I must say I was pleasantly surprised by what Zaheer Abbas put out. As I tweeted, there’s never been a doubt as to what he can drape and design but Zaheer Abbas often designs in a vacuum, with no link to retail in Pakistan. I mean, what’s the use of putting out beautiful clothes if you’re not impacting market trends. If you have the potential to design then push your designs into production and help influence trends. Back to the collection, it was easy on the eyes and impressive. There was an ethereal, Garden of Eden feel that made it almost heavenly. Now, will it stay in the heavens or will it come down to earth?
The very opposite of Zaheer Abbas’ inaccessibility is Gul Ahmed’s massive outreach; surprisingly the textile giant exchanged its usual love for colour and print in favour of summery whites. There were some simple, effective elements in the collection; it would be great if the voluminous white dhoti shalwar, for example, were made widely available through summer. Similarly, white lightweight silk/chiffon tunics with matte gold embellishment would work so well. It was the jarring, odd ones out that threw the collection of: a baby doll dress, an obsolete anarkali embellished in huge paisleys and the finale piece, which was cumbersome. Gul Ahmed still needs design balance but is at least making an effort in getting there.
It made no sense for Caanchi and Lugari to show at fashion week; it is a brand that stocks international brands in Pakistan. To have Caanchi and Lugari at fashion week is like sending Laraib to a film or music festival.
I don’t want to say anything about Abdul Samad without talking to the man, which I want to do today. Does he feel he can influence (normal) men to wear the outrageous costumes he showed? Does he design for fun, for providing some gimmickry to fashion week and most importantly, does he sell? Because if he can sell what he showed then perhaps there’s something that I am not seeing. I want to be fair.
What would a Fahad Hussayn video be without a disturbing artistic Maram Aabroo video, some disturbance danger lurking in the shadows and dead birds or the entire birdcage in the hair? It wouldn’t be. And yet shining through the designer’s obsession with melancholic drama is beautiful craft. It may not have been new or innovative but Fahad Hussayn’s collection definitely was master-crafted and gorgeous to look at.
Photographs by Tapu Javeri
Hair and makeup by N Pro