Day 4 marked the Closing Day of PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week, November 2010, in Karachi. Day 4 was buzzing with fashion, music and high drama! The evening’s opening show was staged by Maria B., whose Fashion Week womenswear Prêt a Porter collection, “Tribal Militants” featured a diversity of fabrics such as pure cottons, khaddars, chiffons, denim, jute and silk along with knits. With an emphasis on prints, hints of culture, tribal bohemia and the sombre goth of military precision, a western silhouette was showcased. The collection drew inspiration from two of the constant forces at play in Pakistan, thus the tongue-in-cheek title of the collection, and hence was especially inspired by the Pakistani Army as they saved millions of their countrymen in the rural areas during the floods. Talking about her label the designer said “Internationally relevant and affordable fashion for the modern Pakistani woman.”
Maria B. is the largest manufacturer and retailer of women’s fashion in Pakistan. Her eponymous brand was launched with a vision to revolutionize women’s retail in the country and to create Pakistan’s first women’s fashion brand after her graduation from the prestigious Pakistan School of Fashion Design in 1998. Today, Maria B. has 11 outlets across the country and 5 brands under the label including: Mafia Casuals, Mgirl, Maria B. Evening, Maria B. Lawn and Maria B. Brides. In 1997 Maria won an international fashion competition held in Belgium by the name of “Les Etoiles de la Mode”. Here she was also named as one of the three upcoming designers in the world. Maria B. has always worked on an export oriented strategy, for which purpose her product lines have been displayed at fashion events across the world including in Chicago, U.S.A. (2001), Paris, France (Prêt-à-porter, 2001), New York, U.S.A. (2002), Bangkok, Thailand (Bangkok International Fashion Fair, 2002), Birmingham, U.K (South Asian Fashion Mela, 2002), Los Angeles, U.S.A. (2003), Washington D.C., U.S.A (2004), and Manchester, U.K (Asian Brides Show, 2004). Maria B.’s future plans look to double the existing workforce to meet production requirements for the new London outlet and export related production for the U.A.E. and U.K. Maria B. is currently available in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Faisalabad, New Delhi, Dubai and Manchester. The label showcased its womenswear Prêt-à-porter collection “Urban Rajistan” drawing inspiration from the state of Rajistan at the debut PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week in February 2010.
Act 1’s second show belonged to ‘TEEJAYS’ womenswear and menswear collection for Fashion Week, entitled “TEEJAYS EVOLUTION”, which was inspired by the forty years of fashion, from 1970 to 2010, at TEEJAYS – from the bohemian 70s, to the creation of military awami at TEEJAYS in the 80s and 90s and then into the 2000s where vintage was brought in with a twist, and recently, with the space age. The fabric used was mainly cotton with a hint of leather used as lowers and trimmings. Beginning with the 70s theme, the show was more flowy at the start leading into a structured look with details and finally, ending with a defined structure silhouette. Talking about her collection for the Fashion Week the designer said “Style makes man, man makes revolutionary fashion. The collection states the evolution of Teejay’s revolution.”
TEEJAYS was started in 1970 as a movement by Tanvir Jamshed in order to create affordable fashion for all – to break down the trend of obvious disparity in the way the nation dressed. Feeha Jamshed joined her father Tanvir’s movement and while her signature is similar to the TEEJAYS brand aesthetic, it is distinct in that she emphasizes specifically on the cut, simplicity and the style of her designs. TEEJAYS has in the past been a recipient of the prestigious Lux Style Award and the Indus Style Award for Lifetime Achievement. Tanvir Jamshed was awarded the Sitar-i-Imtiaz, the highest civilian award in Pakistan, owing to his contribution to fashion thus making him the only fashion designer or label to have ever received such an honour.
At the debut PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week in February 2010, fashion designer Feeha Jamshed showcased a Prêt-à-porter collection for her brand TEEJAYS, entitled ‘Diamond City’. The collection focused on womenswear along with pieces for men, inspired by Lahore, which the designer has interpreted as a city that is indeed a ‘diamond’ in every sense: culturally, historically, physiologically and politically. In this ode to Lahore, Feeha Jamshed’s emphasis lay in the cuts and cotton fabric, Pakistan’s national export.
The opening of Act 2 Day 4 was by designer Sadaf Malaterre with her womenswear Prêt-à-porter collection for Spring/Summer 2011 which was inspired from life, nature and color. The collection was a fine blend of silks and structured cuts combined with simplicity and embellishment enhancing the piece.
The Sadaf Malaterre brand epitomizes the results of experimentation with clothes and the ability to have fun with fashion. Boho chic by day and glamorous during evening soirees, Sadaf Malaterre’s fashion aesthetic captures an ingrained free spirited bohemianism. In a very short period of time, the label has become one of the most talked about designers in Pakistan. Indeed Sadaf Malaterre’s design philosophy focuses on a continuous tribute to the celebration of life. Sadaf Malaterre showcased her womenswear at the debut PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week, inspired by all that which surrounds her and more specifically, colour. Based in pure silks and satins, Sadaf’s collection was dedicated to the memory of acclaimed Pakistani artist and dear friend, the late Asim Butt who inspired the designer and constantly encouraged the designer to experiment with color.
