Aamir Zaki — the fashion statement

With his George Clooney-esque looks, guitar virtuoso is a sight to behold in Arsalan Iqbal’s ‘Baroque Star’...

Rahul Aijaz November 07, 2016
Zaki is not only seen rocking the guitar but also adorning a jacket from Iqbal’s FPW collection. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

KARACHI: Aamir Zaki may be one of Pakistan’s most reclusive artists but designer Arsalan Iqbal has brought him to the front in an entirely new light. In a fashion film for Iqbal’s latest collection Baroque Star, Zaki is seen not only rocking the guitar but also adorning a beautiful jacket. With his white hair and George Clooney-esque looks, Zaki’s look is a sight to behold.

Iqbal screened the video at Fashion Pakistan Week (FPW), which  included big names like Mohib Mirza and Rabia Butt, but the guitar virtuoso stole the spotlight. Directed and shot by Fayyaz Ahmed, the fashion film depicted Mirza and Butt playing chess, as they flaunted their dresses, to a fusion of rock and qawwali playing in the background.

While Hamza Akram Qawwal provided the vocals, Zaki was seen as his signature self — that intense look in his eyes, fingers moving gracefully on the strings and the gold and black jacket contrasting with  his white hair, enhancing the mood, already set by the beautiful cinematography.

“When we were working on the video, I thought Aamir Zaki would be good fit for it. He’s a good friend and he’s teaching me how to play guitar as well,” Iqbal told The Express Tribune. “He’s a legend and he has that jazzy look about him.”

Being the media-shy person that he is, Zaki surprisingly did not have any apprehensions about working with the fashion brand. “He didn’t have any qualms about it. He was there on set before anyone else, practicing his chords and all.”

Zaki, in fact, seemed excited at the prospect of working with the fashion brand. “Both Fayyaz and Iqbal are my friends. It was interesting working with them. Fayyaz even said just play and we’ll sync it in the post,” he quipped.

Zaki added he is willing to venture into fashion more often. “But I would not like to be associated with fashion like I am with music. I don’t mind doing it occasionally.” The guitarist said his music for the brand didn’t have any direct correlation with Baroque era. “When you go towards that route, you cannot really bring the classical Baroque style music for that. It has that blues feel. The idea was to not make it sound contemporary and that was about what they wanted, and I tried my best to give it to them.”

Regarding the kind of sound Iqbal wanted, Mubashir Admani said, “He told me he required a mix of rock and qawwali. I was in Malaysia at the time so I composed and recorded bits on my phone. Arsalan told me the song is about colours and gathering so we did it accordingly.”

Speaking about his idea of Baroque, Iqbal said whenever designers in Pakistan work on Baroque style, they use rock music. “When I was working on this, I thought if I had to make it commercially viable, I couldn’t just use Italian styles. So for me, the eastern manifestation of baroque is qawwali. That’s how we got the rock and qawwali fusion.”

Published in The Express Tribune, November 8th, 2016.

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