"We wanted to show a blend of East and West and something for everyone."
The beginning of November marked the two-day extravaganza that was Pakistan Fashion Week 5 (PFW).
The aptly named ‘Riwayat’, or ‘Traditions’ PFW5 show, was led by the fashion mogul himself, Adnan Ansari. It showcased the casual and couture collections by the biggest and best Pakistani designers.
Top make-up artist, Huma Tahir also participated by creating the beautiful looks for the catwalk.
The mega event helps to raise the profile of Pakistani fashion around the world. Held at the prestigious Hilton Paddington in London, with both days having sold out, fashion lovers gathered in excitement to see the latest fashion trends straight from the runway.
Designers such as Gul Ahmed, Sonya Battla, Mozzam Abassi, Usman Dittu and many more graced the ramp with their elegant and vibrant winter collections.
Anticipation for the collection was high following the success of four previous fashion weeks over the years, and the designs did not disappoint!
Moazzam Abbasi showcased his collection on Day 1 of Pakistan Fashion Week. This beautiful and elegant collection he describes as a ‘celebration of romance’.
Daring to break the barriers on the purity of whites and beige, Abbasi adds a glamorous tone to his collection that he labels as a combination of ‘the European look with Pakistani style’.
High-end couture designer Sonya Battla dazzled with her bright, embroidered collection filled with blood oranges and sparkling golds. Long kaftans and line shirts paired with ghagra’s appeared in this fusion collection, which embodies the spices of Asia.
Famous for her understanding of bridal and party wear, Battla created a collection that had Westernised cuts and materials, with authentic Desi regalness.
Sam and Huma Naz also created a collection that embodies the East and West. Describing their theme as ‘fusion’, they mixed cuts, colours and designs to successfully showcase their first collection at Pakistan Fashion Week 5.
Usman Dittu’s collection was part of the grand finale on the first day of Pakistan Fashion Week, which he described as ‘very feminine’ and ‘very sexy’. Speaking about his collection, Dittu said:
“What we kept in mind for this collection was bringing a collection to London. We wanted to show a blend of East and West and something for everyone, because London is a very vast market,” he said.
“You have Pakistani’s here also, you have a Western clientele. You have the Indians as well. So the kind of touch that I added in my collection was short blouses and gharara’s that the Indian clientele could wear, then we had dresses that the English clientele could wear and we had stuff for Pakistani’s as well.”
Usman Dittu paired printed pink lengha’s with cream and gold cropped kameez’s. The subtle elegance shone through the entire collection with each individual piece having something stunning, from the cut to the embroidery.
Worldwide fashion brand Rana Noman presented a beautiful ‘Gold Shadow’ range for men and women including lehenga’s, formal dresses and sherwani’s with crystal detail. The black and white collection shone on stage despite the dull gold and brown tones to the pieces!
Describing his collection, Noman said: “It is a couture collection, and it’s called ‘The Gold Shadow’ and it’s all about what is happening in the world at the moment.”
“It’s about how the world is being tarnished and being overpowered by the darkness, and what we’re all going through at the moment. So it’s all black and white, and it’s white sort of swiping, and the black coming in and taking over…but still there is hope and happiness.”
Gul Ahmed’s fresh and floral collection wowed with casual asymmetrical dresses, and high-collared frocks all printed with an explosion of nature.
The showstopper for this collection was the puffed princess bird frock with a royal blue paisley neckline. Daring, yet stunningly simple, Ahmed once again proved he is the king of creative prints.
Monochrome is a classic winter favourite, with plain white saris, lehenga’s and layered kameez’s accompanied by dull silver and black embroidery and paired with a signature headpiece.
This season is all about pops of colour, whether it is canary yellow or blood orange – be bold! Printed kameez’s with colour clashing necklines were popular on the runway, with Sapphire and Rana Noman championing this trend.
Every designer produced a collection that was different to their peers, meaning there is a design for everyone! Comfort is important this season, with gentle chiffon and cotton materials for casual wear and soft silks for couture.
Both days brought together fashion enthusiasts from all over the globe to appreciate world famous Pakistani designers. Each collection bought something new and unique to the runway, and this year was no doubt a success. Adnan Ansari described the fantastic show as ‘projecting a good image of Pakistan’.
With help from the best events coordinators, hair stylists, makeup artists, DJ’s, designers and volunteers, the fashion event ran smoothly, with Pakistani fashion now being the hot topic on everyone’s lips.