Pakistani Showbiz

Warming up to Fashion Week tenets

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The PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week 2015, which kicks off in Lahore on Saturday, will mark the 8th consecutive year of the event. PFDC runways have been a reference point for a designer’s success in the past; however, this year the council is making some changes. Three distinct platforms of luxury/prêt brands, high street brands and textile brands have been created, with a separate day dedicated to textile.

Responding to queries about the allocation of one day for textiles, CEO Saad Ali comments, “At the PFDC, we have always sought to include textile within our fashion week platform but have always ensured that it’s exhibited as an entirely separate category altogether.” He adds, “Textile and fashion are synergic — most especially in Pakistan, where fabric for Summer/Spring and Autumn/Winter both dominate women’s wardrobes.  PFDC focuses on the business of fashion, and to neglect such an important sector of the industry would be careless if anything.” Talking about the ideology behind the new concept, Ali says, “At the PFDC, we believe you simply can’t show textile in between an HSY and a Sana Safinaz illustration. Textile needs its own platform within fashion week for its own dedicated audience —  hence our assigned day for textile.”

On the single textile day concept, the Gul Ahmed team feels it’s not the best idea. “It would have been better if diverse brands mixed together rather than scheduling a specific day for textile,” commented Gul Ahmed’s creative team in a statment, adding, “The audience would have enjoyed a more diversified flavour and themes presented by different designers and textile brands as opposed to what’s been decided to be done.” Emphasising their argument, the Gul Ahmed team asserted in a statement, “Even the idea behind the collection we are showcasing is to make lawn prints stand out amonst the designer prêt wear. Too many prints in one day would create monotony and the audience might lose interest.”

Gul Ahmed’s second collection being showcased at the PFDC, called ‘A Flourishing Journey of Prints’, is a fun twist on the signature Gul Ahmed lawn.

Introducing new names with the likes of seasoned designers, Saad Ali shares his vision of promoting new talent in Pakistan, saying, “At PSFW, our rule is very strict — if you can’t produce and retail your collection, you can’t show.” Adding to the regulations, he says, “For emerging and less established designers, the PFDC reviews mood boards, sketches, fabric samples, part of the collection, so on and then determines the collection’s retail ability and its production timelines, to decide whether a designer is able to have it in stores and if so, when.” In the past, PFDC has given solo shows to new talent such as Mohsin Ali and Ali Xeeshan — both of whom were met with criticism until they went on to becoming the stars they are today.

Natasha Kamal, a designer new to the industry, is set to explore the Art Deco movement of the 1920s with her luxury/prêt line. Kamal claims, “The collection is unmistakably infused with the movement’s spirit which can be found in the sweeping lines, stylised imagery and elegant proportions which gave the movement its appeal.”

Kamal’s clothing has been found to be very similar in design and aesthetics as those of Zuhair Murad and Ellie Saab, bringing up accusations of plagiarism by many bloggers. When asked about this, she says, “I try to infuse my collections with the same sense of imagery and elegant proportions as those I am inspired by.”

Nida Azwer, a seasoned designer from Karachi is now set to present the ‘Iznik’ collection after her ‘Renaissance’ and ‘French Trellis’ collections became red carpet favourites at the Telenor Fashion Pakistan Week (TFPW).

Beechtree is amongst the high street brands presenting on day two and are showing a range called ‘Porcelain Dreams’, comprising tunics and jackets paired with cigarette pants fused with orient and classic Eastern motifs.

Republic by Omar Farooq is a men’s wear brand that recently came into the limelight for winning the PIA uniform challenge right after a stellar campaign with Abdullah Haris with Fawad Khan as the face of brand. His collection for PSFW is titled ‘Que Sera, Sera!’ He says, “This time around, I’ve made a capsule collection not emphasising on anything particular, it’s just about being a bit of a rebel and breaking the norms of fashion as the name suggests.”

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