Each year, the term fashion revival is a buzzword most thrown around by some of the biggest names in the industry. More often than not, we do not see anything happening. And especially since the pandemic, it has become a stark reality, that those who spoke about the business of fashion, have shut down shops and are hush about the future or what it holds. However, amidst many who speak about it but rarely do anything, there are consistent names who have put their money where their mouth is and proven that there really is such a thing as revival.
Fahad Hussayn is one such name.
Dependably producing a show year and releasing campaigns as per schedule, his return to the fashion realm 3 years ago has been a shining beacon of success amidst a tide of industry stalwarts failing to showcase their best. This year too, it was proven once again with his solo display, The Collateral Convention at HUM Bridal Couture Week 2023.
Marking 15 years in the industry, Fahad has had one of the strongest stories to tell, and surely, it is one most needed to be heard. Massive successes and downfalls have charted his journey, but his undeniable talent has always spoke the strongest in the face of a litany of critique. This is exactly what the concept behind his show unfolded to be as well this year – as his unwavering excellence in couture and craft came forward to silence the giants.
Segmented into 4 unique collections with each representing a line within the Fahad Hussayn fashion house, the designer used the platform for what it is rightfully meant for – the display of ensembles that are fashion-forward and festive, but with one more thing added to it. The designer – to celebrate everything his years have meant in the industry – added bits that were a nod to all the collections and campaigns he has created to show his clientele over the last decade and a half.
Soon, out came models sashaying down the runway first in Fahad’s latest Faction line, with ensembles featuring arrays of gold, metals, white silks, and noir statement jackets and capes creating a symphony of resilience and might. Much like his own story and rising up like a phoenix, kicking off BCW with such a statement was nothing short of a silent message of fashion rising from the ashes in Pakistan. Of course, not without the right music and entertainment complementing it all, as Adnan Dhool crooned to Pardes Katenda on the dais.
Following this, Fahad – much in his style of constructing his show in many facets and layers, upped the ante and brought out his beloved Print Museum concept to the runway. Here, remaining true to his concept of providing cost-effective measures for the contemporary bridal trousseau, Fahad showcased industrially embroidered pieces along with hand embellished sets of ensembles that varied in their cuts from gowns and deconstructed menswear to more traditional styles.
The purpose here too, was to remind the audience and the critics sitting at the show about the importance of craft and how in a sea of hackneyed knock-offs, it is originality that triumphs it all. One couldn’t help but remember pieces here that were an ode to his own previous campaigns where embroidered landscapes and shimmering fabrics took centerstage.
But it seemed Fahad had more to say than just reminding us about his previous collections and the pieces that didn’t make it to the runway before. This time, he came with bigger things in mind. It all simmered down to proving that there is such a thing as revival of fashion. So, who better than him to show everybody how it’s done?
Showcasing a line of bridal couture classics, the Revival Edition played to the strength of the designer in interplaying a vibrant and classic colour palette with an array of silhouettes that headline our traditional festivities amidst the powerful vocals of Risham Faiz Bhutta and the Justin Bibis breathing soul to it all. The mix of custom woven Banarsi fabric adorned by different indigenous revival constructing techniques and the use of fantasy florals and indigenous carpet weaves reimagined in 3D embellishments, gave it the edge one could always expect from Fahad Hussayn.
Having said that, truly, we only reached the crescendo with Fahad’s last segment of the show. An homage to his Midas touch, the Signature Edition was where his 15 years in the industry fully come into the limelight. Bringing out pieces that highlight the use of zardozi, revivalist embroideries and traditional embellishments in his work, the designer didn’t leave a stone unturned to highlight how his bridal couture is an element of art. For anybody with an eye for fashion could see that amidst a gala of designers, he’s one of the few who continues to meticulously craft ensembles that are nothing short of being potential heritage heirlooms.
Featuring Mehwish Hayat as the showstopper for his solo, also added to his flair, as the actor complemented the bridal ensembles which were traditionally lavish but with a conscience of protecting technique and craft. The deep tone of red worn by the star – which Fahad has perfected over his time in the industry worked as the perfect finale to the show, as him, his showstopper(s) and the most important person of them all, his mother, walked down to showcase the brand’s gratitude at the BCW stage.
With all going right for the designer, this marked a massive milestone for Fahad Hussayn, and gave a signal of what one could expect over the years to come from the brand that has seen it all.
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