It's been a bit challenging to blog during my ill health but I still tried. I wanted to post this blog last weekend I was not able to do so. My Kidney pains kept me in bed till recently. I am getting better though so look forward to blogging more frequently.

Expo Pakistan 2013 was a four day event by TDAP (Trade Development Authority of Pakistan) that recently took place between the 26th and 29th of September. The Trade Expo is deemed to be the biggest trade show which has been showcasing Pakistan's export merchandises and services since 2005. The Main Expo was, obviously, held at the Expo Center but the two day fashion showcase event was held in Pearl Continental on the 26th and 27th of September.
Me with Fellow Bloggers and Tehmina Khaled

Most of the designers showcasing had already shown the collection earlier in PFDC Fashion Week and Veet Show. They added a few pieces but the concept and inspiration remained the same. I am going to review the ones I find worthy of mentioning.

Day 1: 26th of September 2013

After being stuck for 20 minutes in traffic right outside the venue, PC (Pearl Continental), I finally landed on the red carpet. Hung out a bit with fellow bloggers, designers and social media before heading inside the marque where the TDAP day 1 Fashion show was about to begin. Settled down and looked forward to a long wait. Surprisingly it started on time (almost).

Rizwan Beyg:
Other than the styling nothing seemed different about Rizwan's Delicious Truck art inspired collection which he had previously shown in PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week. What can I say, we can never get bored of truck art! The fruity array of meticulously designed collection was a fine example of a job well. As far as translating truck art from street to high fashion, he hit the nail right on the head.

Faiza Samee:
Inspired by the kaleidoscopic handicrafts of nomadic tribes who live and travel in the shadows of the Himalayas and Hindu Kush mountains bordering Pakistan. The hotch-potch of tastefully combined mosaic of prints created an eclectic masterpiece of a collection. I am so crazy about eclectic that you can't fool me by a faux pass(in terms of genre). This was definitely not Faux by far! I fell in love with some of the pieces and the rest caught my fancy too. Faiza Samee's work is all about femininity, be it casual or formal. I liked how she used the Henna live, conceptually as well as a design implementation. Flowers, further distorted at places into geometric patterns, muted shades with bolder colors for balance, use of the trending camouflage, If this collection was a dish served to me I would savor it and finish it all up.

 Even though Tapu's collection was yet again another re-show I must say I can never get tired of 'Karachakra'. You want to show it to me again after this? Bring it on! Karachi and Pakistani culture depicted through a beautifully balanced blend of art and fashion, that is how I would define Tapu's work here. Other than wanting some for myself all I heard around me was "Uff I so need that bag" and believe me not once but continuously! To compliment his Kaleidoscopic montage printed bags the digital silk printed flowy silhouettes did a great job as a backdrop for the masterpieces. A little birdy told me there is a good chance the backdrop will be taken more seriously soon.

The much anticipated of this days collection didn't leave anyone (or as far as I observed) anyone disappointed. The Young designers really were a breath of fresh air, maybe even enough to a gust of wind because I was certainly blown away ;)
"Kathputli -The Mentor" by Maham Iqbal. Rajasthani Art translated into these innovative accessories quite well. When the models stepped out on the ramp the only bewilderment that we could see was that of the child in their arms. The rest of the crowd was beaming.

"I remember better when I paint" by Beenish Naveed. Highly creative and conceptual pieces inspired by a Painter, Hilgos's Journey from a marine painter to a childlike abstract painting due to Alzheimer's disease (constant memory loss). The silhouettes of this collection were derived from shapes of boats and curvilinear asymmetrical lines of Hilgo's latter work. Some may frown upon this collection, I say Bravo for experimenting and concept.
"The Four Corners -Road to Enlightenment" by S.Hammad Sohail Sadiq. Another mindful collection. The philosophy behind this was quite philosophical. Sorry for being cheesy but had to say that ;) Inspired by Jalaluddin Rumi (no surprise there in terms of being philosophical:p) the concept is a state of being of a soul suspended in a state of physical, intellectual and emotional chaos transitionally from one state to another. The deconstructed silhouettes and cuts translated this concept like fine poetry. It also reminded me of Barzakh.
"The Game of Kings and King of Games" by Minahil afzal. This is what funky polo players look like. Period. Giving an edge to the cultural Swat-ee attire and mixing it with color and polo was a super cool concept. The colorful Enbroidered pants worn by Faiza was a wowzer.
"Mand Nashi Dar Thoi" byRazia Hassan. A less conceptual yet rich in culture, mixed with contemporary cuts and style. Mongol goes to Paris maybe? I Like.
"Zargan" by Hira Rasheed. The collection reminded me of graceful rustic women worrier striding with their head held high on majestic horses. To my surprise the inspiration was just that. It was like a Russian gypsy that is highly obsessed with steam punk genre :) If I lived in a really cold place I would wear this. Alas Karachi is a disappointment to cold :/

