The last day of TFPW brought Karachi’s fashion week to a close on a high.
The ramp buzzed with creativity, from Sonya Battla’s ingenious “Manora” collection to Zara Shahjahan’s trendy “Forever Boho”. Fashion Pakistan stalwarts Deepak Perwani and Shamaeel Ansari showed characteristically skillful collections in an evening where fashion took center stage.
Sonya Battla started off the evening with a superb collection based on artist Naiza Khan’s work on Manora. Sonya can always be depended on not to be too literal. This collection used diffuse digital prints, frayed edges and braided ropes to great effect.
|Three looks from Sonya's collection.|
Sonya utilized deconstruction and draping to play with silhouette, starting with a palette of sea green, sand and browns and moving to jewel-like tones.
|A close-up of Sonya's use of texture.|
This was collection that was both creative and appealing. It is always wonderful to see a designer portray an artistic vision that doesn’t detract from the aesthetic beauty of the clothes.
|Ayesha Tammy Haq walked the ramp for Sonya.|
Designer Rizwanullah, collaborating with Fifth Element to showcase their Swarovski jewellery, had a tough task.
Working entirely without embellishment in order to highlight the jewellery, he showed the fifth predominantly white collection of fashion week. The fact that he pulled it off brilliantly is a testament to his talent. Unlike the recent Damas jewellery show, this was a show where the quality of the fashion complemented and enhanced the jewellery. From layered gowns to crisp jackets and trousers, Rizwanullah used a stunning array of silhouettes.
|Rizwanullah worked without embellishment, using layering and draping.|
Adding texture with a variety of fabrics, he used layering and cut to maintain interest, with edgy details like bandage cut-out trousers. An admirable showcase from a designer that needs to be seen more.
|Rizwanullah's diamante eyebrows were a highlight.|
Maliha Chaudry’s collection for Daaman had its good points but it was an unfocused collection. She used a neutral palette of nude, white and navy but seemed unable to make a definitive statement about her vision for this season. She started with a series of sleek, ultra-short tunics that were all about crisp lines and then progressed to a jumpsuit and more relaxed silhouettes.
|Three looks from Daaman's line|
She finished with a series of girly lace outfits than were at odds with her initial ensembles. The lacy tops, particularly the one Maliha herself wore to take her bow, will probably sell well but the lack of clarity let down the collection.
|The lace top is perfect for the summer|
Zara Shahjahan knew exactly what sort of statement she wanted to make with her Forever Boho collection. The fun, breezy collection had a trendy 70’s vibe and a fresh, modern feel.
Zara Shahjahan is a designer that always has her finger on the pulse of international trends. With this collection she brought together fringes, tribal influences, mirror work and maxis, all of which have been seen recently on international catwalks.
International fashion has been having a major 70’s moment and Shahjahan’s Forever Boho collection was in tune with that. She used tribal patterns and embroidery on crop tops, waistcoats and jackets, which she paired with skirts and trousers in her signature floral prints.
|Shahjahan's collection was breezy with an edge|
She balanced her florals with the use of black this season for an edgier, more sophisticated feel. This was an interesting and fashion forward collection from Zara Shahjahan.
Deepak Perwani’s La Dolce Vita was another collection with a 70’s vibe but his was a more luxe interpretation of the trend, featuring formal maxi dresses in brightly printed silks. From one shouldered dresses to flirty short skirts, the collection included plenty of the sexy silhouettes Deepak does so well.
|Perwani's line showed a regal, flirty collection|
His digitally printed jumpsuit and printed jacket paired with straight pants tapped into local trends and he used the balloon sleeves that have been seen extensively on international catwalks recently. Deepak brought his own touch to these trends with his vibrant prints, jeweled accents and skillful cutting.
|Pooja Bhatt and Ali Azmat were showstoppers for Perwani|
Aamna Aqeel meanwhile was the biggest disappointment of the night. Her Romancing the Lines collection was apparently Baroque-inspired but it showed none of the sophistication of her autumn collection.
Something was off about the entire collection. Although it photographed well, from ramp-side the cuts were unflattering and the embroidery gaudy. Aqeel is capable of much better than this.
|The embroidery in Aqeel's pieces lacked a certain finesse.|
There was a lull before the finale while Fashion Pakistan Council thanked their sponsors and Shamaeel Ansari presented an outfit designed in honour of the new collaboration with Telenor.
Corporate sponsorship is one of the aspects that has helped Fashion Pakistan Council up its game but the council also deserves credit for excellent, streamlined organization throughout fashion week. They kept on the ball and made changes wherever necessary.
For example, seating was an issue on Day 3 so they squeezed in an extra row of seats for Day 4. Similarly they have been working backstage and in the front of the house to optimize the show and its media coverage. This sort of dynamic management is helping give Pakistani fashion the sort of professional platform it needs to take it to the next level.
Shamaeel Ansari’s Hali collection was the grand finale to TFPW. Her luxurious ensembles have an enviable ramp presence and Shamaeel is a master of styling. She can add a chic touch with a deftly tied scarf or raised collar. Shamaeel showed a selection of luxury pret and ended with an emsemble that was practically bridal.
|The outfit worn by Sabeeka Imam (L) was the showstopper|
The collection was perhaps a little on the heavy side for Spring/Summer, with a palette of reds, golds and maroons more suited to Autumn/Winter. The operatic music made for an imposing ramp presentation but a slightly more upbeat choice of music would have been nice at the end of a long four days of fashion. Nevertheless it was a gorgeous, stylish collection.
Shamaeel started with dresses and luxe straight pants paired with jackets and moved on to draped tops, wide legged trousers and draped capes. Shamaeel’s opulent aesthetic is based on heavy detailing and these outfits were no exception, featuring intricate prints and embroidery.
|Perhaps Ansari should have shown a lighter collection instead of sticking to her heavy design aesthetic|
The opulence was balanced by chic styling for a show that was both elegant and refined. A fitting finale to TFPW.
All photographs have been taken by Tapu Javeri