To quote designer/choreographer Hassan Shehryar Yasin who described the recent two-day endeavor titled Karachi Fashion Week — Men’s Fashion held at the DHA Golf Club Convention Centre on May 27-28 as “a tough undertaking”, he also mentioned in the same breath that “after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day”. He went on to laud the brave effort on behalf of the organisers, Triple E (Pvt) Ltd, as well as the designers who participated in the show, inadvertently projecting a courageous, new face of fashion in Pakistan that is not enamoured by the female form.
A total of 10 designers — emerging and established — showcased their collection, with the dream team of HSY for choreography of the ramp shows, N-Gents by Nabila as the stylists on both days, Yousuf Bashir Qureshi as the creative head and Hum 2 as the official media parther. The TDAP supported the event besides major sponsors and the ushers were from the Asian Institute of Fashion Design.
According to an official communication, the objective was to gain global support for menswear which is a major import of Pakistan as well as recognition for the local design talent, besides creating a separate entity for menswear fashion designers and brands.
Day One Yahseer’s collection titled Celebration! was about summer trends and ‘being the centre of attention’. In order to achieve this, the designer conceived a look that was fusion, featuring long and tail coats with colourful detailing and accessorised by headgear.
AIFD graduate Waleed Bilwani of Daniyal showed formal and casual shirts, kurtas, jackets and grooms’ sherwanis. The collection was sporty at times with some eco-friendly material that allows the wearer to breathe in the ongoing hot, humid summer.
Shahnameh started off with a strong Persian influence developing into Central Asian-inspired arts and crafts including Mongol/Mughal heritage.
Faisal and Shabnam of Shab’s Couture went to extremes both in terms of clothing as well as accessorising which worked for some but was a miss for others. Still the duo deserve a pat on the back for their risqué design sensibilities and drawing inspiration from the region’s Puktoon culture.
A heavy sports bike manufactured by one of the major sponsors of the event and on display within the lounge area, was revved up, driven in and perched at the far end of the ramp. It was a fitting way to commence the ramp presentation by Element Jeans which showed a collection of Pakistan’s prized denim wear by topless, buffed up and brawny models. The bike dismounted from the ramp and was driven off towards the end.
Day Two Emerging designer Vasim Asghar showed menswear comprising print kurtas with worked cuffs and embellishments before maturing into colourful western wear in his presentation titled Lahore to London. It was chockfull of youthful exuberance and an expression in colours.
Sameer Ali’s bold check prints, thick and pinstripes, block print kurtas and pastel shades such as English yellow and vibrant green scored with fashionistas and met with widespread approval from those in the audience. The showstopper in the segment was model/actress Sadaf Kanwal.
Bonanza exuded subtle elegance working towards a more youth-oriented image with customised, statement-making armbands that read ‘I Voted’. The collection was classic, contemporary and very wearable which is hallmark of the widely commercial brand. It also introduced Aijazz Aslam and Faysal, with the former also appearing as the showstopper.
Gul Ahmed’s ramp presentation was all about colourful kurtas worn over fetching two-tone churidars stylised by pin-broach Jinnah caps besides digital print kurtas, printed backs and formal and casual shirts.
Finally it was time for Hassan Shehryar Yasin to show his formal/groomwear kurtas and sherwanis in tones of golden/beige on black and vice versa. By way of Pakistani and Middle Eastern-inspiration in design with western influences in cuts, the Lahore-based couturier succeeded in sending forth a predominantly strong collection of outfits on the ramp to a visually striking presentation by the models and hip rave music — a befitting end to the two-day fashion gala only for men.
Choreography: HSY Hair & make-up stylist: N-Gents Creative Head: Yousuf Bashir Qureshi Media Partner: Hum 2 Event management: Sheharyar & Muneer