PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week Report – Part 2 – A final word on PSFW

Ali Xeeshan invites you to vote with his collection JALSA

So to my final word on PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week (PSFW) – if you aren’t already tired of hearing about it. PSFW has already had quite a lot written about it (a fair amount of it on this blog) and that’s even before the Sunday sections of the major papers have covered it. It even got some international press in the UK’s Daily Telegraph, courtesy of Hilary Alexander a British journalist who became a minor celebrity and sort of mascot at PSFW. I loved the way she got into the spirit of PSFW, wearing local designers and looking at things from a fashion point of view instead of a political one. By all accounts she is also a lot of fun and garnered a lot of people’s affection.

Karma’s Gatsby girls having some fun

Hilary Alexander was one of the personalities of PSFW along with many of the faces of Pakistani fashion and high society but the event was not as exclusive as it might have been. PSFW was apparently horridly congested, especially on the last day, and it seems the crowd wasn’t all it could have been. (Note – this is not a reflection on Lahore; men in Karachi are just as bad if not worse) Bad manners ranged from the mild i.e ogling to the unforgivable i.e groping (eugh) but the funniest example of vulgarity related to give-aways.

A tweeted picture of give-aways by Elan and Sublime
You all know that designers at shows the world-over give goodie bags at Fashion Weeks. Our journos aren’t spoiled by the sort of luxury swag that VIPs at international events get, but giveaways have been getting more elaborate in recent years. This year they ranged from an Imran Khan scarf by Karma’s MK to a Leather Box and scarf by Shehla . The goodie-bags are usually only for those in the coveted front-row, or perhaps the front two rows of the press section. Apparently some of those who didn’t get one decided to help themselves. More than one person reported having a goodie-bag stolen. It could only have been people in the rows behind or nearby, which is actually quite funny when you think about it. It seems that some of the fashion/social crowd isn’t particularly well brought up. Any guilty consciences out there?
Layla Chatoor’s gorgeous all-white Finale
Comedy aside, PFDC put on a great show on a grand scale and, for the most part, succeeded. This sort of top-level show challenges designers to be at their best, which is great for creativity and fashion in general. With so many star designers from both Karachi and Lahore, we saw some phenomenal fashion, which will filter right down to small-scale designers and retail chains.
Glamour, Sana Safinaz-style
 Coming back to the clothes themselves, Day 3 and 4 were perhaps on balance better than the first two days – probably because more star designers were jammed into these final couple of days. Many of them did a wonderful job. Once again in no particular order, here are some of the highlights.
Phenomenal detailing by Layla Chatoor
Layla

 

 Layla Chatoor’s Ayesha collection was beautiful and intricate. She accessorized her outfits with luxurious clutches and belts. Her clothes were typically elaborate but with a sophisticated chic aesthetic. The  balance of the collection wasn’t perfect but she showed great versatility. Her finale consisted of some truly stunning evening gowns, which compared favourably with any at PSFW.

Originality from Wardha Saleem
This Sari by Wardha Saleem turned heads

Wardha Saleem’s Doodle collection was introduced by one of the most enjoyable and amusing videos of PSFW. Her collection showed a unique take on mixing black and white with colour. It was innovative, skilled and showcased Wardha’s versatility as a designer. Apart from that one panelled dress at the end it was a virtuouso display.

Maheen Karim takes a bow with her models

Maheen Karim’s “Paradis” was a confident collection that epitomized laid-back luxe chic. She stuck mainly to the jumpsuits and flowing gowns she does so well, adding interest with some psychedelic digital prints and glitzy ornamentation. It was a breezy rendition of her signature style that was harmonious and elegant.

Karma’s pearls galore
Art Deco Chic by Karma

Karma’s Gatsby collection was glitzy, skillful and awfully fun.It was one of the best styled and most cohesive shows of the week. The, roaring twenties inspiration flowed through the silhouettes, embroidery and accessories. The little silver 20’s caps the models wore were adorable while the cigarette holders, fringes and swinging pearls recalled the era perfectly. The mainly black and white palette was very Art Deco and refined. The brightly coloured outfits were less successful but overall it was a captivating though blingy collection.

