Oomph. Zing. The Wow Factor.
All that was missing in the collections shown at Day 1 of the Telenor Fashion Pakistan Week SS2015 but let’s not start on a negative note. There were positives of the evening that cannot be ignored.
How absolutely cool it was for fashion week to begin and end at a decent hour. At 10pm Mariam, Mehreen (my colleagues at Instep) and I were seated at the Noodle House, filing the daily story for Instep, which will be in print tomorrow morning. The fabulous timing made it possible for us to at least mention every collection and grab a meal after the show too. So proud of the council, Latitude and whoever it took to ensure this punctuality. I hope some of the discipline will rub off on the PFDC, which is infamous for burning our midnight oil.
So the footnotes at TFPW were all good. The vibe was good and the red carpet aura was young and fresh. The white runway looked fabulous and the front rows were smart. The footnotes were all good, but unfortunately the content was a little underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t unforgivably garish or ugly (at least most of it wasn’t) but it just wasn’t exciting enough. Predictable and forgettable is what I’d sum the day up as.
Sania Maskatiya, the strongest link
As flamboyant and colourful as ever, Sania tapped into a cheerful summer spirit with Khayat – The Tailor, dedicated to the master craftsmen that often stay behind the scenes. Splashes of colour, spools of colourful thread and new silhouettes created a kaleidoscope of prints that will undoubtedly be celebrated through the season. The silhouettes may have tethered towards safe had it not been for a couple of experimental shapes, the strangest being the high backs, which at times looked odd but in one or two instances were…kick ass!
Nida Azwer goes 3D
French Trellis came in shades of beige, grey and punches of black. What was interesting about this collection was the delicate layering and the three-dimensional textured effects. It was essentially luxury pret for summer, summer weddings included, and that is Nida’s forte. What I loved were the all time favourite capes and the one short, cropped bolero that was quite striking.
Sadaf Malaterre’s déjà vu
Sadaf Malaterre was strong on finish and sophistication; she does Boho chic so well. But again, from the crushed silhouettes to the tasseled dresses, from the palette to the delicate crystal sparkles, the collection was too predictable to excite. It made an impression in the absence of too many statements this evening. I bet that this collection would have impressed anyone seeing a Sadaf Malaterre show for the first time but for us, it was all too much déjà vu.
Madiha Raza must find her wings
I have been her biggest fan since this young textile graduate showed and won at the Millennial Show last year. She won a slot to show amongst the big names at this fashion week and the good thing is that she actually looked better than many veteran designers on the TFPW lineup. Her accessories had a winning streak and her colour palette was spring, summer and balanced. The intricate cut-outs that connected each outfit to the other were interesting elements. What the collection lacked, however, was structural finesse and innovation. It’s surprising because her last collection had it. Second showings are difficult, especially if one has to follow up a great collection so I can’t blame the young girl for getting overwhelmed. I only hope she can find her wings and fly higher with her ideas next season.
In retrospect, Day One looked like a flurry of nightwear. Aspired by a summery, Bohemian/Coachella spirit, I feel too many designers had indulged in long and breezy maxi dresses that turned out looking more like nightwear.
Lala Textiles put their summer fabrics on display. Fortunately they avoided the paneled kurtas that must now die out; unfortunately it is very difficult to make lawn look exciting.FnkAsia strangely ditched their strength – which is traditional craft – to show a white and solid colour palette. The stand out was the one jacket Nadia Ali wore at the very end. The rest, very forgettable.
The Bank Alfalah Rising Talent show was the toughest to judge because it was too much graduate collection costume and too little garment. The purpose of slotting these young designers in a mainstream fashion week is to show their potential in transitioning from student to professional designer. These students were clearly not ready. They did manage to showcase their craft but not their vision for garments.
That wraps up Day One. There is gossip from behind the scenes, the most buzz being around ‘A New Model’ who came with “big lips” (overheard) and a political parchi. Talking of political parchis, Ayyan, of course, was missed. People continued to fight over front row seats, the second row being a fate worse than Central Jail.