PFDC Swarovski Crystal Couturiers: The highs and lows

Every year, the Pakistan Fashion Design Council puts together two fashion weeks exhibiting voile, pret and luxury pret ranging all the way to bridals.

This year, they collaborated with Swarovski to present a Couture ‘Weekend’ for a good cause. Although the event was hardly a weekend, nonetheless, it was quite spectacular. Featuring eight designer capsule collections, the fashion show was accompanied by live music and a sit-down dinner.

The event began with a designer’s showcase and a word from Sehyr Saigol [the chairperson of PFDC] who mentioned that this night would become an annual event. She also invited Mr. Andrew Mojica from Swarovski to say a few words — he spoke about how he saw massive potential in the Pakistani market and indicated Swarovski’s interest in establishing itself as the market leader in Pakistan.

Here’s a low-down of what went on at PFDC Swarovski Crystal Couturiers 2015:

The cause:

PFDC Swarovski Crystal Couturiers 2015 was not just about fashion. The PSCC 2015 was held in collaboration with The Care Foundation for a good cause. The Foundation has been known for some substantial work in the field of education over a span of 25 years. As collaboration, PFDC has taken responsibility for the CDG High School Bado Ki Sani and CDG Girls High Sitara Colony, Lahore, to help provide quality education to more than 3000 girls. All the proceeds from the seats sold were donated to the Foundation to help schools grow.

The designers:

Nomi Ansari, Karma, Sublime by Sara, HSY, Fahad Hussayn, Elan, Saira Shakira and Libas by Sehyr Saigol exhibited capsule collections. Each designer was commissioned to use Swarovski crystals in their ensembles.

The fashion:

While the event was glamorous in all aspects, the fashion, however, seemed to have fallen short of glory.

Most designers regurgitated the same pieces as found in their previous collections and hardly anyone dared step out of their comfort zones, apart from Fahad Hussayn and one or two pieces by Saira Shakira and Élan.

Whether it was the sometimes-forced use of Swarovski crystals on the ensembles or the fact that two major fashion events i.e., PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week 2015 and Karachi Fashion Week 2015 are coming up – either way, the designs were not what we are accustomed to expecting out of such an event and fell short of the mark.

For most part, it was predictable. Most designers used the same silhouettes we’ve been seeing lately without experimenting much and couture is all about cuts if nothing else.

Elan, however, used Swarovski well, especially in this standout outfit:

The embellishments were not overdone and were adjusted with precision and thought to the color scheme.

Another outfit that boasted attention to detail was by Saira Shakira. This piece was exquisite in silhouette and had some incredible craftsmanship, working around the perfect level of Swarovski embellishment with complimenting colors.

Highlight of the day: Fahad Hussayn

Out of all the 8 designers who were showcasing at the event, Fahad Hussyan stood out the most. Fahad Hussayn, with his collection “Dominionatrix” stepped a bit out of his comfort zone while maintaining his integrity.

Usually, Fahad ends up doing collections that explore darker themes such as his collection Kaala Paani in one of PFDC’s previous editions featuring a volume of blacks and blues. This time Fahad worked with a lighter color palette using tones of beiges and pearl-whites. However, true to the Fahad Hussayn philosophy, all the models walking the ramp could be seen sporting exquisite headgear with eagles and feathers along with other embellishments. Fahad makes these headpieces with his own hands as a hobby. For example; the following outfit uses a lighter color palette considering what we are accustomed to. Floral patterns can be seen on the outfit that is as close to couture as could be seen at the event.

However, not all outfits were to die for. Such as the following.

This outfit was bordering luxury on pret and while it was not something we see by Fahad, it was nonetheless something that has been seen before.

Overall, the entire collection was well-edited, thematically sound and better than others that we saw.

The Venue:

PFDC deserves a standing ovation to be able to make everyone sit front row on this night. The seating was labelled with each individual name to control the amount of people at the event – a total of 250 guests only, which is a first for an event of this nature. Rows of four were assembled with two rows facing each other and a two-sided ramp in between. The dessert bar stood between the ramps.

Ensuring everyone as a front-rower at an event like this, in a place like Lahore, that holds thousands of self-proclaimed important people, is the best quick-fix that PFDC has produced. In all previous fashion weeks, this has inevitably been a problem for the council where people arrive late and argue for front row seats.

Meanwhile, the impeccable décor was done by Mona and the scrumptious dessert tables were executed by the incredibly talented Shazreh Ali. The team at Eleventh Retail were the official event managers of the night.

The People:

As expected from an event of this nature, the guest list was limited to only prominent people from Lahore’s social circles. However, the attendees also included some big names like actor Fawad Khan, actor & musician Ali Zafar, some distinctive social families of Lahore, fashion designers and many more.

Fashion weeks are becoming the norm in the industry as we progress and while they are essential for fashion – charitable events like these are definitely welcome.

Meanwhile, the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week is all set to kick off in April in Lahore and hopefully it will reflect the same philosophy.

KP police arrest 471 parents for refusing polio vaccine

PESHAWAR: Police on Monday registered cases against more than 1,400 people in Peshawar for refusing to vaccinate their children against polio during the ongoing drive in the provincial capital.

54f45637124f8According to a source in the police, the city police have also arrested 471 parents under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) on the directives of Deputy Commissioner Riaz Khan Mehsud who have been sent to jail for refusing the vaccine.

The source added that police officials have initiated a crackdown against the rest of the accused people.

The local administration has ordered the implementation of Section 144 in the wake of the anti-polio drive in the city.

Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio remains endemic but years of efforts to stamp it out have been badly hit by reluctance from parents, opposition from militants and attacks on immunisation teams.

