Thursday 11th June, 2015,: The Asian fashion elite came together at the trendy Saatchi Gallery in London’s Chelsea for FASHION PARADE; a grand fashion show celebrating the finest fashion from South Asia.
This spectacular fashion show showcased the work of ten leading Pakistani and Indian designers; Aashni + Co presents Anamika Khanna, Syeda Amera, Seher Tareen, Areeba Asif, REMA, Rani Emaan, Ali Xeeshan, Rose Room Couture ( by Aashni + Co.), Hira Shah and Jyoti Chandhok
FASHION PARADE, the brainchild of Sadia Siddiqui founder of Mustang Productions, is a platform for South Asian designers to bring their designs to London; the capital of fashion. In association with Ammara Hikmat of Encyclomedia, FASHION PARADE launched in 2013 with great success.
The major highlight of the event included the walk of five year old British Pakistani sensation Laila Naim (who became the first Pakistani model for 159 year old British luxury fashion house Burberry) walked for our renowned designer Ali Xeeshan at Fashion Parade, London. The five year old hold Ali’s finger on the ramp while at the end Ali made an adorable gesture by holding Laila up so that she could look at the guests at the event. Famous celebrities like Shoaib Malik, Suhel Seth, Kanika Kapoor, Ozzy Shah attended Fashion Parade 2015
Models walked down the runway in elaborate floral settings designed and created by award winning florist Zita Elze. Hair and make-up was provided by Aamir and Ambreen.
Aashni + Co presents Anamika Khanna
Named ‘Sculpt’, the collection was experimental with a quirky edge: “I’ve deconstructed things. I’ve put things together that are not meant to be together.” However pieces are still versatile and can easily be dressed up or dressed down. Anamika has enjoyed a certain freedom throughout her design process: “I’m making my own rules and I’m just enjoying myself doing just that!”
Aashni + Co is delighted to be presenting Anamika Khanna as the opening design house showcase at Fashion Parade for the second year running. Anamika Khanna represents one of the most avant garde designers in Indian high fashion. Her philosophy and collections perfectly fit the Fashion Parade curation of designers that push the boundaries of South Asian design. Fashion Parade reflects pioneers that are truly international in their work and for Aashni + Co there was no designer more suitable to reflect this than Anamika – a true Maverick of the Indian fashion scene and a true forward-thinking designer that parallels the Pakistani talent that was showcased at this year’s event.
Syeda Amera is a Karachi based fashion designer. Designing from a young age, Syeda Amera launched her label in 2008 which includes prêt-a-porter, haute couture and bridal. With an aim to help women dress in a way that would complement their personality, her use of feminine patterns and flattering lines are perfect for any confident women. Syeda Amera’s SS15 collection was all about ubiquitous swinging fringes. Talking to the press Syeda Ameera stated, “We are excited to be a part of this fashion forward platform that is celebrating Asian entrepreneurs successfully since the past couple of years and has raised the level of Pakistani fashion appreciation to another level. Exposure and accessibility are two main things I am looking forward to as my aim is to hit the right target market for my collection.”
Talking about her collection, Amera said, “Our summer collection 2015 ‘Fringe Gone Wild’ is all about ubiquitous flapping, swinging fringes. As the fringe trend moves and shakes its way into fashion, it is one of the biggest trends filling in this season giving a serious ‘70s vibe. There are touches of fringe that will undoubtedly be all over the runway. Bringing the fringe back into spotlight, our version of this ‘70s trend will be incredibly glamorous and ultra-feminine. There are easy to pull off dresses in deep sensual bohemian colours, fringes adorning mini-dresses, evening gowns and skirts. Simple thread fringe to Russian braid and plain beaded to fabric. All these pepped up with intricate embellishment and fabric manipulation on premium quality jersey and nets.”
Explaining the global appeal of her collection, Amera said, “My collection is based on the fringe trend this season. This particular collection is all set to cater to the global audience as it aims at presenting a western design philosophy. ‘Fringe Gone Wild’ is designed keeping in mind the latest and upcoming fashion trends and we assure the market that our version of this 70’s trend will be incredibly glamourous and ultra feminine as never seen before.”
