If there’s one thing you can rely on to never disappoint in Pakistan, it’s our fashion industry. In the past decade, our industry has seen many ups…and to be honest, only ups. The flourishing industry of Pakistani fashion has allowed many designers, new and old ones, to invest, innovate and grow. The designs produced by our industry are not just recognized and appreciated locally but overseas too. We have established ourselves as a country of great potential in design and creativity, achieving international attention and accolades. With many institutes, government owned and private, investing in this industry and taking the profession of designing quite seriously in terms of creativity, technique and business, our future looks even more promising.
Fashion giants like HSY, Ali Xeeshan, Faraz Manan and Elan are leading the path for the Pakistani fashion industry to reach global standards of craft and creativity. Over the years we’ve seen not only great designs by some of these trailblazing designers but have also witnessed some statement-making moments. Let’s look back at the most memorable ones in the last decade.
- Remember the year 2011 when HSY made Meesha Shafi walk the ramp with a black Doberman in tow? The collection was a reflection of HSY’s out of the box aesthetic combined with an equally unexpected show on the ramp.
- 2011 was the year when Pakistani men and women alike were crushing on Khirad the simple beauty and Ashar her Prince Charming. It was the year when Humsafar the drama had spellbound not just Pakistanis but also people across the border. Mahira Khan and Fawad Khan were shipped so hard as a couple that they still remain the best onscreen couple in Pakistani TV. Designer Umer Saeed, not letting this opportunity go, made the hottest couple of the year and beyond walk the ramp for his show the same year. Having to watch Khirad and Ashar walk together on the runway, draped in beautiful ivory clothes, made our hearts skip a beat; making it one of the most talked about showstopper moment of this decade.
- It’s the year 2013 and once again the ramp of PFDC L’Oreal bridal couture week was ready for designers to work their magic. Out of all the designers who participated one stood out the most, paving the road to contemporary bridal wear rooted in tradition as we know it; none other than the eminent superstar of fashion, Kamiar Rokhni, who won hearts at the PLBW ‘13 with his bridal collection ‘The Orientalist’.
- When we are talking about the most iconic moments of Pakistani fashion, is it even possible to complete this article without mentioning Elan? Well here it is, (in my opinion) presenting to you one of the MOST ICONIC bridal collections of the country; Elan created ‘Garden of Mists’ in the year 2014 and since then Khadijah Shah has become the undisputed queen of turning a brides ethereal dream into reality. Note that the popular trend of wearing pastel bridals started after this collection went big and made it more than okay to not have red as the only option on your wedding day.
- Have you guys sported or spotted someone in a breezy kaftan at a wedding? Well this trend which took Pakistani women by storm, was started by Misha Likhani in 2014. Misha’s intricately embellished velvet Kaftans became a wedding wardrobe essential for the fashion savvy. Since then many other designers made space for the silhouette in their collections and the trend has become an evergreen fashion statement.
- Like we mentioned earlier, Pakistan’s fashion industry is producing products of an international standard, then why not put those products on an international muse? One of Bollywood’s biggest stars, Kareena Kapoor aka Bebo was and have our very own designer Faraz Manan’s muse. Looking simply drop dead gorgeous in his creations.
- We mentioned Elan before, in context of starting the pastel bride craze, well Elan is also responsible for starting another fashion tradition in Pakistan and that is the international designer lawn shoot. It all started with a beautiful campaign in Morocco by Elan which opened a floodgate of fashion designers hopping on planes and globetrotting for their lawn campaigns.
- Ali Xeeshan has surely secured his place in this list of the most iconic moments and all for the right reasons. In the year 2017, Ali Xeeshan showcased his collection ‘Uniform Bride’ which instantly becomes everyone’s favourite, not because of the exquisite clothes alone but also because the collection had a very thoughtful cause. Ali Xeeshan advocated against child marriages in the most beautiful and powerful way, leaving all us in awe.
- The same year, another fashion mastermind, Nomi Ansari, released his fashion film ‘Qabool Hai’ and to be honest it made us all want to say Qabool Hai! The film starred Ali Rehman, looking dreamy as ever in a white Sherwani, while Sana Javed made a breathtaking bride in Nomi Ansari’s outfit (which later showcased on various ramps). The fashion film beautifully captures the essence of a Pakistani wedding with the melodious background score of Afreen Afreen sung by Rahat fateh Ali Khan and Momina Mustehsan.
- Maheen Khan is one of the first Pakistani fashion designers and has helped build the fashion industry, although she has many accomplishments in her bag, one of the most iconic ones will be getting the chance to dress the Duchess of Cambridge on her official trip to Pakistan, and on not just one but several occasions!