That the fashion proceedings had strong undercurrents of everything cultural was made all the more apparent by the performance by the 02 dance troupe choreographed by Omar Rahim that preceded the fashions of bridal couture icon Bunto Kazmi. Her classic shawls and panels were displayed over well-crafted monochrome black outfits made by The Pink Tree Company and complemented with jewellery by Amber Sami. Timeless chic was the overall look of the collection titled Embroidered Dreams that impressed both locals and foreigners alike.

Collections by Huma Amir Adnan of FnkAsia (Sindh Revisited) and Amir Adnan (Young Pakistan on the Road to Success) followed next. The former featured youthful looks with great use of beads and vibrant colours, and was a nice foil to the other, safer collections of the night. Amir Adnan’s collection featured star-studded showstoppers including artist Amin Gulgee, photographer Tapu Javeri, banker Roger Bayat, musician Emu and as a closer, Shehryar Taseer, son of the late Salmaan Taseer.

When the segment ended, Taseer — who organised the event with Ayesha Tammy Haq — stayed on to welcome the guests. “We first conceived the idea of this Sindh Festival 90 days ago and organised it in just 60 days. We have an 8,000-year-old heritage and a culture as incredible as Egypt. Even Rome we give a great run to,” he said. Taseer vowed that next year’s festival would be even better.

Bakhtawar Bhutto Zaradari then joined Taseer on stage where she charmed the crowd not only with her confidence and wit, but with her strong personality as well. They auctioned off a Zenith watch from Collectibles and then presented gifts to the Man of the Evening and Best Dressed Man.

Nauman Arfeen’s very safe monochrome collection followed, leading the way to Zaheer Abbas’ Ajrakistan. It was the most highly anticipated collections of the night and the designer did not disappoint: from the moment models came down the side steps wearing his well-tailored pieces with matching hats and accessories, piece after piece of the world-class capsule collection showcased how versatile and stunning the Sindhi ajrak print can be.

The fashion segment of the night closed with Umar Sayeed’s bridal and formal wear featuring Shehryar Munawwar and Zara Peerzada as showstoppers. The jewellery for this segment was by Feathers.

The dance performances by O2, musical performances by Fuzon and Sherry Reza were a fabulous fashion accent. A dance-music combo by Akhtar Channar Zahri and O2 at the end was a great way to close the night, particularly as it was complemented by fire eaters and fireworks.

As is the case with politics, law and order too often has the loudest voice of all in Pakistan, and so was the case with the Sindh Fashion Festival. Day Two of the fashion festival had to be postponed after an attack on a police bus left dozens of brave police officers either killed or seriously injured. Most of them were deployed at the SFF venues. The official communication added that the show will be held after 40 days, this time as a fundraiser for the victims’ families.

The event management was by Tehmina Khaled and Nabeel of Take II, Nabila Maqsood’s N-Pro and N Gents styled the models. Set design, construction, setup and backstage was by Production 021 and dance choreography was by Omar Rahim.

Also complementing the performances was the special Fashion Museum display featuring live models. It featured fashion by Shamaeel Ansari, Sania Maskatiya, Nida Azwer, Ismail Farid, FnkAsia, Mahin Hussain, Sofia Naveed Lari, Shamsha Hashwani, Aamina Mansoor, Adnan Pardesy, Wardha Saleem, Unbeatable, Pink Tree, Amir Adnan, EB, Shahnamay, Arsalan Iqbal as well as a collection of fashion photographs. The display was put together by Ehtesham Ansari with sets by Ahmed Jung of Reactivate and hair and make-up by Angie Marshall.

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