The fifth PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week officially commenced yesterday marking the third consistent year of the prêt a porter platform. In keeping with the objective of furthering fashion retail and synergizing high end design, textile manufacturers and buyers, fashion week includes ramp shows by leading retail labels as well as textile houses along with a fully functional, state of the art exhibition area.
Day 1 of the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week started with a press conference by the PFDC where they announced and introduced to the media the present and expected international buyers and agents and the presence of the World Fashion Organisation along with discussing what the PFDC has achieved and what more they have planned. Further details of the press conference are found below.
Day 1 at PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week saw Pakistan’s top film stars and actresses Reema, Meera and Humaima Mallick attend the Lux Red Carpet with a seperate special screening of Reema’s new television commercial for Lux is an exclusive lounge. Further, title sponsors for the Week Sunsilk, presented an exclusive booth for fashion styling, where complimentary hair styling and makeup touch ups with Nabila’s salon team was available and will continue to be available for the remaining days of PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week.
The week of fashion was formally opened with a press conference at the Expo Centre Lahore, MC’s by Hasan Shehryar Yasin, PFDC spokesperson and fashion week show director. He spoke about the growth the platform had witnessed in the past few years and how the unity of the PFDC fashion fraternity helped envision and implement the concept of designers coming together as a team to stage fashion week – HSY mentioned how this united team ensures better quality, more responsibility and ownership.
The first speaker introduced by HSY was the one of the founding board members of the Pakistan Fashion Design Council [PFDC], Mr. Avais Mazhar, who spoke about the history of council and its achievements since its inception. He also said that in a short span of time, PFDC has taken a lead in prêt a porter and bridal fashion ramp format, consistently working on avenues for the betterment of the fashion industry and providing a platform for the designers through these formats and through the PFDC stores. He mentioned that with inclusion of the voile shows and the participation of the textile mills the avenue has grown to accommodate serious producers who have the capacity to produce in large volumes. He also spoke about how the PFDC helps nurture fashion students and allows them to grow.
Following Mr. Mazhar’s speech, Mrs Sehyr Saigol, Chairperson of the executive committee of the PFDC spoke. She highlighted that PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week looks to generate synergies between fashion and textile, mass manufacturers, international showcase opportunities and buyers. She then introduced the 8 buyers and agents attending the event with more to follow specifically from India in the days to come.
She then introduced and welcomed the World Fashion Organisation and its founder Jaco De Jamies to the PFDC who together announced the intention of a partnership with the PFDC to bring Pakistani fashion to the international fashion formats and platforms through the council.
Carol Hanlon also addressed the media to discuss has global fashion incubation and fashion nurturing programmes she has made available to the PFDC to guide designers how to set up their businesses to make them sustainable and productive entities. Carol has over twenty years of experience in wholesale, retail, fashion design and export in Victoria, Australia with her own fashion label. Her diverse small business experience has qualified her well for the role of Founding Manager and Facilitator at the Belmont Business Enterprise Centre Inc. (BEC), Textile Clothing Footwear Resource Centre of Western Australia Inc. (TCFWA) and the design edge fashion incubator. In addition, Carol is also a City Councilor for Belmont, President of Belmont Business & Professional Women’s Club (BPW), Chair of the Belmont Community Bank Project and National President of Australian Institute of Enterprise Facilitators.
The conference ended with an address by CEO of the council, Saad Ali, who talked about the new PFDC store opening in Karachi at Dolmen City Mall. He also guided the media present to take time out to visit the state of the art exhibition area in which participating and non-participating designers were guided to exhibit by the PFDC. Each exhibition booth is equipped with fabric samples, mood boards, portfolio and collection costings to order.
Act 1 of PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week was opened by the sister duo Nickie Nina with their latest prêt a porter collection entitled “Royal Military”. The collection was opened by media personality, actress and model Juggun Kazim and drew inspiration from Nickie and Nina’s father, a military man, who imbued within his personality the discipline and ardour characteristic of the military. While Nickie Nina is perhaps better known for their sleek silhouettes and flowing clothes, this collection was a complete diversion from their well-known design sensibility. This collection encompassed the strength and regal appeal of the military: the cuts and silhouette were inspired by the expert and almost rigid tailoring of military uniforms, as well as the sophistication and elegance of the armed forces. The silhouette was therefore more structured, the lines more straight and rigid and the embellishments even more detailed than before. The colour palette was diverse and taken from traditional military shades along with an assortment of military insignia, medals and badges. In a subliminal fashion, the Nickie Nina Royal Military collection was also an ode to the strength which lies dormant within all women. The collection salutes women of all ages and from all professions, congratulating them for their innate strength and applauding their inner power. Actress Humaima Mallick, Lux brand ambassador was the show stopper.