The virus is most prevalent in the country’s restive northwest and a fresh immunisation drive began on Monday aimed at vaccinating more than 2.7 million children in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The government declared “war” on polio last year and Mehsud said officials would brook no refusal from parents.

“There is no mercy, we have decided to deal with the refusal cases with iron hands. Anyone who refuses (the vaccine) will be sent to jail,” Mehsud said.

Those arrested on Monday were from suburban areas of Peshawar where militant groups regularly attack police and polio workers and where opposition to vaccination is relatively strong.

Muhammad Mumtaz, another senior official, confirmed the arrests and said that the detainees would “be freed only after a written assurance and providing two guarantors” to ensure their children get the drops.

Taliban militants claim that the polio vaccination drive is a front for espionage or a conspiracy to sterilise Muslims.

They stepped up their attacks after a Pakistani doctor was recruited by the CIA to set up a hepatitis immunisation drive as part of efforts to track down Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden.

Last year, the number of polio cases recorded in Pakistan soared to 306, the highest in 14 years.

Photojournalist’s murder case registered

LAHORE: The case of murder of a photojournalist, Yousuf Khokhar, was registered against a woman who also confessed poisoning a struggling model, Areeba, to death, police said on Sunday.

Tooba in her confessional statement told police that she had killed Khokhar by spiking his juice with cyanide at Model Town Park. - APP/File
Tooba in her confessional statement told police that she had killed Khokhar by spiking his juice with cyanide at Model Town Park. – APP/File

The case against Tooba was registered with Model Town police on the complaint of Yousuf’s father Mubarak Khokhar.

Uzma Rao alias Tooba in her confessional statement told police that she had killed Khokhar by spiking his juice with cyanide at Model Town Park.

Giving “justification” for committing the crime, Tooba said the photojournalist had provided some of her nude pictures to her then husband, Babar Javed, who divorced her over the issue.

The photojournalist was found dead at Model Town Park on Dec 2, 2014.

Zakir Naik wins Saudi prize for service to Islam

RIYADH: An Indian television preacher who has called the 9/11 attacks an “inside job “ received one of Saudi Arabia’s most prestigious prizes on Sunday, for “service to Islam.”

A handout picture released by the King Faisal Foundation on March 1, 2015 shows Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz (L) presenting Zakir Naik, president of the Islamic Research Foundation in India, with the 2015 King Faisal International Prize for Service to Islam in Riyadh. — AFP
A handout picture released by the King Faisal Foundation on March 1, 2015 shows Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz (L) presenting Zakir Naik, president of the Islamic Research Foundation in India, with the 2015 King Faisal International Prize for Service to Islam in Riyadh. — AFP

Zakir Naik, president of the Islamic Research Foundation in India, was one of five recipients of the King Faisal International Prize from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman during a ceremony at a luxury Riyadh hotel.

The annual prizes are a project of the King Faisal Foundation, established in 1976 by the children of King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz who died in 1975.

Naik was honoured for being one of the most renowned non-Arabic speaking promoters of Islam.

He founded the Peace TV channel, billed as the world’s only channel specialising in comparative religion.

It has an estimated English-language audience exceeding 100 million, according to his award citation.

“Islam is the only religion that can bring peace to the whole of humanity,” he said in a video biography aired at the ceremony.

In a July 2008 Peace TV broadcast Naik suggested that Al Qaeda was not responsible for flying hijacked airliners into New York’s World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, killing almost 3,000 people.

“Even a fool will know that this was an inside job,” he said in the video, claiming then-President George W. Bush was behind the attacks.

In 2010 Naik was reportedly barred from entering Britain after the Home Secretary cited “numerous comments” which showed his “unacceptable behaviour”.

Naik told Sunday’s ceremony that he would donate all of his $200,000 prize money to Peace TV. The other prize winners were:

  • In Islamic studies, Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Kaki for his research on the cultural heritage of the Muslim holy city of Medina.
  • In medicine, Jeffrey Ivan Gordon of the United States, whose research has enhanced understanding of diseases such as obesity, which is a growing problem in Saudi Arabia.
  • In science: Michael Gratzel of Switzerland for his development of solar cells, and co-winner Omar Mwannes Yaghi of the United States for his work in the new field of metal organic frameworks.

Former ICC chief Dalmiya replaces Srinivasan as BCCI president

NEW DELHI: Former International Cricket Council chief Jagmohan Dalmiya returned as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Monday after current ICC boss Narainswamy Srinivasan was barred from seeking re-election.

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In this photo, Jagmohan Dalmiya leaves after addressing a press conference in New Delhi. — AFP/File

Dalmiya emerged as the only candidate after India’s Supreme Court ruled ICC Chairman Srinivasan cannot seek another term as BCCI president while he continues to hold a stake in Indian Premier League team the Chennai Super Kings.

Dalmiya, who was ICC president from 1997-2000 and BCCI president from 2001-2004, was elected unopposed during an annual general meeting in Chennai.

The Supreme Court barred Srinivasan from seeking re-election in January following a conflict of interest case filed by the provincial Cricket Association of Bihar in regard to a spot-fixing probe against Srinivasan’s son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings team principal Gurunath Meiyappan.

The court also ordered the formation of a committee to decide the punishment against Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra, who the court found guilty of betting during the 2013 IPL tournament.

The committee will also suggest reforms and amendments to the BCCI’s rules. The court arrived at the decisions following a probe led by Justice Mukul Mudgal, which had found Meiyappan and Kundra guilty of being in contact with illegal bookmakers.

The fixing controversy erupted after a group of cricketers, including former test bowler Shantakumaran Sreesanth, were arrested for allegedly giving away a minimum number of runs in exchange for money from bookies.