Designer Hassan Sheheryar Yasin ventured into high street by showcasing the collection made in collaboration with Kashf Foundation, while couturier Nilofer Shahid took the PSFW platform to set high expectations for her upcoming lawn collection.

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While Ittehad Textiles gave one a lesson in wearing lawn fashionably, HSY Limited took us back to our roots.

Fashion shows, in this part of the world, have long been labeled as frivolous activities that promote unnecessary modernism. But recent times have seen fashion weeks being accepted as serious business endeavours. Perhaps this is why the 20 billion rupees lawn industry is also tapping into their success.

Day 4 of PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week was not only dedicated to high street fashion but also included an evening showcase by these textile giants. It had an unhurried feel for obvious reasons. All the hullabaloo from the previous three days disappeared in the blink of an eye and so did the well-heeled glam dolls. But that did not take away from the business value of the show.

While a host of high street and textile houses were seen putting a fashionable foot forward, due credit must be given to couturier HSY for exploring high street with such great ease.

Post his big, glamorous finale on Day 3, the designer showcased a high street collection under the umbrella of HSY Limited celebrating the diminishing craftsmanship of women, belonging to the far flung areas of Punjab, done in collaboration with the Kashf Foundation. Traditional, intricate hand embroideries, including tarkashi, mukaish, shadow work and cross-stitch embroidery, against a backdrop of earthy tones in a range of silhouettes – from dhoti shalwars to peplum tops – it was one of the best collections in terms of wearability and design.

The show, however, opened with PIFD graduate Maria Basit’s label MBM’s collection called Chromodope – Rangon ka Nasha that was quite literally a riot of colours with potential to induce vertigo. Layers and layers of digital prints with splashes of neon green and bright orange, the collection had too much going on in one go. And while it’s always good to see young designers make use of the platform, Basit could learn a lesson or two in minimalism. The only outfit worth a mention was a pop-art inspired cape, with a trail, paired with cropped pants, donned by model Fouzia Aman.

Designer Shirin Hasan, who is known for her signature block prints, showed for the second time on the PSFW platform with a collection of hits and misses. The asymmetrical, embroidered black tunic paired with flared white trousers was the winner whereas the printed ball-room skirts and fluorescent dresses left us underwhelmed. That said, Hasan is on track when it comes to high street’s retail availability. The designer was seen with a few guests from India post the show and upon inquiring she revealed that she will be sending her collection to Mini Sandhu, who already stocks her block prints in her Amritsar store, as well as to Delhi, in two weeks time.

The best of the lot was designer Sobia Nazir’s SN Max. The predominantly white collection, using a variety of embellishment techniques, including 3D embroidery, as well as floral prints on chic tracks, shorts, t-shirts and jogger pants was the most exciting adaptation of sports luxe into high street fashion. However, while it was an interesting showcase, one doubted its commercial viability.

Moving on to the voile shows, it must be noted that while it makes business sense to showcase lawn given its growing popularity, one does not need to be subjected to more shows than one can deal with.

Amongst a total of six shows, three succeeded in echoing the fashion week vibe, to some extent, whereas the remaining three were simply abysmal.

Al Karam Studio played it safe showcasing a mix of prints and solids with textured embroideries and denim accents, for both men and women, but did not bring any fashion element to the fore with its styling. Gul Ahmed, on the other hand, tried to up the style ante by using a range of fabric material and turning it into Western wear including skirts, palazzos and capes. The show stealer, however, were Ittehad Textiles showcasing their latest lawn collection designed by ace couturier Nilofer Shahid. The designer masterfully translated her artsy aesthetic onto a fabric as simple as cotton and in ways that were both contemporary and chic. From mermaid gowns to halter tops and tunics, Shahid gave us a myriad of options to wear lawn fashionably.

In contrast, brands such as Khas, Harmony and Warda failed to make an impact, whatsoever. The collections lacked cohesiveness and a vision while the prints were uninspiring. One hopes to see more fashion forward collections from them in future.

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