• 29 Dec - 04 Jan, 2019
  • Attiya Abbass
  • Fashion

Unsurprisingly, 2018 has not been a trendsetting year for fashion in Pakistan, with designs and craft failing to renovate the current scene. It is incredulous how designers pay hefty participation fees to be part of the fashion week entourage yet deliver the mundane and all-that-is-seen-before. If we were to review all the fashion weeks and shows that were manifested across the booming industry over the year, it would be segue of ridiculous repetition and monotony. But on the upside, it is important to take note how the fashion landscape in the country has broadened in the terms of its theme, structure and tad bit westernisation. Here is looking at some of the sculpting trends and events which stirred some originality.

Hearing-impaired models charge the ramp 

It is heart-warming to see influential designers using their voice and fashion capacity to integrate the challenged segments of the society into the fashion sphere. Designer Amir Adnan’s summer collection was overshadowed; but not in the way you think. The runway was taken over by six hearing impaired models, encouraged on by an audience that clapped in sign language; all put into effect by the maestro, Adnan.

Personalised, solo shows are the future

Solo shows, albeit not new to the fashion scene were definitely not too common. Last year, designer Shamaeel Ansari hosted her own solo show to present to spectators and cult fans. This year, powerhouse designer HSY broadened the horizon of solo shows in Pakistan and hitched it to a level that is matchless, as yet. HSY orchestrated his collection #MohabatNama, as an ode to the city of Lahore and to celebrate his 24 years in the industry. Over 70 models walked the ramp in the designer’s formal collection to a soundtrack featuring some poplar sub-continental music. At the end the designer mentioned in his note of thanks that each outfit featured in the show was named after the model wearing it, a tribute to them and their careers. Even ace designer Deepak Perwani favoured a solo show to showcase his collection. Marking the grand finale of the FPW Winter/Festive, his showcase was held at Ronak Lakhani’s beautiful mansion, which was every fashion enthusiast’s dream realised.

Debut of real women; in fashion

While the debate centring making fashion inclusive for all women is always welcome, but not much was done about it’s execution until recently. Kudos to the designer Cheena Chapra for finally mobilising this debate and setting up a lasting demonstration. The designer made a successful attempt to debut women of every age and size, replacing models on the runway. The collection of desi clothing aimed at extending festive style to every woman, irrespective of age and size. The women who totally owned the runway were definitely the highlight of the show. The ensembles on the other hand were wearable, albeit not trendsetting.

Winter fashion is indisputably bridal

Can we unanimously establish that winter fashion weeks are just made for bridal wear? If you ask for our opinion, fashion weeks dedicated to winter wear are not even worth going. A more nerve and time savvy options would be to just skip it altogether. This year’s winter festive collections perpetuated to its age-old sobriquet ‘bridal-wear overdose’. If any fashion enthusiast hoped for the designers to deliver a little something deviating from the-big-fat-Pakistani-wedding theme; 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.

Mehreen Syed’s runway fall 

All the spectators seated along the ramp had a mini heart attack when model Mehreen Syed, who is expecting a child, caught her foot in the heavy train of her showstopper dress and fell mid-walk. Fortunately, the model gracefully and safely gathered herself back on her feet and continued her ramp walk, beaming at the audience that applauded her on. As risky as it got, Mehreen sets an example for a person who is professional and dedicated to her craft. We are past the days when women, especially actors and models, had to stay at home and get conscious about weight during pregnancy.

Androgynous fashion is roped in 

If we look at the runway shows by major brands from Europe and other parts of the world, most menswear shows feature androgynous models dressed up in ways that cannot be categorised as male or female. And although a lot of criticism pours in, especially from virtual messiahs who sit behind their screens to condemn androgyny, for some reason their criticism just keeps fuelling the growth of this trend. And the acclaim for the trend has finally swept into mainstream Pakistani fashion with designers like Amir Adnan delving into androgyny with some very wearable options.

High on social conscience 

For the first time in the history of Pakistani fashion was used to manifest more than just designs and in-vogue statements. In a never-seen before exhibition, Fashion Pakistan Week Summer and Spring used fashion to manoeuvre social causes on the runway, and yes they left an impact. Veteran designer, Maheen Khan’s collection is merit a mention here. The designer showcased her signature contemporary wear Gulabo themed upon ‘Jinnah’s Pakistan’ with unique prints and slogans to rankle one’s slumbering patriotism. Slogans like ‘Save Water’, ‘Save the Earth’, ‘Say no to Paisa Phenk Tamasha Dekh’ took centre stage. Not only was the collection impactful, they were very much wearable and trendy; versatile silhouettes, zippy pants, uber cool graphics and layered tops were everything you’d dream out of the summer collection!