Six Pakistani designers were selected to present a show at the London Fashion Week as a result of the Fashion DNA mentorship programme that was organised by the British Council (Pakistan), in association with Fashion Scout.
Maheen Khan, Sonya Battla, Jeem by Hamza Bokhari, Munib nawaz, Zuriya Dor and The Pink Tree Company went through several mentoring sessions in person and on Skype with Toby Meadows, Safia Minney, Sury Benegal and Carri during a period of six months.
On February 18, the majestic Freemason Hall in London played host to six collections that presented an eclectic range of Pakistani fashion. The capsule collections created by the six Pakistani designers were shown for the first time at Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week’s autumn-winter 2017 run in a catwalk show styled by Rebekah Roy.
The show offered an insight into the burgeoning fashion scene in Pakistan, showcasing contemporary designs, culture and textiles.
Gulabo’s The Hippie Trail collection was inspired by the hippy movement of the ’60s and ’70s and those travelling through the mountain trails of Pakistan. Gulabo recycled their fabric cuttings which were collected and given to local charities to make patchwork quilts.
Jeem’s Songs of my Nation collection catered to women who do not follow fashion but embody it. All pieces by Jeem were crafted with a minimum of 96 hours of hand embellishments and all the fabrics were ethically sourced.
Nawaz’s Sci-Piritual collection combined science with design. Stand out pieces included a hand-embroidered leather biker jacket and a tailored jacket constructed entirely from traditional “rilli” patchwork.
The Pink Tree Company’s Jahan collection was made up of emerald greens, peacock blues and sun-kissed orange silks and hand-woven organza. Alongside delicate digitalised hand painted repeat prints, zardozi was used to embellish these garments. Hand-written calligraphy was translated into romantic embroidery, such as joon-am which is Persian for “love of my life”.
Sonya Battla’s Weave — Indigo Infusion collection was inspired by the Sufi shrines of Pakistan and the world of Sufism. Beach Town, Karachi, also inspired the colour palette which included beautiful blue tonal dyes and washes. Sonya’s collection used locally sourced and hand woven fabrics, including hand woven ikat.
Dor’s Tropical Romanticism collection was inspired by tropical tranquil colours found in nature; calming visual effects started with subtle, elusive tones which gradually got darker throughout the collection finishing with teal and midnight-blue dresses.