Fashion Pakistan Week Spring/Summer 2014 FPW 6 – The Lowdown

Fashion Pakistan Week 6 - Spring/Summer 2014 - Wardha Saleem
Wardha Saleem takes a bow

The best fashion weeks showcase a country’s top designers and their visions for the coming season. They present a platform for designers, buyers and the media to interact and attract sponsors. Did Fashion Pakistan Week 6 deliver? Almost.

Fashion Pakistan Week 6 - Spring/Summer 2014 -HSY
Nadia Hussain in HSY’s Venom collection

Fashion Pakistan Week 6 was slick and pretty well organized. With corporate sponsorship, a prize for emerging designers, timely press releases and strong communication between the front of house and backstage, there were many things that FPW 6 got right.

Fashion Pakistan Week 6 - Spring/Summer 2014 -  Deepak Perwani and HSY, joint showstoppers for Nauman Arfeen
Karachi & Lahore hand-in-hand: Deepak Perwani and HSY, joint showstoppers for Nauman Arfeen

The new board of Fashion Pakistan Council has not only worked well with the senior members of the council, they have attracted a strong contingent from Lahore, notably HSY. HSY is arguably the best in the country at choreographing and managing fashion shows but he is also a founding member of PFDC. The fact that FPC asked HSY to choreograph the shows, and his acceptance says much for the new atmosphere of camaraderie within Pakistani fashion.

Fashion Pakistan Week 6 - Spring/Summer 2014 - Shehla Chatoor
Shehla Chatoor showed a cocktail sari, dresses and a jumpsuit – and left the audience wanting more

Where FPW perhaps fell short was in showcasing enough full collections from top designers. Half the board members were only represented by capsule collections, either for Maybelline or Toni&Guy. While it was great that Maheen Karim, Sanam Chaudri and Sania Maskatiya did show something on the ramp, FPW missed full collections showing their Spring/Summer 2014 direction from these designers. The event needed established designers like Shehla Chatoor, Sara Shahid and Sadaf Malaterre to show more than a taste of what they are capable of.

Fashion Pakistan Week 6 - Spring/Summer 2014 - Maheen Karim
Maheen Karim for Toni&Guy
Fashion Pakistan Week 6 - Spring/Summer 2014 - Sanam Chaudri
Sanam Chaudri for Maybelline

That said, we saw great capsule collections from pretty much everyone.  Shehla Chatoor’s sexy, glitzy red carpet collection, Sadaf Malaterre’s fun, breezy dresses, Sania Maskatiya’s earthy ensembles were all fabulous teasers of what these designers are capable of.

Fashion Pakistan Week 6 - Spring/Summer 2014 - Nida Azwer
Nida Azwer’s all white collection was exceptional

There were plenty of brilliant full collections. HSY with his powerful Venom collection, Nida Azwer with her intricate, crisp white ensembles and Wardha Saleem impressed the most. Shamaeel Ansari’s Tughra collection was simply beautiful while debutante Inaaya made an impact with a Rilli collection that was creative and sophisticated.

Fashion Pakistan Week 6 - Spring/Summer 2014 - Inaaya
Debutante Inaaya was impressive

Tapu Javeri’s Tapulicious collection was one of the highlights of FPW. With capsule collections by Kami, Mohsin Ali and HSY, the collection featured prints designed exclusively for each designer.

Fashion Pakistan Week 6 - Spring/Summer 2014 - Tapu Javeri & Mohsin Ali
Psychedelic prints by Tapu Javeri, styled by Mohsin Ali

Fahad Hussayn showed some fabulous pieces including embroidered luxury pret, structured outfits and beautifully draped printed dresses. A little editing would have made a stronger impact but overall this was an excellent trousseau collection.

Fashion Pakistan Week 6 - Spring/Summer 2014 - Fahad Hussayn
Fahad Hussayn

Deepak Perwani’s elegant collection was a million miles from his equally brilliant Frieda collection – this was resort wear at its best. Adnan Pardesy’s gotta weave collection was innovative and sophisticated.

Fashion Pakistan Week 6 - Spring/Summer 2014 - Deepak Perwani
Deepak Perwani’s chic resort collection

Nauman Arfeen and Zainab Chottani showed solid, cohesive collections. Arfeen’s chocolate brown ethnic wear and Chottani’s vibrant embroideries paired with black and white were well executed. While neither set the ramp on fire, both showed technique and creativity.

Fashion Pakistan Week 6 - Spring/Summer 2014 - Nomi Ansari
Nomi Ansari’s show was lots of fun the collection as a whole had few highs

As for the rest, the collections were a mixed bag of hits and misses. Aamna Aqeel disappointed with a few exceptional pieces but an overall lack of cohesion. Nomi Ansari and Ali Xeeshan provided plenty of theatrics but precious little fashion.

Fashion Pakistan Week 6 - Spring/Summer 2014 - Ali Xeeshan
Ali Xeeshan’s theatrics overshadowed his fashion – as per usual

Faraz Manan’s resort collection flowed from pale rose to deep coral. It was perhaps a resort collection for a destination wedding with so much embroidery on display but it was an intricate collection that will probably sell well.

Fashion Pakistan Week 6 - Spring/Summer 2014 - Faraz Manan
Faraz Manan
Fashion Pakistan Week 6 - Spring/Summer 2014 - Mahin Hussain
Mahin Hussain’s bags had a great concept but the finishing on a couple of the pieces looked suspect.

Two brands showed accessories at FPW, high street brand Jafferjees and Mahin Hussain. While Mahin Hussain had a interesting, poetic concept her finishing didn’t match that of Jafferjees, who are possibly one of Pakistan’s most under-rated brands.

Fashion Pakistan Week 6 - Spring/Summer 2014 - Kayseria
Kayseria presented lawn in a refreshingly different way

While FPW did have its share of high street brands, this didn’t detract from the event as feared. The high street brands all understood that fashion weeks are not lawn launches. We were thankfully spared any parades of models in unimaginative lawn tents. Even brands that did show lawn, like Kayseria and Lala, made an attempt to treat the fabric differently. The ethnic, village girl concept may be a tired one but Kayseria’s styling of their lawn as crisp saris was an unusual take on the concept.

Fashion Pakistan Week 6 - Spring/Summer 2014 - Gulabo
Gulabo’s line was superb

Gulabo is high street in terms of price and availability but they invariably stray into the realms of high fashion on the ramp. Their map and cityscape prints in fabulous, slouchy silhouettes were exceptional.

Fashion Pakistan Week 6 - Spring/Summer 2014 - Sheep
Sheep’s collection was confused at best

Other high street brands opted to show evening wear, with varying degrees of success. Daaman was undoubtedly the star of the high street section, with a strong concept, chic outfits and modern silhouettes. Sheep was at the other end of the spectrum. Their eveningwear collection included some pretty outfits but many shockers. Gul Ahmed’s digital collection was elegant with its tapered pants, jumpsuits and printed jackets. The collection contained echoes of Shehla Chatoor and Sania Maskatiya but it’s great that brands like Gul Ahmed are bringing designer looks to the high street.

Fashion Pakistan Week 6 - Spring/Summer 2014 - Emerging designers
Military with a desi twist? A tired concept in the emerging designer category

Fashion Pakistan 6 also featured a segment for emerging designers, which showed some promise but also demonstrated why it’s important to have a selection process. It’s great that this fashion week featured none of the mediocrity that has made some previous FPWs painful. Well done to the new board for putting together a great fashion week.

First published in Karachista’s regular column in the Express Tribune on 23rd February 2014

More on fashion week coming up, including detailed reports of each day of FPW and extensive pictures of each collection. Watch this space!

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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