Last evening, Pakistan witnessed its very first virtual fashion show, featuring top brands from the industry and putting out a very strong message of inclusion and relevance, repurposing fashion at a time when fashion and clothes are the very last thing on peoplesâ€™ minds. Conceptualised by Frieha Altaf, this virtual fashion show, developed under the â€˜Catwalk Caresâ€™ banner, was a way of expressing solidarity with frontliners who have been fighting the deadly coronavirus pandemic that has crippled people and industries across the world; it simultaneously allowed a vivid expression of hope and happiness.
The 30-minute show, which was streamed on YouTube and Facebook on Har Pal Geo and Catwalk channels, was the first of a 3-day event that will feature 19 top names from Pakistanâ€™s fashion industry. Day 1 began with Khaadi and showcased capsule collections from Maheen Karim, Amir Adnan, Shameel, Huma Adnan and Nida Azwer. Chosen models were given online instructions by Nabila’s creative team on how to create their look, and personalized catwalks were created in either the model or the designerâ€™s home/office and filmed to be streamed.
The result was an effective amalgamation of a homogenous voice of support for those affected by COVID-19 plus a diverse aesthetic.
Tuning it to the brand’s signature look and feel, Khaadi opened the show with four exceptionally vibrant looks that could pass off as Bohemian fashion anywhere in the world.
Created in collaboration with Image Fabrics, Maheen Karim’s all-white capsule featured luxurious bolero tops, jodhpur trousers and a hybrid sari, that all reflected upon the designer’s glamorous aesthetic.
Classic and fuss-free, Amir Adnan’s vision for summer festive 2020 was designed on an extraordinary lilac and purple palette, with a streak of black and white thrown in for good measure.
The Light of Darkness
Tapping into her rich and opulent signature, Shameel put out a capsule of timeless ensembles, made relevant by handcrafted face masks. There was drama in herÂ luxurious gold and black palette, featuring a high-collared opera coat with slit kimono sleeves.
Huma Adnan created her capsule with Craft Stories as focal point. Now, more than ever, was perfect timing to bring attention to the work done by Afghan refugees, who have suffered more in the current situation of lockdown and limited job opportunities and means of livelihood.
In this 4-piece handcrafted capsule collection, by Pakistan’s acclaimed couturier Nida Azwer, was a presentation of separates, be it a delicately embellished jacket or a traditional kalidaar.
The virtual show was initially scheduled for the 3-day Eid holidays but was postponed because of the tragic crash of PK8303, in which the industryâ€™s top model Zara Abid also lost her life. An extremely touching tribute to Zara, against the backdrop of Stringsâ€™ â€˜Urr Jaoonâ€™ was given at the end of Day 1’s live stream and though somber and emotional, was a befitting end to an effort in making people connect with fashion.
Frieha Altaf, in her opening address, spoke about the importance of keeping the fashion industry alive and afloat and also about the significance of fashion being relevant in an extraordinarily bizarre time such as this. All designers who participated in Catwalk Cares also connected with frontliners and gifted Eid and festive outfits to them, hoping to bring a smile to their lives. While there will always be room for improvement in any debut production, this was a great effort that one would be delighted to see evolve and grow.
The Catwalk Cares virtual fashion show will continue today and tomorrow so watch this space for more. Until then, you can watch Day 1 here: