The inauguration of Expo 2013, running from Sept 26 to 29 at the Expo Centre with more than 1,000 buyers from 70 countries, began with a grand fashion show at a hotel where a total of eight collections were shown each day during the two-day event.

The participating designers included Rizwan Beyg, Faiza Samee, Tapu Javeri (featuring Warda Saleem), Farnaz Mustafa, Sania Maskatiya, Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design (PIFD), Zaheer Abbas and Sana Safinaz on Day One.

Day Two featured the design takes of Maheen Khan, Deepak Perwani, Huma Adnan (FnkAsia), Umaima Mustafa, Ayesha Ibrahim, Ahmed Bham and Shamaeel Ansari.

In a brief speech, Rabia Javeri Agha, Secretary of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), said that what follows is another part of Pakistan that many have never seen before, and one that is cutting edge fashion innovation which helps to establish our visual identity. “Behind every tanka and stitch is heritage carried forward by generations of kaarigars, and the credit goes to our fashion designers who present and preserve our heritage,” she added.

She especially thanked Rizwan Beyg among the many others who helped put the event together and were also working backstage, and added that Milan and Paris along with other destinations in Europe have been lined up for more such shows.

Visuals from the 8th Expo flashed on screens mounted on either side of the ramp before Rizwan Beyg showed his spectacular and brilliant ode to truck art featuring peacock motifs among other fantastical creatures and influences. The segment started as models taking a joyride on a bicycle entered the ramp space followed by a colourful display of oversized ladies’ handbags and footwear featuring stiletto boots, flared short skirts and tops, menswear accessories such as belts, jackets, waistcoats, laptop cases, briefcases and much more from the designer’s Rangg line.

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The presentation was titled Rural to Runway, and Expo 2013 has also borrowed its theme from it this year. The designer previewed the collection earlier this year in Lahore at the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week, and has since added to it with an even more extended colour palette by working with artisans from different areas of rural Sindh and Multan, making a foray into ethical fashion that focuses on social development in rural communities and issues like gender equality, fair wages and non-exploitation of labour.

Next, Faiza Samee’s Luxury Pret Autumn/Winter 2014 collection drew inspiration from the geometric print patterns and handicrafts of nomadic tribes widely found in Himalayas and Hindu Kush mountain ranges. Prints, cuts and silhouettes brought into focus both the hemispheres with asymmetrical and kimono and sarong influences. Greens, oranges and earthen hues featured here in breezy printed silks and other fabrics.

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