Sadaf Malaterre was followed by designer Sobia Nazir with her collection for Fashion Week entitled ‘”Baroque”. This womenswear collection was inspired by the opulence of the baroque style prevalent in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Europe. To Sobia Nazir the word baroque can also simply mean something that is elaborate with many details and the highlight of this collection was the use of exquisite floral motifs displaying a distinctive ornamental style. In addition to being a collection of baroque style ornamental design, the fabrics used for the collection were rich, gilded fabrics like chiffons, brocade and velvets, cut in flowy drapery silhouettes and embellished with thread, gota and gold cuts. Talking about the talent in Pakistan the designer said “Global community has a completely different image. The image of a nation filled with terrorism and extremism. But there is a softer side of the country as well which never gets exposed and shown to the world. Country with story, strong culture and heritage. The quality we produce, our craftsmanship, we have drama, colour and embellishment. We have so much to show to the world..
Indeed Sobia Nazir in many ways pioneered the Islamabad fashion scene having started her career over a decade ago. To date, Sobia’s label has continued to grow organically securing both its national and international presence. With her current flagship outlet in Islamabad, Sobia has also showcased at the prestigious Dubai Fashion Week for four consecutive years and continues to participate in shows across the world. Her work has appeared on the cover pages of fashion publications including Harpers Bazaar, Libas, Asiana and Asian Woman among many others. In 2008, Sobia Nazir was honoured as ‘Best Pakistani Designer of the Year’ by the Asian Style Awards. The same year, she also launched her debut line of exclusive and elegant lawn fabric followed by her second launch for Spring/Summer 2009. Her latest lawn print collection was launched in March 2010.
Sobia Nazir’s Prêt-à-porter womenswear collection that was showcased at the debut PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week in February 2010 was entitled “Sequence of Bloom”; this was bohemian inspired with fresh colour combinations, dynamic prints and modern silhouettes. “Sequence of Bloom” was crafted with a diversity of fabrics, including French chiffons and crepe silks, with zardozi and crystal embellishment, appliqué, and thread work.
Following Sobia Nazir was Ammar Belal presenting his Fashion Week collection entitled “The Concrete Jungle”. The collection was menswear and womenswear both inspired by the skyscrapers of New York and Art deco architecture. Different fabrics in multiple shades of grey to symbolize the concrete feel of Manhattan’s skyline were used for the entire collection. For the pieces that incorporated men’s style tailoring techniques, silk blend wools in super high counts were used in pin stripes and checks. New embellishment materials were created by using actual tools used in construction processes such as stainless steel, plastic, bolts, catchers and wire. The $100 silk print in a brick design is a play on the “nations made on money” tagline and was used in accents throughout the collection. Grey distressed denim, along with stretch jersey was also used for the jeans line in the collection. Talking about the state of fashion at the moment the designer said “It is very important to have the drive and vision to continue in our businesses in a progressive way to bring forth a sense of stability and positive atmosphere, while keeping a sensitive approach to the unfortunate events taking place.”
Ammar Belal started his career in 2003 with his streetwear brand A.B.C.D and later his internationally acclaimed Couture jeans label AS Jeans. His progressive approach to showcasing fashion through music videos and films has earned him various awards, including Best Emerging Designer (Lux 2005), Best Menswear Designer (Indus 2006), Best Prêt Designer (Sunday 2008) and Best English Song (MTV/Indus 2006). The Ammar Belal label itself was launched in the summer of 2007 and prides itself on being the first luxury brand from Pakistan that adheres to the highest international standards of quality. It is the only Pakistani fashion house that outsources their manufacturing to Europe and is involved only at the design and marketing stages of its products. The Ammar Belal label has outlets in Lahore, Karachi and Faisalabad. Ammar Belal showcased his western wear collection “The King Of Pop”, inspired by Michael Jackson, at the debut PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week in February 2010.
Ammar Belal’s collection was followed by a thank you note by Chairperson of PFDC, Mrs. Sehyr Saigol and Chairperson of Unilever Pakistan Ehsan Malik, which also included comments by Alexandra Senes on her visit to Pakistan.
Act 3 – Finale
HSY’s (Hassan Sheheryar Yasin) collection was indeed the finale show at the second PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week. HSY brought to Karachi his menswear and womenswear Prêt-à-porter collection entitled “Metamorphosis”. This was inspired by the design house’s journey and represented a “coming into our own” of the label. A variety of pure fabrics were utilised in the collection where contemporary silhouettes were enhanced with crafts from across the regions of Pakistan. Renowned designer Deepak Perwani walked the ramp for HSY.