The second day of Fashion Pakistan Week (FPW) was a rollercoaster ride of sorts, spiraling to the very top right at the start – this tends to happen when Shehla Chatoor has the opening act – and then, undulating back and forth. It was a good day for fashion, balancing the inevitable mediocre line-ups with some trendsetting ones.
It was also a relatively good day for the red carpet. Hareem Farooq, Mohib Mirza and Gohar Rasheed provided the celebrity quotient, allowing bloggers and journalists to click at someone other than themselves. Sherry Rehman, attending the entire show to support Deepak Perwani, who was up for the finale, had multiple images of the front row filtering onto social media.
Here’s what we thought:
Shehla Chatoor’s 'Tresor' held one transfixed; such was the intricacy of her craftsmanship, the finesse of her cut and the elegance of her silhouette. It was a beautiful collection, traversing a palette that varied from ivory, pastel pink, white and emerald to a sultry, smoky black.
One can more or less predict some of the elements that are bound to be a part of a Shehla Chatoor show: tassels, leather lattice-work, fur, fringe and hand embroideries galore.
With 'Tresor', Shehla spun them together to introduce new silhouettes and also, creates looks that were strongly reminiscent of her earlier hits, like last year’s 'Misaki'.
Bridals are Shehla’s forte and, in these times of generic heavy-duty wedding wear, she has a particular signature of her own. Her catwalk brides came resplendent in layered lehngas, the dupattas sometimes attached to the jacket and complemented by rich velvet shawls lined with jamawar. Quintessentially, the edgy was merged with antique craftsmanship – cutwork and print, embellished with swathes of zardozi, tilla and mukesh.
The evening formals were just as luxurious with shirts cut out like kaftans and belted at the waist, jumpsuits, multi-tiered peplums, trails and jackets that have all the makings of hot-sellers.
Fouzia Aman wore a peplum jacket paired with pants and a detachable lehnga – dress it up, dress it down; wear it to the wedding or the cocktail party preceding it! Complementing the clothes was some magnificent Eastern costume jewelry and shoes, all created by the designer.
The painstaking effort showed, as did the sophistication of Shehla’s ethos.
Huma Adnan had hitherto primarily showcased collections for her high-street label FnkAsia. With ‘Midnight Garden’, she stepped into wedding-wear and delivered some hits, some misses.
What stood out were some pretty thread embroideries, wide-necked off-shoulder shirts, exaggerated kaftan-like sleeves and chata-pati culottes and pants.
What didn’t work were a range of dupattas that seemed mismatched and a range of glaring jewelry accessorising the clothes. Also, wedding-wear ideally should be constructed from more luxurious fabrics. Huma Adnan needs to develop more finesse in her work in order to make a mark in the crowded market for wedding wear.
HEM’s rendition of wedding-wear was a hodge-podge of far too many elements thrown in together. Threadwork ran into dupattas lined with kiran that ran into color combinations that didn’t make sense. The silhouettes, also, were unimaginative, culminating into a collection that didn’t impress at all.
Arsalan Iqbal returned to the catwalk after a long time and managed to push the sartorial envelope very well.
Drifting between military inspirations and Baroque elements, the womenswear included long flowing gowns, structured shirts and elegant minimalistic saris. The men came walking in jackets, sherwanis and collared shirts. One wishes, though, that the bling could have been toned down, particularly in the case of the shiny silks used in the menswear.
The embroidery was given a three-dimensional effect with gold wire and the range of custom-made fabrics included wintry velvets, silk and a Merina wool-silk blend. Easy on the eyes, easy to wear; there were spurts of creativity even while Arsalan was very obviously thinking retail. Men with a penchant for embroideries are likely to enjoy this collection.
The icing on the cake: a broad-shouldered, tall, very good-looking Mohib Mirza as celebrity showstopper.
What one noticed most prominently in Natasha Kamal’s collection was the interesting use of gota. Glinting with gold, the age-old technique was dexterously made modern; zig-zagging on flared pants and lehngas, forming borders and embedded in thick meshes on blouses.
Also center stage were sequins and cut-work, spun into contemporary patterns.
More trousseau than heavy-duty wedding wear, the line-up was indicative of how Natasha Kamal’s signature is growing stronger with time, carving an edgy identity of its own rather than following run-of-the-mill retail-friendly routes.
Deepak Perwani’s ‘Ishq’ flowed in pastel shades, sequins, gota and translucent chiffons, organza and net.
A large part of the collection comprised clothes that screamed ‘mehndi’-wear, with florals swirling about in multi-colours on simmered lehngas and shirts with varied lengths. Even the heavy bridal joras towards the end of the show were lighter than the more opulent options in the market – it’s quite obvious that Deepak is thinking of retail-friendly pricing as opposed to wedding-wear that costs an arm and a leg.
The menswear, similarly, came in all the colors of the rainbow – and while one is not a fan of men wearing loud colors, they apparently sell well. The plethora of society wedding images filtering onto social media, in fact, show plenty of men cavorting about in shocking pink and turquoise. Oh, well.
Much more refined were the classic sherwanis showcased towards the end of the show, white with a light floral design upon them and minimally embroidered. A good collection for closing off the second day of FPW.
And fashion week ended by a very civilized 10.30pm. That made us especially happy!
Photographs by Movie Shoovy
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