3rd PFDC Fashion Week Day 2: All frill no thrill

Day two didn’t quite have the buzz of fashion week, but, the divinely decorated French vanilla Karma cupcakes in the front row and a spectacular Eden erected on stage made up for the dull environment.

While we pretend we didn’t even notice who or what Sarah Salman did, let’s at least acknowledge the live qawaali of Imran Aziz Mian that made the whole experience of watching a redundant Asifa and Nabeel collection more palatable.  Following are those who made it to our fashion desire list.

Karma: Girls just wanna have fun

Fantastical and magical with bubbles floating in the air and a make shift garden in bloom, Karma utilised the ramp to create the perfect childhood dream that brought Elizbeth Lawrence’s following quote to life: “There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colours are brighter, the air is softer, and the morning more fragrant as ever.” As a celebration of Maheen Kardar’s growth as a mother alongside the development of her brand Karma, the show began in the most endearing manner with socialite’s and fashionable mothers, and their little girls walking the ramp hand in hand with flowers in their hair and baskets with bouquets in their hands. In a show of fashion solidarity designers Maria B and Sara Shahid, models Natasha Hussain and Fia, shared the ramp with their little ones. The whole presentation was very sweet and nostalgic as models pranced, danced, kissed and hugged recreating the adage that ‘girls just wanna have fun.’

When the euphoria of the dream waned away, it was clear that Karma may have grown as a business with multiple extensions as Karma Red, Pink and Princess, but the design sense had remained stagnant. The clothes appeared mostly as Barbie’s costumes but then who doesn’t want to dress up like Barbie? From the fashion presentation standpoint Kardar had thrown in many pieces together that had to be deconstructed, according to one’s personal taste, and then each piece taken as a separate. Given the theme of the show however, the pairing worked.

Personal favourite:

Denim encrusted with crystal princess motifs and floral print pockets and the styling of the segment.


Trend alert:

Sequined flared bottoms in bright hues.


Asifa and Nabeel: Enough of shaadi wear at fashion week!

Asifa and Nabeel simply recreated what they sell: Clothes that women who aren’t terribly conscious about making a true fashion statement would wear at weddings just to fit in with the general trends of the floating hemlines and angharkhas. Theirs are clothes that don’t particularly belong on a fashion week ramp and should be reserved for showings at bridal events which is where their true market is.
Personal favourite:

None.
Trend alert:

None.

Akif Mehmood: Rustic cool

His inspirations may come from the underlings of society, but he’s definitely not one himself. Akif Mehmood (along with his compatriot, the maverick, Mohsin Ali), are set to rule the industry. If you have Hilary Alexander — fashion writer for The Telegraph, nodding perceptively, then you certainly have made it. While Mehmood’s debut Kalash collection flooded publications, his second offering shows equal promise of warming the most frigid of fashion critics. Creating a patchwork of indigenous fabrics and juxtaposing it with civilisation motifs and upholstery fabric, Mehmood  stayed true to his aesthetic of looking inward and creating pieces that are truly Pakistani. The general look of the collection in terms of the cuts and silhouettes was reminiscent of his previous work, but that’s just fine for a raw designer trying to gain a foothold in the industry.

Personal favourite:

The well structured coats both short and long, lined with desi patterned fabric, ensure the winters won’t be drab.

Trend Alert:

Pockets strategically used on the behind and front of coats; the use of upholstery fabric for skinny pants and coats.

Rizwanullah: Fashion and drama, two sides of the same coin

Rizwanullah exemplifies what it means to be ‘in fashion’, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should also be able to make good clothes. Always out to shock audiences with his personal style and grooming, Rizwanullah managed to deliver two interesting collections previously with henna embossed on garments and a monotone tribute to the urban violence of Karachi. With his third showcase of a unisex collection, he seemed a bit all over the place with what he wanted to put across. It was a haphazard show of grungy black short dresses and slashed tights along with a ‘ralli’ gharara and wedding wear derived from Sindhi dastarkhans and truck art motifs and embroidery which someone aptly commented as Deepak Perwani meets Gulabo.

Personal favourite:

The top with keys and other hardware dangling and the ‘ralli’ gharara.

Trend alert:

Using ‘ralli’ bed spreads to craft garments . The sindhi dastarkhan emblems foray into shaadi wear, particularly, for mehendi’s.

Republic: The gentlemen’s club

With impeccable taste, elegant tailoring and a pulse on international trends, Republic has consistently proven to be ‘the’ brand for the dandy in all men. Crisp, sleek and sophisticated, Republic encourages men to experiment, but knows exactly to what extent the average modern man is willing to extend his wings into the unchartered territory of personal styling. While the brand took risks with colours at its last showing, their autumn/winter 2011 collection, the looks were more restrained inspired from the 30s quiet grunge.

Personal favourite:

Animal skin bags and travel totes spell taste like none other when it comes to men.

Trend Alert:

Skinny leather pants; quilted jacket juxtaposed with fabric for a coat on coat look; leather bands on cuffs.

Sara Salman: An uninspiring recall to the vintage

Sarah Salman took us back to the 1940s and it was a memory that didn’t quite bring back any desire to revisit the past. With garments that were so passe with mirror work on white, the collection offered nothing new. The fact that the designer didn’t even walk onto ramp wearing her creation but let her daughters wear them was a perplexing statement in itself.
Personal favourite:

None.

Trend alert:

The cuffed churidaar.

Sadaf Malaterre: Trembling romance

Sadaf Malaterre went monotone after her previous rainbow showings which may have been a great thing since she was able to effectively demonstrate her skill of crafting a killer dress. Draped, sexy and feminine, each dress was an ode to the woman who needs no overt fashion statement to express her sensuality. And with gentle specks of crystals sprinkled along hemlines, Malaterre presented the perfect ethereal collection that personified the unique paradox of trembling fragility and personal strength of the cosmopolitan woman.

Personal favourite:

The toga-esque short dress that requires oodles of grace and elegance to pull off.

Trend Alert:

A sequined halter sneaking through a sheer, soft coloured full sleeved top.

Khaadi: Nothing khaas

You could be forgiven for thinking that Shamoon Sultan used his finale show mostly, and quite unfairly, as a launching pad for his lawn, while textile gurus like Al Karam and Gul Ahmed were given designated spots in the afternoon to showcase their lawns at the voile shows. This is not to say that he didn’t do a good job — he did. In his classic Khaadi boho-desi-chic styling. The initial pieces that took to the ramp continued the tradition of controlled and sophisticated bohemia and offered an array of 70s attire: jumpsuits, summer dresses, kaftans.


Personal favourite:

A belted rainbow top heavily embellished with hand embroidery ala Khaadi style.

Trend alert:

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