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Pakistan: Carousel of colours

By Saadia Qamar
October 26 2012




Fashion enthusiasts and their friends flocked to the Pearl Continental Marquee on Sunday evening to be charmed by the collections of eight designers on Day 1 of Fashion Pakistan Week.

While the red carpet fever hadn’t really caught on and the absence of celebrities was certainly felt, the two people that stood out for being noticeably fashionable were Syed Rizwanullah – with his blonde hair and eclectic (or eccentric!) wardrobe – and model Saima Azher, who looked stunning in a floor length digital printed dress in turquoise which she paired with a chunky necklace.

As organisers scurried about relaying last minute instructions, the runway was prepared for what turned out to be an interesting marriage of ready-to-wear with resplendent colours and futuristic cuts.

Sonya Battla

With silks in ivory, black, teal and magenta, Sonya Battla opened Fashion Pakistan Week with her collection of layered one shoulder tunics. The silhouettes were fluid and the crepe silk looked lovely as the models sashayed down the ramp under dim lights. The lengths were refreshingly high, with some tunics ending above the knee and some just below. Next were her black block prints on teal and ivory chiffon; A-line shirts with pin-tucks and gathers on the neckline and slightly embellished black motifs on the sleeves. It was nice to see the variation in Sonya’s collection, as she introduced screen-printed silk ponchos with three-quarter sleeves and a sexy black chiffon shalwar. Rabya Chaudhry modeled a knee-length one shoulder black dress with the side tapering off into a wide border with intricate resham work that got a few nods. The same resham kaam was seen on the edging of a brilliant red shrug carried by Iraj and also on a shirt modeled by Ayyan that had longer layers at the front and a strap of kaamfor the back.

Report: Sonya’s collection encompassed an interesting play on structure, albeit with a simple colour palette and fabric. There is no doubt that the designer is a master when it comes to neat and sophisticated cuts.

Kuki concepts

Zahid Khan’s Autumn Winter 2012 collection was inspired by the work of painter Frank Stella. Zahid played with geometrical designs, animal prints, pleats and capes in silk to perfection. His colour palette ranged from black and white with fuchsia pink, to lime greens and pale yellows. The silhouettes remained largely structured, with some dresses fanning out like tutu skirts. Sana Sarfraz modeled a flowy ivory silk dress which was played up by men’s ties draped around the neck. All the models wore thread spools for earrings, which gave a sense of the kind of avant-garde fashion Kuki Concepts prides itself on. Iraj stole the show with an ultramodern dress that started off as a halter and rolled and layered stiff silk in white and grey.

Report: Zahid Khan is confident of his masterful cuts and innovation, and he showcased that well by presenting a variation of fabrics and trends.


Deepak and Fahad made a fashion statement with their keffiyeh collection, adding a modern twist to a traditionally Arab accessory. The first model with his face covered was a representation of Palestinian freedom fighters’ against the cruelty of the Israelis. With black, white, fuchsia pink and bottle green as undertones, the designer duo used the scarf on its own as well as for edgings on men’s shirts. Button down shirts were played up with keffiyeh pockets and inner linings. There was a well-stitched men’s sleeveless jacket with keffiyeh trimmings that garnered interest. For the women, high-waisted tapered keffiyeh pants with a shadow of a fringe looked quite funky.

Report: Unlike what we usually see at menswear at fashion week, D&F’s collection was wearable and simple. They may not have been too innovative when it comes to structure, but it is definitely stuff you would want in your wardrobe.

Ayesha Hasan

Ayesha Toor opened the show for Ayesha Hasan as she walked from the end of the ramp in a deep green, flowy chiffon dress paired with an embellished belt and a bright, shiny crescent and star on her forehead. Hasan’s collection was largely inspired by Grecian draping, as her dresses started off structured at the top and gained volume with the skirt. A standout was a beautiful dress in light grey, crayon blue and bright red modeled by stylist Shazdeh Ali Akhtar, which had lots of layers and volume and a sexy peekabo slit at the knee. She intended to make a bold statement regarding Pak-USA relations, with Toor (as Pakistan) joining hands with Akhtar (as USA). Hasan had more form-fitting dresses which she paired with sheer fabric drapes as togas and capes. She also introduces Chinese raw silk pants under a kimono modeled by Nadia Ali. But the standout remained a crème coloured voluminous floor length dress knotted at the neckline, which was rocked by Iraj.

Report: Hasan’s colour palette was narrow, but her collection experimented with fabric and structure. She is not afraid to mix layers and heavily worked fabric together for an East meets West look.

Ishtiaq Afzal Khan

Khan’s collection titled ‘Desert Rose’ was a display of camel brown and leaf green Western wear with a splash of hot pink. While the opening models Fayeza and Amna strutted their stuff in risqué hot pink bikini tops paired with camel coloured pants and hooded shirts, there were some other well-stitched coats, shirts and pants with a hint of hot pink. It was again Iraj that rocked a leaf green jumpsuit with a thin strip of hot pink fabric as a belt to break up the colour.

Report: Khan enjoys playing with flowy silhouettes and cuts and goes for a more androgynous than feminine look.

Nargis Hafeez

It was surprising to see Nabeela Adeel present a collection that had bridal wear pieces which relied on the revival of traditional gota work and sequins. Her Eastern wear brought forward fully embroidered shirt fronts with a fun version of patiyala shalwar in a brilliant silvery satin. Ayyan modeled a colourful halter shirt inspired by chata patti, which retained Adeel’s signature embroidery and gota. There was a little bit of everything in this collection, with one rillie-inspired shirt to another fully worked bridal shirt in black and silver.

Report: Adeel’s comfort zone lies in traditional work with some experimental cuts.

Maimoona Arshad

Maimoona Arshad presented ‘Last Night’, encapsulating dark moods of the night with some flowy silhouettes and a sober colour palette. Ayyan opened the show with silver high waisted pants and a corset top that extended into layered chiffon panels. A white, floor length dress was modeled with a sheer organza dupatta, while other outfits played on cuts and the criss-crossing of two-toned organza for shirts that were slit at the thigh. A full sleeved white lace dress worn by Sana Sarfaraz was the highlight of the collection, as it was both elegant and well-stitched. Another interesting piece was the part labcoat, part boyfriend shirt with a pleated front modeled by Abeer and another toga-like draping over a high collared shirt worn by Maha. Amna Ilyas looked ethereal in a beautiful shimmery white crop top with a toga-like draping.

Report: Maimoon definitely enjoys playing with structure and cuts, as was seen in her creative draping of dresses and shirts. Her cuts were more futuristic than most seen on Day 1, and could be pulled off at red carpet events by those with an experimental taste in fashion.

Wardha Saleem

The final collection for Day 1 was ‘Folk Play’, Wardha Saleem’s playful and colourful display that took one down memory lane. Inspired by the lattoo (spinning top) and ghulail (slingshot), Wardha’s collection even incorporated the wooden horse from a child’s toy cupboard in her collection, with her interpretation of it being colourful. She used noisy digital prints for jumpsuits, tunics and pleated A-line dresses that worked beautifully, with a black and white design standing out against all the orange and yellow in her prints. Nadia Ali modeled a stunning sari with a sequined blouse and gorgeous digital print fabric.

Report: FPW Day 1 saved the best for last! Wardha’s digital prints were creative and she stayed true to her inspiration by using them as borders on shirts if not entire outfits.

Originally published by Tribune Pakistan

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