Lahore Fashion Week
The Lahore fashion council seems determined to create a new benchmark with the upcoming Pakistan Fashion Design Council Fashion Week (PFDC Fashion Week). With designers from all the three major cities — Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad — the fashion week is slated to show, at a minimum, eight collections per day. Where Fashion Pakistan Week (held in October 2009) seemed heavily focused on inviting the international media, the organisers for the PFDC Fashion Week seem to focus on inviting international buyers — or the business side of fashion.
At a press conference held at the PFDC Boulevard in Karachi, Hasan Shehryar Yasin (HSY) and Maheen Kardar Ali from Karma spoke about what to expect from the week, the initiatives the council was taking to further the interests of the fashion industry and the overriding concerns that governed the event taking place.
According to HSY, the council is working with a government organization to seek out and revive the indigenous embroidery of Pakistan. Coming to the fashion week he mentioned that they have given slots to both the major fashion schools — Asian Institute of Fashion Design and Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design — and will sponsor two upcoming designers’ shows. They hope to increase the number to four next year.
International hairstylist Jamal Hamadi will be flying in for the fashion week and he will be doing the look for Karma’s collection. Jamal Hamadi has styled Sharon Stone, Lisa Marie Presley and Meg Ryan among other Hollywood celebrities. He is based in Los Angeles but grew up in Paris and has previously worked with renowned colourist Louis Licari in the early ’90s. His inclusion in the fashion week elucidates an excited response.
As for the criteria for designers for showing at the week, HSY said that where the schools were concerned it was their administration that decided which students would show. However, the council has set up a jury of non-participating individuals to decide the eligibility issue not only based on design aesthetics and collections, but also on the capacity of the designers to produce and deliver orders in large quantities.
He mentioned that they preferred designers who used home-grown fabric, for example, so that when meeting orders the designers will not face a shortage. He added that when speaking to potential buyers abroad, they were more interested in acquiring something that was unique and indigenous to Pakistan and Pakistani culture — something that would attract the international market to the region. The venue of the fashion week would accommodate the press in a separate room as well as a VIP room for the buyers and the participating designers to interact, he added.
The collections shown at the ramp will be exhibited at the PFDC Boulevard in Lahore for buyers/interested bodies to examine during and after the fashion week. When asked to spill the names of the international buyers and media that the council has invited for the event, HSY mentioned that they had spoken to quite a few parties, especially those who would be interested in the fashion of this region, but to give a confirmed comment would be unfeasible. “We’re walking on eggshells here. With the recent turmoil the city of Lahore has been a victim to, security is our main priority. I don’t want to confirm anyone until I know that they have boarded the plane and are on their way here,” he said.