Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) Sunsilk Fashion Week’s live streaming worked almost without a hitch, but what made the experience amazing was live tweeting from the venue. Lots of bloggers posted pictures of who was wearing what and also tweeted about the ambience. Most of the major players were tweeting in real-time during shows and this along, with private messages from close friends on-site, made virtual reporting a treat. The only thing I missed was trying out the Magnum bar and getting my hands on some of the goody bags.
PSFW was the most hyped fashion week of the year. Its stellar line up had fashion-lovers drooling and designers looking over their shoulders at the competition. Day 3, in particular, had Rizwan Beyg, SanaSafinaz, Layla Chatoor, Nida Azwer and Karma. Designers had to be on top of their game to make an impression.
Layla Chatoor , Karma. PHOTOS: SHIAFIQ MALIK/EXPRESS
So, the question is: did it live up to the hype? Not quite! There was a lot to love about PSFW; although there was marvelous fashion, a few major names disappointed and there was a glaring divide that was hard to ignore. There was a huge gap between two distinct interpretations of what luxury prêt should be. For one camp luxury prêt was all about experimenting with prints, cuts and silhouettes. There was embellishment, but it definitely took a back seat. For others, however, luxury prêt was all about embroidery and bling — that, too, lots of it. For the Pakistani market, as a whole, neither camp was wrong but it made reviewing PSFW an uphill task — a case of comparing apples to oranges.
There were also several standout collections. Rizwan Beyg’s collection was one of the most stylish renditions of truck art ever.
SanaSafinaz’s sensual sophisticated collection, with Balenciaga-inspired jackets and embellished pants, was a major hit. Karma’s Art Deco Gatsby collection was cohesive, blingy and beautiful. It was also one of the best-styled ramp shows.
Fahad Hussayn and Ali Xeeshan, however, were a triumph of styling over everyone else. I loved what I could see of the clothes but the dramatics eclipsed the clothes to a degree. HSY’s show strayed into this territory though his glamorous sexy yet unmistakably Eastern prêt was a treat.
Élan’s opulent Oriental collection and Shehla Chatoor’s alluring Soigné collection were detailed and masterful. Sania Maskatiya and Maheen Karim produced brilliant chic resort collections. Layla Chatoor’s Ayesha collection was intricate and attractive, while Feeha Jamshed took black and white to a new level. Misha Lakhani’s styling lacked the wow factor but the clothes themselves were gorgeous.
There were flashes of brilliance from many of the other designers, but often there was a lack of cohesion and editing in their collections. The ramp is an unforgiving platform — the best collections stay true to their inspiration while showing variety and flair.
Unlike others I didn’t have much complaint about the fact that most of the clothes were not wearable. Ramp wear doesn’t really need to be wearable — it’s about showcasing a designer’s vision, craft and creativity. While Khaadi Khaas and Faiza Samee showed very wearable collections, others will no doubt tone down their collections for customers. Maskatiya, for example, will surely produce kameezes from her Aghaaz collection that will appeal more to her core clientele than the peep-shoulder tops would.
However, one major complaint that I had during the four days of fashion week was the lack of time keeping. It was practically midnight before the evening came to a close — every night. It was exhausting even from the comfort of my own home. For models photographers and press on site however it was a grueling four-day marathon.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2013.
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