When it comes to fashion, I need help.
Me and fashion is like a polar bear and global warming; I'm surrounded by it but can't understand what's happening. Also I hibernate...
When I found out I was going to Fashion Pakistan Week, I had my concerns. I mean, I made it through the Lux Style Awards but this is a pure fashion event loaded with trendy!
I've seen enough runway videos to have an idea about what fashion week can be like. Models confidently strutting the catwalk being all trendy and all the designer celebs showing off their their trendy creations. I've also seen the videos of models falling on the catwalk. So I know all is not perfect, which is enough for me to be a ball of nerves. Cue Negative Nusrat.
What if I'm not trendy enough for FPW? What if I can't get the right outfit? What if everyone judges me for looking like the hobo that I am? What if I get lost and end up on the runway? What if I fall on top of a model?
But I was ready to take all that on. "Bring it!" I said loudly while staring at fashion videos. Too loudly, but I needed to.
The outfit hunt
My constant dilemma when it comes to prepping for these events is clothes. Because I needed something that's trendy (My word for this event).
It's been over a year since I rocked my random outfit at the LSAs, dubbing it an original of my imaginary designer 'Tareeq Dolma'an' but in that time I used up all the outfits that were possible for red carpet events.
I raided my closet and grabbed every outfit that was not my usual style, thinking that could mean it's trendy, and rushed to my colleagues for advice.
Enter a montage of me trying out clothes and my colleagues nodding or shaking their heads.
It was mostly them shaking their heads and going 'meh' at barely two tops. If you think that was good enough for me, you're mistaken.
I was panicking and had half a mind to just wear my Wonder Woman or Hatsune Miku cosplay from comic-con. Just half a mind... I'm lame but not crazy.
I had to amp it up. I needed a striker. I needed to be trendy. And I remembered how at the LSAs I almost got a designer to dress me up.
Maybe, just maybe, this time there could be someone who would save the day?
I immediately called another colleague with such contacts. After a string of panicky inconsistent words I was finally able to explain the situation to him. Don't blame me for the panic, I had tried on like 9 outfits by this time and when you don't look good 9 times, you panic!
Although upset that I asked him at the last moment, my colleague asked around. Waiting was agony but he actually came through!
Deepak Perwani became my saviour as not only did he agree to donate me clothes for a day, but I could go to his studio and pick out whatever I wanted!
I spoke to Deepak Perwani's assistant and head out to the studio.
I was in my own personal chick flick!
Now I'm a jeans and tee kinda person. I wear simple stuff that many would dub 'Blah' and my only desire in fashion is for it to be acceptable to roam around in pajamas.
There were racks and racks of clothes at Deepak's Studio and I realised almost immediately that this would also not be easy. Now the burden falls on me to choose the right outfit. The trendy outfit. Why is this difficult you wonder? Because I know zilch about fashion and what's trendy and in my chick flick, the awkward noob does not suddenly transform into a fashionista... she's just awkward in style.
There were outfits which I couldn't work because of my body type, outfits that were too risque for my slouchy awkward self and some to me were just an odd arrangement of cloth which had me wondering 'Wait is this a sleeve? Where does my head go?'
Luckily my colleagues would help out. Shout-out to my team for being squad goals!
Enter a montage of me trying out Deepak Perwani outfits and my colleagues giving their critique over WhatsApp. I really think I can make a really good chick flick out of this.
After numerous dresses and looks, I noticed this embellished red jacket that I realised is the perfect mix of fashion and my own preferences. It was a little snug fit but I fell for it and my team agreed.
I could just work it black pants and a tank... and (mom's orders) heels.
The work on the jacket made it heavy and I mean heavy. I was tense about wearing it and destroying it. Also, I couldn't just depend on clothes. My colleague suggested we get our hair and makeup done.
I've learned my lesson when it comes to getting makeup done, and that's to just do it myself. Last time I had to correct my look because it didn't suit me at all. I could have found a better artist but I was in crunch mode and couldn't afford to look around for an artist to get it right!
Also, I may be horrible at fashion but I pride myself on my makeup skills. That I'm definitely trendy at. Woot.
