The highlight of the evening was the baritone presence of Amjad Sabri and when he sang a few lines from “Bhar De Jholi” he brought the house down. Amjad Sabri was, in fact, the strongest element in the Shaan e Pakistan introductory press conference that took place at the Pearl Continental last evening. The fact that Sabri will inaugurate the Shaan e Pakistan gala on September 10 in Delhi with an evening titled ‘Ek Shaam Pakistan Ke Naam’ is very promising. What better way to introduce Pakistan to India (not that the two need an introduction) than through powerful qawalis! The second impressive act was Akhtar Chanal (featured in pic above) who performed his classic Balochi song and dance.
Any initiative that aims to bring peace to this volatile region, even via cultural bridges, is very welcome. And when Huma Nassr, designer at Braahti who lives between Delhi and Karachi, brought her ideas to the table, they resonated well. Any high-end event that brings Indian and Pakistani fashion together is a hit formula, as we have witnessed numerous times before with the successful Carnival de Couture. But the fashion revealed this evening lacked oomph. For one, so many of the 18 names on the list were unheard of, let alone being the BEST of Pakistan, as was claimed. Content is always the key word to the success of any fashion event and in those terms, Shaan e Pakistan was severely lacking. Secondly, not a single designer on the schedule turned up at the event. If any ‘designer’ not known to the press was there and went unnoticed then, well, that speaks for itself.
Missing: HSY, Umar Sayeed, Ali Xeeshan, Saira Shakira, Rema and even Arsalan Iqbal, Asifa and Nabeel, Rana Noman, Sahar Atif and Zainab Chhotani. The rest: unknown, though a label titled ‘Chai, Kaafee aur Siasat’ did pique the curiosity. Nadia Hussain was also listed and present but we’re unsure whether she’ll be there as model, designer, makeup artist or all of the above.
“Fashion and Food” we kept hearing the juxtaposition of both terms but unless it’s fashionable food or delicious fashion, the two don’t usually coexist. In this case it would have been interesting had Chef Zakir and Gulzar announced that they would be showstoppers for HSY (you never know) but for now they will be exposing Indian guests to their culinary skills in Delhi.
With Amjad Sabri in the house, music will undoubtedly be the strongest link in this three-day affair. As for the fashion quotient: it will be as good or bad as your average Bridal Couture Week (HUM is an active partner of Shaan e Pakistan), which means it will work well with the masses but will hardly contribute to exposing the best of Pakistani fashion to India. Let’s just hope that with Chefs Zakir and Gulzar on board, Shaan e Pakistan manages to leave a good taste in the mouth.
Scheduled to take place in Delhi between September 10 and 12, day 2 of Shaan e Pakistan will feature an exhibition of all the participating designers whereas day 3 will conclude with a runway show, it was announced. The runway show will also feature several Indian designers amongst whom Anju Modi is the most known.