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13 Feb

Fashion at Sindh Festival ups the style ante!

It is a very big bubble. What else can I call the existence and execution of the grand Sindh Festival, celebrating our culture while the governments talks with the TTP to bring peace to the turbulent northern Pakistan. But it’s a beautiful bubble, at least the Fashion Festival (first part of the festival that I have attended) was absolutely glorious. From the organic ambience of the Hindu Gymkhana, the stellar style and creativity of the show, the tasteful choreography to the kaleidoscopic burst of fireworks at the very end, the two hour show did not disappoint for even a second.

The elements came together, proving that a combination of all the right details can make or break a show. At this show, the biggest nod would go to Nabila, as her creative direction brought everything together subliminally. The styling of all fashion segments was impeccable, as was the flamboyance of the performers.

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I won’t put up pictures of the collections until the official images come in (because I didn’t manage to get great pictures) but it has to be said that all of them were impressive. Bunto Kazmi’s works of art – her hand embroidered shawls – were of course priceless. Equally stunning was Umar Sayeed’s finale of gorgeous bridal couture pieces. Perhaps not quite priceless, but surely worth a king’s ransom. FnkAsia delivered a sincere, true to Sindh collection in colour and craft and Zaheer Abbas took his oath of allegiance very seriously in working with contemporary designs for ajrak. Was it a bit OTT? Sure, but it worked in the grand scheme of things. Nauman Arfeen’s offerings were conservative and of course, last but not least, Amir Adnan’s capsule of classic sherwanis was sophisticated, made entertaining by the smattering of celebrity sightings. Amin Gulgee, Roger Bayat and Shehryar Taseer were notable amongst others while Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, seated in the front row, was also sporting the brand.

Nabila’s expertise was apparent in the sheer brilliance of the styling – not a face looked bad, nor did a body looked awkward and neither did a style look out of place. Noteworthy was the unibrow, created apparently by lace cut-outs, that give the FnkAsia show creative edge. Nabila’s never afraid to experiment and thankfully, she’s one of the few stylists who can get it right.

A big nod to Omar Rahim, who choreographed the entire show. It was all very fluid except for the Hawaiian moves of the fire-breather, who I thought belonged more to a Zulu tribe of Africa. Omar assured me that this is what dancers in interior Sindh look like (in grass skirts?). I’m not entirely convinced but okay Omar, I’ll take your word for it.

How can an appraisal of the evening end without a mention of Tehmina Khalid, and her tireless PR machinery, that took such good care of the (very difficult to please) media booth? Would now be a good time to slip in a request for a cup of tea tomorrow?

And speaking of tomorrow, there should ideally not have been one. One day of celebrating fashion was enough, especially since it started and ended on such a high note and tomorrow apparently will offer nothing new in terms of showtime. Yes, there will be different designers but honestly, I didn’t go to judge fashion but to celebrate it. And I did. That said, the promise of Sana Safinaz, Sonya Battla, Faiza Samee and Nomi Ansari is enough to bring me back.

Like I said, it’s a very big bubble – that this grand Fashion Festival is – but maybe it’ll deliver us a fairy god mother (god brother?) who’ll help save the land and it’s rich culture.

The Haute Team