October 20, 2011, saw the start of the fourth instalment of the Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) Sunsilk Fashion Week in Pakistan. Indeed this time, the PFDC and Sunsilk took their week of fashion further to a bigger business platform teaming up with Expo Pakistan, in collaboration with the TDAP whereby PFDC Sunsilk Fashion week is being held in parallel to the trade event.
Day 1 of PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week was structured into 2 acts, which featured 3 ramp shows each with 5 distinct designers and a show by the students of the PIFD.
It was attended by leading media and fashion personalities, journalists and buyers who had flown in to attend Expo Pakistan.
Act 1 of PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week 2010 was opened by Maria B and her womenswear prêt-à-porter collection for PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week entitled “Neo Natives”. The designer drew her inspiration from ancient world cultures from Aztec to Persia to fuse a global identity for the women of today. Through this collection the designer looked to project a world that is full of love, acceptance and respect for each other’s cultures and identities. Indeed “Neo Natives” speak for the urban women of today, world travellers confident in their identities and capabilities. Talking about her brand and collection, the designer said, “It is Internationally relevant and affordable fashion for the modern Pakistani woman”. Renowned television host Shaista Wahidi and designers Yousaf Bashir Qureshi and Rizwanullah walked the ramp for the designer.
Act 1’s second show belonged to the debut collection of young designer Zonia. Her menswear and womenswear collection was titled “Aurora Luminescence – The Glowing Murk” which was inspired by an amalgamation of two tremendous natural wonders to achieve a manmade termination in the form of experimental garments, which are a concoction of colour inspiration from Aurora waves and the silhouettes are attained by focusing on bioluminescent mushrooms which are ruffled, frill yet composed. The attributes of all garments differ in light and dark.
The collection utilised unique and unusual fabrics combined with a white luminous fabric which glowed in blue or green focusing mainly on the lustre and drape of the fabric. Garments were without any embroidery but includes soft ruffles, J shaped cut lines, layering and white piping while white trims and white glow in the dark thread. On her debut and design aesthetic the designer said ““I believe in following my own pace, my own instincts and trust that no matter what I will get it right!…my designs are for people who love details, are confident, smart and desirable”
Next on the runway was Karachi-based designer Zaheer Abbas with his womenswear collection for the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week entitled “Myth”. For this collection Abbas had drawn inspiration from elements of art and architecture along with Roman sculptures influenced by ‘wet drapery’, a term used by art historians to describe cloth that appears to cling to the body in animated folds while it reveals the contours of the form beneath. Based in pure chiffon, the collection carried motifs such as pillars, vases and acanthus leaf embroidered in antique gold and copper, creating a true synthesis of inventiveness and practicality.
Zaheer Abbas’ inspirations were driven from East to West and from history to the future. For his second showing at the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week, Abbas went back in time; from classical statuary to modern dresses for his Spring/Summer collection. About his collection the designer said “Through the centuries, art and fashion have achieved their own transformations, Roman sculptures and their drapery is one example that creates a spectacular synthesis for which not many words are needed, the beauty speaks for itself”
Opening for Day 1’s Act 2 was the Karachi based designer Nida Azwer with her womenswear collection for PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week entitled “Foliaceous” which drew inspiration from the textures and hues that surround her. Based in a flowy silhouette using fabrics such as cottons, linens, silks and organza, the collection marked the designers’ foray into textures where she explored the textures of fresh leaves using traditional techniques such as cutwork accentuated with lace in the earthy tones of green and blue. Speaking about her participation at the week the designer said “Fashion weeks in Pakistan gives everyone the opportunity to collectively showcase their work on a national level. I’m very happy to support it and be a part of it.”
Next on the Karachi runway was the Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design [PIFD] where six students, Farwa Zaheer, Ridah Syed, Rubab Haider, Maryam Jaleel, Asma Iqbal, Komal Afridi, Safa Tariq and Saba Ijaz showcased their indiviual pieces and capsule collections.
The first day’s finale was by designer Akif showcasing his womenswear prêt-à-porter collection for PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week, “Mast Patang”, inspired by the Pakistani kite flying festival of Basant. His collection looked to capture the joyous nature and festivity of the occasion. In this collection he harked back to his childhood memory of congested old Lahore buildings where thousands of colourful kites were being flown from every rooftop.
“Mast Patang” was worked in a variety of fabrics such as velvet, linen, chiffon, viscose and cotton and engaged a vibrant colour palette including yellows, reds and oranges symbolising the rich colours of the kites themselves, along with the colour deep blue, indeed symbolic of the colour of the night in which these kites are flown. The designer presented French styled velvet jackets, jumpsuits inspired from the Far East and striking waistcoats all fused together with traditional Pakistani embroidery to create a collection representing Pakistan and its beautiful culture as manifest within the festival of Basant, to the rest of the world.