Pakistani stylists have designs on you!

Pakistani stylists have designs on you!

It was bound to happen. After all, nature has its own way,” says established Pakistani fashion designer Rizwan Beyg, as he works ceaselessly on the motifs of his garments inspired by ‘Truck Art of Pakistan’.

Known to have created designs for an elite clientele, including celebrities such as Cherie Blair and the late Lady Diana, the designer has built his name over the years.

Even his contemporary and multi-award winning Faiza Samee, who is known for creating rare and intricate hand embroideries, is a known name in Pakistan’s fashion industry.

But even after decades of hard work and success in Pakistan and abroad, these designers are only now getting a chance to showcase their work at a full-fledged event in their neighbouring country, India.

The news of Pakistani

designers (along with Sania Maskatia and Zara Shahjahan) participating in the upcoming Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2014, has spread like wild fire. The designers on the other hand are thrilled to have been given an opportunity to explore avenues in the Indian market.

“I have always believed and said that ‘Humari duniya yahan hai’ (Our world is here),” says Samee who still admires the work of Indian designer Rohit Khosla and has collaborated with Rohit Bal, Ritu Kumar, Manish Malhotra and Suneet Varma previously.

“But this time it is a much bigger platform. We have always tried to expand to the West but I feel that we have a bigger market in India and vice versa,” says the designer appreciating the costumes in Indian films Umrao Jaan by Muzaffar Ali and Ram Leela.

All four agree that Bollywood films provide the Pakistan fashion industry a window to see the works of Indian designers. “In India, the fashion scene is much bigger than in Pakistan. Culturally, we are very similar, but our design sensibilities are quite different,” says Sania Maskatia who is known for her luxury prêt in her home country and was recently shortlisted for the Woolmark Award.

“Indians wear more westernised clothes, but in Pakistan we wear more ‘desi’ clothes. Even within Pakistan, the fashion is different in different provinces,” Maskatia says. Just like the difference between street fashion of Delhi and Mumbai for instance.

“Though there is not much difference between Indian and Pakistani women, and we will be representing our country, we do feel the pressure since we will be showcasing our work next to Indian designers,” says Zara Shahjahan, adding, “Of course we have the Indian woman in mind but we don’t want to lose our aesthetics!”

Beyg, however, explains it a little differently. “I have the deepest regard for Tarun (Tahiliani) and Gudda (Rohit Bal) and feel that the design community is very similar globally. But we are going to put forward our collection to test the waters. Since I am personally against ‘totally western outfits’, my collection will be Indo-Western. An Indian woman has different personas. She might wear a saree during the day, jeans in the evening and a dress at night. We will be catering to Indian women and the world will see how Pakistani designers will dress the Indian women!”