Hi Readers! Happy New Year 2019! Today, I write my first blog of 2019 with so much excitement, enthusiasm, and gratitude because the potential the year holds for me. There have been a few “legendary” years and I consider 2018 to be definitely one of them. 1988 was important to me because Pakistan was at war with its own illegal immigrants and similar to stories circulating around 9-11, the fake news story of the assassination of my legendary grandfather, General Zia (See HERE, HERE & HERE) was circulated in 1988 to the extreme point that the presence of Hindus that illegally immigrated (See HERE) to Pakistan became a real threat to “our” existence. It was during those times in the 1980s-1990s that Pakistan began a legal war against visitors to Pakistan that were threatening “our” culture, religion, including our reputation on the global platform. Now, I am proud to say & I give hope to those, including those fighting in The White House & Congress who still doubt illegal immigration is a crime (See HERE & HERE). 2008 was important to me because that is the year I got married. And thus, 2018 was important to me because my life came together in expected & unexpected ways. So basically the number 8 is very auspicious for me.
I had a wonderful dinner at Mirchi’s with family last night (See HERE) & I saw my baby cousin I hadn’t seen in over two years! We had an epic time, sharing new stories & of course reconnecting with old memories. In 2019, I want to relax and reap the fruits of my decades of labor, time, and love.
My first blog post for 2019 is going to cover the fashion trends of 2018 that I observed. So here goes:
Fashion in 2018 was legendary as the global fashion industry seemed to have collaborated with each other’s energies & presented fashion lines & fashion trends telling of “our” digital age, our time history, and sustainability. 2018 was also the “Year of Cohesive “Instagram” Campaigns”, meaning marketing campaigns on Instagram had a teaser, the story behind the collections, & the products belonging to the collections.
Pakistan’s Fashion Presence
In 2018, Pakistan’s fashion industry came leaps & bounds. While 2016 & 2017 seemed like the revival of Mughal opulence and embroidery, 2018 is when I began to see more fusion fashion methods combine with digital mastery. It was so sweet to see brides wear something of sentimental value in exciting understated silhouettes & then see brides holding on to their dear lives to preserve the ever-green & in-demand traditional silhouettes, heirloom embroideries & priceless jewelry.
Currently, Lahore & Karachi are still called the fashion capitals of Pakistan (See HERE & HERE), but I am beginning to see Peshawar, Quetta, and Islamabad catching up and becoming important through imports of excellent-quality fabric from China (See HERE). Pakistan is truly becoming a melting point with revivals of traditional and fusion fashions mixed with new trends that are constantly emerging globally. Fabrics are very important for our embroideries. Pakistani designers who are trained internationally and in Pakistan put their fun spin by choosing to incorporate fusion or traditional silhouettes. Thus, I am seeing the expectations of Pakistan’s public from each design house to craft their own creative niche or specialty, which is great for a business’s reputation & well, the business.
While Lahori designers such as HSY, Umar Sayyed, The House Of Kamiar Rokhni, Maria B., Studio S., & Elan have distinct collections, Karachi designers offer their array of design houses for important events (See HERE & HERE). One of my favorite designers Farah Talib Aziz (Muah!) stays true to her European ethos by including organza, ribbons, pearls, and fringe details. I love how she plays with fabrics such as English Lace, French Silks, and China Nets. Her bridals are similar to Bunto Kazmi’s (See HERE & HERE) and I wish she works towards steering away from that comparison. If your personal style is English, then check out Farah Talib Aziz’s website (See HERE). Suffuse by Yasir (See HERE) decided to omit their luxury Pret collection by coming up with only a wedding wear line in 2018. Pakistani Pret brands Generation Pakistan & Khaadi & Zara Shahjahan came up with beautifully cohesive Instagram campaigns staged & worded to describe their intention & thoughts during the designing process, very important in Pakistani culture.
Kingri (See HERE) was HUGE in Pakistan this year with designers from Farah Talib Aziz & Misha Lakhani incorporating fun details in their shirts and dupattas and even bottoms. Tassel fringes were definitely less in-vogue here. Gold jewelry made a huge comeback in 2018. I am so happy about gold coming back with a bang since those maddening diamond sets from 2016 & 2017 are gone for good, I hope! I saw brides wear opulent gold sets with Polki & Kundan sets or delicately designed diamond sets. It is such a feast for the eyes to see heritage art preserved online with brides choosing to style it according to their own personalities.
Shahi-Mughal, Gangna-Jamni, or Nawabi fashion exploded in the latter part of 2018. Everyone from Elan to Khaadi derived trends from that majestic era into their collections this year (See HERE HERE & HERE)
Gorgeous fabric play was everywhere in 2018 with lame, tissue, organza, grip silk used for formal/bridal or party-wear. I noticed cotton was also popular in 2018. During the winter months, I saw Cotton Laila, Karandi, & Marina, and Chiffon Cotton for summers. The Lawn fabric (See HERE, HERE, & HERE) was carefully opted out this year. I also saw designers design the cotton fabric with less print and more Persian geometry like bold stripes instead of European florals (See HERE).
Western Fashion Presence
The Western world preserved their heritage by incorporating heritage designs and fabrics into modern trends. There was tulle, cotton, silk, and even leather mixed with Swarovski crystals & beadwork. Some designers even used Mughal embroideries from Persia (See HERE) like British Design Houses Alexander McQueen & Stella McCartney. French Design Houses like Dior played with dying techniques on French prints.