It was billed as a night of glamour – a perfect marriage between fashion and indulgence, sponsored by Magnum. The Magnum Chocolate Party 2015 had all the ingredients of a fashion extravaganza, with collections by some of Pakistan’s most glamorous designers. In the manner of most commercial collaborations, the fashion itself failed to live up to the billing – although it was a memorable event.
With a sumptuous chocolate buffet by Amna Tauqeer and luxurious décor by Anisa Rashid, the party was a grand affair. The A-list crowd included actors, fashion leaders, models and designers, as well as the inevitable bloggers and media. It would have been nice to see more of Karachi’s social elite but it’s rare to hit that perfect balance between fashion, celebrity and society.
There were many inspired touches at the event. The designers arrived by boat, sailing past a floating installation that proclaimed “Magnum Party 15”. The “chocolate carpet” featured a selfie mirror that allowed you to take group selfies by stepping on a button. Obviously there was a Magnum Bar serving custom-made Magnums, both delicious and popular.
Fahad Hussayn designed typically extravagant fashion installation using Magnum sticks while Ali Xeeshan also contributed a flamboyant installation.
Amna Tauqeer surpassed herself with chocolate clutches, a chocolate dress and chocolate shoes as centerpieces to her buffet.
The main event of the evening was a fashion presentation featuring capsule collections by Shehla Chatoor, Maheen Karim, Republic by Omar Farooq, Elan by Khadijah Shah and Nomi Ansari.
The designers had a tough brief, being required to use chocolate tones, which are neither “in” this season nor particularly flattering in terms of eveningwear. That said, these are designers who are synonymous with glamour and are known for their eveningwear. Unfortunately, several collections were depressingly literal in their use of Magnum as inspiration and overall the collections failed to set the ramp alight.
Omar Farooq’s Republic was doubly disappointing because the casual looks he showed failed to even suggest luxury or glamour.
Elan’s collection was notable for its construction and silhouettes. The Magnum-print lining was perhaps a step too far but the silhouettes were interesting.
Shehla Chatoor’s kitschy take featured embroidered Magnums, Magnum clutches and Magnum prints. The eventual effect was overkill although many elements of the collection had plenty of merit.
Maheen Karim’s capsule lacked cohesion despite some gorgeous pieces. The collection was particularly let down by unflattering, ill-fitted wide-legged pants on one of the outfits.
Nomi Ansari’s was perhaps the best collection of the night, with both variety and texture. Obviously inspired by Magnum, it nevertheless had a subtle approach that couldn’t fail to charm.
It’s always awkward trying to meld a party with a fashion show – people tend to go into “work mode” with networking being the order of the day rather than relaxing and letting their hair down. Magnum has had a long association with fashion weeks in Pakistan and perhaps it’s better for them to stick to sponsoring fashion that way. Magnum’s much vaunted chocolate party would have been better if the brand had decided to just throw a huge party with designers being sponsored to dress celebrities and A-listers. Stilted capsule collections do no favours to either designers or a brand.
As an idea, the Magnum chocolate party has real merit. It immediately conjures up visions of glamour and indulgence. In terms of decor and ambience, this party was a class act. From the charming HSY to the evergreen Zeba Bakhtiar, it was full of big personalities. It may not have been a great night for fashion on the ramp but there was plenty of style in the crowd.
Click here for a look at the night’s best dressed celebrities and all the “chocolate carpet” pictures from Magnum Chocolate Party 2015
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