Pakistani designer Nida Azwer always tries to revive traditional arts and crafts through her work, and her Iznik Collection at PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week (PSFW) 2015 in Lahore was a step closer to that goal.
“We always try to highlight and promote indigenous artisanship and design elements within a modern context. People worldwide appreciate our traditional art and craft and so, it is my responsibility as a designer to promote it in the best way possible,” Azwer said.
“We are appreciated for our use of more classic and vintage design elements infused with traditional crafts such as tukri ka kaam, rilli, kantha, zardozi and miniature embroidery, worked into contemporary fashion, and we are proud of that,” she added.
Everything made at her atelier is handcrafted by artisans in Pakistan.
Drawing inspiration from Iznik and Persian ceramic patterns, Azwer’s collection under the brand name Atelier welcomed the summer season with florals and geometric elements. It also embraced the use of animal motifs such as birds and deer, as seen on Persian pottery.
There was a focus on structured construction, quite visible on summer jackets, pants and tops along with flowing silhouettes.
The colour palette saw hues of blue and teal with hints of saffron, and the ensembles were embellished with fine silk thread work, crystal and zardozi in luxe fabrics such as silks, cotton net and net.
Azwer has been designing and working in fashion under the aegis of her eponymous label since 2005. Her label includes a ready-to-wear line, a bespoke bridal line and accessories.
The Nida Azwer Atelier has grown significantly since its inception, now boasting two standalone flagship boutiques; one in Lahore and the other in Karachi. Internationally, the brand is available across the Middle East, the US and Europe through select boutiques.
Asked if she plans to retail in India, she was quick to respond: “Oh, why not? People in Pakistan are crazy about Indian designs as they find it fabulous, so it will be a fresh change to sell in that market.
“I got invited to Kolkata twice for an event called Style File. Then we applied for fashion week and they took us for round one, but after that, the clothes couldn’t get there,” she added.
Recalling her tryst with India, she said: “I have been to Ahmedabad, Chennai and Kolkata, but I feel Delhi is the most fashionable city. Karachi and Mumbai are very similar in terms of dressing up. People in these cities are very laid back, chilled out and casual, wherein Lahore and Delhi are very much into crisp and structured dressing.”
PSFW 2015 runs April 18-21.