Pakistani Showbiz Magazine

Fashion Pakistan Week: What we are and aren’t looking forward to

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It’s Fashion Week time! The Fashion Pakistan Council has just announced the lineup for Telenor Fashion Pakistan Week Spring Summer 2015. The four-day event features some of Pakistan’s top designers but there is also a significant high street presence at the event.

Schedule for FPW S/S 2015  —Photo by Muhammad Ali/White Star
Schedule for FPW S/S 2015 —Photo by Muhammad Ali/White Star

While the credentials of the likes of Sania Maskatiya, Shamaael Ansari and HSY are unquestionable, brands like Levis have flopped badly on the ramp before and their place at Telenor Fashion Pakistan Week (TFPW) is questionable, this time I hope they hire a stylist who understands how to put together a runway show.

The high street brand failed to make a memorable impression at the last FPW —Photo courtesy: Tapu Javeri and Kashif Rashid
The high street brand failed to make a memorable impression at the last FPW —Photo courtesy: Tapu Javeri and Kashif Rashid

Caanchi & Lugari, Lala Textiles, Gul Ahmed and Daaman will have to up their game and think out of the box if they want to make an impact on the ramp. Unless they do, Fashion Pakistan Council needs to rethink whether high street deserves a spot at what is one of Pakistan’s top fashion weeks.

Fifth Element has teamed up with Rizwanullah for their Swarovski segment and these sort of designer collaborations are what high street brands should be looking at if they are serious about having a presence on the fashion scene. Al Karam for example have chosen to launch their Sania Maskatiya lawn at fashion week, which is smart as Sania has grown to appreciate what works on the runway.

Jafferjees meanwhile is a label that needs a makeover. Their quality is simply phenomenal and yet they have a dowdy image. They don’t keep up to date with international trends at all. I’m not suggesting that they make designer knock-offs but they do need to pay attention to the iconic bags of our time. Everyone from Ferragamo to Forever 21 has done a version of the bucket bag made popular by Mansur Gavriel.

Why haven’t they done a play on Celine’s luggage tote like Michael Kors and Kate Spade have done? You’ll find both bags at Pedro. The brand is a Pakistani icon and needs a major fashion turnaround – similar to the one at Burberry where they went from staid old British stalwart to one of the coolest labels. Here’s hoping Jafferjees TFPW collection is a step in that direction.

TFPW’s lineup includes a handful of newer designers. Madiha Raza won her place after wowing the audience at FPC’s emerging talent showcase, Maybelline Millenial Fashion, last year. It will be interesting to see if she can live up to that phenomenal debut. Inaaya is another of last year’s discoveries that needs to build on an impressive beginning. Other relative newcomers like Abdul Samad and Somal Halepoto will have to justify being given the chance to showcase.

Madiha Raza's 'Flight of Birds' at New York Millennial Fashion 2014 was was vibrant and unique. —Photo courtesy: Tapu Javeri and Kashif Rashid
Madiha Raza's 'Flight of Birds' at New York Millennial Fashion 2014 was was vibrant and unique. —Photo courtesy: Tapu Javeri and Kashif Rashid

It will also be interesting to see Body Focus Museum and YBQ back on the ramp – both are excellent brands we don’t see enough of. It’s great to see Lahore designers like Fahad Hussayn and HSY showing in Karachi again, particularly as Karachi designers show regularly in Lahore.

Fahad Hussain's collection 'Putlighar' at PFDC L'Oreal Bridal Week Day. —Photo Courtesy Faisal Farooqui and Dragonfly team
Fahad Hussain's collection 'Putlighar' at PFDC L'Oreal Bridal Week Day. —Photo Courtesy Faisal Farooqui and Dragonfly team

I do wish they would make their designs more readily available in Karachi like Zara Shahjahan, who opened a store here recently and is showing in Karachi for the first time. It would be great if top Lahore labels like Elan, Muse and Sublime would also come to Karachi – both to show and with a retail presence.

From L-R: Sublime F/W Collection and Meera Ansari for Elan.
From L-R: Sublime F/W Collection and Meera Ansari for Elan.

Some Karachi stalwarts are conspicuous by their absence. FPW will miss the likes Maheen Karim, Sana Safinaz, Shehla Chatoor, Ayesha Farook Hashwani and Adnan Pardesy - all of whom made the winter edition of FPW particularly memorable.

Shehla's collections always embody her own personal style. —Photo credit: Tapu Javeri
Shehla's collections always embody her own personal style. —Photo credit: Tapu Javeri

On paper this is not one of the strongest editions of Fashion Pakistan Week – despite being a marathon 4-day affair. Despite strong names like Deepak Perwani and Nida Azwer, the lineup lacks depth. Let’s hope that the participating designers make TFPW better than it looks on paper.

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