It’s been about four months since I landed in Pakistan. Things have been interesting and positively overwhelming to the say the least. I have had the chance to make a new set of friends as well as meet lots of fascinating people in the budding and promising media/fashion/entertainment industry of Pakistan.
Recently I got the chance to be a part of one of the Fashion Week events here in Pakistan (as a model) called the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion week which was held in Karachi at The Golf Club in Defence.
The event was coordinated and organized by Frieha Altaf who is more or less the Anna Wintour of Pakistan and the choreography was done by HSY (Hassan Shehryar Yasin) who is this spunky and funny yet professional personality in addition to being one of the top fashion designers of Pakistan!
There were about 5 – 6 designers each day for 4 days total and over 35 models (male & female), some of which traveled from Lahore to Karachi to participate in the show.
After having been exposed the the fashion industry in the US, I must say that overall I was impressed with the production and the organization of the event.
One thing that was a little different about fashion week in Pakistan was that there was a lot of choreography in each segment which is usually avoided internationally as fashion week is supposed to be more about the garments and collection rather than the theatrics. And this is not a good or bad thing, just different. I guess it’s a cultural thing and perhaps also stems from the fact that we haven’t reached a point in the industry yet where there are tons of buyers who are placing orders on the collections.
The models were sweet, professional and dedicated. There were the occasional Divas who at times tried to intimidate the fresher talent which may have worked on some. 🙂 But once you break through the rough exterior and talk to them one on one, they are not so bad! In fact some of them are very encouraging and keen to help.
Two of them had fever throughout the event, but still did their part to show up to the rehearsals and take part in the show. One of these girls ended up fainting backstage on the finale of the last day. Yikes!
There were some models who were moaning and groaning about having to be at rehearsal period, which didn’t make sense at all but they were put in their place right away by the choreographer.
The more established models were definitely given preference for the best outfits, but this provided for a great opportunity for the new girls to shine. I say this because when you are given an outfit that is not exactly a ‘show-stopper’, then you have a bigger challenge to really ‘rock’ the outfit on stage for it to be noticed. So when the newer girls were getting claps and appreciation, then we knew we had done something right!
The make-up and hair team backstage did get a bit stressed at times and lost it a little but I think to be fair, things can get pretty crazy backstage anywhere in the world. They did a pretty good job with the make-up as it looks good in the photographs (doesn’t looked caked on) and the hair was also nice but honestly left me wanting a bit more. The best word I could use to the describe the hair is “safe”.
The designers were great! The ones that I really noticed in terms of a great sense of aesthetics and workmanship were Sobia Nazir, Feeha Jamshed @ Teejays, HSY, Akif, Maria B., Kamiar Rokni and last but not least Omar Farooq of Republic.
In terms of being bold and innovative, I think designers like YBQ, Ali Xeeshan, Fahad Husseyn and Mohsin should be applauded.
Now for the music! I know that in this aspect I can be extra critical because I am obsessed with discovering new music and having it match with the visuals presented, so I will say that the music was pretty good but could’ve been much better. A few designers I noticed had just picked songs they like personally and maybe didn’t put too much thought into whether it matches the philosophy, mood or brand identity of their collection.
One great song I discovered was I think in this designer named Akif’s segment. It’s called Gypsy (Afrojack remix) by Steve Angello. <– Check out the youtube link to listen! While they were playing it at rehearsal, I snuck up to the DJ Booth and peeked at the name of the track!! Muhahahah! Also, on the fourth day and the final show, HSY had a nice energy/vibe to the music in his segment which provided for an excellent closing to the entire event.
So there…we’ve covered models, music, designers, make-up/hair and more.
It was a very exciting and fun event to be a part of for someone like me who has been away from Pakistan for years.
BRAVO to the team of PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week for continuing the show during and after the horrible bomb blast in Karachi around 8pm during the 2nd day of this event. They made a decision to not give into the act of terrorism by not being terrorized.
Hats off to the entire team and to the people who came to watch! The show must and it DID go on!
Here are some photos: