Trend File with Secret Closet: Cutwork & applique crafts

One thing we’d definitely like to see more of in 2013 is the craft of cutwork combined with appliqué techniques.

Secretcloset Pk January 11, 2013
One thing we’d definitely like to see more of in 2013 is the craft of cutwork combined with appliqué techniques. PHOTO:

Although it is still too early to predict the new trends or rather innovative techniques that 2013 will bring. We get closer to the first of many fashion weeks to come, one thing we’d definitely like to see more of and consider to have ample potential for refinement, is the craft of cutwork combined with appliqué techniques.

Cutwork which emerged as a sophisticated form of design in 14th century Italy has been adapted into cultures from all parts of the world and still retains value due to the level of skill and delicacy required to implement it.

London Pre-Fall 2013 Collection

Most often used in lace and crochet appliqués for a feminine and formal look as seen on the Fall 2012 international runways, the romance of this trend was spotted most recently at Temperley London’s Pre-Fall 2013 collection through elaborate patchwork appliqué. This reminded us of some of our own immensely talented designers and local artisans who excel at this time honoured craft.

Back work

Sania Maskatiya ethnic appliqué, Sublime by Sara Shahid cutwork back, Sania Maskatiya Appliqué back motif

Misha Lakhani incorporates the classic geometric cut out back in her dresses while Sublime by Sara Shahid shows off her masterful handle of the concept with a highly structured cutwork back design. There is something to be said about the appeal of appliqué back motifs favoured strongly by Sania Maskatiya as shown in her range of impressively flawless, tidy signature works. One of her marks is the screen print appliquéd pattern on solids.

Sana Safinaz

Sana Safinaz Applique Couture, Sana Safinaz Applique Bridal, Sana Safinaz cutwork embellishments

As far as we can remember, Sana Safinaz have been the pioneers in specialising in the intertwining of appliqué embellishments and cutwork in their collections. They were also amongst the first to introduce embroidered appliqué necklines and lawn fabrics which gives them something of a cult following.

Maheen Karim

Maheen Karim Cutwork Lace Applique

Maheen Karim has time and again revamped the method taking it a step further each time with the level of inimitable intricacy and cut using a lace and net base.

Sana T


Sana T lace cutwork and appliqué, Sanat T crochet cutwork and appliqué

Sana T is a young specialist in this particular area with an innate talent and a love for using lace, crochet and pearl to create  a soft and rare appeal. Her singular pieces combine both cutwork and appliqué in a striking balance.



AFH Applique couture , AFH Applique work shone at Pakistan London Fashion Week November 2012

One cannot speak of this style without mentioning the complex patterns of AFH by Ayesha Farook Hashwani. She is best known for her use of colour contrasting appliqué designs that create a maze much like the works of Temperley.

Nida Azwer

Nida Azwer cutwork bridal

Nida Azwer, who is known for her miniature hand-embroideries, is just as gifted with regard to producing miniature cutwork using advanced eyelet techniques and further infusing them into bridal and formal couture like we’ve never seen before.

Farah Talib


Amna Ilyas for Farah Talib Aziz Applique formal,  Farah Talib Aziz Applique formal

Farah Talib Aziz is one of the few artists who have worked with this form in embossed cotton and karandi net for an astounding result. She is especially fond of the fabric and paints it with sprawling appliqué florals and gorgeous peacocks in flight that reach new heights in graceful and elegant formals.

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Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2013.              

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