PSFW Day 2: Muse, Saira Shakira and Nida Azwer hit the right note

Published April 20, 2015
A stand-out look from MUSE.  - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
A stand-out look from MUSE. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

The second day of the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week saw a little more oomph on the red carpet as compared to day 1, with big names like Meesha Shafi, Ali Zafar, Ayesha Omar, HSY, Zara Shahjahan, model Nael with his wife, Sundus Manan and the like attending.

Nabila, Meesha Shafi and Ayesha Omar on the red carpet. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Nabila, Meesha Shafi and Ayesha Omar on the red carpet. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

Of course, the glitterati from the media and society were was also seen dressed in designer wear from head to toe, ready to make the best of the event.

The first half of the day began with high street brands as per Pakistan Fashion Design Council’s commitment to high-street fashion.

High street brands play it safe

The first presentation was by the coveted brand Generation. Generation showcased their collection ‘I See You’ using a different number of fabrics such as silks, organzas and mesh. Embellishment used was mukesh, threadwork, mirror, cutwork and applique upon prints.

Three looks by Generation. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Three looks by Generation. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

While there was nothing ground breaking in their collection, from a market standpoint, this Generation collection will sell. One particular ensemble we liked was a yellow crop top with a zipper in the front featuring mirror work paired with a skirt in earthy tones.

Next up, Shirin Hasan presented her collection and true to her design aesthetic, Shirin incorporated bright hues and fused western cuts like skirts, cropped tops, structured pants and more with her unique block printing techniques. The range of ensembles had some wearable pieces and we especially loved the waistcoat worn by Mehreen Syed.

Three looks by Shirin Hasan. We liked the waistcoat (R). - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Three looks by Shirin Hasan. We liked the waistcoat (R). - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

Rayya Gilani showcased a number of different types of skirts with cropped tops on tones of mustards and yellows. Her Vintage Luxury collection used organza, silks and lace on gold, purple, black, grey with pink. She played with stripes, which are hard to handle and some pieces didn't carry this classic look too well.

Three looks from Raya Gilani. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Three looks from Raya Gilani. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

A favourite from her collection was a red cropped tube top on printed pants with an organza cape.

This organza cape looked good. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
This organza cape looked good. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

The last presentation in the high-street segment was Beechtree, showcasing their collection ‘Porcelain Dreams,’ drawing inspiration from Orient, Chinoiserie and classic Eastern motifs. The collection saw tones of blues, white and gold with straight boxy layers.

Blue dominated Beechtree's collection.- Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Blue dominated Beechtree's collection.- Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

The entire range, though average at best, will definitely sell in the Pakistani market.

Designer pret: Muse, Saira Shakira and Nida Azwer hit the right note

The designer showcases kicked off with the luxury brand MUSE. MUSE was one of the better presentations of the night.

Three stand-out looks from MUSE. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Three stand-out looks from MUSE. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

Featuring embellishment neatly sprayed on luxe fabrics to form jackets and tops featuring both long and short hemlines and fringed crop tops, the collection was polished: well-finished and well-constructed. For this collection, MUSE used classic black, white, gold and silver combinations. MUSE played with sheer fabric to created striped skirts, re-working the peek-a-boo trend in a wearable way. One particular favourite from the collection was a jacket featuring an extended shoulder.

These fringe-edged skirts were also a welcome addition to the showcase.

This skirt by MUSE impressed. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
This skirt by MUSE impressed. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

All in all, the collection was coherent, wearable and genuinely luxury pret. However, a gold MUSE belt that we have seen pretty much everywhere now needs to retire already along with a round-neck sleeveless long shirt, replicas of which we have seen countless times.

Saira Shakira showcased a wholly pret collection featuring hot pinks, whites, floral prints, blues and touches of black working with laser cut techniques combined with the right amount of embellishment. It was a preppy showcase featuring loads of fringe [especially a fringe bag that was spectacular] and layering.

In Saira Shakira's collection, fringe was a winner (L and R). - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
In Saira Shakira's collection, fringe was a winner (L and R). - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

Numerous jackets, gowns, skirts, pants and the likes were seen. Some outfits worked together incredibly well such as the opening piece and this number worn by Mehreen Syed,

Mehreen Syed sports an interesting textured look by Saira Shakira. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Mehreen Syed sports an interesting textured look by Saira Shakira. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

However, a couple fell short of the expected standards such as an abstract black print on white featured on a backless gown with red highlights.

Nida Azwer is regular fare at any fashion week in the country. Her collection featured impeccable prints on incredibly boring silhouettes featuring the same straight shirts, crop tops, jumpsuits, pants, jackets, printed shararas and the likes with no particular innovation. However, the prints did stand out and her choice of colour palette of cool blues and greens was smart, lending the collection a sense of unity and coherence. That said, each piece from the designers collection was perfectly tailored with excellent workmanship. The best piece out of her showcase was hands down a mint coloured jumpsuit.

In Nida Azwer's collection, a green jumpsuit (R) stood out. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
In Nida Azwer's collection, a green jumpsuit (R) stood out. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

Overall, speaking in terms of the collection, from an experienced professional we hope to see evolution and consistent refinement in terms of design aesthetic.

Nida walks beside her models. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Nida walks beside her models. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

Teena by Hina Butt showcased a collection that was best forgotten. Understandably, she was aiming for fun and quirky in celebration of summer but it managed to flat line on the ramp.

Hina Butt presents her collection. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Hina Butt presents her collection. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

The collection was made on white fabric utilising hot pinks, lime greens, hot oranges and the like. A pleated (was it?) dressy outfit was perhaps the worst piece on the ramp last night.

A pleated outfit (R) and other looks from Hina Butt. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
A pleated outfit (R) and other looks from Hina Butt. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

The finale of the night belonged to Zara Shahjahan who played with her eastern aesthetic more so than her western one which we are usually accustomed to. Some pieces of the collection stood out such as the dholak pants and the layered off-shoulders dress. The collection featured some very funky waistcoats as well that should have probably been showcased first to set the foundation of her collection.

Zara Shahjahan played with trailing one-shoulder tops and waistcoats (R). - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
Zara Shahjahan played with trailing one-shoulder tops and waistcoats (R). - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

That said, some of her pieces that were showcased namely the ones featuring skirts, were gorgeous but a bit been there and done that for the designer. Meanwhile, what Zara Shahjahan chose to wear herself was a spectacular ensemble put together in an effortless boho chic look.

These Zara Shahjahan ensembles were super safe. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly
These Zara Shahjahan ensembles were super safe. - Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

Day Two of the fashion week was, perhaps, better than Day One. Maybe, it is the high expectation we have come to have of the PFDC fashion weeks that the showcasing collections on the ramp are mostly falling short of what we had hoped. Until then, we can all wait for tomorrow which would be specifically dedicated to 'textile'.

Of course, one does wonder: do textiles even belong in fashion weeks?

Nonetheless, tomorrow will be dedicated to acts by Gul Ahmed, Al-Karam, Warda Prints, Shubinak, Harmony by Hang Ten and House of Ittehad.

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