Seher Tareen’s prêt a porter collection titled ‘Shakespeare’. Taking inspiration from Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ the collection is truly classic and sophisticated yet with an edgy nod to the enchantment of William Shakespeare. The silk prints have been derived from the ‘dream state’ paintings of artist Zarah David. The collection also features the use of chains and the specially designed brass and acrylic stars which have been used as body harness and neckpieces throughout. The stars are a reference to the ‘night,’ while the body harnesses reflect the concept of being trapped (in love).
Areeba Asif graduated from SOAS in Bachelor of Arts in Law and Politics and upon moving back to Lahore she began styling for HELLO! Pakistan. Areeba Asif completed the Vogue Fashion Course at Conde Nast College of Fashion and Design, after which she realised her calling and passion for designing rather than styling and journalism which led to creating her fashion brand.
Areeba’s recent collection is based around mirror work with a colour palette of mainly lilacs and mint greens. The colours are fresh and the mirror work gives the collection of high waisted pants gowns and jumpsuits a young, vibrant and edgy feel.
The name of her collection is ‘A Solicited Star’ which bring in old techniques of fashion of the subcontinent in fusion/western wear. The collection is a blend of Pakistani craftsmanship with international, western silhouettes; the cuts are quite internationally suitable. “I have created jumpsuits, dresses, long jackets, high-waist flared pants, all keeping in mind the international markets. The embellishment is Pakistani while the cuts are western,” she explained her collection.
REMA specializes in the premium and luxury segment for women and men. The product range includes jewellery, accessories, apparel and handbags with an exclusive bespoke range. REMA is the first local brand to launch luxury bespoke handbags adorned with personal photographs that has caught the fancy of celebrity fans such as Sadaf Fawad Khan, Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, Mawra Hocane, Mehreen Syed, amongst others.
Her designs are created by world-class craftsmen, using the finest materials, with each piece embodying the spirit of inclusive globalism.
Rema finds design inspiration from the world around her; from books to art ,music and travels. Her debut collection, The Cuspate Collection, is about transition and reflects her own style: chic, personal and utilitarian – each piece makes a statement in a subtle manner.
Pakistan’s hottest sensation right now, Rema Qureshi said, “Fashion Parade has become a super platform to display local talent and for Pakistani talent to connect with an international audience. People have been curious to see more from my brand and this was a great opportunity for me to showcase my designs and hard work.”
Talking about her must sought after collection, Rema said, “The latest collection WanderLuxe pushes the boundaries, using semi-precious stones, stellar materials and hardware and leather detailing, mixing new elegance with character and depth, all at once. The Cuspate collection meets wanderlust-inspired fusion pieces that embody femininity and adventure. These statement designs consist of edgy neck pieces in all styles, eye-catching earrings, rings with spunk, and leather handbags – all versatile pieces take you, the confident REMA woman, from day to night, setting you apart from the crowd.
Rani Emaan is a multi-national brand worn by sophisticated women in South Asia, UK and USA.
The Spring summer collection is titled “Japanese garden and Eastern Fusion“. The collection is an accentuation of the characteristic floral elements. The blossoming flowers in pastel shades appear to be refreshingly novel on the fabric they are embroidered on. The 3D flowers adorn themselves with Victorian real jewels and gives a regal impression.
Ali Xeeshan took the industry by a storm with his unorthodox interpretation of the fashion world and his unprecedented creativity which quickly made him one of the most sought after names in the industry. While predominantly a couturier focusing on formal and bridal wear, Ali has also diversified into a prêt-à-porter line, menswear collections and a complete range of accessories.
The spring summer collection is titled Detox. Comprising of fun separates, bold colour palettes and statement pieces that come together for the perfect summer evening look.
Pakistani fashion sensation Ali Xeeshan, said, “We are super excited to be a part of this prestigious platform. The Fashion Parade team is extremely professional and easy to work with. The response is overwhelming already.”
Talking about his collection, Ali said, “This carnival collection is all about embracing a spirit of dressing up. Bold floral print will give a signature taste of Ali Xeeshan’s creativity. Black and white fabrication is there to add a little sophistication of British royalty. The basic ingredient is Pakistani heritage fused with contemporary cuts that will attract fashionable women from every and any region of the world.”
Founded by Isha Rajpal and Namrata Rajpal, the spring summer collection is titled “Tour de Force“. The lavish creations in a sensational colour palette and luxury fabrics that are reminiscent of the Victorian era, completed with an edge. Highlights of the collection include the light chiffon with lace inserts blouse.
