PSFW Day 1: A little oomph, a little oops

Published April 19, 2015
PFDC fashion week Day 1 showcased luxury pret. Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
PFDC fashion week Day 1 showcased luxury pret. Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week kicked off last night in Lahore, with names like Fahad Hussayn, Bank Al-Falah Rising Talent Show, Misha Lakhani, Zonia Anwaar, Natasha Kamal and Nickie Nina showcasing luxury pret on day one.

The usually star-crusted red carpet was a tad dull last night with very few prominent names in attendance. However, Juggun Kazim was dressed in a beautiful Zara Shahjahan gown, Maheen Ghani, Armeena Rana Khan were in HSY, and Natasha Saleem, Kamiar Rokni, Nabila, HSY, Zara Peerzada and the likes were seen on the red carpet.

Fahah Hussayn opened the show with his 'Democrats Midsummer 2015' collection.

Surprisingly, Fahad’s usually dark and macabre aesthetic was missing on the ramp, replaced by a more evolved sense of design. The collection contained a number of expected silhouette variations such as skirts.

Three looks from Fahad Hussayn. The model on the left sports a butterfly belt. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Three looks from Fahad Hussayn. The model on the left sports a butterfly belt. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

However, some very funky pieces were also seen such as butterfly belts that were different and worked with the hefty prints seen in the collection. The menswear jackets were also a welcome addition to the collection. While the range of ensembles had some spectacular prints, overall the collection was leaning more towards bridal wear. Case in point: the showstopper piece worn by Cybil. Although, her head piece was exquisite to say the least.

Cybil sports an elaborate headdress by Fahad Hussayn. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Cybil sports an elaborate headdress by Fahad Hussayn. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

The next slot belonged to Bank Al-Falah Rising Talent, showcasing designers Hisham Malik, Najia Qazi, ASRAR and Nida Waqar. This segment of the fashion week is committed to highlighting new entrants to the industry and aims to support them by launching their brand through an established platform.

As far as new talent goes, the act was not particularly disappointing. The students had made a conscious effort to put together cohesive, wearable collections making this crop of 'rising talent' better than the segment that was seen earlier at Telenor Fashion Pakistan Week this March/April.

Bank Al-Falah Rising Talent section highlighted new entrants to the industry.- Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Bank Al-Falah Rising Talent section highlighted new entrants to the industry.- Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

Hisham Malik showed capes and jackets along with other cuts in blue, crème, blushed pinks, silver, grey and black. The collection used a myriad of silks, khaddar and cotton net. The highlight of the collection was, perhaps, the exquisite embroideries that could be seen on the ensembles. Otherwise, the collection could have definitely been better in terms of aesthetic. For example the following outfit utilizes little innovation in terms of cuts and is topped off with a jacket that would have been better off on its own than paired with the gown.

Design by Hisham Malik.- Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Design by Hisham Malik.- Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

Najia Qazi showcased her collection ‘Sar Bakaf’ featuring frayed hemlines and some serious attention to detail when it came to sleeves. She used a pearl palette with tones of greys to compliment. It was a coherent collection that was very well done. The following outfit is an ensemble that worked on all fronts; the cut and impeccable workmanship shone through:

Design by Najia Qazi- Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Design by Najia Qazi- Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

ASRAR’s showcase, titled’ Camel Art’ was inherently inspired by Cholistan and the color accents of the collection were a testament to this inspiration. The range of outfits all featured tones of browns with camel skin colors. Overall, the collection was a tad bland with some expected silhouettes. For example this outfit could have fared better if the jacket was standalone or the pants were separate.

ASRAR's Cholistan-inspired collection.- Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
ASRAR's Cholistan-inspired collection.- Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

Nida Waqar presented some interesting cuts, showing asymmetrical jackets, deconstructed pleated collars, twisted sleeves and a jacket-dress in tones of whites, beige and yellow. Prints incorporating insects were used making the overall collection pop. These outfits were perhaps the best of her collection:

Design by Nida Waqar.- Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Design by Nida Waqar.- Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Design by Nida Waqar.- Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Design by Nida Waqar.- Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

Misha Lakhani's 'Modern Mughal' collection had been eagerly anticipated. By now skirts both long and short, narrow and full, have become the ‘it’ thing on the ramp -- and so her slouchy, draped skirts were a welcome change. Worn with flats, they channeled easy, laid-back glamour.

