Secret Closet caught up with the elusive Tena Durrani on Saturday at the launch of her official studio space at Labels 1st Floor. As renowned as her label is, camera shy Tena tends to avoid publicity of all sorts as far as possible. It was Zahir Rahimtoola CEO Labels who managed to convince her to model her own clothes in a recent shoot published in Hello alongside Sanam Chaudhri and Wardha Saleem, and now to come forth and display her exquisite line at the store. In case you missed the launch, we bring you an exclusive up close look at the collection available for order, as well as an insight into the young designer who is hard to pin!
Tena Durrani Studio at 1st Floor Labels
We asked Tena about the immense detailing involved in her clothes which by any standards are generously endowed with myriad different techniques in a single ensemble. To this she candidly responded, “I try hard to make my clothes unique and difficult to imitate. The thought that someone might take a jora of mine to a tailor or karigar and have them say, ‘sure I can make you the same thing’ drives me to work hard to maintain the originality of my designs. After all what are people paying me for?”
Clearly the designer has heaps of talent and a dedicated work ethic that was established when she told us to our surprise how she doesn’t take vacations due to her overbearing work load. We asked her why she has never displayed her collections at any fashion week platform as most designers do to market their brand. “You know when I was growing up there were the greats that I looked up to and who aspired me to create. But now I see the quality and standards of who qualifies as ‘designers’ to participate in fashion weeks and it makes me sad as there doesn’t seem be the same level of greatness to aspire to. Everyone is a designer.” Nonetheless we tried our best to convince Tena to showcase her work to fill in the creative void that disheartens the straightforward designer, and hopefully we succeeded.
There was no lack of sugar or spice with this collection that included everything from heavy handcrafted zardozi and dabka to needle embroideries and applique on fabrics ranging from classic jamavar to cool cotton net pure fabrics in cuts covering traditional angarkhas to strappy modern styles. With rich velvet trimmings and handmade beaded tassles each outfit exuded romance and Tena was careful not to ignore the backs which always had some unique characteristic to finish the look. Prices ranged from Rs 14,000 for a fully embroidered or appliqued ensemble to Rs140,000 for a heavy bridal jora.
Tena Durrani is a label largely associated with formal wedding wear and bridals but with the growing demand for casual off-the-rack pret wear, we asked Tena about her plans if any to expand her label. She admitted her previous reluctance to branch out into a market that was already so full due to the relative ease of entry, but she agrees with the demand and is looking into developing her own prints for a casual line in the near future.
This was just a brief introduction to Tena Durrani, but we will bring you a complete in depth feature on the designer with a mind of her own in her element very soon. Meanwhile you can visit her collection at Labels. Each of the pieces can be altered any which way to suit your needs. Visit the Tena Durrani profile page to view more of her collections.
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