|Rizwan Beyg's famous take on truck art|
The Trade & Development Authority Pakistan’s fashion show is usually little more than a blip on the fashion calendar. It was always a little-regarded adjunct to the annual EXPO, conscripted to add a little glamour to the proceedings but with a patchy or second-rate lineup. This year things were a little different. Some of the biggest names in Pakistani fashion came together to show on the platform. While the exercise may not have resulted in many concrete sales, it was a great advertisement for the best of Pakistani fashion.
|Maheen Khan's boho chic|
The lineup was generally impressive including Maheen Khan, Rizwan Beyg, Sania Maskatiya, Sana Safinaz, Deepak Perwani, Faiza Samee, Tapu Javeri and PIFD students. There were also a couple of newbies and also-rans that left people wondering what the selection criteria for the show had been.
|Creativity from PIFD students|
The two-day event was a mish-mash of new and rehashed collections. While it’s always better to see something fresh on the ramp, the repeat collections from people like Rizwan Beyg and Deepak Perwani were perfect for this platform – all about showcasing Pakistani fashion to foreign visitors.
|Sana Safinaz's Monochrome collection|
Day 1 saw some strong collections by veterans, some kooky fashion from the students and a truly ‘meh’ collection by Zaheer Abbas. Here are some of the highlights.
|Sania Maskatiya's Hazan collection|
Sania Maskatiya’s Hazan collection was more western than usual but her silhouttes and vision were impressive. This talented young designer goes from strength to strength.
|Fazia Samee's prints popped|
Faiza Samee’s colourful contemporary play on prints was fusion desi chic at its best.
|Sana Safinaz's sophisticated collection|
Sana Safinaz showed their monochrome collection from the Veet Celebration of beauty. It was a welcome change from the bohemian folksy theme that a lot of the other designers had gone for. Elegant, sophisticated and effortless – this collection simply oozed glamour.
Farnaz Mustafa has quietly been making a name for herself among the social elite with her exquisite hand-worked outfits but she is new to this sort of platform. While there were some truly beautiful pieces the collection needed editing and cohesion and lacked a certain ramp polish.
|Rizwan Beyg wowed the foreign contingent|
Rizwan Beyg showed his spectacular PSFW truck art collection. Creative, gorgeous and stylish this collection was used on the billboards from TDAP and rightly so. Well worth a second look and one of the favourites of the foreign contingent.
|Tapu Javeri's fabulous prints|
Tapu Javeri also showed his PSFW collection of terrific printed accessories featuring prints based on photos of old Karachi. Wardha Saleem designed the clothing used to showcase the collection. Again, a wonderful advertisement for Pakistan.
|Zaheer Abbas - 'meh'|
Zaheer Abbas’s collection on the other hand was bland and confused. The less said the better.
|Maheen Khan's street style collection rocked|
Maheen Khan opened Day 2 with a fun, upbeat casual collection featuring cool printed T-shirts, tunics and funky harem pants. Colourful, modern and sassy the collection was a bubbly start to the evening.
|Deepak Perwani's Frieda clutches have been flying out of his outlets|
Deepak Perwani showed his FPW5 Frieda collection but he had tweaked it for this show. There was a new dogstooth print and some brilliantly cut monochrome dresses that toned down the quirkiness of the collection and put in firmly into a category aimed at foreign buyers. Smart thinking by Deepak.
|Umaima Mustafa showed some great detailing|
Umaima Mustafa’s debut collection had some truly stunning pieces. Her creativity and detailing were impressive but the collection badly needed editing. The inclusion of some jarring pieces let down the whole collection, which was a shame as Umaima clearly has talent.
Funk Asia on the other hand was a huge disappointment. There was simply too much fabric and the jangly belts and statement necklaces failed to lift the collection. Other designers showed much better examples of funky Asian wear.
|Fahad Hussayn's Palatial Kitsch|
Fahad Hussayn’s Palatial Kitsch collection contained some very strong pieces but a significant minority failed to hit the mark. Fahad is often guilty of letting his styling swamp his substance but this time his core content needed to be stronger.
|Boudoir chic by Ayesha Ibrahim didn't go down well|
Ayesha Ibrahim on the other hand showed perhaps the worst collection of the two-day event. Lingerie-like outfits that could only be labeled tacky boudoir chic and bad tailoring left viewers wondering about the selection process for the event.
|Ahmed Bham's menswear|
Ahmed Bham’s collection also left a lot to be desired. Unless he was going for a shiny suited, ironic message it really is hard to understand what he was thinking. These were not sophisticated tuxedos and suits – they were over-embellished, tight and somehow just a little “tailor in Saddar”.
|Shamaeel Ansari's elegant collection|
Shamaeel Ansari’s collection meanwhile was simply stellar. An entirely new collection for autumn it was chic, understated, elegant and classic Shamaeel.
|More kookiness from the PIFD students|
Overall Rabiya Javeri has done a good job putting together a showcase for Pakistani fashion despite the fact EXPO isn’t really about fashion – it’s about surgical instruments, carpets, fans and rice. The textile industry may be one of Pakistan’s export success stories but Pakistan’s fledgling fashion industry simply isn’t in the running yet. Fashion Pakistan Council chairperson Saman Chaudri revealed that the FPC lounge at EXPO 2013 did good business. However, the fashion industry is still not equipped to handle the sort of numbers required for export to mass markets. Pakistani fashion needs to focus on growing its footprint in regional markets where there is huge demand for our talented designers. Meanwhile ensuring our best designers show at TDAP helps to showcase the talent in the Pakistani fashion industry. TDAP may not result in sales but there are significant intangible benefits from raising awareness about the best of our fashion.