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“What do you honestly think of fashion week now?” Mr Owais Mazhar asked me after Day One and I replied that the platform had done full justice to the industry but the designers were still struggling. It would take another few years and consistently happening weeks to fine tune the process to perfection. They needed time to get into the discipline of it. Most importantly they needed to realize that fashion week was a platform to convince people that creativity counted, not just commercialism.

And that fact was more than visible on the second day of bridal week. Because while Fahad Hussayn’s commitment to fashion and energy was more than palpable, the event struggled to keep high energy afloat as the evening progressed through Raema Malik’s jewelry, Emran Rajput and finally Maria B.

Fahad Hussayn’s tradition with a twist was the highest point of the day. It was downhill from thereon.

1. Fahad Hussayn, also known as fashion’s dark horse for his Gothic take on everything, presented Raat Rakh, a collection that was sexy, edgy and very romantic in it’s vintage feel. It was a diverse collection, with varying silhouettes held together by an interlingering old world charm. Velvet and embellishment, wide borders and different types of embroideries meshed together created drama that was spot on and splendid. A lot of people compared it to Sabyasachi and Rohit Bal – and I see the resemblances – but then this has become the FH signature too and cannot be written off as a collection inspired by another designer. Traditional with a twist: loved it!

Fayeza models a Raema Malik neckpiece in reverse

2. Raema Malik is quite popular in Lahore and I have to say that her polki and precious pieces were quite delightful. That said, the show lacked the oomph and impact that jewelry shows need to have at bridal couture weeks. I hate to repeat this, but I do remember seeing jewelry shows in India being endorsed by superstars, the only way to uplift and keep the audience’s interest alive.

Zaheer Abbas designed the wardrobe for this segment and while the white Grecian numbers were not very effective, his bridals numbers (all four of them) were quite sound. The show could have gone places with high buzz moments but sadly it had none.

Emran Rajput’s take on bridals was OTT and confused

3. Emran Rajput has neither the skill, the experience or the merit to have qualified for Pakistan’s first credible bridal week – a very big deal where only handpicked names should have been seen – and surely he should have honed his skills elsewhere before rehearsing on a platform so huge. Because what he showed did not do justice to the pomp of the show. Not yet, if ever. This Vedaas collection was not historic in any way.

Maria B’s collection worked when it leaned towards formals but tripped as it neared bridals (image below)

4. Maria B closed day two with a collection titled “From Paris to Lahore’. Her rendition of Paris, which showed in fusion was elegant but as it geared towards Lahore it appeared that the Lahore she referred to was Heera Mandi of the 18th century and not the contemporary, modern Lahore that one would have preferred to see. The churidaars, peshwases and hats were all very Umrao Jaan/ Pakeeza and were more courtesan than bride. After impressing with her pret collection for the last fashion week, this was a let down.

A look that would have disappointed Meena Kumari, let alone brides.

Points to ponder:

1. The red carpet and front row was extremely lacklustre on day two. No buzz

2. Except for Fahad Hussayn’s show, there were no ‘moments’ or headline grabbers during the show and the collections were certainly not strong enough to hold their own.

3. Fashion weeks are made by a combination of strong planning and at the end of the day, strong fashion. While PFDC and L’Oreal put in their sincere best, there should have been bigger and better names to carry the baton of bridals ahead.

4. Depilex styled day two.



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