meta name="google-site-verification" content="gdcGt4xpWaQN6HWOZXIX-LttFtsShdzaLErlI_dUOJw" / usa trends uk fashion: March 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

FASHIONWEEK: Hitting Lahore in style

As a trade event, the fashion week held in Lahore had its vital statistics in place: there were buyers in the front rows and a hustle bustle of media all over the place. The four days scheduled 32 collections — some great and some not so great — with the sole purpose of generating business and building a professional profile for Pakistan’s fashion industry, something only fashion weeks can do.

Pakistan’s Karachi Fashion Week took place in Karachi in 2007 and it was government supported. It also returned last month. The second, however, won Karachi over as Fashion Pakistan Week (under the aegis of Pakistan’s other fashion council) last year in November. Therefore this one was only the next in an exhausting series, though the first fashion week in Lahore.

It must be said that it was the most organised Pakistan has seen so far.

An ensemble of separate spaces

Hosted at the Royal Palm Country Club, the fashion week featured a smart marquee with a straight white ramp and photographer’s pit, a VIP Lounge for buyers and select members of the press, a registration booth and media centre for everyone. The swanky Palmer’s CafĂ© came alive after hours for post-show parties and an entire food and beverage kiosk was set up for service during show time.

Though all these units were inconveniently spaced out, it is merely a matter of time and finances that an area exclusive to fashion week can be developed. It just needs to keep happening consistently, which it will thanks to the two-year contract PSFD has signed with the sponsors. Also, while collections were displayed a day later at the PFDC Boulevard, they must instead be featured at the venue as stalls for the buyers’ and media’s convenience.

Collections make a fashion week spin

The event logistics, follow-up and back-end work and administration managed by Catwalk, Lotus PR and members of the PFDC and Unilever can only help facilitate an already sailing ship. And as that ship, a fashion week can sail only on the steam set off by designers and their collections.

Out of the collections shown, the ones with incredible energy were Kamiar Rokni, Body Focus, Sublime, Khaadi, Nomi Ansari, Ammar Belal and Sadaf Malaterre. Feeha Jamshed’s collection was brilliant had it not been so similar to what she had shown at Fashion Pakistan Week last November. The similarities diluted the impact. Following closely were Tazeen Hasan, YBQ, Yahsir Waheed. Together they were a multi-facted, diverse face of Pakistani fashion.

In the immensely popular bridal ‘couture’ pool, Elan was refreshingly eye-catching whereas HSY, Rehana Saigol, Asifa & Nabeel, Nida Azwer and Nickie Nina found their own niche following. It must be explained that while bridal couture has always been disregarded as a thing of studios and not catwalks, when you have buyers flying in from Dubai, there will be a market for bridals and that should be catered to. The criteria for impressive bridals, however, stand similar to those for ready-to-wear. It involves aesthetically sound, well-finished pieces that ideally tweak tradition one way or the other.

Karachi vs Lahore: the million-dollar question

The inevitable question on everyone’s mind was this: which fashion week was better? Unfortunately there is no singular answer.

Lahore’s strength, it must be said, primarily lies on the shoulders of one woman: Sehyr Saigol. Her clout pulled in the sponsors and she had the vision to put Catwalk and Lotus PR in places of strategic relevance. She was in the control seat all the time. Many people have vouched for the fact that nothing, not even the colour of the curtains, was approved without her consent.

The answer to everything now is an urgent need for one fashion week: a Pakistan Fashion Week. One fashion week will be able to profile Pakistan as a country that creates diverse fashion and this current divisiveness only creates loopholes. Foreign observers in Lahore don’t know who Deepak Perwani, Rizwan Beyg, Maheen Khan, Sonya Battla, Ismail Farid, Ather Hafeez or Nilofer Shahid are, and those who make it to Karachi will miss out on Kamiar Rokni, Sublime and Body Focus amongst others. Add Lahore’s best to Karachi’s best and you have an eye-popping lineup. Who’ll bring Karachi and Lahore together is anyone’s guess but there are several power players who are expected to intervene.

As for now, the foreign press will be interested in Pakistani fashion as long as the Taliban angle applies. It’s a stereotype but it has also raked out the publicity. These stories and this interest will fizzle out unless the fashion industry grows strong enough to sustain itself. The strength is in numbers. They have to add up.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

White Wedding Dress is Always in fashion

There is an old poem about how the color of your wedding dress will influence your future: “Married in white, you will have chosen all right. Married in grey , you will go far away. Married in black, you will wish yourself back. Married in red, you’ll wish yourself dead. Married in blue, you will always be true. Married in pearl, you’ll live in a whirl. Married in green, ashamed to be seen, Married in yellow, ashamed of the fellow. Married in brown, you’ll live out of town. Married in pink, your spirits will sink.”
White has long been accepted as the traditional color of the wedding dress, but wedding gowns were not always white. The marriage of Queen Victoria to her cousin Albert of Saxe- Coburg in 1840 has had more influence on weddings than any other. Queen Victoria put the wheels in motion by marrying in white. Though brides continued to wed in gowns of different colors, white was now set as the color of choice for weddings and has continued ever since. In Godey’s Lady’s Book, 1849, this statement was printed: “ Custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material. It is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood, and the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one.”
Thus, medieval wedding gowns were of the most expensive fabrics; velvet, damask silk, satin, fur, and fabrics woven with gold and silver thread. Colors were rich in hues, as only the wealthy could afford expensive red, purple, and black dyes. Skirts were full and gathered, the sleeves would sweep the floor, and trains were several yards long. Precious gems such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and pearls were sewn into the fabric, so the bride would sparkle in the sunlight. Fifteenth century Margaret of Flanders had such a heavily laden wedding gown she had to be carried into the church by two gentlemen attendants.

