Thursday, February 29, 2024

PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week Report – PSFW Part 1

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The beautiful intricacy of Elan’s Ode To A Nightingale Collection
PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week (PSFW) is finally over and what a marathon extravaganza it was. Anyone who chose to watch all the shows – nearly 50 shows in four days – would probably be comatose by now. Even those of us who sensibly limited ourselves to the luxury pret, ignoring the lawn and high street brands, have had a grueling four days. Watching that many shows was tough enough – kudos to the poor models who actually did all the work.
I had originally intended to do one big blog post about the whole event but with so many designers showing it makes more sense to split my coverage into two and give the collections I liked a more detailed review.
Shehla Chatoor wows with Renaissance Prints
 The first two days showcased several star designers and contained both fashion highs and lows. They also demonstrated that classic conundrum of the Pakistani fashion scene – the Lahore/Karachi divide. There was a massive difference between the way both press and public from the two cities reacted to collections. This was borne out at the venue, on twitter and in the subsequent press reporting both in print and online.
Part of this was due to a significantly different aesthetic in the two cities. Karachi-ites see themselves as more sophisticated and Lahoris as garish. Conversely Lahoris view Karachi-ites as bland and prefer their fashion to make a bold statement. In actual fact there is room in the fashion world for both the subtle and the flamboyant. When done well, both can be sublime.
What was irritating and unacceptable was the partisanship shown. How can one designer be deemed to have over-the-top embellishment when the same reporter lavishes praise on a much more elaborate collection? There are certainly senior journalists like Muniba Kamal and Aamna Haider Isani  (among others) who can be counted on to give an informed and impartial opinion. I’ll try to emulate their example rather than that of the many who allow their loyalties to cloud their judgement. Also I did live in Lahore for 5 years, which is almost as long as I’ve lived in Karachi so maybe I can avoid the city politics.
So back to the fashion! There was plenty to love on the first two days of PSFW. In no particular order here are some of my favourites:-
Delicate Prints by Elan
Elan’s opulent embroidery
Elan’s Ode to a Nightingale collection was an opulent oriental-themed collection. A friend may have quipped that they are tired of Chinoiserie but Khadija Shah’s unique take was attractive and imaginative. I wasn’t a fan of her one-print pant/top combinations but some of her silhouettes were excellent and the overall impression was one of grace and luxury. My first Elan show and I have to say I can understand why so many people love Khadijah Shah. I’m definitely a convert.
Shehla’s prints were exceptional
Elegant draping & accessories by Shehla

Shehla’s Soigne collection was very true to Shehla’s sense of style and included sexy gowns, elegant draping and gorgeous gold accessories. It showcased her Versace-esque approach to fashion and used some exceptional digital prints to great effect. Shehla was one of the first to start producing in-house branded accessories and these perfectly complemented her collection. From the gladiator shoes to logo stamped necklaces, the attention to detail was marked.

Sublime by Sara – A nod to Freida?
Sublime by Sara Shahid showed a workman-like, solid collection called Now. It displayed versatility and skill, with Sara’s own take on many trends including high-waisted pants, stripes and fluorescent colours. A few pieces showed an echo of Sania Maskatiya’s Naqsh collection, particularly in terms of silhouette, while a striped jumpsuit with colourful florals seemed to be a nod to Deepak Perwani’s Frieda. Nevertheless it was an intensely wearable, bang on-trend collection with a strong sense of Sublime’s easy chic.
Misha’s subtle charm
Misha Lakhani produced a sophisticated elegant collection that had an easy charm to it. Her silhouettes were attractive and artistic. She does however need to work on her ramp presentation. The collection lacked the necessary styling and drama to make an impression on the ramp, particularly in the face of such stiff competition.
Tapu Javeri’s gorgeous prints from his photographs deserve a mention. The prints had been worked into bags and scarves while four designers had put together capsule collections using the prints. The clothes by Adnan Pardesy, Rizwan Beyg, Wardha Saleem and Sadaf Malaterre showed off some vibrant fascinating prints that were truly Tapulicious.
This reversible jacket by Sania Maskatiya is high on my wishlist
Sania’s version of the “Lacha” skirt

Sania Maskatiya is undoubtedly the queen of retail luxury pret – a trend setter and game changer. With Aghaaz she gave us her version of a “resort” collection rather than the pret-focused Naqsh. Being Sania however this was resort-wear that sits comfortably with Eastern sensibilities rather than the very revealing outfits that some chose to show. This doesn’t mean that Sania played safe – these clothes were not the versions of her prints that average clients will be clamouring to buy. It was modern creative Eastern pret. Her peep shoulder tops and reversible jackets were wearable yet sassy.  She continued with her theme from FPW of statement pants and shorter hemlines. Her modern version of the long pleated “Lacha”, a skirt from rural Punjab, will find its way into many wardrobes. The styling of her was much better than at FPW thanks to consultations with top stylist Maha Burney. All in all a strong showing from a gifted young designer.

