LAHORE: Designer Shiza Hassan’s latest collection is a veritable ode to the craftsmanship of the Persians. It draws inspiration from one of their most notable art forms: carpet weaving. The practice – now nearly 2,000 years old – reached its peak in Iran during the Safvaid Era and has stood the test of time.
Hassan’s ‘The Silken Bride’ focuses on various elements of carpet weaving. Iconic shikargahs, the tree of life and geometrical patterns serve as the underlying stories of the designer’s ensembles.
There is an abundance of motifs depicting hunting scenes, vases, arches, medallions and Persian architecture, along with vine interlacement – all paying homage to different cultures, tribes and artists of the empire.
“I wanted to portray beauty by developing a thematic series with The Silken Bride. The entire collection represents my personal desire to step out of my comfort zone and evolve,” Hassan told The Express Tribune. “The clothes are as much contemporary as they are historical. I’ve worked with clean cuts, fused, traditional and oriental details to create pieces that will be timeless.”
Pakistani tennis star Aisamul Haq Qureshi, who also happens to be Hassan’s brother, serves as the face of the collection. “Shiza actually asked me to model for her menswear line. I guess, like all sisters, she thinks I am very handsome too,” Qureshi joked, while speaking about his experience. “The shoot itself was a lot of fun and the location was very interesting. We shot at Shahi Hamam in old Lahore which truly encapsulated the beauty of the city and added character to the pictures.”
Hassan launched her pret-a-porter and couture label back in 2014. Two years later, she showcased her bridal collection at the PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week 2016. “As her brother, I am very proud of Shiza. As a Pakistani, I’m very happy to see our fashion industry progress and evolve. I was very impressed by the professionalism when I walked the ramp.”
Hassan uses traditional techniques like zardozi, kaamdani, dabka, naksi and mixes them with contemporary cuts, dangling chains, metallic leaves, pearl detailing, tassels, crystals, braids and fringes to add more feel. There are jackets, flap shirts, bustiers, flowing lenghas and shararas in the mix too.
Hassan is a strong proponent of preserving one’s culture, tradition and folklore. “I have always embraced my love for traditional crafts. I believe one should think out of the box, experiment and then focus on that,” said the designer.
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