Style stayed at an all time high at Fashion Pakistan Week Autumn/Winter 2014 but here's our pick of the top 7 collections that we feel redefine winter fashion…
This had to be Ayesha Hashwani's strongest collection to date. Taking the hemline up, straight into cropped kimono tops, she displayed a variety of ways to experiment with the formal, wedding wear wardrobe. Who says dressing up for shaadis has to be conventional and monotonous? This richly embellished collection put out well-structured trousers and tops as the base for ornate kimonos, capes, jackets and tunics. It was a welcome relief from the billowing kaftans that Ayesha has been designing for years.
Key trends: Painted on a richly red and black canvas, the one significant trend was the belted, embellished short kimono. It looks like a wardrobe must-have for the season.
Odes could be written to this collection, which was the perfect balance between craft and design. ‘Misaki’, meaning blossom in Japanese, borrowed its delicacy from the cherry blossom and its strength from woven techniques of Samurai armour. It’s a skill that Balmain incorporated in previous collections and by adding ethnic appeal, that is her signature, Shehla made it completely her own. Two distinct palettes – black and ivory – were enhanced by a pastel wash of hand-embroidery. The execution of every piece of this collection was perfect.
Key trends: Misaki featured a dominant black and ivory palette with the pocketed full skirt being the one trend that we see young girls incorporating in their formal wardrobes.
The party season is swinging in full force and with Ravissant, Maheen Karim showed us why she is a fashionista favourite. This collection pitched itself perfectly to society’s party-hoppers in Karachi, Dubai and Singapore: three cities where Maheen enjoys a steady South-Asian following. It oozed luxury with its glamorous choice of fabric, dazzle and oomph.
Key Trends: That rusty shade of autumn was gorgeous but what caught our eye is the attention to detail on the backs of some ensembles. The back is the new front!
Ather Hafeez for Sana Safinaz
Collection: Venue: French Beach Karachi
Ather Ali Hafeez shifted from Lahore to Karachi and has been working with Sana Safinaz for several years now. His aesthetic is evident in the ready to wear range that has more ethnic and cultural referencing than the brand Sana Safinaz ever had. This kaleidoscopic collection may not have been very Autumn/Winter but it was the perfect combination of Ather’s bohemian spirit and Sana Safinaz’s easy chic. It pelted out separates that were spirited and showed strength of character on the women wearing them. Not easy to carry by all, the silhouettes guaranteed individuality and originality to women who choose to be different.
Key trends: Multi-layering of colour and fabric, shades of black, turquoise, orange and pink with a variety of prints that fall in coherent balance.
Collection: To Karachi, with Love
It was a sentimental collection, one that paid tribute to three decades of Maheen’s trendsetting contributions to fashion. It also said farewell to the spotlight as Maheen announced she would not be showing her classic Maheen line again; the fashion week spotlight now belonged to a younger Gulabo. This standout collection showcased iconic designs from yesteryear – the half sari, wide leg palazzos, cowl and dhoti shalwars, the sheer tops and capes. And what made the designs exceptional was their relevance to fashion even today!
Key Trends: Every piece was a keeper but what we’ll push for the season is that sheer shade of silver-gold and the dhoti shalwar worn with a structured button-down sherwani tunic. Classic!
Technically, a Labyrinth is a maze with complex branching and that’s the ethos that directed the path of Adnan Pardesy’s new collection. He’s a designer who loves fabric, weaving and creating patterns as he plays with it. If there were a Bottega Veneta in Pakistan, Pardesy would be the designer behind its intrecciato leather weaves. One can only hope that Adnan Pardesy will also manage to put his techniques into more utilitarian and wearable avenues, allowing those who appreciate his skill to access and enjoy it.
Key trends: Very clearly monochrome, this collection focused on jackets, short cropped waist-coats and full bodied coats for men.
This collection of wedding wear would have been a throw-back to Sanam’s earlier days with Chamak (she started out with this label) if it hadn’t been so fashion forward. The Bano collection saw Sanam’s ready to wear rhetoric collaborate with her revisit to luxury wear. She sub-consciously tapped into her Kashmiri heritage, offering the delicacy of the north in warm and all-embracing capes and jackets. It was all essentially wedding wear but as separates it had a twist.
Key Trends: The richly embellished Kashmiri phiran is a winter must-have.