The Spring/Summer edition of Fashion Pakistan Week (FPW) begins on April 7, and the three-day event features illustrious names in its designer lineup. Does that guarantee fabulous fashion, though? You never know. Right now, anything and everything looks refreshing compared to the three-piece suit of the embroidered variety.
On a more serious note, one of the biggest feathers in FPW’s cap has always been the loyalty it inspires within its own hometown. Some of Karachi’s most famous names are set to showcase at the event, ensuring a full house and masses of coverage on print and electronic media.
Amongst the veteran ateliers, one looks forward to a quintessentially opulent luxury line by Shamaeel Ansari and a city-life inspired collection by Amir Adnan, a designer who hardly ever goes wrong with his menswear.
We would also have had been excited about the collections by Deepak Perwani and Nomi Ansari — except that we saw them less than a month ago at the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week (PSFW) in Lahore. Deepak’s ‘Fix-It’ line and Nomi’s ‘Joyride’ featured ingenious tongue-in-cheek design that has already been liberally featured on social media and fashion publications. Why the designers chose to show the same all over again is only a mystery that they can solve. Perhaps, hopefully, they will at least give their collections a face-lift with some different styling.
Some avant-garde statements may as well be expected from fashion’s younger lot. Nida Azwer’s ‘Karigami’, inspired by Origami, will probably prove to be a typically well-crafted, wearable collection.
Faraz Manan’s ‘Desert Royal’ is a continuation of his showcase recently seen at the TOIFA in Dubai. With a penchant for elaborate embroideries and bling, Faraz’s well-conceived collections are usually winners.
One of FPW’s strongest offerings is most likely to be Wardha Saleem’s ‘Fashion DNA’, showcased at London Fashion Week this February and now reinvented and trickled down to the local runway. We were bowled over by Wardha’s acid prints, pleated and structured into jackets and skirts, and gorgeous hand-painted leather bags — it will be a treat to see them up-close.
Wardha has additionally created clothes for Jafferjee’s, a show that traverses the brand’s lineage in classic leather bags. Together, the two have always proven to be a hit combination and we’re hoping for more of the same.
Lahore-based Zainab Salman, who enjoys a considerable niche clientele in her hometown, will debut with a mostly organza-based ‘Moonstruck’.
Kayseria launches its luxury pret, balancing between bespoke designs and others that will be available at the brand’s myriad stores.
We wish that Sanam Chaudhri, Maheen Karim and Zaheer Abbas had extended themselves beyond showing capsule lines but nevertheless, we have high hopes from their trend show. Also showing in the show is Obaid Sheikh.
A smattering of high-street labels are set to show: FnkAsia with its take on ‘Organic Modernity’, the vivacious city-lovin’ Gulabo and Generation, a label that’s gotten reinvented and progressed to become incredibly funky.
We hope that Bank Alfalah’s quadruplet of Rising Talent will ‘rise’ rather than drown in weird design and that the inevitable voile shows — Lala Textiles, Gul Ahmed and Al-Karam – somehow manage to fashion their unstitched cloth into design that makes sense.
For with every fashion week, there’s a hope to see trendsetting design that augments the local business of fashion. Frieha Altaf is set to choreograph, the team at Take II will manage PR, Urdu 1 plays media partner and we’re predicting fabulous styling with Nabila’s N-Gents and N-Pro team on-board.
Organised in collaboration with the Trade Development Authority Pakistan (TDAP), a range of international visitors have been invited to the event and for once, these aren’t just going to be businessmen from the agricultural or pharmaceutical fields. Milling amongst them are also some well-known international design houses. Will FPW live up to its hype and up the ante? We’ll see … watch this space for the lowdown.
Originally published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, April 3rd, 2016