By Aamna Haider Isani
Label: Sana Safinaz
Collection: France Lesage
What really resonated well with our crystal-blinded eyes was the visual relief that Sana Safinaz lent to the runway. This collection was modern and documented the various styles that should be adapted by women in their wedding/trousseau wardrobes. And it was a sexy collection, designed for poised and sophisticated women who prefer to move forward as opposed to get weighed down by the past.
Label: Fahad Hussayn
Collection: Matam: Novelty Couture
Fahad Hussayn displayed some exquisite craftsmanship in this collection that, despite the sombre title, had no darkness to it. The intricacy of Hussaynâ€™s detailing was perfect and yet like the weight of the ensembles sent out, there was something that weighed the collection down. There is always a sense of burden in his work; the nose rings and heavy ornamentation, for one, lead my thoughts to beasts of burden and women in captivity. Itâ€™s not a happy thought and I do hope that with time Fahad can use the beauty of his craft to create an expression of freedom from all this melancholy.
Label: Nickie Nina
Collection: Neh Shikar
There were ensembles that hinted at a younger, fresh aesthetic but overall, this Nickie Nina collection was a mirage of one heavily embellished outfit after the other, with seldom any respite via design innovation. I did like the baggy tunics â€“ definitely a trend to look out for â€“ but the half-front-open, tightly bodiced shirt that is reminiscent of the Anarkali must be removed from production now. No matter how many women still want it.
Label: Misha Lakhani
It was a romantic collection but a bit of an old flame at that. Misha Lakhani has perfected the use of wispy nets and organzas and intricate craftsmanship that lend wings to her garments and thankfully, never weighs them down. But this was a collection that fluttered gracefully in circles without taking off further, forward and a little higher.
Label: Suffuse by Sana Yasir
There are clothes that sell and clothes that set trends. This collection was firmly the former and that too because there was so much of what has already been designedâ€¦by other designers. Sana Yasir offered very little in terms of signature and innovation; there was nothing memorable when it came to her choice of colour, style or vision. While one is inclined to be gentle with newcomers, and I do wish them well in their businesses, their selection to show at fashion week makes me question the selection criteria.
Mahgul is a rising star but she obviously shines brighter in pret than wedding wear. That said, I have deep-found appreciation for anyone who can (dare to) think out of the box and stick to a strong signature, whether or not it has commercial appeal. This capsule by Mahgul did not have the seamless sensibility that youâ€™d associate with a couture house of repute but it did have the energy and excitement that a new brand should embark with. I do sincerely hope that with time, Mahgul will manage to merge the two.
Label: The House of Kamiar Rokni
For those of us who wonder why The House of Kamiar Rokni doesnâ€™t showcase at fashion week every year, a collection like this is ample explanation. Masterpieces are not created overnight, they take painstaking time, passion and vision and for offering all of that in Alchemy, the brand is (almost) forgiven its lack of consistency in showing every year.
This collection was a calibration of splendor, equipped with colours that were bright and yet ironically offered relief to the eyes that were exhausted by overexposure to pastel bling. A befitting finale to Day 2, Alchemy was set off by a classic line of jewellery by Rehana Saigol and it left one in very high spirits. The detailing was exquisite, the colours magnificent and while the craft revived the grandeur of yesteryears, the styles â€“ true to THKR signature – were modern and fashion forward.
Photography by Faisal Farooqui at Dragonfly