The collection was all about the prints, whether the icons (above), bugs and birds, flowers, fauna or the take on Generation X’s obsession with selfies. Fun? Yes. Funky? Yes. Wearable? Yes. Maheen Kardar offered several silhouettes to spend summer in, mostly western, which were the strong part of the ensemble because all those prints will probably diffuse into wearable tunics for stores. Slightly weak, however, was MK Nation’s take on tradition, which offered nothing new. As a Pakistani high street clothing brand, I did expect that to be stronger. That said, it’s needless to say that the sussi tunics and traditional wear is what will drive the sales.
To say that this love for florets needs to be nipped in the bus would be kind. As a demonstration of how to wear prints, this collection was all over the place and yet stuck in a place that one would rather forget. Designers and academics like Sahar Atif, who are an integral part of the industry and yet have failed to impress season after season, should accept that they may not have the chutzpah for the runway. It’s perfectly okay to sit back and enjoy commercial success without looking for fashion week glory.
The highlight of this show was Juggan Kazim and how gorgeous she looked despite what she was wearing. But this collection was not totally amiss. There were some rare (perhaps three) garments that one could have worked with: a white tunic, a juxtaposition of two prints formulated into a ghagra choli, and perhaps one shalwar (again worn by Juggan). Certainly not good enough for fashion week, which is a pity because this platform has the power to push trends and circulation and a strong lawn/high street show generates the numbers, which is where the power play begins. One would advise the people at Ittehad to collaborate with a seasoned/strong designer to add aesthetic balance to the commercial backbone that they obviously already have.
Photography: Faisal Farooqui and the team at Dragonfly