Sania Maskatiya, Elan, Yousuf Bashir Qureshi, OutHouse Jewelry and the Eid POP-UP store and most significantly…Elan.
This was an unbelievably busy weekend, with Eid a week away and the fashion frenzy at an all time high. The invites streamed in through the week but I unfortunately could not make it everywhere and tried to attempt looking into whatever seemed a little extra interesting. I still missed a lot but here’s an overview and review of what I did see…
Sania Maskatiya at Al-Karam
Like I said earlier, it’s just amazing how ready to wear has turned the entire dressing up routine around. Women, who would once spend their days and nights at lace-walas, dye-walas, peko-walas and darzis, are now trawling though stores in search of the perfect outfit, off a rack in their favourite stores. Sania Maskatiya’s ranges for Al-Karam are very high on the popularity chart. Priced between 4000 and 8000, 9 new designs were released this weekend and what made them extra interesting was the option of pairing the tunics with trousers of your choice. I personally loved the bold polka dots and the white on white animal print. Many of Sania’s lawn prints for Al-Karam were also available and I loved how women were hovering in awe of the very distinctive, unique Sania Maskatiya range. It definitely is worth checking out.
Yousuf Bashir Qureshi at Labels
I missed the launch but was intrigued enough to check YBQ’s collection at Labels the very next day. It was a funky range, mostly in khaddar with several viscose options and it reflected the designer’s Bohemian/Nomadic/Sufic vibe, if that makes sense at all. Available as separates, the collection was in tune with what the designer showed at Fashion Pakistan Week several months ago and I’m glad that he decided to bring it to Labels because it’s not easy or convenient to get to his studio/store at The Commune in Maskeen Gali. A small selection of customized silver jewellery is also available.
The Grand Pop Up Eid Trunk Show
This really was an eclectic mix of goodies, with Sana Hafeez Sheikh’s new Outhouse collection being the highlight of the exhibition. There was, in fact a selection of several Outhouse collections, and a lot of funky new jewellery that fans of bling were obsessing over. While I love the statement that these pieces make, I still have not brought myself to buying one. The selection is tough, it’s pricey and after a while it all seems the same. It’s tough to decide which piece to invest in.
Then there was an Artisinal Collection by Mahjabeen Obaid, who is Sharmeen Obaid’s sister. In fact three of Sharmeen’s sisters were there to exhibit some very funky home-accessories, including export quality towels, tea towels, cheese boards, napkin holders, trolleys, and my favourite – fabulous outdoor lanterns that would set the mood to any garden party.
The Trunk Show also featured Alizeh Pasha’s Pop-Up featuring an odd selection of Buddha heads, wall brackets, clutches etc and finally Sukaina Taki’s selection of home accessories and pearl jewelry.
What was common in all these different pop-ups under one umbrella, you may wonder? The one thing in common was that all these ladies wore Sana Safinaz!
Elan at Ensemble
The finale, or rather grand finale of all exhibitions was Elan at Ensemble. Khadija Shah flew down to Karachi for this and I have to say that it seemed like all of Karachi had descended upon the boutique for the bounty. It was absolute madness, with women struggling to pick up as much of Elan Vital as they could get their hands on. Appointments were made for bridal orders but they went haywire, as walk-in customers would not step back. The clothes were beautiful and what one saw was a new level of hysteria; even the high price points could not dissuade the ladies from ordering.
There was a time when Khadija Shah was considered the Sana Safinaz of Lahore but I do think that with her success at Sapphire, Sapphire lawn, Elan Vital, her own lawn and finally her couture/bridal line, she’s found a very strong identity of her own. The proof is in the pie.