PFDC Swarovski Crystal Couturiers: The highs and lows

Published March 2, 2015
An outfit by HSY — Photo: Publicity
An outfit by HSY — Photo: Publicity

Every year, the Pakistan Fashion Design Council puts together two fashion weeks exhibiting voile, pret and luxury pret ranging all the way to bridals.

This year, they collaborated with Swarovski to present a Couture ‘Weekend’ for a good cause. Although the event was hardly a weekend, nonetheless, it was quite spectacular. Featuring eight designer capsule collections, the fashion show was accompanied by live music and a sit-down dinner.

The event began with a designer’s showcase and a word from Sehyr Saigol [the chairperson of PFDC] who mentioned that this night would become an annual event. She also invited Mr. Andrew Mojica from Swarovski to say a few words -- he spoke about how he saw massive potential in the Pakistani market and indicated Swarovski’s interest in establishing itself as the market leader in Pakistan.

Here's a low-down of what went on at PFDC Swarovski Crystal Couturiers 2015:

The cause:

PFDC Swarovski Crystal Couturiers 2015 was not just about fashion. The PSCC 2015 was held in collaboration with The Care Foundation for a good cause. The Foundation has been known for some substantial work in the field of education over a span of 25 years. As collaboration, PFDC has taken responsibility for the CDG High School Bado Ki Sani and CDG Girls High Sitara Colony, Lahore, to help provide quality education to more than 3000 girls. All the proceeds from the seats sold were donated to the Foundation to help schools grow.

The designers:

Nomi Ansari, Karma, Sublime by Sara, HSY, Fahad Hussayn, Elan, Saira Shakira and Libas by Sehyr Saigol exhibited capsule collections. Each designer was commissioned to use Swarovski crystals in their ensembles.

The fashion:

While the event was glamorous in all aspects, the fashion, however, seemed to have fallen short of glory.

Most designers regurgitated the same pieces as found in their previous collections and hardly anyone dared step out of their comfort zones, apart from Fahad Hussayn and one or two pieces by Saira Shakira and Élan.

Whether it was the sometimes-forced use of Swarovski crystals on the ensembles or the fact that two major fashion events i.e., PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week 2015 and Karachi Fashion Week 2015 are coming up – either way, the designs were not what we are accustomed to expecting out of such an event and fell short of the mark.

For most part, it was predictable. Most designers used the same silhouettes we've been seeing lately without experimenting much and couture is all about cuts if nothing else.

Elan, however, used Swarovski well, especially in this standout outfit:

The embellishments were not overdone and were adjusted with precision and thought to the color scheme.

Another outfit that boasted attention to detail was by Saira Shakira. This piece was exquisite in silhouette and had some incredible craftsmanship, working around the perfect level of Swarovski embellishment with complimenting colors.

Highlight of the day: Fahad Hussayn

Out of all the 8 designers who were showcasing at the event, Fahad Hussyan stood out the most. Fahad Hussayn, with his collection “Dominionatrix” stepped a bit out of his comfort zone while maintaining his integrity.

Usually, Fahad ends up doing collections that explore darker themes such as his collection Kaala Paani in one of PFDC’s previous editions featuring a volume of blacks and blues. This time Fahad worked with a lighter color palette using tones of beiges and pearl-whites. However, true to the Fahad Hussayn philosophy, all the models walking the ramp could be seen sporting exquisite headgear with eagles and feathers along with other embellishments. Fahad makes these headpieces with his own hands as a hobby. For example; the following outfit uses a lighter color palette considering what we are accustomed to. Floral patterns can be seen on the outfit that is as close to couture as could be seen at the event.

However, not all outfits were to die for. Such as the following.

This outfit was bordering luxury on pret and while it was not something we see by Fahad, it was nonetheless something that has been seen before.

Overall, the entire collection was well-edited, thematically sound and better than others that we saw.

The Venue:

PFDC deserves a standing ovation to be able to make everyone sit front row on this night. The seating was labelled with each individual name to control the amount of people at the event – a total of 250 guests only, which is a first for an event of this nature. Rows of four were assembled with two rows facing each other and a two-sided ramp in between. The dessert bar stood between the ramps.

Ensuring everyone as a front-rower at an event like this, in a place like Lahore, that holds thousands of self-proclaimed important people, is the best quick-fix that PFDC has produced. In all previous fashion weeks, this has inevitably been a problem for the council where people arrive late and argue for front row seats.

Meanwhile, the impeccable décor was done by Mona and the scrumptious dessert tables were executed by the incredibly talented Shazreh Ali. The team at Eleventh Retail were the official event managers of the night.

The People:

As expected from an event of this nature, the guest list was limited to only prominent people from Lahore's social circles. However, the attendees also included some big names like actor Fawad Khan, actor & musician Ali Zafar, some distinctive social families of Lahore, fashion designers and many more.

Fashion weeks are becoming the norm in the industry as we progress and while they are essential for fashion – charitable events like these are definitely welcome.

Meanwhile, the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week is all set to kick off in April in Lahore and hopefully it will reflect the same philosophy.

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