Backing benevolence in fashion

Designer Sonya Battla showcases ‘Manora’ collection to raise funds for charity.

Maha Mussadaq March 15, 2015
The show comprised silk-wear ensembles featuring the work of internationally acclaimed visual artist Naiza Khan. PHOTOS: PUBLICITY.


To endorse adulation for children, Karachi-based fashion designer Sonya Battla visited the capital for the second time for an exclusive fundraising fashion show organised by SOS Children’s Village in a hotel.

Holding the second fashion show in the capital, Battla says they generated a sufficient amount and proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards providing education for the orphans living at SOS Children’s Village.

Talking about her visit to the city, the designer says, “To be honest, SOS is what brought me to Islamabad, or it would have been difficult to visit amid all the work.”

An exclusive gathering of fashion enthusiasts, socialites and members of the international community attended the fashion show that featured Battla’s limited edition ‘Manora’ line.

The show comprised silk-wear ensembles featuring the work of internationally acclaimed visual artist Naiza Khan. Battla has skillfully incorporated Khan’s work of water colours into an assortment of silk fabrics.

The collection focuses on part of the seven-year project that Khan had pursued, investigating the island of Manora, its history, architecture and social ecology. “Her imagery evolves from rich sources and gives us another dimension to the Karachi experience,” explains Battla.

The result is an eclectic mix of casual wear and formal silks, chiffons and jersey blends, minimal in their cuts and rich in visual texture. Watercolour washes seep across the fabric field in tea-pink and indigo blue, grey and ochre, marked with the silhouettes of architectural detail.

“The collaboration was inspired by the sea. Naiza Khan’s work allowed me to explore cuts that are fluid. There are roundish jackets and straight loose cuts — the entire line is very movement oriented,” she elaborates.

The fashion show was followed by a two-day exhibition. Battla, who caters to a niche market in Karachi, says that her presentation brought in bits and pieces for everyone. From tunics to jackets, semi-formal and evening wear, the collection comprised a blend which catered to all age brackets.

The designer says that the Islamabad market was appreciable of her efforts with fashionistas plus the international community enjoying her east-meets-west fusion cuts and unique style. “I won’t attempt to fill every gap in Islamabad, but it has become a market in recent times that designers are tapping into.

Defining her sense of style that she incorporates in her collections, she reveals, “I will always have some shalwar or some kurta that will have a new look. I explore my western sensibility and proportion merged with eastern ethnic work which has been a hit.”

Sara Qureshi, who had come to the fashion exhibit, gave her opinion on the pieces, saying, “There are some extremely trendy pieces merged with traditional embellishments — that’s exactly what we love about her work.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March  16th,  2015.

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