At the moment it may seem like hell may freeze over before Pakistan find some kind of stability, but one sincerely hopes that our journey towards peace and prosperity begins in the year 2010. Meanwhile, the fashion industry has reared an adventurous head of its own and promises to bring many exciting propositions to the arena at large. As we step into 2010, almost two decades after fashion shows were publicised as cultural shows under senseless censorship, fashion in Pakistan has actually outrun every other liberal event in the country. Here’s a brief preview of the great expectations from fashion in the coming year…
Putting together the perfect Ensemble
The Carnival de Couture — which turned the wheels of fortune around for fashion by putting Pakistani and Indian designers and models on the same platform in Karachi — has been momentarily shelved due to the red flags flying on travel advisories.
But the now regular Ensemble shows — also organised by Zeba Hussain — have stepped in as the perfect alternative. She confirms that 2010 has three shows in line: the first will be a grand fundraiser in Lahore. Designers to feature on the coveted runways are still undecided, but one hears that this show will echo the Carnival de Couture grandeur in terms of Indian participation. The second show to be held in Karachi, in April, will feature Spring/Summer collections of their featured designers. And finally the third show will be held later in the year, again in Karachi and possibly on a big scale if things remain stable in Pakistan. Although the upcoming fashion weeks do pose strong competition, Zeba smiles that something different will always be happening within the white lily marquees that will be put up.
Fashion Week fever
Ever since the ambitious project of Pakistan Fashion Week died two years ago, there has been a murmur of speculation reverberating a ‘can we, can’t we’ mantra regarding a fashion week for Pakistan. And that continued up until November when Ayesha Tammy Haq, the newly-appointed CEO of Fashion Pakistan said, “Yes, we can!”
Now, as a snowball effect, we are looking at an avalanche of not one, not two but three fashion weeks! The first — Karachi Fashion Week — organised by the event management company that held KFW with Fashion Pakistan last year is presently scheduled for end of January.
Fashion week in Lahore will be held in February according to the Pakistan Fashion Design Council (Lahore council). Extending an olive branch to Karachi-based designers to converge on a single platform, Lahore Fashion Week (it doesn’t have an official title yet) may be attracting many of Karachi’s acclaimed designers who are eager to show in Lahore this season.
And that means that the third fashion week of the year — Fashion Pakistan week in March — may lose out on some important names. FPW may have been the first but with competition from Lahore, it certainly doesn’t mean it will be the best. Time will tell. So that’s two significant fashion weeks (we’ll include KFW when it actually happens with any merit) showing Autumn/Winter 2010 in February/March and repeating the cycle later in the year for Spring/Summer 2011. Some 30 collections per event would mean 120 collections in all. Or more. That’s a lot of fashion. Let’s hope there’s enough legwork and back end follow up to make it worth it.
Nowhere in the world do consumer brands have fashion shows unless they are: a) a fashion label; or b) striking an association with a fashion week. But this depilatory brand has now been hosting two fashion shows a year, each one featuring several high-profile fashion labels to a corporate front-row audience. And this year they will be raising that to three. Event manager Frieha Altaf confirms that the shows will be held in April, July and November as a platform for fashion. However, while they were welcome at a time when fashion shows were few and far between, the fashion week mania we are now witnessing makes them rather pointless. It would make more sense for the brand to either pitch in sponsorship for a fashion week or simply make their shows more focused. There is always the Fashion Rocks concept that they already introduced by having Strings on stage last time.
The LSAs need to make a comeback
With so much happening in fashion, the cream on the cake would be having style awards to honour those who have excelled. Following this unprecedented blitz of fashion, having the Lux Style Awards now makes more sense than ever. This year saw a disappointing downsizing of the time-honoured event, which was reduced to a mere photo-meet but the grand affair needs to make a comeback in 2010 and rumour has it that it will. Because despite all the controversy that tags them every year, the LSAs do provide a bustling roundup of everything hip, happening and stylish.