White has always symbolized a bride's virginity and innocence in the face of her imminent change of status, but it has not always been the favorite choice. Blue, with its associations with the Virgin Mary, is another strong symbol of purity, fidelity, and eternal love (hence the popularity of sapphire in engagement rings). Brides who wore something blue believed their husbands would always be true to them, a tradition which has survived to this day.
In our world today, most of us are too busy to give romance and elegance its due attention, but weddings have a way of transforming those of us whose standard attire are jeans and T-shirts into modern-day princesses draped in satin, silk, and lace with accessories such as pearls, glimmering tiaras, and a cascading flower bouquet. Men who cannot bare to wear a necktie stand gallantly as noble gentlemen decorated and adorned with ascots and French cuffs.
Brides today choose dresses with flowing, soft fabrics, ruffles, satin sashes (at the waist), and delicate floral details. Most dress silhouettes are refined and include the delicate overlaying of fabrics such as chiffon, tulle and lace. Gowns with crystal, cubic zirconia, and/or pearl embellished bodices are very popular at the moment.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fashion's Super Bowl : Red Carpet

The Academy Award ceremonies have been around since l929 when a group of 270 guests met at the Biltmore Hotel and paid 5.00 dollars each for Lobster Eugenie and "Los Angeles Salad." Back then, it was all about the food, and apparently today, it's all about the fashion.

From feather boas and satin gowns of the twenties, to haute couture and the millions of dollars of jewels on loan today, this is the fashion industry's Super Bowl. And it's hard to remember a time when we watched the Oscars without the preliminary fashion show/product placement/walk of fame and shame that is known as the "Red Carpet."The Sundance Channel tackles the phenomenon this Thursday (7:00 PM CST) with its documentary "The Red Carpet Issue." How does an awards ceremony honoring great achievements in film turn into an extension of the fashion industry? French journalist Olivier Nicklaus explores the trials and tribulations as stylists, fashion designers, publicists, and celebrities jockey for position for the best and brightest to wear on the red carpet.

As with everything in life, there is a dirty underbelly to the practice. According to the many editors, stylists, and industry insiders who were interviewed, the name of the game is exposure and press. Apparently fashion houses and clothing brands will do and pay just about anything to get their items on the back, on the arm or in the hands of a glamorous star.How did it get to this point and what did we watch before? And does it matter if Penelope dons Versace, Angelina is wearing Prada, or Meryl is in Chanel? Nevertheless, the two-three hour pre-event (depending on which channel you watch) has become a permanent addition to the Oscar ceremony with the follow up best and worst dressed lists bumping everything off the news short of a nuclear holocaust. The red carpet has taken a life of its own -- I have even heard of college drinking games centered around how many times the viewer hears "what are you wearing" and "amazing." For a night, it's the ultimate reality television.

Friday, March 5, 2010

CIFW announces the names of the elite designers participating.

Celebrating the high spirits of fashion, Chennai International Fashion Week (CIFW) announced the array of swashbuckling designers who will be participating in the upcoming weeklong event in Chennai. Through this internationally renowned pageant, the city will witness a spectacular gathering of 60 fashion models from 10 countries, 1500 outfits, 30 fashion shows @ Hotel Le Royal Meridien between 14th and 20th December ’09.

The event will continuously promote, support and nurture an extraordinary list of designers who have shown on India’s catwalks and made a mark in the industry. Chennai International Fashion Week will also play an instrumental role in encouraging new designers over the years, all of whom have formed the DNA of the fashion & style industry.

Chennai International Fashion Week (CIFW) will also experience heavy weights of celebrated fashion designers like: Pria Kataaria Puri, Vikram Phadnis, Shane & Falguni Peacock, Neeta Lulla, Sidney Sladen, Sanchita, Aslam Khan, Jason & Anshu, Rahul & Gunjan and SatyaPaul.

Super models will sashay the runway in vibrant hues magnificently crafted and designed by the industry experts exclusively for Chennai International Fashion Event. Each designer will present to the crowd their labels wherein some will emphasize on woven silks, some on glittering brocades, and some on Lycra to gel well with the international platform laid.

The fashion week will concentrate on the current and upcoming season and the designers feel the need of such fashion weeks that showcases current trends and not just ape the west!

Designers promise to bring in the best of diverse fabrics and colors touching upon compelling elements of chick couture, racy, edgy and heady mix of attire aptly fitted on the fashion models. With the involvement of such top line models of the country setting the ramp on fire with their impeccable catwalk and an assortment of such globally famed fashion designers, Chennai International Fashion Week will be reckoned as biggest fashion show and trade event in the history.

Celebrating this joyous victory already, Gaurav Sharma, CEO – Storm Fashion Company said – “Chennai International Fashion Week brings its expertise and applies them to Indian scenario, elevating Indian standards to International benchmarks. I am thankful for the association of best of the best designers – their ongoing support will always remain pivotal to building the reputation of this international fashion event in Chennai.”

CIFW has been formed to give Indian designers an international platform to showcase and market their collections to the world media and fashion professionals globally. It is also aimed at showcasing India as an important fashion destination for foreign buyers and designers’ wanting to make Southeast Asian market in roads.

Chennai International Fashion Week.