Fashion is as scintillating and multifarious as human life. It is the urge of human spirit to appear prim and proper soliciting approval of its fellow-beings. By synchronising mind and body fashion transcends human soul and assumes a living identity. All ages of human evolution bore unmistakable stamp of evolution of fashion portraying it to be an activity human race cannot remain aloof from.
In our part of the world two strong currents of fashion are discernible, Mughal and Western. The current fashion trends in Pakistan are somewhat a derivative of these two dominant themes. Pakistani fashion is an enticing blend of the orient and the occident creating a very laudable end-result. Fashion designers in Pakistan draw their inspiration both from the past and the contemporary that makes their creations extremely appealing.
Pakistani fashion scene is star-studded and widely emulated. Fashion designers are quite sought after and well regarded. They draw large audiences when they display their creations and often create sensation though their sparkling originality. Pakistani fashion designing quality carries in its wake quite a following in the Gulf region, the USA and Europe. The large Pakistani Diasporas in these regions ensure that indigenous Pakistani designs are brought to the notice of the inhabitants of the countries they reside in.
Pakistani fashion field is blessed with some very dedicated and unique designers whose creations are widely valued. Many of them have created a niche for themselves and are emulated. They exude a typical confidence through their stylistic imagery inspiring a great deal of people. They keep themselves aware of the choices of the people and accordingly modulate their output.
An established name in fashion industry belongs to fastidious Sana Safinaz, a duo that is going strong even after quarter of a century of being at the top revealing that they have mastered the art of performing exquisitely in very competitive environment. The couture, bridal and lawn wear produced by them are in great demand throughout the country. In addition they have succeeded in acquiring recognition of their brand globally.
Hassan Shahryar Yasin is one of the biggest names in Pakistan’s fashion industry. Operating from Lahore he started off in 1994 as a fashion choreographer and never looked back. Trained in foreign fashion institutions he is rated as the best in bridal and couture fields. He is quite prolific and very well manages 14 retail outlets worldwide. He has also ventured in jewelry line, lifestyle range, featuring soft furnishings, home accessories and furniture.
From a small stitching unit in Lahore Maria B has gone from strength to strength. The designs offered by this designer are stylish and modern and represent latest trends in fashion. She also introduced simple lawn prints with graceful necklines adding lustre to simple outfits. The designer is well known for unconventional 3 suit traditional shalwar, kameez, dupatta design. Maria B is the owner of many labels such as M.KIDS, M Girl, M Brides, Maria B Cotton, Linen, Evening Wear, Maria B Lawn, and Casual Collection.
Bunto Kazmi is a top designer who emphasises on Mughal era motifs adding gloss to her creations. Her captivating bridal collections are easy to carry and attractive to wear. She enhances the beauty of her designs by experiencing with multiple colour schemes. Bunto Kazmi is renowned for her intricate craftsmanship that is full of luxurious details. Her creative inspirations form the epitome of natural disposition and royal motifs transferred on exquisite selection of cloth.
Deepak Perwani is a celebrated name in the field of fashion. His designs carry in them freshness and authenticity. His luxury formal wear and bridal wear made him successful instantaneously. His brand includes women’s wear and accessories along with wedding, formal and evening dress. His creations have won him many awards and he got his place ensured in the Guinness World Records for the largest kurta ever stitched as it was made to fit a 175-foot-tall person, weighing 800 kilos made by using 800 yards of cotton-blend fabric. He made smaller kurtas for children out of the large one and donated them to Edhi Foundation.
Zara Shahjahan graduated from National College of Arts (NCA) Lahore and began her designing career in 2004. She has a keen eye for intricate patterns. She is equally at home with the bases of Luxury Pret, Western wear, and Couture and embellishes them with her innovative trend. She is passionate about everything vintage which she blends with her own unique style mantra. Her couture collections are extravagantly detailed with Gara embroideries, Swarovski crystals, and authentic hand crafted embellishments.
Nomi Ansari hails from an industrial carpet-weaving family and his family background influenced his profession as a fashion designer. He came imbued with a useful understanding of iconography, color balance and print design. He has become renowned for his bold use of color encouraging women to mix contrasting separates. Dubbed as ‘Pakistan’s King of Color’, he is also valued for strong attention to silhouettes along with details like zardozi and crystal embellishments.
In the field since 1995 Shehla Chatoor is famous for intricately designed trousseau and contemporary casual wear. She is quite prolific and adapts to trends quickly. Her designs signify bright colors with long skirts, dresses and saris in luxurious, yet lightweight fabrics. She is also famous for her exclusive costume jewelry line as an inexpensive alternative to fine jewelry. She usually utilises ethnic patterns, gold detail and semi-precious stones and the resultant eye-catching pieces are designed to accompany both Eastern and Western-style outfits.
Asim Jofa is one of the pioneers in introducing luxury and premium lawn in Pakistani fashion. Asim Jofa Signature Prêt Line is prized by its admirers and connoisseurs in the fashion districts of London, US, Canada and the UAE. Jofa’s hand crafted masterpieces are subjected to strict procedural unanimity and quality control. He has been certified in design by Central Saint Martins. He was also awarded as the best designer in 2012 by the International Asian Fashion Awards.
Hailing from Faisalabad Fahad Hussayn began his professional journey by designing clothes for his family. His designs are contemporary, traditional and full of plain cuts. He is exquisite about his area of expertise that is bridal wear and while dealing with this vast field his designs represent art, contemporary motifs and zari work. As a young designer he has a lot to offer in future.
Karma, a high-end Pakistani brand, was launched by designers Kamiar Rokni and Maheen Kardar Ali in 2001. It has been one of the few South Asian labels to incorporate Western-style clothing, such as evening gowns and cocktail dresses. Karma has recently branched out into lifestyle and accessories collections in addition to its contemporary-looking Pink Label, which followed the success of the brand’s wedding and couture lines.
In 2006 the pair separated with Kamiar Rokni proceeding to launch a luxurious new brand in his own name. Maheen Kardar Ali however famously demonstrated her creative style in 2013 with a unique design for a kurta featuring 30 carefully selected Bollywood stars.
Mohsin Ali has impressed the fashion world with daring outfits that mix traditional materials with new fabrics. Local hand embroideries and indigenous patterns feature among layers of contrasting styles that work together to create a distinctly urban look. Ali has developed ranges for several clothing brands, and his work has featured in shows around the world. He often uses pastel colours, merging sporty styles with sheer fabrics in a collection for designer label Libas.
Naushaba Brohi is the rising star of fashion industry as her first Spring/Summer collection called Liminal became a hit. She is an expert in fusing contemporary styles and traditional handiwork and through them she conveys a strong visual content by cleverly contrasting dark and light colors. Her fashion label, Inaaya, is known for promoting skills of local artisans particularly by artists from rural Sindh. Her jewelry designing gained fame when Amal Alamuddin, international human rights lawyer and wife of George Clooney, was spotted wearing one of Brohi’s necklaces.
Bareeze is one of the most potent names in fashion industry of Pakistan. They have been active in this field since the last three decades and have maintained quality of their output. Bareeze range includes crisp cottons, luxurious silks, sheer organza, chic chiffons and many more. Textile embroidery is an art that they have good experience of and they have kept the local tradition alive in this field. They specialise in hand-embroidery and they carry this tradition to perfection.
Hoor Asrar Rauf has remained a swimming champion and is a budding entrepreneur