Barcode print by Feeha
Feeha Jamshed is another talent young designer who managed to impress. Her all black and white collection showed great range and creativity. The collection could easily have turned into a sea of black and white but the variety she displayed turned into a cohesive collection with great impact.
Fahad Hussayn – virtually a triumph of styling over substance
 Fahad Hussayn’s show was dramatic with his bizarre bird hats almost eclipsing what was actually a very creative collection. He used whites, golds and prints in an avante-garde collection packed with interest. The styling may have masked the collection’s lack of a strong insignia but it also detracted from beauty of some of clothes themselves. It was however a very entertaining show.
Is it a bird? Is it plane? Or a rather interesting Fahad gown?
Black & White, AFH Style
AFH’s easy elegance
   
Ayesha Farook Hashwani was another designer who knows what she does best. Her flowing silhouettes were alluring and glamorous and she used shaded monochromatic fabrics to great effect. However her embellished pants looked a little contrived and I would have liked the collection to make a stronger statement as a whole.
I’m afraid that for me the rest are simply also-rans. There were sparks of real originality and often the effort that had gone into collections was palpable but in this field you had to be at the top of your game to make an impression.
You may also like

PSFW 2013 Report Part 2, PSFW 2013 Round-up ,PFDC L’Oreal Bridal Fashion Week (PLBW)2013 Day 1, PLBW Day 2, PLBW Day 3, PLBW Round-up

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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6 COMMENTS

  1. Loved the blog and the analysis.

    As a huge Sublime and Sania fan, my only feedback would be in your collection comparison between Sublime and Sania. I don’t think its fair to conclude that Sublime echoed Sania in silhouette or in any form as Sublime has been designing for over 10 years as these silhouettes show at fashion week are quintessentially Sublime [ive just been through all her Fb pictures as well which date back to the 2000’s to make sure am not wrong :p] – have been following her since the sub culture days and have been a buyer since then. Also i had the honour of previewing parts of her collection before FPW started and deepak’s collection was shown so don’t think it could have been a nod to Deepak – both Deepak and Sara such mature designers with completely different aesthetics and live in different cities so both are probably original in their own right.

    Thanks for hearing me out – my own little fashion analysis 🙂

    • Thanks for your feedback Sameen – not having had a preview my opinion was based purely on the show. Would like to clarify that am in general a huge fan of Sublime and love wearing the label. And yes designers do come up with similar plays on a trend which is something I also noted this fashion week.

  2. cool! Glad we are on the same page! do review some of Sublime’s past work to see what i mean about the Sublime silhouette 🙂

  3. Having attended fashion weeks in Karachi and Lahore, i am a bit confused on your comparison regarding the Sublime collection. Sara’s design aesthetic shout minimalism with the focus being more on cuts rather than prints. Deepak and Sania collections were a lot more prints than cuts. Never the less, i feel its unjust to compare three should be compared with each other! Maybe live stream and being there makes a difference! 😉

    • I actually though Sara was being rather clever, putting her own spin on current trends and doing a collection called NOW that included pieces that echoed what others were putting out. The SUBLIME collection did not contain any copies just a suggestion of what some others had done. If she wasn’t be witty then I guess that very different designers can independently interpret trends in a similar way.

  4. Agreed about the stereotyping regarding the two cities’ aesthetics! Although, senior journalists can sometimes be the spark for this sort of general stereotyping and animosity. I mean, Karachi has Shehla Chatoor, Deepak Perwani et al. and those brands are hardly subtle in their design aesthetic. Conversely, Lahore has brands like Sublime which are much simpler in their design aesthetic. So, you can’t really pin one label on Lahori fashion or Karachi fashion – the diversity is wonderful! There’s a reason why Lahore labels like Elan are such sellouts at Labels Karachi and why Karachi labels like Feeha Jamshed and Sana Safinaz are so appreciated at PFDC’s store – people DO have different tastes! Our fashion industry is still stuck in the rivalries that exemplified the outset of this fashion week business – TIME TO MOVE ON!

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