KARACHI: Among the few fashion showcases of 2019, was a solo show by fashion designer Shehla Chatoor, who completed her 20-years in the industry in 2015. The trend of recurrent fashion show cases itself started almost a decade ago and solo-shows is something our designers have newly discovered and are looking forward to.
Another designer who has completed her two decades in the industry along with the end of 2010’s, has now decided to celebrate the occasion by hosting a solo show in 2020. And so the year is set to bring us something to look forward to, with other designers including Nomi Ansari and Fahad Hussain following suit.
In light of these discoveries, The Express Tribune got in touch with the designers to know more about the benefits of solo-showcasing, along with their disadvantages. That’s right, a fashion maestro such as Hassan Sheheryar Yasin or HSY, strongly condemned such shows in a young and budding industry such as Pakistan’s, deeming them to be more harmful than beneficent.
“We are celebrating twenty years this 2020, which is a massive and exciting milestone for us. Our brand identity has been intricate and minimalist from the start, with universally trending silhouettes that transcend to a global market and a special attention to hand-worked heirloom pieces. It’s all about finding that perfect style balance between what is trending in the current market and what makes a signature Sonya Battla bridal” Battla told.
She added with a comparison of both the kinds of showcases, “fashion weeks will always have their charm, because the glitz and glam of the fashion fraternity coming together to celebrate each other will never go out of style”. Battla continued, “However, solo shows are a great way to showcase your brand identity without having to accommodate others or compromise on anything,” confessing to certain ‘compromises’ designers have to make, adding the real purpose behind solo shows altogether.
It is true that designs are often compared for critical analysis when extracting trends during fashion shows. The ethos of designers are often forgotten and some end up becoming ‘superior’ or more ‘creative’ than others. Although fashion weeks are a brilliant way to highlight what is trending, who is providing it, and where to find what – along with bringing new faces to light, they also often end up over-shadowing coverage for some while – depending on the critic’s individual taste – highlighting others more.
Nevertheless, the beaming spotlight for a singular showcase is difficult to not be attracted towards, and is certainly capable of drawing the designer’s mind-map onto the viewer’s subconscious. Along with developing a taste for their ethos, of course.
As for Nomi Ansari, who will also be riding a solo this year shared his views on why he will, “We are planning a solo show. It gives us a bigger canvas to play with. We can showcase a greater number of clothes, styled the way we want.” The designer said while confessing to having limitations in combined shows – possibly residing with following particular themes.
He added that solos give a designer more time to prepare backstage, and execute everything with perfection. “Our own guest list allows us to invite potential buyers, plus everything from the decor to the location and the set up allows us to show the essence of our brand in every minute detail,” he said.
The designer went onto add what his solo show might feature with regard to his bridals strategy for the year. “In terms of colours we will be playing with monotones, reds and magenta, as well as bringing old traditions back in fashion. A lot of other gharara variations like Hyderabadi ghararas, plus more anarkalis and angrakhas,” revealed Ansari.
While rounding up his previous decade Ansari pointed out, “I still have a photo of an outfit I designed 18 years ago – it was our first lehenga choli. We’re still doing the same thing with variations. Prints, embroideries, textures, fabrics, can-cans, sleeve variations and drapes are just some of the many design elements that we have played around with over the years to make distinct designs.”
Hassan Sheheryar Yasin (HSY)
However, amidst all the excitement surrounding this emerging trend, HSY explained how it could also be harmful for the fashion fraternity all together – especially the emerging fraternity. “Yes, it’s a brilliant idea for those who want to empower themselves, but it can create serious divisions by depriving the young designers of their spotlight,” he said, referring to the new designers who share the spotlight with those who are already established.
“I can easily pull off the biggest solo showcase and reap the benefits alone, but I am all for inclusion.” HSY pointed how these showcases can end up leaving out those without the means to pull off a lavish showcase and those who have not developed their networks yet. “The purpose of fashion weeks is to bring everyone together so we grow as an industry all of us. Therefore, I will not be showcasing alone,” he concluded.
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