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Like I’ve been saying all along, more than twenty out of the twenty five collections showcased at the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week made us proud of how far Pakistani fashion has come today. But here’s a look at the ones I think stand best as the top ten … not only were they coherent in following a theme but were trendsetting at the same time projecting an aesthetic that was inherently Pakistani yet global.

Here are my top ten favourites, in alphabetical order!

1. Adnan Pardesy

Razor sharp zippers edge this metamorphed version of the gharara

Trend: Denim, denim and more denim but instead of the bulky variety jeans are made of, this was a feather light version in two distinct shades of blue. Absolutely ingenious, Pardesy out-did himself with this collection marking his denim tunics as a must-have for summer, even if you want to wear them with a crisp white shalwar! This skirt, mind you can be zipped up or down, as you like it!

2. Akif

The headgears should have been toned down but fortunately didn’t steal focus from the brilliance of this collection

Trend: The newcomers really nailed it at fashion week, proving how important the right platform is in a designer’s development. While Akif kept his hemlines low, he transformed them onto long coats as opposed to shirts. And the coats and jackets came with loose, wide cut linen palazzos. A hint of Sabyasachi Mukherjee in the earthy palette, though the bright appliqués gave it a life of its own. I say Akif is the new Kamiar Rokni.

3. Ali Xeeshan

Androgyny in opulence is what truly brings Mughal grandeur back to this funky collection!

Trend: I do believe fashion shows require a spot of gimmickry and what better than when that comes as the natural instinct of a designer. A quirky designer with an appetite for attention, Ali Xeeshan in this collection for Crimson presented handcrafted couture shirts reviving the vintage feel in formal clothing. Mughal yet modern, this is what you call two-in-one!

4. FnkAsia

A variety of fun, funky shirts and shalwars from FnkAsia

Trend: One of the most wearable (and widely available) collections in terms of diversity as well as availability, FnkAsia’s fashion week collection had a flavour of every top trend: from the fresh underwater sea palette, the experimentation of the shalwar and the playfulness of the tunics. Nothing too structured, the embroidered pieces served FnkAsia’s Arabian clientele while the funky trussed up kurtas were perfect for local hot summers.

5. Khaadi Khaas

A new approach to the safari suit and the keffiyah!

Trend: Still playing with volume at large, a few pieces in the KK collection hinted at the comeback of fitted shapes, especially in reference to the safari suit. Blue was flaunted as colour of the season while accents of aqua including green and coral also prevailed. A happy comeback for this uber popular brand, which was missed at the last fashion week.

6. Mohsin

The perfect traveling jacket, with the right shades of summer and the perfect ethnic accents

Trend: Mohsin’s collection was creative but not so coherent which one can easily discount for his lack of experience. He did just graduate only a few months ago and in lieu of that he did exceptionally well. Mohsin forecasted sheer trench coats as summer must-haves, especially for travelers who will be exposed to sun and monsoon rain. More artful than practical, this collection was a winner. 

Don’t you wish the men in your life dressed like this?

7. Republic

Trend: The only purely menswear collection that outright impressed at fashion week, Omar Farooq the man behind the brand cemented his name as someone who had a complete handle on the designing and styling of menswear. Immaculately finished garments, razor sharp tailoring and definite trends in the black and grey checks, the looser and higher trousers and the bigger lapels worn with…yes, the waistcoat.

8. Teejays

Feeha Jamshed carries the Teejays legacy into a new era

Trend: Such a simple yet strong collection, carved out of the one fabric that we can wear and rely on just as easily: cotton, this is Feeha finding her niche and I have to say that her niche is a huge following. Very obviously giving tunics a structured fit, Feeha did add capes to this autumn/winter collection and took the cotton ghararas (available in summer) to another level as cargo ghararas. If you thought that ghararas weren’t practical then you have another think coming. 

9. Sublime by Sara Shahid

A refreshing wash of summer with coral, mango, aqua and white.

Trend: the collection announced coral, aqua and white as colours for spring/summer 2010. It brought the empire sleeve back, transformed the burqa into a cape thus advocating tolerance and co-existence as the key element of a creative mind and kept the mood light and uplifting. Clean cut with only accents of hand embroidery, this collection was a winner.

10. Zaheer Abbas

Humaima models for Zaheer Abbas, the only designer Hilary Alexander mentioned as “very, very, very good”.

Trend: Reminiscent of his signature work, Zaheer’s collection was a futuristic display of masterful pleating and construction. Playing within shades of grey and burgundy, it was exceptionally well defined, predicting quilting as a concrete trend in coats and even tunics come winter.

Photography by Faisal Farooqui

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