We speak to the esteemed fashion designer about pop culture, making statements, and her amazing son.
When did you know a career in fashion design was for you?
I remember making sketches for my friends in fifth grade, so since I was ten there was something there. When I realized I had a unique point of view to express as a designer, there was no going back!
What is your background and training?
I am completely self-taught and have learnt on the job, through experimenting endlessly with fabrics and patterns. Of course there has to be a natural flair, otherwise it doesn’t work.
Do you consider fashion an art form or a craft, or both? Why?
For me fashion at its best is a work of art. Designing is an intensely creative process.
Do you have a mentor in the industry?
I don’t have a mentor per se, but I respect the history behind Bunto Kazmi’s design house. I love the old world charm of Guddo of Sozankaar. Sana and Safinaz are two women in the industry whom I admire. And I’m excited by the innovation of the more contemporary designers as well.
What should a designer understand about the business of fashion first and foremost?
You must find the balance between making the client happy while staying true to who you are as a designer. For me, your integrity as a designer is as important as knowing how to run a successful business.
What role does pop culture and celebrity play in your work, if any?
With my first collection, I found inspiration in vintage wedding photographs and heirlooms, with the aim to incorporate old techniques into a modern aesthetic. My next collection takes inspiration fromt the art and architecture of the Art Nouveau movement.
What mediums do you work in and love most?
For my debut collection, I focused on the use of tissue along with velvets, tulles, and brocades. I like combining unexpected textiles together.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Work at the office and at home balanced with spurts of relaxation, meeting close friends etc.
Do you have an audience in mind when you design?
I like to make a statement with my clothes, even if it’s subtle.
If you could dress any three people – living or dead – who would they be and for what occasion?
Rorence Scovel Shinn (author), Oprah Winfrey and Meneka Gandhi. And instead of dressing them, I’d like to have dinner with them.
What do you love most about living in Lahore?
Everything. Even the traffic.
What is something that has surprised you or continues to surprise you in this industry?
How accommodating everyone really is!
- Favorite vacation spot: London
- What perfume do you wear: I love collecting perfumes so it keeps changing according to my mood. Currently, Do Son by Diptyque.
- Favorite restaurant: An Italian restaurant from my college days in Toronto, Bellini’s. And The Promenade at The Dorchester in London. It’s a tie.
- What makes you impatient? People being disorganised while travelling!
- Addicted to: Chocolate
- Secret talent: Math
- Brain or brawn: Brain!
- Love or money: Strength of character trumps both.
- You hate it when you see people wearing: Anything for the sake of being trendy.
- Your closet is a shrine to? Delicious things.
- Favourite Designer: Georgina Chapman of Marchesa
- Oldest item in your closet? My grandmother
- Favorite piece of furniture in your home? It’s not furniture, but two paintings in my bedroom; once that my mother painted for me, and another that I painted for my son
- In your DVD player right now: Empires (documentaries about various empires through history)
- Book on your bedside table drawer: To be honest I prefer reading articles. The last book I “read” was in audio form
- Most typically Pakistani thing about you: speak Saraiki
- Who/what makes you laugh uncontrollably? Only a few (lucly) people!
- When are you happiest? When I’m with my son