Preview: Pakistani designers at Lakmé Fashion Week
Meet the four designers from across the border
Who? Known for her opulent and intricately-detailed couture collections, Zara Shahjahan initially started working from home in 2004, only properly setting up her business four years ago.
Signature style: Vintage-inspired feminine elegance and classic silhouettes, often accented with floral prints and lace.
On fashion week: “I am so excited! Lakmé Fashion Week is a very prestigious platform. It’ll be great to be there and experience it.”
On her collection: “it’s a mix of the old with the new. It’s called ‘City of Garden’ and is inspired by the vintage fashion of old Lahore, but with a contemporary look. It has lots of organza and shimmer.”
Favourite Indian designers: “I love Rohit Bal for his craft and finesse, Sabyasachi Mukherjee for his grandeur and Masaba Gupta’s edginess.”
Her India itinerary: “I’m looking forward to all that shopping and meeting my friends. Also, I can’t wait to visit Kala Ghoda – it’s a really charming area to walk around in.”
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Who? Faiza Samee has been designing since 1981 and is known for reviving some of the rarest embroideries in the world.
Signature style: Embroidery and craftsmanship. Her designs boast intricate embroideries juxtaposed with contemporary cuts in both eastern and western styles.
On fashion week: “I have been attending Lakmé Fashion Week for the longest time and always hoped to show my collection there one day. It’s a great privilege and I am honoured to be invited. I hope to show something that is different and appreciated.”
On her collection: “My inspiration comes from the regions of Central Asia and Turkey. I have made some interesting jackets, played with printed velvet and done something very different with the do paanchay ka gharara.”
Favourite Indian designers: “Rohit Bal is one of my favourites, Rohit Khosla was a great designer and Sabyasachi Mukherjee is very creative.”
Her India itinerary: “Really looking forward to meeting up with old friends.”
Who? Rizwan Beyg launched his label in 1989 and remains one of the most coveted designer brands in Pakistan. Beyg is best known for his flawless rendering of traditional embellishment and embroidery on contemporary silhouettes.
Signature style: Classic, feminine elegance.
On fashion week: “I’m thrilled that Lakmé Fashion Week has given us this opportunity. One hopes it will encourage cross-cultural exchange in platforms because fashion is without any borders.”
On his collection: “It’s inspired by something typically Pakistani – truck art. It is a homage to local artisans in my country, who work on the streets and are not recognised.”
Favourite Indian designers: Rohit Bal, Tarun Tahiliani, Varun Bahl, Anamika Khanna, Manish Arora and Manish Malhotra.
His India itinerary: “The street food at Juhu Beach and Chowpatty in Mumbai, and having kala khatta.”
Photograph: Diva Magazine
Who? A relatively new designer, Sania Maskatiya has fast become one of the most sought after in the country. Maskatiya launched her eponymous label in 2011, after graduating in textile design from Karachi’s Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture.
Signature style: Print-centric. Maskatiya’s design house is known for introducing refreshing new prints. Her silhouettes remain classic with a touch of contemporary.
On fashion week: “We are delighted to be participating in India for the first time on such a large scale through Lakmé Fashion Week, and to be representing the contemporary face of Pakistani fashion. As we look to expand our brand regionally and internationally, platforms such as Lakmé Fashion Week, and prior to this, consideration for the Woolmark Award, give our brand excellent exposure and an opportunity to grow.
On her collection: “I will be showcasing ‘Sakura’, a collection inspired by popular Japanese culture and symbolism, representing both the beauty and fragility of life. Expect an array of bespoke mixed prints and hand embroideries across a diversity of textures in cuts and patterns. ‘Sakura’ draws from the grace of the cherry blossom, the stark romance of the Japanese landscape, teahouses, turtles and treasure chests.”
Favourite Indian designers: Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Anamika Khanna, Masaba Gupta and Anita Dongre
Her India itinerary: “To meet some great Indian designers and eat incredible food! Some of my favourite eateries are Wasabi by Morimoto and Trishna.”