The month of March is now certified to be all about women, right from the International Women’s Day to the empowering Aurat March across Pakistan. And that jazba has affected fashion too. We recently saw Wardha Saleem design a collection called Aurat Raj (which incidentally got a fatwa or two from the bearded boy brigade, because, of course it did *eye roll*) and the same fever came through at fashion week yesterday.
Generation is a brand that does not shy away from making strong statements and as No Nonsense Nighat walked down the runway on the opening of Day 2, thumping her feet in sneakers and to the beats of ‘Aag’ by Talal Qureshi and Naseebo Laal, it drove the message of empowerment home. Once again. Filing a case for ethnic symbols that we tend to forget, the collection reclaimed the paranda and nathni, the shalwar and the do-patta. It was fiery and awesome to watch.
Yasmin Zaman followed that firecracker of a collection with her own assembly of solid styles for women who wished to wear their clothes and not the other way around. It was refreshingly simple, albeit a little safe in terms of silhouette. Just as gorgeous was the jewellery by Haya Lutfullah, that accompanied the collection. More of that please.
Bringing some menswear to the runway was Nauman Arfeen, with his specific brand of clothing. Featuring cotton and denim, the symbolic ‘owl’ was the symbol of his collection, pointing at the need of wisdom in this day and age. Nauman Arfeen certainly knows his cuts and finish, and he has started to foray into womenswear too, which made for a cool mix. We have been seeing a lot of denim for the last few years but this was welcome too.
Boheme by Kanwal is a brand that debuted at FPW and is now one of the most anticipated names on the platform. Kanwal appears to be a free spirit, inspired by tradition, craft and sufism and that reflects in her designs. I enjoyed the flair of the kurtas, kalidaars and ghararas as well as cotton saris. And a spin on empowerment came in with the relaxed silhouettes paired with equally fuss free footwear – khussas.
The two big surprises of the day came with textile giants Gul Ahmed and Alkaram, which raised their respective bars a notch by dabbling in trendy ready to wear. Gul Ahmed presented a collection which may not have been all avant garde, but certainly did provide a modern and smart spin on ready to wear. There was a lot of white, accompanied by pleating, beading and detailing that is popular these days. I especially enjoyed seeing the brand embrace silhouettes like the pant suit and the oversized sleeve.
Alkaram, I’d say under the supervision of Ather Hafeez, took the showcase a notch further and and veered towards being fashion forward. It was a collection that was youthful and sporty and very wearable for the woman who wasn’t necessarily a fan of lawn and unstitched fabric. The short and minis may have been added for runway appeal but the oversized sleeves, edgy tops, jackets and tunics were very impressive. It’ll be fun to see these clothes hit the stores.
Sania Maskatiya presented the finale of the day, with her New York Fashion Week collection, which was as smooth as it had appeared from a distance. She brought an Empire State of Mind to Karachi with these pieces that worked well in NY as well as Karachi. A trendy yet classic mix of black and white, craft and silhouette…altogether very chic, this was a collection made for the modern, global woman.
- Photography by Faisal Farooqui