In vogue: Straight from the shoulder

Designer Fahad Hussayn on styling celebrities, questionable business decisions

Mehek Saeed October 27, 2016
Hussayn showcases his Dulha Bhatti collection at BCW earlier this year. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

LAHORE: Fahad Hussayn’s collections have always been well conceptualised and detailed but not the most commercially viable. His over-the-top ramp styling has often led to people labelling him a styling whizz over design prodigy. This combination may suggest that he has not been the most pragmatic designer but it seems, he has finally found his true calling.

Hussayn was recently seen styling Zara Shahjahan’s show at PFDC L`oreal Paris Bridal Week (PLBW) and also the Élan Palais Indochine show last weekend. He will be doing the same for the Hum Style Awards’ red carpet presenters and performers. “I’ve been helping behind the scenes since 2006 but never did it officially until my friends pushed me to start. I’ve now created a sub company to my existing clothing line and started offering our services to the market,” he said.

Meanwhile, the stylist-designer has also started teaching a course called ‘Art meets Fashion’ at Beaconhouse National University (BNU). “I came up with exercises on how to express individuality on paper and come up with new ideas,” shared Hussayn. He has even turned his Lahore studio into a research center where his students come and discuss ideas and partake in fashion discourse.

Hussayn enjoys creating new techniques, painstaking styling and spending ample time on his creations. He is also the only designer to officially branch into styling after becoming an established designer.

The couturier shares that not showing at PLBW 2016 and the upcoming FPW 2016 has been a complete business-driven decision on his part. “I think we are pushed too hard to make collections and the market is not that big.” Hussayn’s collection at Bridal Couture Week (BCW) last year was unique for being constructed around a character called Dulha Bhatti. “This year we’re booked for bridals from the Dulha Bhatti collection so technically we didn’t need a new collection”, says Hussayn, adding that he is not taking new orders till January.

Hussayn has come up with his own business plan, which is to unveil one collection a year for couture and smaller capsule collections of their luxury silk print museum, throughout the rest of the year. This is the pattern he has been following, showing the Matam collection at PLBW 2015 and then Dulha Bhatti at BCW earlier this year.

He has no qualms about admitting that he was spreading himself too thin by trying to aim for two full blown collections a year. “To come up with each sketch and then bring it down to the number of pieces we’re allowed to show, I felt a lot of my work was going to waste,” clarified Hussayn. People may think he­­­­ lacks pragmatism, but isn’t knowing what works for your brand shrewd business acumen?

Published in The Express Tribune, October 28th, 2016.

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