam and Fathma Amir at the launch. Sara Shahid of the Lahore based label Sublime flew down to Karachi to launch her brand of clothing at Labels.  She has been stocking at another multi brand fashion boutique – The Designers – for several years but I think Labels will be a much more lucrative and appropriate option for the minimalist label. While The Designers has been great for formal, wedding wear, Labels has been synonymous with the working woman’s wardrobe, whether it is designed for ‘on the job’ or formal evening clothing. Sublime fits the bill perfectly. Also, the higher footfall at Labels will ensure better success for the brand. [caption id=""...
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30 Mar

PS: Sana Safinaz lawn

1. Many women have written in to comment on how disorganized the exhibition was. 2. Many others have written to point out that the 'women in burqa with a wad of fifty thousand rupees' was back the next day, selling the joras in black. Even they were sold out within an hour. 3. Many, many women have been asking whether there are any, absolutely any, prints left over. If SS decide to go in reprint, you will find out here!...
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