JUST by Leena Nayyar Khan. The most contemporary yet practical of the entire lot perhaps. The layering and juxtaposing of different fabric texture and shades with grungy deliberate unfinished rawness resulted in simple, stunning pieces.

The rest of the designers that showcased on Day 1 were Zaheer Abbas, Farnaz Mustafa, Sana Safinaz, Sania Maskatiya.

Day 2: 27th of September 2013

Even though Day 2 started later than Day 1 the collections were comparatively better.

Gulabo (Maheen Khan):
From top to bottom, this brand is a superb example of high street fashion reflecting the diversity of Karachi culture. From the old building of Bandar road to Kimari, the much loved Truck art, the hipsters burgers and bun-kebabs, it speaks for us all. Gulabo collection rocked, literally. The berets infested with colorful flowers ans the trending funked up sneakers(the team spray painted ordinary canvas shoes themselves and they looked delish!) were a great touch to the already statement worthy clothes.

Deepak Perwani:
A more urban chic extension of his previously sown Frieda Kahlo collection. Again amongst those who I still haven't gotten bored of yet. The Kitsch, contemporary digital prints are like ice lolly on a hot summer afternoon (in our case we don't mind Ice lollies even in October!), I completely fell in love with the top Iraj was wearing. The 'Chenaks' (metal tea pots) made my heart skip a beat.

Umaima Mustafa:
Usually debuts have only two ways to go, a Hit or a Miss. Umaima was a rare case of Almost a hit but definitely not a miss. The young designer, with a background in fashion (thanks to her mother Farnaz Mustafa) has a potential of being great. Even though the debut collection was not out of this world, this girl knows what she is doing. She didn't play it safe and experimented with cuts and styles, neither did she go overboard (mistake a lot of debutantes make by producing grotesque, overdone clothes thinking its oh-so-cool). I will talk more in detail about Umaima Mustafa in a future blog as I plan to feature her soon :)

Fahad Husseyn:
This one was a tricky. Mixed views and feelings from most people but I was impressed by some unique twists. SIMPLY loved the concept of lace stockings and knee high boots actually being translated into pants which were completely subtle and feminine (compared to the roughness of the latter). Even though Fahad Husseyn is know for highly edgy couture, the TDAP collection was feminine, glamorous at times. The cuts and styles did have his signature edginess though. It felt like the Snow Queen has landed in the 21st century :p

Shamaeel Ansari:
The collection definition of true elegance. It was like a subtle reminder that fall is almost here (we get autumn late in most places in most places in Pakistan and almost never in Karachi). The beautiful yet comfortable silhouettes, digital autunm-esc prints, speckles of embellishment, detailed hemline. The finishing was flawless and her pieces were the epitome of sophistication. The only thing that was out of place were the flowers used for styling.

Other designers who showed this day were Huma adnan, Ahmed Bham and Ayesha Ibrahim (to date I am confused about what she wanted to show. It was like an ode to all the designs of the rest of the designers of Pakistan :/)
Even though Sabz is good with styling in most cases, TDAP was not one of them. The overall styling was very blah.
PR and Marketing done my TAKE II was flawless and impressive.
The main highlight for us desi peeps was seeing so many goras (foreigners), from all over the world, under one roof. A sign of hope. Where there is war, there is also fashion ;)

I simply loved the goodies I got from though I would have really appreciated some cold water and a bite or two of simple refreshments on the event. TDAP please note this for next time, I mean it with good intentions :)

Till next TDAP, toodles!

Red Alice