Rizwan Beyg
Colourful Truck Art by Rizwan Beyg
Rizwan Beyg’s Ranggcollection was a masterful, classy take on Truck Art. Vivid, complex colourful truck art prints were used on everything from glorious thigh length boots to jackets. He used print monochromatic clothes in bright colours so showcase the colourful bags and shoes. However it was his truck art on white that stole the show. Used on jackets, skirts and accessories Rizwan’s signature white brought a new sophistication to truck art. Unfortunately the entire collection is going abroad but Rizwan confirms that he will be taking orders via Facebook soon. I’m going to be first in line.
Sensual Chic by Sana Safinaz
SanaSafinaz showstopper
Sana Safinaz’s show was a masterpiece of Luxury pret. It was one of the few that hit the right balance between cut and embellishment and simply oozed style. A continuation of the collection they showed at FPW, this collection was glitzier, more formal yet effortless. They continued with their themes of lime, black and white florals and but added some very pretty embroidered pants and a lot of oomph.
Faiza Samees hand-made prints

 

Relaxed Chic
Faiza Sameee
Faiza Sameeshowed a lovely laid back range of separates than was intensely wearable. Wide printed palazzos dominated paired with everything from slouchy sheer tops to jackets. The combination of black and white striped tops with palazzos did put me in mind of my pyjamas but it did look trendy. In general the collection had a young fresh vibe that is very different from Faiza Samee’s Couture.
Wearable pret by Khaadi Khas
Khaddi Khaas was another who showed a relaxed wearable line. I’m totally over flowy silhouettes for daywear but there were plenty of other attractive pieces in the collection that just screamed “buy me”.
HSY
I was expecting a lot from HSY’s Believe show based on past performance. The show itself I felt could have been tighter. The outfits themselves though were textbook HSY. Using a more fitted, shorter silhouette than many and a lovely pastel palette HSY showed a glamourous, sexy yet distinctly Eastern Collection. He is one of the designers that defines modern, sensual Pakistani wear at the more elaborate end of the pret spectrum. It looked spectacular yet somehow effortless – the hallmark of true excellence.
Ali Xeeshan’sinspired and pertinent Jalsacollection was gorgeous symphony of white on white. Using sheer fabrics, embroidery and clever embellishment Jalsa was a spectacular collection. It deserved a Finale spot rather than Maria B’s Sunshine on Day 1 which was rather disappointing. The show should perhaps have been toned down just a degree; this had everything from bubbles to umbrellas and was quite long. The clothes were remarkable enough to deserve more of the limelight. I loved the patriotic election theme though and Ali Xeeshan’s interpretation of it was beautiful.
Ali Xeeshan’s symphony of white on white was a visual treat
Moshin Ali
The emerging designers segment by Zong showcased six emerging designers and was a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly. What was great to see was the energy and willingness to take risks displayed by these fledgling designers. I should point out here that Nasreen Shaikh’s grand-daughter Mahgul’s debut was surrounded by the sort of hype and hoo-hah that you usually see when a scion of Bollywood “royalty” joins the film industry. It put a lot of pressure on both Mahgul and on the other designers in her segment. I did actually like her collection. I think Nasreen Shaikh is one of Lahore’s most under-rated designers and Mahgul definitley has that certain something about her clothes. It was a clever and artistic debut but she has a long way to go yet.
Mahgul impresses
Hamza Bukhari
Others I felt who showed promise were Hamza Bukhari and Mohsin Ali. It’s difficult to make a judgement based on so few outfits but I liked what I saw.
The other Mohsin Alicaught my eye for all the wrong reasons. This is someone known for his edginess and originality. The bulk of his collection was interesting but as for his finale – well words fail me. See for yourself.
Mohsin Ali for Nokia
Overall there was a great variety of talent on show over the four days. There were pieces in most collections that didn’t work and some truly shocking collections but on balance the good outweighed the bad. It would have been better if there had been slightly more on display that was relevant to the local market. We have some great designers who cut western wear very well and are talented and creative. That’s wonderful but we also need more of our top designers to push forward the barriers of modern, Eastern wear. It’s not a question of how revealing clothes are – HSY’s clothes are revealing and yet unapologetically Eastern. It’s always possible to alter ramp outfits to suit the sensibilities of customers, adding sleeves, leggings and the like. What was missing except in a few notable cases was the active effort to update Eastern pret. Apart from that PFDC’s Sunsilk Fashion Week was admirable – a feast of fashion. 

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All photos courtesy the fabulous Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Copyright 2015 Karachista. All rights reserved
Salima Feerasta
Salima Feerastahttps://karachista.com
Salima Feerasta is chief editor of Karachista.com and one of Pakistan's top fashion and lifestyle journalists.

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2 COMMENTS

    • Well it depends where you’re based – if you are in London, Manchester, Dubai, Toronto or any of the big cities in the US I know of retailers who can stock and source top Pakistani designers for you. There’s also Labels e-store and if all else fails, most designers will sell nowadays via their websites or Facebook pages.

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