Omar Mansoor: A collection for princesses
Getting into the London Fashion Week is a big deal for even the most established fashion designers. Getting into the London Fashion Week five years in a row is absolutely commendable.
Last night saw Omar Mansoor display his collection at his fifth appearance at the London Fashion Week, at Charing Cross Hotel. The collection was reminiscent of fairytale princesses and the softest cotton candy; allegedly, it has been inspired by the exhibition of the Enchanted Palace at Kensington.
The Enchanted Palace reveals hidden stories from the lives of the seven princesses who once lived there. The elements of pain, sadness, and unrequited love demonstrate the emotion and drama that has laced Kensington Palace in the past.
Omar’s collection was inspired by two of the seven princesses who once called the palace home – the first being Princess Charlotte, well known for her rebellion, who was symbolized by the rose pink dresses at the show and the second, Queen Mary, symbolized by black dresses, whose life was haunted by her fourteen miscarriages.
Belonging to the fourth generation of a family well known in the Pakistani textile industry, it is no surprise that fashion comes effortlessly to Omar – however, he has come a long way from Faisalabad to London, where he is now designing clothes for celebrities like Amy Guy and Katie Price as well as royalty like Sheikha Moza.
Omar pursued a life in fashion since his tender teenage years; his attraction to design stemming from his love for cloth and its workmanship. However, after following a more traditional academic route in business, Omar followed his fashion intuition and culminated his fashion education at the coveted London College of Fashion.
Post studying, Omar has featured in several high-profile fashion events apart from London Fashion Week, including Wimbledon Fashion Week and Bahrain Fashion Week, working with some of fashion’s elite. He has also worked on high profile fashion and beauty competitions such as Top Model UK and Top Model of Color. Featuring in international fashion bibles such as Elle, La’ Officiel and Sabaya, Omar has received wide acclaim for his exclusive Royal Ascot 2010 collection.
Speaking about the fashion industry in Pakistan, Omar says:
“The Pakistani fashion has finally moved ahead with time. It’s no more a cottage industry but has now become a mainstream industry – with dedicated channels and the advent of half a dozen fashion weeks per year, the Pakistani fashion industry has actually entered the phase of recognition internationally too."
When asked where he draws his inspiration from, Omar stresses upon the Pakistani designers who have made it big internationally including well renowned names like Umar Sayeed, Maheen Khan and Deepak Perwani. These designers have made it to shows like Milan Fashion Week and the prestigious Pret-a-Porter in Paris – no mountain is high enough.
Omar’s not one to keep his success to himself; he is keen for more and more Pakistani fashion designers to enter the international arena and he leaves us with some thought provoking advice:
“You will need to understand the lifestyle of the western market and focus on the fabrics which are worn here and are ideal to maintain in this climate. There are always a lot of obstacles in the way, but if a small town boy like me from Faisalabad can make it – I assure you, anyone can. All you need is perseverance, determination and the ability to force yourself to never give up.”