While many in Pakistan tend to jump on the truck art bandwagon, designer Laila Khan has taken a more ethnic spin on her new clothes line by drawing inspiration from the valleys of her village, Astore. Her collection is specifically designed to promote the colourful culture of her village and introduce people to different possibilities of embroidered work.
Her second exhibition at her Islamabad residence saw a lot of neon embroidery with her trademark design of cross stitch rose motifs on the sides of her shirt pieces. “These colourful flowers are a trademark Astore design, even though they are bright and in your face, they go with any colour!” said Khan. Her statement proved quite evident as she had embroidered the flowers onto plain white, black, beige and even pink shirt pieces. But embroidery isn’t the only interesting part of her collection; printed ponchos in materials ranging from cotton to thick winter material are also found on her racks. “The thick ponchos I had in mind for women travelling up north, they can be worn over jeans and even shalwar kameezes,” she stated.
Additionally, the lines and cuts on most of her pieces are mainly straight, straying well away from the A-line trend, while some come with prettily embroidered belts to add the extra oomph. “These belts are also made in Astore, including the tassels on some of the pieces. I’ve paired them with the simple white and beige shirts so that the belts stand out instead of clashing them with the brighter colours of the shirt,” says Khan. The price range was reasonable, ranging from Rs2,000 to Rs8,000. While the exhibition closed on July 16, Khan says she will continue her work by taking orders thereafter.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2012.
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