Fashion Week Pakistan 2013 – FPW 5 – Fashion Overload


Deepak Perwani with his brilliant “Frieda goes to Kharadar” collection at FPW 2013
Last week Fashion Week hit Karachi. With 25 designers in two days, Pakistan Fashion Council’s fifth Fashion Pakistan Week (FPW) was a whirlwind.

Sana Safinaz’s accessories were as eye-catching as their outfits

It had all the elements of the best fashion weeks: the red carpet glamour, the high-strung designers, the PR bandwagon, the rumours and dramas and the flights of fashion brilliance. Unfortunately it also had far too many also-rans, horribly late-running shows and conspicuous absentees from amongst fashion’s glitterati.

The Wall Street journal with a picture of a model backstage in Maheen Karim

That said, kudos to the Pakistan Fashion Council for going ahead with the event after having had to delay it because of the unsettled situation in Karachi.  Of course this created problems. Unavailability of dates at the preferred venue meant that a three-day schedule had to be squeezed into a marathon two days. Also FPW ended up being numbingly close to Bridal Couture Week and PFDC’s Fashion Week in Lahore. Still, it was wonderful to see Karachi in the news for a positive reason. Pictures of FPW have been picked up the Wall Street Journal and other international news sites, which is marvellous as Pakistan needs all the positive publicity it can get.

What wasn’t so great was the number of mediocre collections. While FPW specifically aims to promote aspiring fashion talent along with senior designers, the editing process needs to be stronger. If a designer is not up to scratch their collections should not make it to the ramp. By all means, mentor young talent but don’t promote mediocrity. It tarnishes everything else being shown and damages the credibility of FPW as a whole.

Model Nadia Hussain in Shamaeel Ansari’s ethereal Orient collection


It does however seem a little churlish to crib when some of the founding members of Fashion Pakistan Council produced such stellar collections for FPW.  Chairperson Shamaeel Ansari‘s Orient collection was simply to-die-for. Deliciously detailed, subtle yet striking the pieces were nothing less than works of art.
A gorgeous Deepak Perwani sari

Deepak Perwani‘s playful, brilliant, colourful collection, “Frieda goes to Kharadar” was exceptional from concept to execution.  

The way he styled the models as transvestites, with joining eyebrows and bright red lipstick to mirror his digital prints was inspired and one of my favourite moments of FPW.


Models showcasing Maheen Khan’s “Flight” collection based on endangered birds
Maheen Khan’s Flight collection was a typically flawless interpretation of an inspired theme. From the Phillip Treacy-esque headgear to the feathery prints the collection gelled in a way that few other designers can hope to match. The silhouettes were fabulously wearable, a feat that few managed to marry with high fashion.
Farishteh Aslam, Maheen Khan, Aamna Haider Isani and Frieha Altaf
St. Tropez, Sana Safinaz style.  The second model sports the same necklance that Aamna Haider Isani wore


Sana Safinaz have been creating a buzz for weeks with the opening of their proposed retail outlets. Many wondered if the lovely little number on Frieha Altaf above would be available at their stores. That remains to be seen but the fab necklace sported by Aamna Haider Isani featured in their collection and will definitely be available in-store. Oh and by the way, it seems the first store will open on 24th April. Get ready for a stampede.

As for Sana Safinaz’s actual collection, it was a finely judged juxtaposition of boho chic and western evening glamour. The accessories were highlighted quite as much as the clothes themselves, and it does appear that the retail stores could be Pakistan’s answer to Topshop.
Sania Maskatiya may be a relative newcomer on the fashion scene but she certainly ranks among Pakistani fashion royalty. She received the dubious honor of another designer being “inspired” by one of her previous collections. If any other proof was needed of Sania being one of the driving forces of the industry, this was it.

Sania Maskatiya’s tapered silk pants were immediately on everyone’s wishlist
Her own eagerly awaited collection Naqsh was young, fresh and assured. Her tapered printed pants are set to become a wardrobe staple. The digital prints were intricate and inspired while her sweeping change of silhouette is bound to inspire many.
Nauman Arfeen’s beautifully styled “Sands of Time” collection

There was much more to love about FPW. Amongst the menswear, one of my favourites with Nauman Arfeen . His well-conceived, cohesive collection was crisply tailored and very attractive.

Arsalan & Yaseer Kashmiri Jacket
A Bottega-weave jacket by Arsalan & Yaseer


I also adored Arsalan and Yahseer’s collection, which was quite as sharply tailored and similarly strong. Their Kashmiri embroidered jackets were gorgeous. Menswear they may have been but I instantly wanted one.
Fashion Pakistan Council is working hard to promote new talent, to create synergies between industry and designers such as the partnership between Adnan Pardesy and Kayseria which produced a fun, trendy collection. Similarly Jafferjees collaborated with the talented Warda Saleem to produce outfits to show off their accessories.
Kayseria’s bright summery collection


Warda Saleems’s subtle chic for Jafferjees

Gul Ahmed showcasing their lawn also produced a surprisingly good segment with funky fashionable cuts. They showed that perhaps lawn does have a place on the catwalk.

Gul Ahmed used volume to showcase their pretty prints


There were also flashes of brilliance among the newer designers, particularly Aamna Aqeel, Ayesha Hasan and Zari Faisal.

Eye-catching designs from some of fashion’s bright young designers.
There was no one newcomer, however, who excited in the way that brilliant previous FPW debutants like Misha Lakhani did. Similarly, there were many that were missed on the catwalk. I would have loved to see Layla Chatoor , Sanam Agha, Sonya Battla, Shehla Chatoor and Maheen Karim showing at FPW.
Amna Kardar in Shehla Chatoor (including shoes!)


Young stars like Nida Azwer and Misha Lakhani would have added much to the event. Admittedly some of these designers are showing at PFDC Fashion Week very soon but the established designers section of FPW lacked depth. Hats off to Sana Safinaz and Sania Maskatiya who are somehow managing to do BOTH fashion weeks.
Overloaded and over-tiring it may have been, but FPW was a rocking start to a very busy month of fashion. The list of designers may have needed editing but amongst all the chaff FPW showcased some truly fabulous collections. It highlighted some great new trends and set fashion lovers busy overhauling their wardrobes. Kudos to Shamaeel Ansari and her great team.

All pics courtesy the fabulous Faisal Farooqui at Dragonfly (except those watermarked Karachista which are my own)
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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  1. Love this collection! STYLISH, GLAMOROUS & TRENDY…!!!
    Just loved your blog.You have captured everything so well. As beautifully you captured it, spectacularly you describe it…!!!
    Really nice…

  2. The collection was great and appreciable. And the designer Gul Ahmed, Sania Maskatiya and all of them they bring the unique and stylish collection. I really appreciate your hard work. Thanks for posting such beautiful post. keep me more updates.

    Pakistani fashion


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