From backstage and behind the scenes drama to shampoo bottles hidden in hospitality lounges and from experienced, coveted brands to new and upcoming young Turks…there was a lot to celebrate at fashion week, sometimes more than what met the eye. Here’s a run through some of the lesser celebrated elements that brought four days of the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week together…
Bank Alfalah Rising Talent Show
The Bank Alfalah Rising Talent Show (BARTS) has established itself as one of the strongest, most impressive fringe benefits to have risen at fashion week. And BARTS is all the more effective because the initiative is taken at fashion weeks in Karachi as well as Lahore, thus being fair to upcoming talent in both cities. This showcase was especially impressive for the talent that it projected this time around. Asrar Yaqoob, Hisham Malik, Nida Waqar and the strongest designer of the night, Najia Qazi showed immense potential in design aesthetic.
The Bank Alfalah Lounge at fashion week displayed samples from all four collections and opened them to voting to decide a winner. The winner of the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week hasn’t been announced yet but the lucky designer will win half a million rupees as well as free exhibition/retail space at the PFDC Lounge in Lahore. It’s a substantial advantage for a young designer to start a career with and one has to appreciate Bank Alfalah for being such a dedicated partner.
Discipline and punctuality
We wouldn’t have believed it if we hadn’t experienced it first hand, but the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week timing turned around 180 degrees and ended at an unbelievably civilized hour. Day two actually concluded at 8:50pm, leaving the rest of the night delightfully free. This is how it always should be and we hope things will remain this disciplined consistently.
After years of uncomfortably wedging voile shows in between gala shows or then holding them in the afternoon to a threadbare attendance, the PFDC this year made the right call to separate an entire day for Voile shows. It was the right call to make but unfortunately most of the names enlisted put out unimpressive collections. The standout collection came from debutante Shubinak, a brand that has been working on ethical fashion for years and decided to make a fashion week entry this year. And what a grand entry it was!
Back to the Voile Shows, one would encourage the established textile brands to plan their shows better. Fashion Week is where no one cares how much profit you earn at the end of the fiscal year; it’s about showing fashion forward clothing. And there’s no way that fabric can be made to look fashionable unless it has some creative cohesion and displays innovative garment construction. Some drama and gimmickry would definitely help highlight these shows; Ittehad should have brought Shaan, their brand ambassador, to walk the ramp.
Hair, makeup and styling
It’s not easy to make short models look stauesque and graceful or to make aging models look fresh and dewy. But Nabila and her creative teams at N Pro and N Gents not only managed that but also managed to put out concrete trends in hair and makeup for spring/summer 2015. Fashion weeks are not just about predicting trends in fashion; beauty is such an integral aspect of style too.
We loved the tousled, unmade braids (Fahad Hussayn), the wavy and youthful ponytails (Sana Safinaz), the waves and unkempt curls (Rising Talent) and even the centre-parted clean look that was executed to perfection. Title sponsor Sunsilk introduced a catalogue of trends in hair styles that had been teemed from last year’s show and we hope it becomes a tradition they continue every year. In makeup trends, strong and edgy eye liner as well as puffs of aqua eye-shadow (as seen in HSY) were trends to take home.
Corporate Activity: the Sunsilk bottle treasure hunt
Title sponsor Sunsilk made Day 3 at fashion week (featuring Voile Shows) a little easier on the senses by introducing a fun-filled activity, a treasure hunt for the media. 21 Sunsilk shampoo bottles had been camouflaged in the Sunsilk Lounge; they had to be found, photographed and shared on social media. The top three competitors (with the highest number of bottles and ‘shares’) would be tabulated and balloted for one winner who’d walk away with an iPhone 6. Results have not been announced yet.
Design District and the future of fashion week
Fashion week usually comes with bigger and better plans for fashion development and this year was no different. Chairperson of the PFDC, Mrs. Sehyr Saigol announced that the council planned to establish Pakistan’s first ever craft based Design District, “a multi-purpose specialized facility that would assist in developing and enhancing the arts and crafts industries, which are an integral part of Pakistan’s rich cultural legacy. In addition to being a centre for skill improvement and capacity building, the Design District would also house a first of its kind Textile Museum.” Moreover, official spokesperson of the council, Sara Shahid announced that the next fashion week, PFDC L’Oréal Paris Bridal Week 2015, was scheduled to be held from September 15-17.