I still decided to get my hair blow dried rather than doing it myself. I'm slow at hair styling and I have this paranoia about my hair catching fire.
But first, I ate.
Hey, I remember that there is barely any food in these events and I couldn't just go there starving! Plus I may have been stress eating, planning a move with every bite.
I kept my DP jacket far away from me because I didn't wanna ruin it with my chicken wings. It was in a cover but I didn't wanna ruin that either.
I headed off to this cute salon for my blow-dry. The lady gave me a little head massage when washing my hair and just for a bit, I wasn't anxious anymore.
Until I saw the time.
I was running late! I hadn't calculated how much time it would take for my hair to be done so I knew I had to apply my makeup as fast as possible.
I hadn't factored in the travel time either, but that's because my Careem was refusing to pick me up at the spot I was in. I knew in order to get ready I'd have to be the Usain Bolt of makeup.
But hey! I pulled it off! I kept a heavy look around the eyes and lightened my lip so that my look complements my jacket. It was difficult to let my signature dark lip go but that's what this day was all about; getting out of my comfort zone and being (here it comes) trendy.
Time to head off to Fashion Pakistan Week!
Arriving at FPW
After being stuck in traffic for a Karachi amount of time, we finally made it to Global Marquee.
I was surprised at this location, why have such a big event in a Shaadi hall? But they had really done the place up.
Going through a hall decorated with chandeliers and candelabras, I was already feeling queasy and how lit (literally) this place was and how I might be an obvious misfit. That being said, I did have fun posing on the red carpet...
...because I also decided to be goofy and do this.
I was wrong about there being no food though. There was a Magnum stall and a Lux bar where one biters were being served. I'm still glad I ate though, because there was no way I was gonna eat in Deepak's jacket. So we headed straight to our seats.
We got inside just as the show began and luckily found front-row seats... on the left. Which meant that we'd get a side glance at the models and the fashion. Oh well, let Day 1 begin!
Also read: Misha Lakhani makes FPW Day 1 worth the trip
It was kinda fun. The music was loud and catchy so I was bopping along (much to the embarrassment of my colleague) and seeing those models walk the runway with so much confidence was, I have to admit, a little inspiring.
Front-row seats are fun, but after every five minutes some camera guy would keep recording us and I had to look like I knew what I was doing. I had half a mind to tell him "Hey punk (Because I sound like that in my head)! The show's behind you!"
An accurate retelling of what went on in my head while watching the fashion show would be "Hey that looks nice... that looks weird... That looks heavy... Oh man I'd never wear that... Oh that looks nic- nope just saw the back that's weird... That looks like a matador... Is that even an outfit... that looks pretty... I bet that's expensive..." and so on.
For every nice look, there were a couple that had me relieved at not being into trends.
I stepped out for water and ran into some people I knew. I was ready to boast about my jacket if they would ask me what I'm wearing but instead they asked me about my heels. My heels were a random Tariq Road Dolmen Mall buy so yet again, my imaginary designer Tareeq Dolma'an came in the picture. You know the deal; loosen the r and keep the n silent.
Heading back inside, I went back to critiquing the clothes being displayed on the runway. This time I may have been a little loud.
Some started off looking good but then would just be wrong. For example:
I do have to say, watching the models rock outfits I wouldn't ever imagine wearing made me appreciate them. Some even made the look work for them.
The show thankfully didn't go on for so long and while my heels were still killing me because I just cannot cope with heels, I headed out not being too exhausted.
I wouldn't say I didn't have fun, but I don't think it's my cup of tea. There was too much trendiness.
After taking off the jacket and placing it back in the covers, I decided to call it a night. Well, first I jumped around a bit because I felt super light. Seriously, that jacket was heavy.
As I took off my makeup, I relived everything that happened and realised that for me the fun was getting there, even though it was a journey laden with stress, anxiety and self-loathing.
Amidst complaints and panic attacks, I do enjoy getting out of my comfort zone whenever I can get and challenging myself. While this was no Goliath for me, my trip to FPW is definitely memorable.
Will I go again? Maybe. But I'll be chill about it. And stay in the back seats so that those camera guys can't find me!