KARACHI: With lawn madness on its way and fashion weeks about to kick off, we quizzed our favourite fashion designers, journalists and retailers to tell us what they’re going to be retailing, stocking, writing and raving about this year. Muted menswear Imam: The focus should be on muted, masculine colours like beige, shades of grey, sand, navy blue, black and white with minimalistic details such as piping on shalwar kameezes. Designers will learn that extravagant and experimental and over-embellishment does not work for the fashion-shy Pakistani male. Colour blocking Imam: Designers will find creative ways to use the trend of colour blocking with neutral tones such as white, tan, black, sandstone, honey and ink blue. Rahimtoola: Colour blocking is a trend poised to take off in a big way. If done right, the contrasting colours can spice up any wardrobe. Sharp colours will be big this year. Sayeed: Colours in 2012 will be in shades of terracotta red or sea green. Budget-friendly fabrics/outfits Rahimtoola: Due to recession and rising cost of living, outfits in cotton/lawn fabric will continue to be popular. With Ramazan and Eid on the summer calendar, we will see a move from heavier embellished outfits to more structured outfits with greater importance given to cuts and styling. The death of the flowy kameez? Sayeed: I believe this year would be all about simplicity and elegance. Silhouettes will be longer — not short and tight — at least not for subcontinental women.” Rahimtoola: The long, loose silhouette which has been prevalent for the last few years will go out of style. This year will witness the return of a fitted, structured silhouette with raised hemlines and decreased volume. Imam: Local designers should experiment with the short kameez and bring shirt lengths up to the knee. I also wish to see a 1920s and 1960s influence with drop-waist baby-doll silhouettes. Embellishments should not be so ‘blingy’ but more textured and experimental with interesting beading. Pants versus shalwar Rahimtoola: Fitted pants are making a comeback paired with knee-length tops and tunics. Sayeed: The shalwar is not coming back this year, as it was previously being thought. The classic shalwar will continue but only with a select few.” A year of separates Khan: 2012 will be the year of the separates — women will invest in one special piece whether it is a trouser or top, long or short and put it together with something they already have. Footwear fads Imam: Footwear will be in all kinds of bright colours; red, yellow, camel, blue and green. Suede chappals in every other colour imaginable will be en vogue. Team of fashion experts • Fashion journalists — Mohsin Sayeed and Zurain Imam • Labels retailer — Zahir Rahimtoola • Designer — Maheen Khan Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2012.