We’re all familiar with the ‘it’ lawn party. It’s the latest trend to latch onto the lawn bandwagon, filling up our Instagram feeds for several hours and the claim to fame of any designer lawn with a heavy-pocketed investor at its side.
If you’re one of the lucky chosen ‘it girls, you love these all-women soirees. A three-piece suit that the rest of the world is fighting tooth and nail for gets stitched to your size and delivered to your doorstep sans the hefty price tag that commoners in the real world are expected to pay. All you have to do is get yourself a blow-dry, slap on some make-up, slip on high heels and slide that silk dupatta into a belt cinched over your lawn shirt.
As an ‘it’ girl at an ‘it’ lawn party, you can pout and pose all you please for the photographers. You do make sure, though, that your handbag gets clicked in the pictures — it’s the one thing that you paid for, after all, aside from your shoes! You’re also savvy enough to get your photographs taken before you dig into the delectable menu, lest you ruin your carefully applied lipstick biting into delicious canapés.
Now, the regular lawn-lovin’ woman may seethe a bit at the high-life of the socialite set but, really, she enjoys these soirees too. From her vantage point on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, she looks at images of lawn-clad women with varying physiques and features – some even are a ‘not-very-it’ extra-large size – and decides what she likes best. She observes the many different ways in which the suits have been styled and takes screen-shots of those that she likes best, to be bombarded later upon her befuddled tailor.
An ‘it’ girl at an ‘it’ lawn party pouts and poses all she pleases for the photographers. She does make sure, though, that her handbag gets clicked in the pictures — it’s the one thing that she paid for, after all, aside from her shoes!
This, in essence, is the real point behind the lawn party. For instance, at the recent tea hosted by Crimson for their lawn by Farah Talib Aziz, guests wore a diverse range of lowers. Lacy cigarette pants, tapered shalwars, dhoti pants and boot-cuts were worn over mostly knee-length shirts. It resulted in some very interesting looks that must certainly have been noted by lawn-lovers and are bound to send a few tailors reeling.
“An event like this is great for social media mileage,” agrees Maliha Aziz, Farah Talib Aziz’s daughter and brand manager. “We invited in the media so that they could appreciate the lawn’s versatility and to drive this point home, we had the suits stitched in some very different ways. We also allowed the option for guests to buy whatever they liked before our lawn exhibitions took place and some of the stock ran out.”
The point of a fabulous lawn launch is to introduce our lawn-loving public to new ways to style their joras. So we see lacy pants, dhoti shalwars, dupattas worn as wraps and kaftans... the works!
It’s a clever business plan but one that doesn’t always work. Last year, the Elan lawn tea party cum fashion show also endeavored to retail a limited number of lawn suits. It inevitably lead to squabbles and protests at the venue itself when many of the designs ran out too soon.
Wisely, Elan’s designer Khadijah Shah chose to just celebrate her lawn this year, after it had launched into the market. Held at Khadijah’s home, the lawn party was thronged by a heavy smattering of Lahore’s A-Listers, many of whom are Elan clients and the designer’s friends.
Diaphanous white curtains fluttered over plush turquoise and purple couches and the floor was laid in floral grids of turquoise, white and yellow. Following a Moroccan theme - the Elan lawn shoot for this year was shot in Marrakesh – the waiters wore kaftans and felt caps and even some of the food was slightly thematic (the humus and pita, that is, while the rest of the tea followed a more standard menu). “Our lawn has already sold out and now, we are just celebrating its success with friends and family,” professed Khadijah.
Nevertheless, the gorgeous décor and the umpteen ladies dressed head-to-toe in Elan lawn created plenty of buzz on social media. Mission accomplished.
PR guru Frieha Altaf spells it out, “Events create PR and raise the image of a brand. This image drives sales. When you see celebrities and socialites wearing a lawn brand at an exclusive event, you aspire to look like them and share their lifestyle.”
However, just like not all lawns are outstanding, hardly all ‘it’ soirees are quite the thing. Every year, there are plenty of gatherings that are humdrum at best, foisting fashion presentations upon attendees and featuring uninteresting, B-grade celebrities on the red carpet. There is hardly any innovation in the lawn suits gifted and worn by the guests. The prints may be pretty but at present, that’s hardly enough for a brand to stand out in lawn’s crowded waters.
This is something that Sana Safinaz understand very well. The designer duo were probably the first to host just a lawn lunch without merging it with a pre-booking option or god forbid, a fashion show.
Last year, they initiated the trend with an ‘it girls’ luncheon, continuing it this time around. Festooned with beautiful pink flowers, the décor was perfect and so was the guest-list. Everybody who was anybody came – it was a Sana Safinaz event after all – and lawn was worn in many different ways, fashioned into capes, flirty peplums and even halters. Celebrity oomph was provided by Mahira Khan, possibly the best star to make your lawn look good.
It is this tricky combination – a well-designed lawn coupled with a great venue, décor and A-list attendance – that adds up to make a great lawn soiree. Yes, it is a bit fickle for grown women to play dress up in expensive designer fabric but lawn experts are saying that it boosts sales.
Let the parties begin, then – as long as they’re done right and as long as the festivities don’t clash with cataclysmic, harrowing bomb blasts. Designers, we know that you’ve invested a lot into your lawn and boosting your social media has lucrative consequences but that’s just a bit too insensitive isn’t it?