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KARACHI Following the success of the first Fashion Pakistan Week held in November 2009, Fashion Pakistan (a Karachi-based fashion council) is holding a five-day-long Fashion Pakistan Week-2 (FPW-2), showcasing works by over 55 designers from all over the country.

The fashion extravaganza hosted its first set of designers on Monday which included the likes of Ali Xeeshan, Ayesha Tahir Khan, Imbias (Imran and Rabia), Kash Hussain, Monia Farooqui, Dubai-based designer Rabia Z, Samar Mehdi, Sana Safinaz, Shakeel 'Chand' Saigol (the painter/visual artist who now and then dips his feet into fashion design), Shehla Rehman and debutant designer Zaheer Abbas.

FPW-2's official charity is represented by the United Nations fight against Aids and guests were handed a small token gift and a booklet containing information about the deadly and contagious virus at the venue. Since the opening day of the fashion week was held on the same day as the grenade and suicide attacks on the US consulate in Peshawar, audience members were asked to observe a moment of silence for those affected by it.

The overall appearance of the venue remained the same minimal black and white, almost every aspect remaining the same except the slight change in décor in the waiting lounge.

Shakeel Saigol opened the week with his mostly monochromatic collection titled 'East by South East'. It was the designer's first foray into designing menswear and was an extension of a series of paintings he has been working on. The predominant feature in his collection was his use of the zebra and the zebra head as visual theme in his collections. One aspect that stood out in his menswear was that other than the traditional straight, form-fitting pants, his models wore extremely sleek dhoti shalwars as well as drop-crotch pants that pleated like a chooridar pajama towards the ankles. The models all wore Greek warrior helmets that had been designed by Yousuf Bashir Quraishi (YBQ) who gave the top portion of the helmets a striped appearance.

The debutant designer, Zaheer Abbas, was the second and only other designer whose work clearly stood out as one of the best collections that evening. He showcased a collection titled 'Lady Un-Veil'. The designer takes his inspiration from Islamic art and geometric structures. His collection consisted of bold, single-toned colours in ink blue, deep green and grey among others. His collection which was predominantly created out of chiffon had a sleek, feminine volume in his design structure complete with a knack for pleating in his garments. He also used traditional, small and metallic pieces to accentuate the design in his creations. His was a most welcome debut.

On a collective level most of the other collections failed to create a definite impact. To have just two out of a total of 11 collections stand out is disappointing to say the least. This fact was sorely felt as the evening concluded. It was an extremely underwhelming start to a much- anticipated week.