Spotlight: Forecast 2013
Beginning with the regulars, fashion weeks — as always — are already firmly grafted into the year’s schedule: PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week, Fashion Pakistan Week, PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week being the council-led initiatives geared for seasonal showings in March/April and October/November, as always. Style 360 will host its usual two seasons of Bridal Couture Week in Karachi and Lahore. And Lahore will also be hosting its very first Lawn Fashion Week (LFW) in March, which will follow up in Delhi this June.
LFW, which is the brainchild of J&S (Jalal Salahuddin and Omar Satti), was announced as a trade motivated event, geared to organise workshops, exhibitions and runway shows to give lawn a united stage. ‘Designer lawn’ has become increasingly popular in Pakistan and it has seen an overwhelming boom in the last two years, so this move wasn’t exactly unexpected. That said, it makes more sense to hold stage in India rather than Pakistan, where the fabric is already mass-produced and marketed once summer starts kicking in. Whether LFW manages to merge lawn with fashion or whether it adds to the lawn fatigue that hits overdrive by March, only time will tell.
While fashion weeks have become the very rich pie that everyone wants a slice of, it’s encouraging to see certain designers moving beyond that brouhaha, towards some serious business growth. Sana and Safinaz will be 2013 game changers as they are scheduled to simultaneously open four flagship stores across Pakistan this March: one at the Dolmen City Mall in Clifton, one in Bahadurabad, a stand-alone store off M.M. Alam Road in Lahore and one at the Centurian Mall in Islamabad. The stores, Safinaz Muneer shared, will offer the complete Sana Safinaz experience through their full ranges of fashion and accessories. This is an unprecedented undertaking in Pakistan, where designers have barely managed to venture out of studio operations into multi-brand stores. Sana Safinaz have upped the ante by appointing another designer — Ather Hafeez — as head designer of their eclectic ready to-wear-department. So while most of Pakistan’s celebrated designers will be enjoying their 10-second spotlights at fashion weeks, Sana Safinaz will be beaming at a much higher altitude.
Sania Maskatiya will also be branching out to Lahore with a flagship store in 2013. March will mark this business foray whereas fashion weeks are also very much on her schedule. Umair Tabani, CEO of the brand, confirmed that they would be participating in both PFDC and FP Fashion Weeks in March as well as bridal week later in the year. The brand would also be making a debut with lawn. The idea of experiencing Sania’s love for prints in lawn does sound exciting and a variety of birds can be expected!
Add Nida Azwer to that list — she plans to open flagship stores in Karachi and Lahore by the end of next year — and you have some major progress happening in the industry.
The upcoming year really is about expansions and collaborations in the design world. Adnan Pardesy will be launching his spring/summer collection for Working Woman in March and even Luscious Cosmetics is tying up with over 10 designers — including Sana Safinaz, Ammar Belal, Sania Maskatiya, etc — for a customised range of nail colours. This is something global brands like MAC and OPI have been doing for years and it’s an effective way of making fashion a bit more accessible and affordable to the masses.
Several high profile fashion extravaganzas can be added to the calendar: the Veet Celebration of Beauty in January, the Lux Style Awards in May and if things go well after the national elections then the much-awaited revival of the Carnival de Couture later in the year. The year 2013 will be a big one for fashion; who says tsunamis only have to be political?