Fashion is back again on the ramp and fusing well across Western borders. British-Pakistani designer Omer Mansoor takes advantage of the opportunity and draws attention of the Western designer to Pakistani textiles.

By DUA ZAIDI | December 2022

September 2022 has been the first fashion season unstirred by Covid-related cancellations. Indeed, London Fashion week coincided with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II – one whose fashion is a definite topic of discussion. We saw brands respectfully withdraw from their shows: Victoria Beckham, Burberry, Raf Simons, Claudia Pierlot, etc. Nevertheless, the trends and works we did see were spine-tingling. One to especially take note of is the British Pakistani Omar Mansoor’s Margilian-inspired designs.

In early 20th Century Paris, the concept of Fashion weeks began with women being hired to wear couture in public. Then, the first fashion show was held by Ehrich Brothers in New York City in 1903 but it was not until 1943 that the world saw a formalised fashion week. Now, twice a year, there are fashion weeks in almost every big capital, from New York to Tokyo.

The fashion cities that draw the world’s attention are those held in the “Big Four”: New York, London, Milan, and Paris. This year’s New York Fashion week held the first Vogue World Fashion show. A curated and ticketed show, it gave an ode to global cultures and featured an extensive list of celebrities, including Serena Williams, Kendall Jenner and Brooklyn Beckham. But of course, all shows at NYFW had an all-star cast. An aura of ‘party’ diffused through the city with classically retro sequins at Tom Ford and Theophilo, 90s Rave x Church uniform with Willy Chavarria and Naeem Khan’s big, bright and floral.

The Milan Fashion Week was comparatively dark and/or sophisticated; a mood that emanated in, for example, Emporio Armani, Dolce and Gabanna and Bluemarine. This was, of course, elevated with fabrics: metal mesh/sheer fabrics at No.21; Max Mara’s teddy bear fabric and Diesel’s Denim. However, the weekend closed with Jill Sanders - a simplistically toned tunic-type outfit. An outfit I see fitting into the Pakistani retail world perfectly.

This year, the city of luxury elegance and simplicity (Paris) brought some colour on to the scene: Rust, hot pink and ice pales – Fashion united. One has to say that Denma’s show this fall captured the eyes of fashionistas and words on Twitter. Ye, or renounced rapper Kanye West, opened both the show and his career as a model by walking down the muddy military catwalk. The show was filled with dark brown and black, with even front row celebrities on theme. The black Balenciaga Wellies need to be seen this winter – and if you don’t have winter… wear them to dinner.

At the end of this beautifully orchestrated season, one is able to string out trends across the season. Firstly, Platform boots and heels or “Boots for Stomping” – Vogue’s Cassandra Pintro at Arlington, GCDS and Jonathan Simkhai. Following the theme of big and bold silhouettes, we witness oversized, long, boss-shouldered jackets: Versace, Diesel, Richard Quinn but my personal favourite ready-to-wear was Peter Do’s retro-chic rustic brown trench. Next, from London Fashion Week, Poster Girls and KNWLS implored viewers to tap into their “mermaid-core” or bratz aesthetic. Poster Girl and other brands, such as Moschino, also wore statement Metallic Belts, body glam and larger than large earrings.

To note, less-renowned fashion weeks can provide a uniquely new perspective to one’s personal wardrobe by giving light to the finer nuances of design brought about by culture. Hence, I implore you to investigate smaller fashion weeks held in Seoul, Taipei, Stockholm, and India. Fusion of culture is on the rise.