Winter Festive edition of FPW perpetuated to its age-old sobriquet ‘bridal-wear overdose’. If one, like me, hoped for the designers to deliver a little something deviating from the-big-fat-Pakistani-wedding theme, our lips were pursed.

Winter Festive can be monosyllabically described as ‘safe’. And safe is boring, albeit functional. You know there is loads wrong when fashion fails to entice.

It is time for some fashion introspection for the designers, and to delve into what a ‘fashion week’ really is; if you’re not bringing edge, experimentation and originality to the runways, there is really no point in showcasing recycled designs and silhouettes, which reek of last fashion season.

Day 1 – Choking ‘fashion’ out of the Fashion Week

The day one had all the glitz, gotta, embroidery to lure in the traditional bride. The collections painted the dreams of a bride and catered to the massive clientele, which has tastes for exquisite bridal wear and are ready to break the bank for it. Surely, the designers’ collection will fare well commercially, considering its shaadi season this particular time of the year; but, shouldn’t that niche be reserved for Bridal Week, and not FPW?

Tena Durrani

Tena Durrani opened the show with her collection Rara Avis, which means rare. Playing to her ingrained designer ethos, one didn’t find much rarity in the collection that was a mix of heavy embellishments and blending jewel hues, quintessential of the designs she creates, and we’ve seen. The colour palette of stunning ivory, vermillion and aquatic green lehngas winked bling from the runway, and I already imagine the collections appealing to most brides, but then again, it’s time the talented designers exhibit more innovation in her craft for us.

Huma Adnan

The designer made her bridal-wear debut at FPW with Dehradun which made one sit upright to see what she had to offer. The cornerstone of Huma’s collection remains to be inculcation of tribal elements, myriad of vivid colours, motif expanse and uncomplicated silhouettes. While there was an abundance of heavily sequenced crafts, the collection too boasted a few simpler ensembles, with lighter embellishments. It is easy to say that Huma tested the waters with her first bridal-wear showcase and held back a bit; we are excited how her designs will evolve for next fashion season.


The Lahore-based brand gave a pleasant break from the ubiquitous embellishment galore and unchanging colour palettes, adjusting its focus on pretty embroideries and hues of icy blues, mint greens, tea-pinks and golds. The sequenced sari borders, embroidered blouses and minimal bling made into wearable, practical silhouettes; though not necessarily very original. The atmosphere was pumped up with Sana Javed and Imran Abbas taking the runway as showstoppers. From the lot, Lajwanti managed to stand out.

Zainab Chottani

Chottani’s collection Khwab held the gazing eye, knocking spectators in awe with segue of extensive embellishments – all that they had seen, and even expected from the designer. Khwab, too, showcased bridal pieces, with a few contemporary suits which were definitely the standouts. Tying the right proportions of pretty and bling, the off-shoulder, glittering gown worn by showstopper Mehreen Syed was the best pick. Needless to say, everything from the colour palette of red, black, whites and blues and the unapologetic embellishment galore was not utterly ground-breaking for the designer.

Aamna Aqeel

To the crooning music of a Columbian number, came sashaying in models donning the Dazzling Dames collection, rendering a much-needed break from the endless march of head-to-toe bridal. Aqeel’s taste for international-runway aesthetic, digital prints and breaking silhouettes had its highs and lows. Blazing maroon red and black ensembles made for flashy pret-a-porter; sporting detailings like exquisite golden eagle on collar to an ostentatious bow tagging a waistline. Hints of floral and gold trimmings peaking from hems and jackets made impact. However, the sleeveless black ensemble with gold detailing on neckline worn by showstopper Kubra Khan fell drab and basic.

The Pink Tree Company

Definitely a strong collection coming from the day one’s produce was The Pink Tree Company’s Gulabi Gang which was a tribute to the Indian feminine social activist group. Opened by a small monologue by the iconic social activist Sheema Kermani, the collection weighed in traditional attires meddling with bespoke gotta-work, broader borders, pretty lehriya and lehngas, marking the brand’s signature. Donned in cotton, silk and velvet fabric, the models dressed quintessentially subcontinent; sindoor lining their head’s centre parting and dupattas draped across the kameez. The collection was beautiful, keeping it real rather than luxurious.


