Low and behold, the lawn season is upon us again. This is what we call Christmas for Pakistani women as they lose all sense of decorum to get their hands on designer lawn.
This year will not be any different as we have some of the hottest members of the fashion industry entering the race for the best lawn in town. Sania Maskatiya, Nida Azwer, Zara Shahjahan, Ali Xeeshan, Kuki Concepts and Fahad Hussayn along with JJ Valaya from India are all working tirelessly to put their first lawn collections together. The Express Tribune brings an exclusive scoop of what to expect and who’s doing what this season.
Sania Maskatiya, who has paired with Sapphire Textiles this season, reveals that her collection will include floral prints and geometrics. “I am super excited and psyched to be working on this project; we learn fabric development in school and now I am getting a chance to implement it all,” says Maskatiya. “The collection is catered more to aunties’ needs as there are chiffon dupattas, laces and embroidered panels.” She adds the pieces reflect her signature style and “one could create three outfits out of one suit.”
Maskatiya’s collection will be launched on March 2 in Karachi and March 9 in Lahore and the expected price per outfit is Rs4,500 to Rs5,500.
Zahid Khan of Kuki Concepts has teamed up with Dawood Faizan Textiles to launch his very first lawn collection. “I wanted to do lawn my way and I needed that leverage to experiment; Dawood Faizan is allowing that to happen,” says Khan, adding that his lawn will not only be different but also extravagant. Kuki Concepts prides itself in creating six varying collections in 2012 alone and this lawn collection will be a tribute to all its work done in that year. “I am taking two prints from each collection and will work with those concepts to create this collection,” he adds.
Khan admits that while he doesn’t want his lawn to look like shaadi attire, it will still be luxurious. “I am selling an entire look and that means it has everything from embellishments to accessories — whatever it needs to complete the look we’re trying to create,” he says. Apart from banarsi panels and Chantilly lace borders, Kuki Concepts will be adding earrings and neck pieces too. The collection will launch in March and prices will range between Rs5,000 to Rs6,000.
Zara Shahjahan will be working with Kamal Textiles, that made its debut in the market last year with Elan. “I have always loved working with cotton, so lawn was the next step for me,” says Shahjahan, adding that it’s been a great experience being able to create her own fabric at a mass production level. She loves working with different prints as it is evident from her previous cotton collections.
“The turnover is obviously huge because you can’t compare couture to mass production — all designers are paid a handsome fee that turns their revenues around completely,” Shahjahan says, talking about the economic aspect of producing lawn. “While it’s tedious, it is also a learning experience for me, as I am not used to working on the production side on an industrial level.” She has incorporated vintage themes and florals, which she has worked with in the past, and has also introduced ethnic motifs in her upcoming lawn collection, which will launch on March 14.
From creating clothes to designing lifestyles, Ali Xeeshan seems to have done it all. In partnership with Shariq Textiles, a company that has produced Asim Jofa’s collections in the past, Xeeshan is now ready to enter this year’s cutthroat lawn race. “I am working with geometric prints, old English Victorian [designs] and flower power,” says Xeeshan, adding that he will also be working with baroque patterns, panels, tassels, buttons, satin finishing and lace trimmings. “I will also repeat the techniques I used in my gota fabric collection [at fashion week] in order to add that extra oomph this lawn collection needs.”
Xeeshan wants his collection to be prominent and easily spotted from a distance. “I want my work to be very elaborate so that people know it is mine,” he adds. The collection will be launched in the first week of April and is priced between Rs3,500 and Rs4,300.
Another interesting addition to the lawn season this year is Indian fashion designer J J Valaya. A founding member of the Fashion Design Council of India, Valaya has over 20 years of experience and is known as a fashion czar and trendsetter in India; he is now ready to introduce his first ever signature collection of lawn in Pakistan in association with textile giant, Five Star Textiles.
“Creativity, like music, is known to have a single universal language — one that does not identify with diverse communities as it simply creates one of its own,” Valaya tells us via email. “As we complete two decades of J J Valaya, what better celebration could there be than the creation of a collection that upholds this singular belief in creativity?”
He believes lawn is a characteristic product of the Pakistani textile industry and has always been an avid admirer of it. “I feel lawn is a friendly, versatile yet rich fabric and therefore, when we were approached by Five Star to design a signature collection, we took little time in agreeing and conceptualising our ideas,” he adds. “The journey since then has been fascinating — from research to ideation, development to finally styling the collection into one cohesive expression of style.” He hopes this exhilarating experience is the beginning of a long and creatively endowed association.
Known for her traditional bridals and ethnic clothing line, Nida Azwer will be going solo this season — no assistance of a textile company. “It’s a huge risk to go into production myself, but I am very excited as I have put a lot of hard work in my collection,” says Azwer. She has constructed the fabric herself and is trying to keep it a little different from the conventional look; she is using minimal embellishments and there will be no mixing of lawn and silk.
“The prints are very Nida Azwer and they speak for themselves so I don’t want to add extra embellishments — that would overwhelm the outfit,” she continues. Her limited edition collection, which launches in March, will be a one-off exhibition and will not go into reproduction.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st, 2013.
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