The iconic haute couture and prêt a porter design house of Nickie Nina is the brainchild of sisters Aliya “Nickie” Ali and Nabila “Nina” Khan. Possessing an indisputable flair for fashion, the duo designed their first collection in 1995 and soon developed a historic relationship with Pakistani fashion. Five years later, having made an indelible mark on the Pakistani fashion scene, the sisters launched the eponymous luxury label in 2000 at the critically acclaimed millennium show in Lahore. Since, then dynamic duo has continued to make waves, building a name for their brand not only in Pakistan, but also abroad. The duo are amongst the founding members of the prestigious Pakistan Fashion Design Council. Nickie Nina has showcased to heads of state and fashionistas across diverse international fashion destinations, including New York, L.A., Chicago, London, Geneva, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. The label is currently retailed in Lahore, Pakistan at its outlet on M.M. Alam road, as well as the PFDC Boulevard at Mall One in Main Gulberg, and in Karachi at the Nickie Nina outlet on Zamzama.
Act 1’s second show was staged by Atelier AZZA with their spring/summer 2013 womenswear collection entitled “Inheritance” an ode to the creative director, Azeeza Desai Khan’s Indian and Afghani roots. Inheritance brought to light the inherited culture of the US born and raised designer with the use of artisanal textile craft of South Asia through rich embellishments, hand embroideries and silks fused with Western modernized cuts. The line was set to be balance of Azeeza’s Western heritage and traditional Eastern influences. The twenty piece collection embodies a vibrant colour palette with opulent gold and Swarovski accents that aim for an understated yet statement glamour. The collection leveraged dimensional South Asian textiles including pure silks, chiffon, net and organza alongside antiqued gold and silk thread finished embroideries. The cuts of the collection included a variance of billowing frocks juxtaposed against structured separates of constructed blazers and trousers.
AZZA is an expression of Azeeza’s own elegant yet avant-garde aesthetic and commitment to philanthropy. AZZA is produced in the US, India and Pakistan and for each piece sold, AZZA provides a garment to an impoverished South Asian woman or child. In addition, AZZA houses an ‘Artisan’ line that provides economic growth and empowerment to rural South Asian women in regions of poverty and conflict. AZZA caters to a new generation of American women fusing high street with high fashion through billowing fabrics, edgy embellishments and urban cuts. Emmy Award nominated marketing maven and AZZA creative director Azeeza Desai Khan began her fashion education in India, where she was formally trained through a two year apprenticeship that taught her the fundamentals of creating intricate embellishments. Born and bred in the US, Azeeza’s designs took on a new meaning when she combined Western and European cuts with Indian and Afghan inspired embellishments. The marrying of the two concepts proved successful during Azeeza’s debut showcase at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week New York in September 2011. Most recently, Azeeza was named as a ‘Design Industry Expert’ alongside the Neiman Marcus General Manager by the celebrated Driehaus Design Initiative; she will soon participate in a roundtable panel and mentor students from the world renowned Art Institute College of Design.
Next on the runway was Karachi based designer Tazeen Hasan with her prêt a porter womenswear collection entitled “Evocative”, inspired from the colours of the season. The collection was all about love, romance, emotions and the flowers of spring. This collection was based in chiffons and the cuts were soft, flowy and feminine. The embellishments included frilling and rusching, interspersed with an extensive use of sequins, bugle beads and floral ornamentation.
Tazeen Hasan’s personal design aesthetic rests on the understated, elegant, precise, and meticulous. Starting with small custom orders from her home in the year 1990, she has carved her own impregnable space in the world of Pakistani Fashion and has expanded from Prêt to Couture and for the last 6 years into Fabric Embellishment and Design. Tazeen was nominated as the ‘Best Womenswear Designer 1995’ at the coveted Lux Style Awards held in Dubai. She participated in the ‘Bridal Asia’ showcase in New Delhi, India in 2006 and has represented Pakistan at the ‘SAARC women’s Conference’ with a fashion show in 2008. She has the credit of being the first designer in Pakistan to change the face of machine embroidery using unconventional methods. With minimalist themes and inspiration rooted in function rather than pure appearance, creations by Tazeen Hasan are designed to fit into the larger canvas of life.
