The latest edition of Fashion Pakistan Week’s Winter/Festive saw the Fashion Pakistan Council (FPC) stick to its familiar territory that is all too known to industry insiders. However, eager brands, a balanced color palette, and a list of celebrity showstoppers still made for some pretty interesting moments.
On its premiere day, the schedule stuck to the council’s tradition of mixing some of the industry veterans along with labels who provide it with the commercial value needed through bridal ensembles and party season garments. Thus, Day One comprised a mix of such designers, namely, Tena Durrani, Huma Adnan, Lajwanti, Zainab Chottani, Aamna Aqeel, The Pink Tree Company, and HSY.
Looking at the ever-growing need and spotlight on celebrity showstoppers and the lack of cutting edge silhouettes, the first day seemed to reveal that fashion weeks have failed to score on fresh ideas altogether. There are only so many embellished lehngas and over-layered ensembles one can admire after which it all just starts looking the same.
However, having said that, if there is something that we find unexpectedly refreshing it’s the innate and unashamed use of color, innovative textiles and edgy styling, of which there were a few examples.
Here’s the lowdown…
Tena Durrani – Rara Avis
Tena Durrani kicked off Day 1 with probably the most well crafted and put-together collection of the day. Her collection also brought back a winter staple textile, velvet, which is a favorite in festive and wedding attire. Yes, agreed that there was nothing cutting edge about it but the collection was dramatic, joyful and the color theme, that consisted of deep maroons and oranges mixed with shades of red, was the strongest of the day. It was particularly pleasing to see her use of gota and mirror work.
Huma Adnan – Tales of Dehradun
Titled Tales of Dehradun, Huma Adnan experimented with fusing her aesthetic with the imagery of the culturally-rich Indian city and its craft. However, the collection though strong in its concept, remained underwhelming. A lack of proper construction seemed like the problem, and one could only wish that it would have been a better put-together collection.
Lajwanti – Rivaaj
With the season focused on festive designs, it was not surprising that a number of labels paraded down heavy embellishments, loud colors in their bridal and party ensembles. However, in the midst of all these conventional and somewhat predictable choices came Lajwanti. A relatively old brand by Lahore’s standards, Lajwanti was quite a pleasant surprise. We were quite happy with this show and it was one of our favorites in the night too. Their use of earthy pastels and restrained shine was the perfect cleanser after a particularly heavy show and hence understated shimmer made its debut on the winter-festive ramp. The silhouettes are generic and classic in shades of soft pinks, golds, and pistachio green with paneled lehngas and geometric embossing that made the collection look carefully eclectic and would most definitely be a real hit this wedding season.
Zainab Chottani – Khwab
Working on her usual aesthetic, Khwab by Zainab Chottani was average, at best, given that she is usually a crowd favourite. The collection brought nothing new to the table in regards to its aesthetics and trends. We realized that the label is probably playing to its clientele but we could argue that in this day and age where labels are getting more and more competitive, it would work in her favour to explore the domain of a more innovative design template which we know she is easily capable of.
Aamna Aqeel – Dazzling Dames
The designer was one of the few that dabbed in innovative silhouettes. However, the palette and construction were subpar. The ensembles lacked the richness one expects from labels showcasing their festive collection. It was because the designer chose a minimalist view of what festive means for her label, she could have focused on her choice of textiles and its opulence so that her dames could have really dazzled.
The Pink Tree Company – Gulabi Gang
Inspired by the Gulaabi gang of India that rose up to fight violence against women, the show started with Sheema Kirmani, who beautifully articulated the power of the color pink and everything it stands for and why it should be celebrated. The Pink Tree Company delivered just that. Out walked beautiful women layered in decadent shades of pink and the brands signature gota work. Some of the previous brands can take note of the fact that suffocating embellishments are not necessary to show off bridal and party wear. Perhaps the designers could give a few classes on the smart editing of the motifs and color coordination.
HSY closed the day with their menswear collection, and while the show was energizing and uplifting– precisely what was needed to jolt us back into existence after a long and heavy day, there were issues in the overall cohesiveness. Although the menswear was impeccably tailored and the looks were crafted to perfection, the entire time we were looking for the festive where all we could find were just nicely styled looks. Nevertheless, HSY is always a champion with his menswear. Our favorites were the travel bags and leather gloves that gave us one of our favorite fashion moments of the season.