Fashion Gives Back – A grand charity trunk show kicks off the fashion segment of SindhFest

The iconic backdrop of the Mohatta Palace saw the start of the fashion segment of the Sindh Festival on Sunday 9th February. Shehrbano Taseer, editor of Sunday, and Rema Qureshi, who works for the UN, held a charity trunk show at the historic building. The influential duo collected donations from many of the best designers in Pakistan.

Mohatta Palace - Pakistani fashion charity trunk show for the Sindh Festival
A magnificent setting for Fashion Supports Conservation

Crowds gathered bright and early to snag A-list bargains. The organisers had put together a stellar line-up featuring Elan, Sania Maskatiya, Sana Safinaz, Sara Shahid, Ayesha Farook Hashwani and Shehla Chatoor among others. The list of participants read like a who’s who of Pakistani fashion including high-end designers, mid-level designers and high street brands.

shoppers at Mohatta Palace - Pakistani fashion charity trunk show for the Sindh Festival
Happy shoppers snag designer outfits at up to 70% off

Each designer had been asked to contribute 5 outfits and the organizers said that the response was phenomenal.

“We were completely over-whelmed by people’s generosity. Some brands sent as many as 15 outfits. We received everything from daywear and semi-formals to full-fledged Shaadi-wear.”

Mohatta Palace - Pakistani fashion charity trunk show for the Sindh Festival
Volunteers arrived bright and early to set up the event

Although some contributors had obviously used the opportunity to off-load dead stock, many of the outfits were from recent collections.  Luxury pret by Sania Maskatiya,  Menahel & Mehreen and Shamsha Hashwani was particularly popular. Nomi Ansari and Sana Safinaz donated beautiful formal outfits while Elan’s pret was some of the first to go.

Bargain hunting at Mohatta Palace - Pakistani fashion charity trunk show for the Sindh Festival
Bargain hunting

High-street brands had donated T-shirts and kurtas and there were some brilliant bargains in the kidswear section including Mothercare T-shirts. T-shirt Swag had designed some T-shirts specifically for this Sindh Festival event. The kooky shirts featured the SindhFest logo, ajraks and even an ajrak moustache.

Mohatta Palace - Pakistani fashion charity trunk show for the Sindh Festival
All set to go – racks and racks of designer clothes

Apart from clothes, the event featured jewellery, accessories, furniture, home décor, spa vouchers and baked goods. Damas had donated a diamond pendant and gold chain while Solitaire contributed a polki cuff. There was furniture by Yoca and Khaadi Home, as well as cushions, mirrors and other home accessories.

Karachi's elite flocked to the Pakistani fashion charity trunk show for the Sindh Festival
Karachi’s fashion lovers flocked to the event

The home décor section featured some of the hottest selling items such as art-inspired cushions by Cali, wonderful silverware by Carbon and even some original artwork by painters such as Usman Ali.
The food section was also very popular. Pane Amore, Fatemah Rawji, Marriot Bakery and others had put together a sumptuous spread of brownies, cupcakes, banana bread and other treats. Meanwhile Lals had set up a wonderful mini-café featuring quiches, scones, sandwiches and gelato.

Shehryar Taseer, Jawaid and Mahnaz Jooma
Shehryar Taseer, Jawaid and Mahnaz Jooma

This was a brilliant venue for an event of this nature. There was plenty of space to display everything and also enough room to introduce fun elements like a quirky photobooth. The stunning historic façade of the Mohatta Palace was the perfect backdrop for a sale raising funds to preserve Sindh heritage sites.

Visitors to the Pakistani fashion trunk show at Mohatta Palace for Sindhfest
Visitors enjoyed the atmosphere at Mohatta Palace on a bright spring day

The packed racks were a little chaotic since there were so many outfits from such a diverse range of designers. The outfits were initially colour-coded and arranged according to type. Even so, shoppers had to search for their favourite designers and bargain hunting was all about patience and luck. One of the shoppers, Marium commented,

“At first I thought that the clothes were an odd mish-mash but when I took the time to go through the racks properly I found some fantastic pieces. I bought a Body Focus pleated cotton top and a Nadia Ellahi digitally printed kurta as well as Shehla Chatoor clutch.”

Shehrbano Taseer and Bakhtawar Bhutto

With designer goodies at up to 60% off, the sale was a major hit with Karachi’s fashion lovers. Towards the end of the day prices were slashed further and latecomers snapped up some truly unbelievable deals.

Umair Tabani and a guest

This is the third time Taseer and Qureshi have put together this type of fashion charity sale. The first two were held in Lahore in 2010 and 2011 to raise funds for flood relief. Qureshi says,
“Fashion is one of the most successful industries in Pakistan and this sort of event is a great opportunity for the fashion fraternity to give back to the country.”

Getting into the spirit of SindhFest - The Sindh Festival 2013
Getting into the spirit of SindhFest

The event raised Rs2 million which will go to the Sindhu Heritage Fund, to be specifically earmarked for conservation projects at Mohenjodaro. Once the Board of Trustees approves a project, the organizers will inform all the donors exactly where the funds have been utilized. They did the same with the flood relief funds and this transparency is one of the reasons so many people are ready to donate to their events.

The fashion segment of the Sindh Festival continues later this week with a fashion show and a Fashion Museum showcase, which will feature work by a variety of designers and photographers.

First published in Karachista’s regular column for the Express Tribune on 12th February 2013

Copyright 2015 Karachista. All rights reserved
Salima Feerasta
Salima Feerasta
Salima Feerasta is chief editor of and one of Pakistan's top fashion and lifestyle journalists.

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