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10 Aug

Catwalk Cares Virtual Fashion Show Season 2 returns to ramp with 16 designers

Catwalk

After the success of the first edition of Catwalk Cares Virtual Fashion Show which was solely a digital presentation, CEO of Catwalk Event Management, Frieha Altaf is not slowing down. Earlier in July, she announced the second edition of the virtual show with a creative alternative: Frieha is taking fashion back to its roots, with a return on ramp under controlled conditions, this Independence Day.

The core objective this time is sustaining the Pakistani fashion as well as entertainment industries — that includes not only fashion designers, make-up artists, photographers and models — but also all the behind-the-scenes personnel including set designers, trussing and lighting vendors. The platform has once again employed the latter to create runway ramps in a studio space to showcase the designs of the participating designers at Catwalk Cares Virtual Fashion Show Season 2.

In Season 2, like customary fashion weeks in Pakistan, established designers as well as budding names will showcase their collection. The list of finalized showcases include collections by Umar Sayeed. Nilofer Shahid, YBQ, Sadaf Malaterre, Zainab Chottani, Maheen Karim, Zara Shahjahan, Shamsha Hashwani, Rozina Munib, Nauman Arfeen, Arsalan Iqbal, Alkaram Studio, Lawrencepur, Kayseria, Diners and designs of four graduates from Asian Institute of Fashion Design (AIFD- Iqra University).

With the theme ‘sustainability of the Pakistani fashion industry’ as its impetus, the collections of several designer labels are inspired by the ideals of hope. The show has resilience and positivity as its core themes. The Virtual Show Season 2 will be representing the inclusivity and communal spirit of the Pakistani fashion industry after a long time.

Talking to Something Haute, Frieha Altaf shared her vision behind the second show.

“The business of fashion had turned stagnant due to COVID, our first edition of the virtual fashion week opened avenues. However, it was very tough to maintain quality in lockdown. The conditions were very tough when we had started shooting, but later on till when we were shooting for Nomi Ansari and Shehla Chatoor, lockdown was eased and we were able to send professional photographers etc. I believe we have to adapt to social conditions as now we can practice smart lockdown so we are moving to ramp,” she said.

“When we can have cricket matches without spectators then why can’t we have fashion shows without audience? At the end, the presentation is for fashion enthusiasts, bloggers and those who can watch us at home. It is more than just glamour; it is a business and several livelihoods are solely dependent on it from technicians, lighmans, camera crew, flower suppliers, art suppliers to many more. We’re taking the fashion show to a runway to give people their jobs back as well as organize a show that boosts all industries,” Frieha added.

Talking about how is she going to achieve the desired results under a controlled environment, Frieha shared some interesting details.

“The show is not only going to be on runway; it is a mix of several presentations. For instance, Umar Sayeed and Zara Shahjahan are doing a fashion film for the show. I have also reduced the number of models involved in a single designer’s showcase. While we used to have 20 models for one designer in a regular show, this time we have 1 or 2 models wearing all the pieces of a designer. Safety is my priority. We are also shooting it effectively like one designer comes, shoots with his/her models and leaves, followed by the next one. Participants are also instructed to wear masks, maintain social distancing and frequently use hand sanitizers to remain safe.”

A piece from Lawrencepur’s collection

So far, Day One of the fashion event has been shot for virtual transmission. Amid a grand artistic set with a sizable runway, circular head ramp and perfect lighting at Net Set Studio in Karachi, with no riveted audience.

Ali Tariq, who sang Bekha Na for Parey Hut Love performed the world premiere of new song Chaho Na while popular folk-rock singer, Natasha Baig performed the song Kaseria for one of the participating brands, Kayseria.

“It is a win-win situation for all; designers, brands, sponsors, production house and various other platforms. They need it to maintain their physical presence,” Frieha concluded.

Natasha Baig

The four graduates of AIFD namely, Aiman Rao,  Sehrish Talpur, Omair Mazhar and Laraib Yousuf will be presenting one piece each, inspired by themes of African tribal art; Egyptian hieroglyphics. Nostalgia, Origami and Macramé respectively. Models Raahima Ali and Bisha Abbas will wear these pieces.

Zainab Chottani’s high street line TAHRA will be presenting a collection tilted Joy with four models namely Erica Robinson, Javeria Hanif, Rahima Ali and Fatima Hasan. The collection is inspired by the idea that amid the stress of the pandemic we should all remain positive and think about joy and fun and appreciate the simple yet exquisite things around us like sunsets that warm our hearts.

Zainab Chottani’s high street line Tahra

Alkaram Studio will participate with a 4-piece luxe collection titled Esfir (Star Like) that pays tribute to eastern roots and traditions. Creative Director of Alkaram Studio, Ather Ali Hafeez, said in a press statement:

“Being the first of its kind in Pakistan and the most anticipated show this season, we expect a sartorial smorgasbord consisting of nostalgic prints and the season’s latest trends, peppered with an elevated sense of grandeur that Catwalk Productions never fails to provide .We believe a digital medium won’t change the essence of a fashion show. The main objective of fashion weeks is to create and build business. We are fortunate that Pakistan has opened retail outlets more quickly than expected, with protocols being strictly followed, making our brand sustain itself in these tough times. Our first priority has always been to distribute the salaries to all our employees and daily wage karigaars, and it’s always been our mission to show gratitude and support for the amount of hard work that goes behind in putting together each campaign and a collection,” he said,

The fashion show will air on ARY Zindagi at 9pm with a 3-day format and on ARY Digital for its YouTube transmission as well as simultaneously on various digital platforms from 14th August.

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Syeda Zehra

The author is Assistant Editor at Something Haute. A journalist by profession, the writer has a penchant for films, fashion and music.