Namrata Rajpal of Rose Room Couture by Isha and Namrata Rajpal from India says, “Fashion Parade is a great international platform to showcase our collection. We were honoured to be a part of a very stylishly put together show by a great team.”
With a backbone of a 50-year-old garment export company behind them, these young entrepreneurs have learnt on the job, what it is to deliver quality of international standards having worked with brands ranging from BCBG Max Azaria, Pinko, Karen Millen, Zara, Mossimo Dutti, DKNY and the likes.
About their collection, Namrata said, “A combination of delicacy and substance are at the essence of the collection that infuses modern day elegance with a powerful feminine energy. The lavish creations are in sensational colours and extraordinary fabrics that are reminiscent of the Victorian era, pure glorious splendour, complete with an edgy twist that modernises the collection just enough. The transparency of laces, embellishments, drapes and seductress leathers are fine enough to embody a fashion vision where everything is permitted. The light chiffon with lace inserts in blouses are a hybrid expression of ‘Tour de Force’.”
She further explained that women globally believe in power dressing, like to make a statement and believe in edgy fashion. “The strong identity of Rose Room Couture lies in its super feminine and fantastical style, breaking free from seriousness and old school traditions. A perfect blend of bold cuts and rich embroideries, Rose Room Couture speaks of the mystery and sensuality hidden in every girl,” she added.
Hira Shah’s spring/summer 2015 collection is a perfect blend of two cities, Stockholm and London. The aim is to seamlessly dovetail east and west by utilising Pakistani embellishments amalgamated with a Swedish colour palette comprising neutrals and pastels. The theme ‘Stockholm to Pakistan’ was a reminder that Europe’s fashion industry has increasingly turned to Asia to produce extravagantly hand worked pieces as it has become prohibitively expensive to make them locally. Her objective was to flip the equation so that everything that looked intricately and completely Pakistani was actually combined with an element taken from Stockholm, almost like a love affair between Pakistani embellishments and the Swedish colour palette. In other words, a celebration of Swedish minimalism with Pakistani maximalism.
“To say that I was absolutely ecstatic to be showing at such a prestigious event would definitely be a colossal understatement. I’m really humbled at being given the opportunity to show my collection to such an esteemed audience. Fashion Parade is a great platform for any designer to showcase their work and to be seen by the world media and fashion community.” She said.
Talking about the global appeal of her designs, Hira said, “As a fashion designer, I am constantly exploring new media to inspire and inform my design philosophy. My aim is to create a brand that is based on a conceptual approach to design. The fundamental nucleus of my design philosophy has always consisted of innovatively exploring and combining eastern influences with western silhouettes. I have always had an eclectic approach to design based on my Pakistani background and subsequent training and experience within Europe. My inspiration, creative expression and target audience has always been globally focused.
“Through my work I want to bridge the gap between east and west. Originating from Pakistan and living in the UK, which is a country that celebrates diversity. I am an artist that paints a Pakistani story with a European twist. I take inspiration from the places I have lived in or visited, which includes UK, Ireland, Sweden and Pakistan. I fuse them together to create a modern art piece that is not only appealing to local tastes, but also to a global audience,” she explained.
Jyoti Chandhok’s passion for embroidery and fabrics stemmed from an early age. Being born and brought up in Lucknow – a town well renowned for its fine and varied workmanship her work reflects the understanding of ancient Indian designs with the innovative use of traditional crafts to create a modern interpretation of what is a classic tale of timeless elegance..
Jyoti Chandhok also expressed her excitement at being given the opportunity to showcase her collection “to an elite audience at this very prestigious venue by Fashion Parade who are building a reputation for such exclusive events”.
Talking about her collection, Jyoti said, “My collection is about my passion for my hometown and its rich heritage. Its high architecture and magnificent parks. It’s about rejoicing beauty and colours and straddling continents to blend the fabrics and embroideries of the East with the silhouettes and cut of the West. Well-travelled global audience are able to enjoy with confidence the heady mix of the rich fabrics embroideries from various parts of the world, made into outfits which most modern young ladies will be able to enjoy in Delhi, Lahore or London. The world has shrunk and there’s a huge exchange of ideas, inspiration from everywhere. I have tried to use all that to give a truly global collection.”