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Fashion Weeks in Focus

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Posted by on Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 11:16
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When does a grand finale at a fashion week cease to be grand? Perhaps when the clock strikes 12 and the audience begins to get restless and repeatedly look at their wristwatches. Such a finale may feature a riveting collection, but when viewed by an exhausted, irate audience, it loses some of its lustre.

PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week

PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week

Reserved for established designer brands, which have the ability to make a dramatic final statement and guarantee a full house, finales are considered fashion week’s best.  But in Pakistan, when the invite states that the show begins at 7:00pm, it’s likely that it will actually start an hour and a half later. This means that the finale takes place sometime around the witching hour. It makes one wonder how effective a finale truly is and whether designers prefer closing the show instead of opening it.

Designer Ali Xeeshan, whose love for theatrics makes him a cinch for fashion show finales, says, “I do wish that fashion weeks started earlier. It’s understandable that the audience gets tired… even I get tired.” His finale on the second day of this year’s PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week (PLBW) took place close to midnight, preceded by five fashion showcases.

Media coverage of his show suffered, certain journalists were riled and a horde of people wanted to rush out of the venue as soon as the show ended. But despite the palpable time lapse, Xeeshan still prefers closing the show. “I enjoy the confetti,” he admits, adding, “Dramatic collections like mine can’t open a fashion week because everything else afterwards will look bland in comparison.” He says there is a personal high in taking the final bow for the day and the pictures come out great.

The finale images are inarguably an advantage of staging the last show. Yet, there are many more designers who are now opting to open a show with a bang rather than being in the spotlight with a far too ‘fashionably late’ finale. Designer Nomi Ansari says, “I like opening shows because I am very particular in terms of styling. The styling and make-up have to be exactly the way I envisioned them to be.”

And anybody who has tapped their feet waiting for a show to get started, such as for an elaborate Fahad Hussayn line-up or an intricate HSY bridal procession, knows just how long it can take for a certain catwalk look to be created. “A lot more designers are asking for openings, whether in the first half of the day or as the first show of the second half,” observes, CEO of Fashion Pakistan Council (FPC) Wardha Saleem. “It just gives them more time to prepare. That being said, the finale has its own importance,” says Saleem, who is currently finalising her line-up for the upcoming Fashion Pakistan Week.

PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week

PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week

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Designer Shamaeel Ansari, former chairperson of the FPC, says she prefers openings, not just because they allow her to get specific looks styled, but also because it’s an ideal way to garner an audience. “An opening show needs to be spectacular in order to keep the audience rooted for the rest of the show. And if a particular day features as many as nine shows, it’s only natural that the finale is going to be rushed and will fall flat,” she states. “I’d love to close an event if it’s done the way it is in India, as a standalone show in a different venue with its own brand of drama. But I’d rather not opt for a finale, no matter how spectacular, closing a long-drawn-out day,” Ansari says.

And no matter how spectacular it is, we’d rather not wait for a finale as it starts to lose its charm when we begin stifling our yawns and getting bleary-eyed. On the other hand, we’ll happily applaud a grand finale that takes place on time. FPW organisers, as you gear up for the upcoming fashion week, please take note.

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