KARACHI-Pakistani fashion has made great strides in the last one decade. Local brands are now touching international market and vying to carve a niche there permanently. The three-day event Made in Pakistan Fashion Showcase 2017 by Fashion Pakistan was a reflection of the changing scenario. The second day of the event ended with the showcasing of Gulabo brand by Maheen Khan, the Pakistani fashion industry’s top icon. Her collection was a treat to watch as her easy breezy outfits had the international taste one would love to have. All the designers’ collections that were showcased resonated well with the international trends. The cuts and vibrant colour palette was in line with the international fashion. The collections on the first two days could be showcased in any international event in all fashion capitals of the world like London, Paris, Milan and New York.  The event provided a platform to the talented designers to showcase their collections in front of foreign buyers. The event was being held on the sidelines of Expo Pakistan, which had 983 delegates from 74 countries who also attended the fashion showcase on different days.

Lucca Bozzya from Italy was truly impressed by the Pakistani fashion showcase. “The show was very impressive and highlighted the creativity of Pakistani designers. It was very well choreographed and the Pakistani models were good at their game. I have seen many fashion shows and this one was in no way less in any way,” he said.

Businesswoman and honorary consul of Pakistan in Belgium, Karin Zoeter talking to The Nation, said the show was very entertaining and collections could sell well at the international market. “For me the show was a surprise. I was not expecting this kind of international show in Pakistan. The Pakistani designers can made headway in the European market as their collections are in line with international trends and yet at the same time they present a perfect blend of Pakistani art and culture with fashion,” she was of the view.  Top brands Amir Adnan, AamnaAqeel, Fnk Asia, Nova Leather, Hassan Riaz, Tena Durrani, Deepak Perwani, M Jafferjees and Wardha Saleem, Zuria Dor, Adnan Pardesy, Nauman Arfeen, The Pink Tree Company and Maheen Khan (Gulabo) were showcased in the first two days.

 The third day was dedicated to millennial fashion segment where selected fashion students from PIFD, AIFD and TIP named Farah Usman, Sundus Talpur, Salman, Shahmeer Ansari, Farah, Sobia Halar, Naina  showcased their work. The highlight of the event was the breath taking collection of Sobia Halar, which was based on the theme of child labour. The 6 piece capsule entitled ‘Broken Souls’ was based on, and endeavoured to bring awareness about the destructive effects of child labour. Buoyed by a muted colour palette including green, black and white the collection uses minimal embroidery.

Chairman Fashion Pakistan, Deepak Perwani showed concern that exports have dropped this year. “The exports have dropped by two billion dollars and it should be a matter of concern to the government. We have made the first attempt by presenting ‘Made in Pakistan’ event. The main thing is sustainability. One fashion show is not enough. It does not even happen in the west. Buyers do not come when you first showcase it. The collection has to be shown at least for three seasons to convince the buyers. ‘Made in Pakistan’ events should be held worldwide. 

“Many buyers had come to attend the Expo Pakistan but they were more impressed by the ‘Made in Pakistan’ event because they did not expect such a thing in our country. I will give you one example. A Spanish delegate is staying here for two more days at her own expense. She has changed her flight plan, which must have cost her more. She wants to visit all our outlets and then give the order for making clothes. She could not imagine high street fashion in Pakistan and is impressed. 

“There are two kinds of societies progressive and regressive. We are a progressive society and we should show it to the world. For example English is spoken here more than many countries of the world. Fashion is a huge force and we can use it carve our niche in the international market. It would change the image about Pakistan as well.

“We at FP want to develop our designers and provide them a stage so they have the right market insight and the tools to get into this Value Added segment in-line with international trends and consumer demands,” Deepak explained.

Saeed Tamimi representing TDAP opined on this latest partnership by saying that their main aim was to emphasize on meeting the requirements of local and international marketing through promotion and facilitation, understanding the export culture, quality control, trends and forecasts etc. So that opportunities could be created to improve exports,” he said.