I got my Hello kitty glasses a couple of days ago and wanted to test them out in a more public place. The Ensemble event seemed like a good opportunity, plus I was looking forward to finally check out Mohsin's "Pink Tree" clothes in person.

Its been quite a sometime since Multi-brand stores have hit the Pakistani market and are evolving. Ensemble has been one of the first few.

Shehrnaz Husain, one of the owners, explains how Multi-brand stores, at times, work better than branded outlets. "Ensemble is a one-stop-shop where you can be exposed to a variety of brands and it makes it easier to weigh your options" She explained.
On being asked about the new Multi-brand stores sprouting everywhere and how its effecting Ensemble's business she replied, "we don't consider anyone a competition but ourselves. We believe in improving ourselves first. We strive to do better in everything we do, be it designs, events or anything we are involved in. Competitions with others should be healthy and I am glad the concept of a Multi-brand store is becoming common as it gives young emerging designers to find a platform to showcase themselves."

Shehrnaz Hussien
A branded outlet carries exclusively the range of one brand and has the advantage of creating a store ambiance to convey its brand image. It gives the brand an option to choose the location, size and configuration of the store. Unique promotional sales offers may be implemented at any time. This provides the brand with greater control over its sales activities.

Multi-brand outlets put a company and its products right in the middle of the arena with its competitors. This enables new offerings to be showcased in a way in which consumers can compare and decide. The sheer volume of customers who are going to Multi-brand outlets makes it essential that it cannot be ignored. Traditionally, Branded outlets were employed by companies but now there are ever increasing ways of reaching one’s customers with Multi-brand outlets being the most prominent alternative. Stores like Lifestyle, Maria Luisa, Aeffe SpA, Croma etc are gaining popularity with consumers.

ANYWAYS, coming back to the designer preview, The Prink Tree Company (Mohsin Sayeed), Mahin Hussain, Nomi Ansari, Wardha Saleem and Shehrnaz Husain launched their SS 2013 pret collection.

Shehrnaz Hussien is not just one of the owners but does the creative direction for Ensemble. She manages and designs for ONE which is Ensembles own clothing line.Her spring collection was a mix of different material like chiffon, georgete, etc and she mostly experimented with fresh sprint tone, monochromatic with a hint of color and drape like tops.

Mahin Hussain with her collection
Starting with Mahin Hussain's yummy leather bag collection, the inspiration was Moroccan (apparent from the patterns and colors) and a lot of interesting leather treatments were used in creating these multi purpose bags. She used Laser cutting (apparent in the patterns) and experimented further with the quilting technique which they have already been using. The quilting techniques gives an embossed effect and is quite flexible in terms of playing with patterns. There was a variety of satchel bags, hobos and clutches and not to forget her usual patriotic streak showed through the simple VOTE canvas bag series. I have always found Mahin's products affordable compared to the rest. I am splurged too much this month on clothes and bags so was not able to buy anything but I have my eyes on Mahin's studded envelope clutch (see below) and pray it stays for a a week or two till I get my next month's salary ;p


The Pink Tree Company by Mohsin Sayeed is for the practical women of today who want to avoid the headache of getting the right material, don't want tailor headaches, need a one-stop-shop solution yet stay up to date with the current trend. His clothes are comfortable, simple yet stylish and adaptable for most body types. the tones are fresh colors and off whites, overall giving a 'Thandah" (cool) effect. I liked the off white sleeveless shirt with colorful patterned inlay. The overlay effect added a surreal. breezy feel ideal for summers. Another one on my list of "buy this" next month hehe.

Wardha Saleem showcased her recent Folk Play collection which, as the name implies, is inspired by Pakistani Folk art, in this context its focused on the Folk toys. Wardha is known for her unique, colorful palettes an prints. Here, again, she added a twist to the simple concept of traditional toys like the gugu ghora, ghulail, latto, etc and transformed there image into a an array of edgy, whimsical prints. "This collection is dedicated to all the craftsmen who still make these amazing toys, even though its a dying art and concept. I wanted to promote the importance of keeping our culture alive and wanted the fun element of these toys to reflect through my work," She explained.
The prints are available in a variety of cuts, both western and contemporary for the daring as well as simpler drapes and silhouettes for the not-too-experimental women.

Nomi Ansari was missing in action, maybe PBCW was the reason as it was happening at the same day. Nonetheless his clothes were there to speak on his behalf. Nomi is as Kitschy as one can possibly get in Pakistan. I spotted mostly DNA collection which is his digital prints sub brand. His printed silk screen graphical montages were like a surrealistic overlays of random dreams. I liked the butterfly and mughal art print. yes Mughal art has been done to death, maybe since the time of Mughals themselves, but that doesn't mean you can add your own twist to it every time you experiment with it. I completely disagree with NOT trying out a concept that others have already done. Everyone does it differently. I mean seriously, how many paintings of fruits have to you seen in your lifetime? I don't see people complaining about that! 
Sanna holding my Favorite Print
by Nomi Ansari
The overall number of expected guests was not a lot but comfortable which made it more relaxing to view the products and interact with the designers.

Go check out the different variety available from these designers and more. I am sure you will be able to add something to your soon-to-be-gone spring wardrobe :)