Drapey skirts from Misha Lakhani. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Drapey skirts from Misha Lakhani. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

She worked with a selection of solid colors, red, white, green, blue, black along with prints that was showcased in the range. Some pieces really stood out, like her striking off-shoulder top and skirt looks. However, the collection as a whole fell short especially in terms of coherence and styling. A mint green ruffle top is something we really want to forget, for example.

The good (L) and the not-so-good (R). - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
The good (L) and the not-so-good (R). - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

Zonia Anwaar had previously showcased with PFDC as a student of the Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design but this showcase marked her debut as a solo designer. Zonia’s collection was quirky and fun especially in terms of print.

Zonia Anwaar does print. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Zonia Anwaar does print. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

More than anything else, her collection was very wearable. For example, while it has no particular sense of innovation, this outfit is nonetheless very wearable:

The collection was safe but wearable. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
The collection was safe but wearable. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

So from a market perspective, it was a smart choice. But one has to ask the question -- at fashion week should the designer be playing it so safe?

Natasha Kamal was the debut designer of the day. Her show began with ruffles -- which looked better than it sounds. She showed a frothy white ruffled mini-dress that, quite surprisingly, worked. She moved onto ruffled tops paired with pencil skirts, and nailed the silhouette. Ruffles are hard to pull off because they require complex techniques but Natasha pulled it off remarkably.

Natasha Kamal's ruffles. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Natasha Kamal's ruffles. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

Her collection was inspired by the popular Art Deco movement from the 1920s and worked with numerous geometric patterns on bold colors. She closed the show with celebrity showstoppers: actress Hina Bayat in a gold sari and Turkish personality Nur Maden.

Hina Bayat walks for Natasha Kamal. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Hina Bayat walks for Natasha Kamal. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

Natasha’s collection was spot-on pret and from here it seems that she has the potential to go big. Still, an outfit or two such as the one below could have been edited out of the collection and improved the overall look.

Nickie and Nina were next and closed the show. At every fashion week, the final slot is highly sought after. More often than not, this slot is also the most critiqued segment because expectations run high. Before anything else it is important to say that each piece in the collection presented by Nickie Nina was fabulous as a standalone piece. There is no denying their exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail.

However, the collection as a whole didn't cohere. Most of the looks shown didn't related to each other well or at all.

Looks by Nickie Nina, accessorised by bright bags. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Looks by Nickie Nina, accessorised by bright bags. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

And on another note, showcasing bridal wear at a pret fashion week is an amateur move and from fashion veterans like the duo, we have come to expect more.

Nickie Nina used fabric like French lace, georgette, silk and a lot of organza. The following two outfits were perhaps the only ones that genuinely attempted pret in the entire showcase.

Two unarguably pret designs from Nickie Nina. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Two unarguably pret designs from Nickie Nina. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

Most of the collection, while clearly aiming to be luxury pret, easily missed the mark and became essentially bridal wear, such as the outfit worn by Mehreen Syed.

However, what did stand out were the funky clutches [conceptualized by Haiya Bokhari]] that the models could be seen holding. They were spot-on pret.

Some important people from the fashion fraternity were seen adorned in Nicki Nina ensembles on Day 1 and they looked spectacular. Perhaps these outfits as worn by socialites would have better fitted the label’s showcase in comparison to what was seen on the ramp.

Overall, Day One proved to be an interesting start to PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week. Though it didn't start late the long pauses between individual shows were a downer, slowing down pace considerably.

Despite this, it came to an end at a surprisingly early hour as reminded by HSY twice, before and after the finale of the night. It is refreshing to see Pakistani’s embrace punctuality especially at events such as these.

Meanwhile, Day 2 is all set to showcase high street designers such as Shirin Hassan, Generation, Beechtree and Rayyan Gilani. For the luxury pret shows MUSE, Saira Shakira, Nida Azwer, Teena By Hina Butt,Hassan Riaz and Zara Shahjahan will be showcasing.

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