Much has been said and written about the fact that Fashion Pakistan Week’s line-up this year hasn’t been very strong and that most of the big names decided to sit it out. But this could have been the ideal opportunity for newer names to step up to the task and prove their worth. Without daunting competition from the country’s biggest names, it should have been easier for new designers to shine. But it so happened that just one of Pakistan’s biggest names in the fashion industry completely stole the show on Day Two.
Shehla Chatoor opened the day and her collection, Trésor, completely blew everyone away. Dominating the collection were ensembles fit for royalty, flowing as the models fluidly moved to the music. Trésor opened with black and moved onto subtle shades of rich crème and gold, sparkling delicately within the intricate craftsmanship. The designer brought familiarity and innovation to the runway as she stuck to her signature style, using leather weaves and fur on an array of textured jackets, pants, capes and dresses. The collection graduated to heavier, couture (bridal) pieces but it never for once departed from the delicacy of craft. Chatoor made such a strong opening that everything else dulled in comparison. It was a hard act to follow despite the fact that gold was everyone’s favourite colour and we got to see so many variations of it.
Gold seemed to be on everyone’s mind and why shouldn’t it be? Everything looks beautiful when it’s gold, whether you pair it with black, white or any bold colour. However, it’s also the easiest colour to get wrong. And that’s exactly what happened with most designers of the day.
Huma Adnan chose to work with gold using rich, flashy colours of winter, such as deep garnet and emerald green. Her collection, Midnight Garden, focused on voluminous silhouettes and floral motifs. However, there was lack of finesse in the collection, a critique we have for most of the other collections that also showcased on the second day. Also, it’s difficult to understand why Adnan would want to incorporate unfavourable shades of brown in a collection that wasn’t made for the Magnum party. Walking the ramp for FnkAsia, Naveen Waqar and Haniya Omar did lift things up as it’s always good to see new, seldom seen faces on the ramp. We even spotted an ecstatic Hareem Farooq in the audience, clapping away for her friend and co-star from their film Janaan. But celebrities were external accessories that may have jazzed up a mediocre collection but could not save it completely.
Gold took centre stage, once again, with HEM’s Golden Cage collection. Designed by Sumbul Asif, the colour was also the only coherent factor in the collection. Featuring tulip shalwars, which most fashionistas have had enough of in summer, a confusing colour palette and overabundance of sheer fabrics such as organza and chiffon, the HEM showcase was not very flattering.
Up next, Natasha Kamal’s collection started off with a muted colour palette of ash grey and navy blue with a glimmer of silver but as the collection unravelled, the tones changed from the coolest of blues to hot reds quite rapidly. Again, Aisha Khan and Gohar Rasheed were a welcome change on the ramp but we can’t decide whether it was the foil printed gold on white lehenga that actually made us happy or the fact that Khan was wearing it.
Arsalan Iqbal displayed semblance of thought and technique with his Baroque Star, as the video preview of the collection, which also featured Amir Zaki, showed an amalgamation of fashion and rock with his own unique take on it. The purely black collection consisted of well structured jackets, using hand woven fabric with hints of velvet, that were designed using the 16th century Baroque style as inspiration. But at this point, black and gold had become a very over-used combination and could only be justified if the pieces were extremely memorable, which they weren’t. However, Iqbal’s collection had one of the best showstoppers of the evening, Mohib Mirza, who is perhaps one of the best choices for the ramp. He has enough star power and style to look fashionable and his entry on the runway had many people cheering in the audience.
Thankfully, Deepak Perwani closed the show and brought us back to our love for fashion by choosing a bright colour palette which used hot pinks, tangerine and lime greens. Even though the collection didn’t wow the audience, it was still a pleasant departure from the gold rush we had seen all evening.
– Photo Courtesy: MovieShoovy
This article was first published in Instep, 2nd November 2o16.