Opening for Day 1’s Act 2 was Élan’s collection entitled “Flights of Fantasy”. The designer, Khadijah Shah, took her design inspiration from her fascination with Chinese designs resulting in her compilation of Oriental imagery put together over the course of several years. The colour palette ranged from popping yellow, pink, lime and electric blue along with neutrals; navy and cream. Khadijah designed and produced two prints specifically for the collection; a white floral with butterflies and Chinese calligraphy and a cobalt cloud pattern – both uniquely oriental. Together the prints and plains were subtly colour blocked and juxtaposed to create a refreshing spring palette. For this collection, the designer had also reproduced Chinese art in sequin and cut glass embellishments for different pieces. It was a versatile collection which the designer mentioned could be worn in many different ways and to that end there was an array of pants, tops, jackets and dresses that can be mixed and matched and dressed up or down depending on how one chooses to pair them. The collection had a trans-cultural feel, as the embellished pants could be worn with longer shirts and the midriff tops work as sari tops for instance. The silhouette of the pants and tops was fluid, sometimes draped and sometimes asymmetric but designed with the aim to be universally flattering for all body types. The designer specifically referenced the ‘rose petal’ gilets in her collection which had been laboriously crafted, with hand cut chiffon petals, which delicately change hue from light to dark.
Élan is a fashion label launched eight years ago by Khadijah Shah. She is respected for her combination of intricate embellishments, flattering silhouettes and attention to detail in the construction of each outfit. Indeed each collection is conceived with glamour, elegance and versatility in mind. Khadijah Shah inherited her design aesthetic from her mother Aneela Shah, who had a small atelier and a loyal clientele for many years before Élan was formerly launched. In a short span of six years, Khadijah has formalised and expanded the label and created an effective and influential place for Élan in the fashion industry.
Next on the runway was MUSE with an Autumn/Winter 2012/13 womenswear collection, hitting deep at the feminine heart. The collection was signature MUSE – modern, and metallically decadent. The pieces were worked with delicate sequins in animal prints, as well geometric patterns. Seen on the ramp were ultra-long, wide-legged palazzo trousers recurring throughout the collection with shirts that were easy to wear and worked in rich dazzling palettes. Fabrics used were crepes in powder blue, molten purple, emerald green and black.
Launched in early 2009 by Moeed Yousaf, MUSE is a contemporary womenswear fashion line. The label’s philosophy is to make clothes with modern lines using luxurious fabrics and hand-embellishment with motifs inspired by contemporary design. The idea for MUSE was born in Paris, with a desire to bring a new aesthetic to Pakistan. Upon his return to the country, Moeed teamed up with Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture graduate Faryal Aftab as co-creative director and together they launched their flagship MUSE outlet in Lahore. The fashion house was one of the eight labels chosen to showcase at the acclaimed Prêt-à-Porter Feminin in Paris last September in 2011. MUSE will be showcasing for the third year at the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week.
The final solo fashion show for the day was by Mohsin Ali with his womenswear collection entitled “Baran – e – Ishq”. Taking inspiration from the joy and rebirth that the season of Spring brings, Mohsin’s latest collection celebrated the return of the season with a collection based in chiffon, jamawar and silk.
Mohsin has a degree in Fashion Design from the Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design (PIFD) and was the winner of the Bronze Award at the PIFD 2010 graduation show. He was first selected by the PFDC to showcase his designs under his own name and label, Mohsin, at PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week November 2010 to critical acclaim. Mohsin has had two years of experience working as a menswear designer with Republic by Omar Farooq. He also designed the head gear for Nickie Nina’s collection at the debut PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week in February 2010 and worked with the duo for their PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week collection showcased in Mar/Apr 2011. This week is his third solo showcase at the prestigious platform.
Day 1 saw a Trends show as the finale, which aimed to highlight the trends for the upcoming season through fifteen ‘looks’ put together from the works of fourteen participating designers by the PFDC’s organisation and style team.
The PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week is being produced, choreographed and directed by HSY and his team with Maheen Kardar Ali and Zara Shahjahan for front stage management. Mohsin Ali and Akif Mahmood managed the exhibition area, Fahad Hussayn and Ali Xeeshan are working alongside the style teams for hair and makeup, Kamiar Rokni and Asim Naeem are overseeing green room [backstage] management.
The event is being coordinated by the Rteam, with foreign buyer and media management by Latitude and PR by Lotus.