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In style: Fashion week’s ‘lawn’ side

In style: Fashion week’s ‘lawn’ side

“The third day at PSFW was a completely commercial show and the PFDC did not have any jurisdiction over what was shown on the catwalk,” declared Sehyr Saigol, chairperson of the PFDC.

Sehyr may not be saying it out loud but what she is implying rings out loud and clear: the council did not edit the voile shows, some of which bordered on the bawdy. “Textile players eager to feature in a fashion week need to bring something more to the catwalk other than tweaked silhouettes from local and international runways,” added Sehyr.

After all, that’s the way lawn is popularly worn in Pakistan. The audience that is particularly interested in voile shows is looking for trendy ways to wear the fabric — funky shirt silhouettes, lowers, airy dupattas and tiny detailings. It doesn’t make sense to fashion the garment into risqué Western gowns because for one, it hardly looks good and secondly, the mills are hardly going to be retailing these designs at their stores.

Even the generic three-piece can be interesting when incorporated with the right design elements. The Sana Safinaz lawn catalog always looks fantastic and when Sania Maskatiya’s lawn line for Al-Karam walked the catwalk at TFPW a few weeks ago, it took the fabric to a high-fashion level. In contrast, the Al-Karam show at PSFW was humdrum with only some redeeming elements.

“Textile mills need to recognize that at the end of the day they are manufacturers and it’s something that they are exceptionally good at,” points out Sehyr. “Fashion design is not their forte and they need to collaborate with designers who can make their fabric look good and add value to it.”

Would the mills have gotten more accolades had they been showing alongside the luxury prêt collections? That would be unlikely. An ‘unharmonious’ line will always be bad, a boring one can never fail to bring on the yawns and in contrast a Shubinak, traversing the mountainous valleys of Chitral, can bring the house down!

Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, April 26th, 2015

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