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The second day of the fourth chapter of PSFW was higher on energy and buzz. The Sunsilk lounge was bustling with fashionistas and I must add that it was a great idea to offer picture souvenirs to those who were photographed against what I like to call the ‘Wall of Fame’.

Nickie Nina’s underwater collection

 Nickie Nina: Act One opened with an underwater collection by Nickie Nina. It was a departure from the luxury couture that they usually create and some of the pieces were struggling to stay afloat. That said, it was encouraging to see the design duo experiment with their work. NN have a huge following in Lahore and any influence they can have on getting women out of paneled, flared shirts will  and should be appreciated. The sheer wearable pieces juxtaposing the aquas of the sea with appliques of coral reefs were refreshing for them.

Zainab Sajid: Another designer who took a leap of faith from the bridals she is popular for was Zainab Sajid. Though the construction and finish of her garments fell short of perfect, it was certainly better than seeing bridal kaam waley kaprey. The white draped collection depicting blue Multani pottery was a safe and yet visually fresh palette.

Sajid had worked on her drapes and shapes and like NN, she took a departure from the done-to-death ankle length panels.

Zainab Sajid decides against bringing her popular bridals to the runway.

Mohsin Ali: A disturbing wail opened Mohsin’s show; the designer hails from Hazara and Frieha Altaf explained that they wanted to begin with a mood of melancholy reflecting the Hazaran killings that make headlines everyday. But the mourning quickly moved to optimism and hope with a collection that was brilliantly constructed and had a magnificent colour palette. Very graphic, very Mondrian and very experimental. Mohsin has come a long way in a short time and his creativity and stream of consciousness will surely be his strongest point.

Mohsin’s melancholia…

…quickly transcends to hope and life. Long live Hazara!

Sania Maskatiya develops her own prints, the star of which is Dilkash!

Act two began with Sania Maskatiya, easily one of the best shows of the day. So many trends emerged in this show, from the contrasting back/front to sheer, pleated shifts worn over body fitted trousers and tops.

The Sania Maskatiya signature print – worn by Humaima, Frieha Altaf, Sania herself, Selina Rashid and I’m sure several others, was coined ‘Dilkash’ and will surely be a print every fashionista will want to own.

The best thing about SM’s show was the balance that made commercial clothes just as easily runway friendly. This one is a designer to look out for!

The second PIFD student introduced to fashion week, Irfan, injected more folk energy into fashion. His collection, replete with coloured motifs on a white palette, the bird cages and references to Punjabi history, may have been reminiscent to a lot of what one has seen before but his shapes were diverse. Almost too diverse for a first time collection from a student. There was a bit of everything – even a white shalwar – and this boy showed a lot of promise.

PIFD graduate Irfan’s debut was bold and confident

FnkAsia closed Day Two of fashion week with a collection devoted to the art of Suzani needlework. Essentially an Autumn/Winter collection, it comprised of a variety of jackets and coats, worn over a plethora of shapes including bubble tunics, jumpsuits, cowl-suits etc. The lowers, a local form of embroidered tights, completed the look. It was an impressively put together collection, one that showed maturity in brand direction.

(I’m a day behind schedule; you’ll get the Day Three analysis before Day Four kicks off. So much buzz in the air with Adnan Pardesy’s fabulous colour blocking, Yahsir Waheed’s dyes ajrak and brilliant take on prints and of course, above all the Khaadi Khaas collection that encapsulated the spirit of Karachi from crows to Jang akhbar!)

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