Project Runway: Fashion DNA at London Fashion Week A/W’16 – Wardha Saleem, Zaheer Abbas and Kamiar Rokni
London Fashion Week shone a little brighter this season as our very own creative blood made it to the prestigious ramp to represent Pakistani Fashion as part of Fashion DNA, an initiative of the British Council Designer Mentorship program. Playing for team Pakistan this year were designer and CEO of the FP Council, Wardha Saleem, the young talent who never ceases to impress, Zaheer Abbas, the elusive couturier Kamiar Rokni, and fledgling rising talent Akif Mahmood. Each contributed their unique aesthetic framed in the context of a more universal sense of style.
House of Kamiar Rokni
Kamiar Rokni’s collection was a pleasant and rather clever balance of both worlds. Drawing on the popular silk brocade trend that has its beautiful roots in our Subcontinental heritage, better known locally as banarsi jamavar, was the perfect fashion ice breaker for this showcase. The designer played with splendid cuts in matching and contrast separates in pant suits, culottes, skirts, box cut jackets and dresses like a pro. Cultural aesthetics and clean universal silhouettes worked flawlessly to put the designer in the spotlight.
Wardha Saleem was immediately at home with her signature splashy print vibrance drawing on her innate brilliance for textile and technique adapted into a western context. Florals and bird patterns were essentially eastern used as digital prints and embroideries on silks and quilted jackets that we particularly enjoyed. Determined to showcase the rich culture of Pakistan through generous usage of striking colours and techniques including laser cut, appliqué, patch work and embroidery made Wardha’s collection a gripping one from start to finish. An aspect that struck the audiences interest was also her unusual choice of fabrics including Poly silk, suede and raw silks depicting bold flora and fauna prints against monochrome.
Zaheer Abbas transcended cultural barriers altogether with a seamless collection of warm colors and wild prints. An immensely gifted designer Zaheer Abbas has the rare chameleon talent to take on both east and west fashion sensibilities with equal ease. The palette and constant print theme were a refreshing change of pace portraying a warm nest of olive, twig, and forest imagery depicting wonderful scale and spectrum of silhouette.
Show Produced by: Fashion Scout | Supported by: The British Council | Styling: Rebekah Roy | Hair: Toni&Guy Session Team using Label.M Professional Haircare Directed by Silje Vincent | Makeup: Claire De Graft & Team | Photography: Shahid Malk @iamshahidmalik
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