This week was all about fashion weeks in the fashion world. My eyes were on two in particular. With both New York Fashion Week (in New York, USA) and Fashion Pakistan Week (in Karachi, Pakistan), I was super pleased to see some new trends, pardon the expression, take the front row seat.
While some fell short of what I call genius, earth-shattering, fashion-changing moments, many designers reached new heights and introduced new and innovative trends. While the New York fashion week experimented with contrasting sharp and billowing silhouettes and cuts, Pakistani designers opted to focus on embroidery and fusion cuts.
Both countries displayed their best-of-the-best ideas in the interplay of textured fabric. That is an aspect that I felt fashion was lacking before. In New York, I saw leather being used with satin and tulle; tulle mixed with subtle and dramatic embroidery and thus avoiding looking like a wedding gown; shaggy textures mixed with sequined parts, and even khaki suede used with a cotton drill or poplin. Exceptionally creative in my opinion. In Pakistan, I saw the use of sheen tissue fabric and strategic cuts to show skin. This combination helped the shiny fabric not be overwhelming to the eyes. It was clear to see that tissue was a prominent fixture on the runway for the first time since the 1980’s. I also saw illusion necklines for the first time. Pakistan is coming out of its conservative cave and introducing more skin-showing necklines, which was a pleasure to see. Back to Western designers; they were not afraid to infuse different patterned prints. Although light and airy for the spring and summer, the designs I saw were loud. Different florals mixed together, and geometries used with other geometries were what the shows were about. On the other hand, Eastern designers used their traditional aesthetics and mixed different patterns via embroidered netting and florals. There was not much emphasis on printed fabric, although that would have been cool. So overall I would give both fashion weeks a well-deserved B+.
What I would like to see in 2018:
I want designers to push the boundaries each time there is a new season and a new fashion week. So naturally, I want something new and happening to obsess over in Spring/Summer 2018. While this spring/summer season was all about florals and fauna, I want next year to play with light and airy fabrics instead. I want western designers to make clothes with sheen fabric, but use it sparingly and creativity; how about using sheen in like pockets and collars only instead of having one whole item made of the fabric?
This year designers like Ellie Saab did a phenomenal job incorporating European embroidered motifs in their gowns and I want them to continue pushing boundaries. How about getting inspiration from nature and not a calculated floral slash bird motif the next time? Adding metal pellets in a drifting sand effect. Mixing sequins for a glass effect; incorporating astronomy through a silky marbled pattern are all sure-fire ways to “ignite” the eyes.
I want Eastern designers to continue keeping up with international creative standards by adding fusional twists in eastern classics. One tip I would give designers is to expand their repertoire in embroidery by bringing fusion art as well. Who wouldn’t want to see a plaid sequined choli or an Italian painting partly painted and partly embroidered on their dupattas? I think that would be absolutely divine. In terms of cuts and silhouettes, I would love Pakistani designers to get inspiration from European art and history as some are already doing. Even though I don’t support the sport, I am fascinated with Spanish matadors’ fashion. I know the Alexander McQueen label gets inspired by these flamboyant men as well. Something about the broad shoulder and high neck with ornate embroidery scream come – hither to Pakistani fusion wear. I say go for it.
Well, here are my two cents and now I will begin saving my paychecks to shop for wonderful designs next year. For others, happy shopping!