Lawn: The New Prêt

Ever notice how the demand for lawn suits increases synchronously with a rise in temperature? The arrival of the warm and budding season means the advent of a multitude of lawn exhibitions across the country.

Images on Sunday analyses lawn in the face of fashion, the countrywide month-long exhibitions held regularly every year at reputed hotels which result in a buying frenzy among the well-heeled and the middle-class female clientele, as well as a keen insight into the future prospects of this light summer fabric.

From being an ordinary three-piece suit to a fashion statement, lawn has come a long way. It has evolved with the passage of time and is gradually but surely taking over the fashion industry. From comfort and wearability to being best suited for the Spring/Summer season, lawn scores high in all categories.

Lawn is now the closest thing to prêt in Pakistan, as both established and upcoming designers have experimented with this medium and made it fashionable for the masses, achieving considerable success in the process. Textile mills have recently undertaken several collaborations with local fashion designers to launch their brand of lawn since they have fathomed a change in public demand over a period of time.

These collaborations are duly followed by large-scale marketing and massive exhibitions. As a result, Spring/Summer lawn presentations have gained much popularity with the public and wearing them has become the new style statement for the fashion-conscious lot. The average Pakistani woman now looks forward to these lawn exhibitions as the twin opportunity of attending a high-profile event and of buying designer lawn prints at reasonable, discounted prices.

Here’s a close look at the designers and international celebrities who have made their presence felt with their lawn collections this season while displaying at bigger, bolder exhibitions.

When we talk about gargantuan efforts to promote designer lawn, we can’t help but mention the gorgeous Kareena Kapoor splattered over billboards across the country and looking stunning in the Firdous Summer Lawn Collection 2010. Kareena Kapoor is the first Bollywood celebrity to endorse any Pakistani product.

Each year Firdous Textiles get prominent fashion designers or celebrities to endorse their garments. Surprisingly they chose Bollywood superstar and also the highest paid actress, Kareena Kapoor aka Bebo, as their brand ambassador for their lawn collection this season. A little birdie told us that Bebo reportedly charged a whooping PKR15 million for the photo shoot that was done in Dubai.

A vivid combination of quality fabric with strikingly beautiful prints, Bebo had this to say about the outfits she wore for the shoot: “I’m really impressed with the quality of designs which were presented to me.”

Similarly, it would be unfair not to mention another beauty staring down at us with her innocent eyes and angelic smile. Brazilian bombshell and model Giselle Monteiro got her Bollywood breakthrough with the blockbuster Love Aaj Kal. Adorning chic prints in soothing colours, she can now be seen modeling for Gul Ahmed’s lawn collection 2010 this sizzling summer, and for the second time round.

Veteran Pakistani fashion designer Sonia Battla launched her spring/summer collection with a bang. The spacious and pleasing interior of the venue displayed lawn prints stylised elaborately on mannequins and spread along the walls for a closer look.

Divided into three sections, Bold Prints is in shades of monochrome, Haute Graphics comprises sensuous digital prints and Style Fresh presents playful and exuberant prints in shades from a vast colour palette. Together, the lawn line captures the mood, personality and essence of the Pakistani woman —something the designer says she aimed to achieve with this exhibition.

Fashion model Zainab Qayyum jumped on the bandwagon to create her own signature collection titled Star ZQ, courtesy of Star Textile Mills. The vibrant prints are in three shades ranging from shades of blue and green to soft pinks and loud yellows to bright oranges.

Although ZQ has no formal training in textile design, her feminine sensibilities got the best of her as her designs appear fresh and contemporary. Catering to the average Pakistani woman, the prices are affordable. While showing her collection, the highlight each night was ZQ interacting with the ladies and signing the catalogues personally.

Lakhany Silk Mills collaborated with House of Zunn and Intimate Expressions to bring 10 and five outfits under each label, respectively. Lawn suits with chiffon dupattas incorporated abstract and floral designs with lace, sequin and embroidery to create a fine collection. Upon attending the exhibition, I found many ladies frustrated at being told which part of the embroidered fabric displayed on the mannequins will or will not be a part of the original lawn suits being sold at exaggerated prices.

Jofa Premium Lawn collection was launched with the help of three big names in the fashion industry: Iman Ali as the brand ambassador; Ather Shehzad for make-up and photography and Hassan Sheheryar Yasin for outfit styling. The venue was done up by Anisa Khan.

The jewellery-inspired line by Asim Jofa is a mix of fabric, colours and style, each complimenting the other. Using the fabric in unusual ways and with minimum embellishments, HSY’s inimitable designing of a three piece suit was praiseworthy.

Fashion designer Sobia Nazir showcased her lawn collection Fine Line inspired by fine art and life, the prints paired with chikan and chiffon appeared to be minimalistic in nature, yet trendy. More than the steep prices, it was distressing to see the setup and mismanagement at the exhibition. Sana Safinaz is synonymous to elegance and femininity.

The dynamic duo displayed their latest lawn collection in Karachi and simultaneously in Lahore courtesy Catalyst.

Retaining their particular style mantra, multi-hued floral prints, block prints and Aztec inspired prints on lawn, chiffon and Swiss voile illustrate a harmonious blend of a traditional yet modern look. Keeping in mind the latest fashion trends and summer color palette, Sana Safinaz have created a perfect collection.

No surprise then that the exhibition was a complete sellout. Al Karam also made their presence felt on the city’s billboard circuit by stylizing fashion model Nadia Hussain along the lines of Leonardo Da Vinci’s classic masterpiece, the Mona Lisa.

Needless to say that while Nadia cut a flawless figure, how positively it affected their lawn sales is not very clear. In the midst of all the uproar about lawn prints, one name that stands out is that of V Lawn.

After almost a decade of representing various textile mills for lawn prints, fashion model Vaneeza Ahmed stepped into the business herself. Vaneeza returned from Lahore and Islamabad on Tuesday and gave a sneak preview of her V Lawn Spring Summer 2010 exclusively to Images on Sunday.

In her fourth year of design creations, Vinnie’s passion to create something for women with her sense of style has taken her round the globe to draw inspiration.

From Japanese tattoos to African Zulu tribe, Chinese paintings and international trends, Vaneeza’s genius at designing lawn prints has raised the bar yet again. The V Lawn exhibition will be held at the Imperial in the coming week.

The future of lawn: The evolution of lawn in the world of fashion is predominantly visible, but let’s see what the future really holds for lawn prints.

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