With the fashion show trickling to an exhausting close, comes HSY with a jolt of lightening and a bang, with his collection ‘Elements’, invited focus on ‘power of mother nature’. The runway was stomped on by models in immaculate menswear with sleek suits and shiny blazers. Predictably, there was plenty of layering with scarves worn around the neck, echoing sophistication. Spotted in abundance were sharp metallic greys, navy blues and raw browns. Menswear definitely made the highlight with women swear taking a backseat. The sinless, white pristine suit worn by the dimpled showstopper Bilal Ashraf announced the best of the collection.  

Day 2 – Breathing some ‘fashion’ back into the Fashion Week

The fixation with wedding atelier continued into the second day of Winter Festive, with a few gratified interruptions of contemporary fashion. Amidst the upheaval of glitz and sequence, fashion took a change of direction in becoming finally, ‘fashionable’ and not entirely bridal.

Wardha Saleem

Saleem opened the day two with her collection titled, Chandbala. The collection threw beautiful patterns in gota, zardozi and kora danka and rendering the fashion week’s air a spirit of rang party. Single-toned, jewel attires in cardinal red silver and mauve were spotted, standing out from the rest. Saleem has a penchant for the traditional and she does it well amidst colour fare.

Sara Rohale Asghar

Focusing on palettes of pastel pink, glinting silver and dash of maroon in unexpected, crisscrossed embellishments, made it an ordinary collection; we have seen it all. Swarovski crystals were crafted with a generous hand, making us wish the designer had held back a little. Another sore sighting were peplum silhouettes on the runway, which was fashion throwback moment for all. Despite extensively embellished and hard work put into the intricate designs, a change of colour palette would have worked greatly for the designer.


Showcasing grooms wear collection titled Zartaab, the designer duo delivered quiet a showdown; negatively speaking. Deviating from their usual playful cuts and designs, they chose to experiment with chequered and abstract pieces, reminiscent of their oldest design, again offering innovation here. The monotone kameez, waistcoats and shawl despite made for drab wear. Being one of the best in the show line-up, expectations were high but then let down sorely.

Maheen Karim

Injecting life back into the fashion week came in Maheen Karim’s Lueur de Luxe collection, which gave the almost-sad forced glamour mood on the runway an awaited pump. Exceptional tailoring, understanding of contemporary cuts and flair for luxe, made her eponymous collection a sight to behold. Kaftans, off-shoulders and suits cashed on prettiest prints, swinging from profound phosphorescent reds, tinges of tangerines and coral hues. Florals were found too, but in well-measured proportions and dimensions. Little details from the pleats of trousers, ruffles, ties, and billowing skirts were tailored with precise elegance. Maheen Karim successfully had us in the fashion lair! Teach them how it’s done, woman.

Rano’s Heirlooms

Tapping into the acclaim and wonder of classic traditionalism and tweaking it their way, is where the designer’s strength lies. Fittingly titled Phool Bunro, the designs swung with ethnic silhouettes, adding net work, dainty embroidery and embellishment. Old-work charm packs a nostalgia which swoons as good as it sells, and Rano Heirlooms brings about just that. Phool Bunro was safely traditional and something we would all want to have a slice of.

Shahmeer Ansari

The designer made his men’s wear debut show, showcasing traditional sherwani, suits, jackets… all those things, yet miserably failing to leave an impact. What was studiously lacking was fine tailoring, defined cuts and an eye for good finishing, just that would have drastically improved his collection.

Maheen Khan

And now for the moment, for which fashion weeks are truly orchestrated. It’s nice how the best is seamlessly saved for the last; Maheen Khan closed day two with effortless glamour which spoke for itself. The veteran designer spun immaculate designs in the shape of raw-silk cut into tunic, tampered lopsided collar cowering at the neck, florals, where necessary, and much more. Being the best collection of the night, few wisely chosen words encapsulate the essence of the designer wear; minimal, feminine and feline. In fact, Maheen Khan’s showcase can be used as a profound definition (and demonstration) of what fashion weeks truly are about; they are about blasting freshness, reinventing your signature style and redefining fashion. You must always have something innovative and substantial to add to the fashion week’s runway, to be able to showcase there!