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PSFW Day 3: Textiles take us back to our roots

A look from House of Ittehad on Day 3. — Photo: Faisal Farooqui and his team at Dragonfly

This was because Day Three was reserved for textiles, and so with the absence of designers showing luxury pret (and celebs wearing it) the night's glam quotient didn't quite live up to the previous couple of nights.

The idea behind segregating voile from designer showcases is because they both have a different market segment and need. Furthermore, in a country like Pakistan where winter comes around for only a few months, voile becomes the popular fabric throughout the year.

Saad Ali, CEO of the Pakistan Fashion Design Council says, “Textile and fashion are synergic – most especially in Pakistan where fabric for S/S and A/W dominates women’s wardrobes. The eruption of designer-textile collaborations were in fact encouraged if not borne from these joint platforms, where both mill and designer had a chance to meet, interact and be a part of a similar experience. You now not only have collections for textiles by designers but entire mills being run creatively by fashion designers. You also see textile really shaping up in R&D and making a concerted effort to keep its proverbial finger on the trend pulse."

"To neglect such an important sector of the industry and the impact it has on fashion for the average person in Pakistan would be careless if anything — thus textile does very much have a place in Pakistan’s fashion week landscape, but not at all right next to a high end designer show,” he added.

The night kicked off with a fashion presentation by Gul Ahmed featuring their collection “A Flourishing Journey of Prints”. The collection was a range of flow-y and effortless silhouettes that resonate with Spring/Summer and were showcased on a variety of prints. The highlight of the collection was perhaps the pieces that could be taken out of the ensembles and paired individually.

Whereas the menswear is concerned, colourful jackets stood out though the collared shirts were nothing new. All in all, Gul Ahmed showcased an interesting collection that has the market to sell. Though to be honest, strictly comparing the brand to itself, we have seen better before.

After Gul Ahmed, Shubinak showcased their collection ‘Pakistan United’. The collection was ethnic-inspired with a strong boho-chic vibe. Earthy tones dominated. It drew inspiration from socio-environmental activism and made use of fabrics such as pure Pakistani cotton, organic cotton and recycled cotton bags with embedded jacquard reforestation theme patterns.

Hand embroidery, crocheting, applique work, ralli and stone carving could be seen in the collection in an attempt to showcase regional craft. The collection featured a number of cuts such as angrakha style tops, jackets; cropped, short and even long, printed pants and the likes.

All in all, the collection was a testament to Pakistan and if nothing else, the collection was spot-on coherent and very well-styled however, was also quiet safe.

Warda Prints showed the collection ‘Chromatic Ecstasy’ using patterns inspired by the medieval era that included Romanesque antiquity, Oriental artifacts and characteristic Persian Paisleys. The collection looked to present ‘contemporary chic’ and ‘classical eastern drapery’ but failed to work on the ramp in every aspect including the cuts, prints, color palette and even stitching. The range of ensembles incorporated frills with layers, even a print on print skirt that failed completely.

Unfortunately, the collection was quite disappointing and perhaps the weakest one on the ramp last night.

However, one outfit that worked and was styled well was a pair of beige pants with a blue top and a printed scarf tied around the waist like a sash with a cropped jacket on top.

Al-Karam was up next with their collection ‘Savoir Vivre’ inspired by tradition and modern styles. A selection of prints with ethnic and floral patterns were seen on the outfits based on lawn, chikan kari and jacquard fabrics. A lot of print on print along with whites were prevalent in the range. Whereas the embellishment is concerned laces and cutwork could be seen.

A piece that worked well was a fringe jacket that could be seen in a white on white ensemble:

The highlight of the collection was Mustafa Zahid of Roxen walked the ramp for the brand.

Harmony by Hangten went next. The thing that let us down most about Harmony was the fact that the menswear collection was something that is so traditional and safe that we have seen it in every household for decades and can be bought anywhere from your local market.

Furthermore, the womenswear collection used a number of striped prints paired with a gold sequined patti sometimes seen on the slits of a dress, or a waistline, or sleeves. It was even seen as a skirt! The thing is; fashion weeks are meant to present the coming trends for the season, not ones that are ‘been there and done that’ or what looks nice to the designer.

The finale of the night was House of Ittehad with the collection titled ‘The Summer Rouge’. Ittehad has been known to collaborate with designers on a regular bases for the design of their prints and this one was done by HSY — the King Couturier himself. It was inspired by different contemporary cultures and numerous ethnicities from all over the world. Floral and geometric prints could be seen along with bright summery hues and a twist of pastels and earthy tones. What worked were the following outfits, mostly because of their color schemes:

Some of the outfits worked while some didn’t. For example the hot print on the outfit above (R) has been around for perhaps a few years now.

The umbrellas used in the showcase were fabulous especially in terms of the meticulous detail they presented and kudos to the person/team who conceptualized and created them.

Day 3, after all had been said and done, was a bit slow but necessary owing its dedication to voile. Whether or not textile houses belong on fashion weeks is a question meant to be addressed separately. However, in this edition of PSFW, the Council has made some remarkably smart choices one of which was segregating the voile shows and dedicating a day to them. This way, only the relevant people attend the showcases giving a much needed break to the ones who are not interested in voile.

"It makes sense from a trade point of view to have separate shows for separate types of fashion, with each own catering to their distinct audience," says Saad Ali. "Even specific media is distinct for textile, focusing more on the trade and business stories rather than only the fashion angle."

The last day of the fashion week is tonight featuring a high-street segment with House of Arsalan Iqbal, Erum Khan and Chinyere. While the designer line-up for luxury/pret are Sana Safinaz, Republic by Omar Farooq, Syeda Amera, Huma & Amir Adnan, Sania Maskatiya and HSY.Read more

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