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Interview: Behind the Scenes with Sanam Chaudhri at Bonanza Shoot!
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Interview: Behind the Scenes with Sanam Chaudhri at Bonanza Shoot!

In an effort to bring high fashion to the high street Bonanza has teamed up with Sanam Chaudhri and Maheen Karim to release two limited edition affordable RTW Pret collections designed independently by each of them. We congratulate Bonanza on both their decision to bring designer clothing to the masses and on their choice of fashion architects for the job. Both Maheen and Sanam have an extremely trendy and fresh aesthetic that connects with the working woman and college student alike. While the collections will be hitting Bonanza racks all over the country in a few weeks, we bring you an exclusive preview of both the shoots produced by the next generation of rising stars; the NFK team of Nadir Firoz Khan & Maha Burney and the Natasha Salon team of Natasha and Sabrina Khalid.

It was a joy to see Amna Ilyas at work, she plays her part with effortless ease while having fun and requires very little direction; all signs of a true professional and just as stunning in person!

Sanam’s quirky optical print kaftan tunic with optional yellow tights; very hip and can be worn with any color

Natasha and Amna at it again, check out the lovely pop blue color and the amazing job Natasha has done to match the eyes to the outfit

While at the shoot we had a chat with Sanam about her collection for the retail brand and the things she kept in mind while creating her designs each of which will be available in two color ways. “Bonanza asked us to do 10 designs each of which 2 would be formal evening wear and 8 would be casual daily wear. The casuals are all pure cotton within which there are 4 solids with embroideries and 4 basic prints that I’ve designed so that they’re not found floating in the bazaar as that would defeat the purpose.”

Sanam Chaudhri and Maha Burney share a very similar edgy chic style  that leads to a great working relationship between the two, you will see this in the shoot itself

An 80’s retro silk poncho style top with a modern twist of metallic studded shoulders, the fabric falls great with a belt or on its own.

Simple color block evening wear with a pop of red

Regarding her inspiration and the concept Sanam explained. “I am heavily influenced by the 80’s in general but then again 80s’ fashion is very edgy and not necessarily in keeping with commercial retail wear which is very new to me as well since I haven’t done it before. For this collection it was important to keep the commercial aspect in mind and that is what I have tried to deliver while at the same time staying true to my signature aesthetic. I didn’t want to do the whole matching suit with dupatta because that’s just not me so you will see shorter hemlines (although there is one long), de-constructed fusion silhouettes, and metallic studs and tacks apart from the embroideries. For colors there is a wide range from fun pop colors to basic blacks and whites as well.”

Pretty floral embroidered motif on a navy shirt, very cute!

Strike a pose!

The vibrant prints

Nadir and Maha discussing details

If you’re wondering who the collection caters to specifically, ” Working women, college girls, and the average teenager. I have designed the line keeping in mind women between ages 16-40 so it is a versatile range. The cuts are all a bit billowy rather than form fitting because every one has a different body type and I myself don’t prefer form fitting clothes. Most of my stuff is ideally to be worn with tights. They are easy to wear, they work for me I hope they work for everyone else as well.” She remarked with a smile.

This isn’t even half of it!

Sanam currently designs a RTW line for multi-label stores such as Labels and FPL as well. We asked her how this line would vary from those, she responded, ” The philosophy is the same however it is a slightly more mass market friendly line as Bonanza stores are located everywhere so I’m looking at catering to a wider region and so there are a few limitations for example I need to consider the more conservative strata as well as the urban girl about town.”

Sabrina converting Amna’s Mohawk into a messy bun

Maha Burney talked to Secret Closet about the style references that inspired the shoot as well, “Sanam’s prints are bold and geometric so I wanted to make them stand out. I envisioned them against softer pastel colors in subtle shadowy lighting and literally using blocks to create the clean angles. For some shots we wanted to play with tone-on-tone such as the grey background while using color in others. For the makeup and hair I thought bold makeup with heavy hooded eyes and a sort of mohawk hair style would harmonize the prints and the 80’s vibe. It has a bit of a rocker chick feel which is what Sanam’s look always is, it has that edge to it. Amna has really good bone structure so we wanted to highlight that with the pout and upward eyes. It’s a bit of a mix and match keeping in mind Bonanza’s commercial appeal as well.”

Red and black geometrics that pack a punch

Sanam has confirmed that the approximate price range will be between Rs 3,000-Rs 3,500 for the casuals and slightly higher for the evening wear. Khaadi, Ego, and Daaman lovers should definitely get in line to check out this new wave of high street pret wear! We wish Sanam the best of luck for her new venture. Stay tuned for the Behind the Scenes coverage and our chat with Maheen Karim coming up next!

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