With the second and final day of FPW Spring/Summer 2017 coming to an end, it also seemed that the halcyon days of the Fashion Pakistan Council were long over. Despite a strong effort by select senior couturiers to breathe air into the mummified remains of the show, FPW ended on a bitter note for anyone who has been a part of the ten-year journey.
Stomping down the ramp to the beats of Sindh’s own ‘Mor Tho Thilay Rana’ came models for Nida Azwer’s Khalarai collection in shades of white, the collection drew inspiration from the age-old Sindhi techniques of embroidery, such as Seesha Tanka, Moti Tanka and Heera Tanka. Whilst not only managing to keep the ethos of the capsule intact, Azwer’s second collection for this season’s FPW managed to keep its integrity at a show of otherwise forgettable ensembles.
Also part of the Textile and Sustainable Fashion segment was Inaaya by Naushaba Brohi and the collection definitely had promising moments. What it lacked was cohesion. Naushaba should show regularly to stay relevant.
It was no surprise that the other designers who shined were a part of British Council’s Fashion DNA, which already showcased the collections at London Fashion Week. However, seeing each collection up close and personal made us realize that not all of them had the same merit. Maheen Khan’s Gulabo, Mohsin Sayeed’s The Pink Tree Company, and Sonya Battla were the three impressive and aesthetically pleasing collections.
Lastly, despite the unbearably loud chatter of restless people in the audience, the only collection that made us stay in our seats was Amir Adnan’s. Keeping it minimalistic with hints of digital prints, the menswear –which in a lot of senses usually ends up being ignored in a plethora of colour splashes from womenswear, ended up being a highlight for the show. The veteran designer tapped into androgyny and designed a collection that was a gender bender.
Deepak Perwani’s Pure got the palette right. Could there be anything that says summer better than white and aqua? It was serene and cerebral but one wished for the kind of attitude that took Frida to Kharadar. That said, the menswear served the perfect balance, with all ensembles being almost perfect and proving that Perwani’s menswear still is gorgeous!
Lastly came Fashion Pakistan’s 10 year celebration. With the concept of ‘celebrating’ the council’s 10 years, it was rather shameful that couturiers chose to show old designs than to ideally make something new and unique. To be fair, some of them did appear fresh – like Maheen Khan and Shamaeel – but not entirely new.Yes, we were showered with ten years worth of confetti but the shimmer and shine could not take away the desperation in the situation. Most of the top couturiers that showed are designers who no longer show at FPW. And many of the council’s founding members like Rizwan Beyg and Faiza Samee were no where to be seen. It was a broken chain.
It’s a democracy, the council keeps saying, justifying its slow progress. Let’s just hope there is progress.
- Photography by Faisal Farooqui