Designer Syeda Amera represents Pakistan in Paris



LAHORE: Pakistani designer Syeda Amera showcased her work on a 100-metre floating catwalk, perched atop Paris’s  Siene River, on Wednesday.

With the show, she concluded her fourth presentation with model-turned-show director Jessica Minh Anh. The collaboration has been a rewarding one, bearing Amera fruits of coverage from major international publications, including Vogue and Elle UK.

The Express Tribune spoke to the designer, who, in Pakistan, still remains somewhat enigmatic about her inspiring career trajectory.

For her latest Parisian collection, Amera took inspiration from the architectural wonders of the city such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame, Louvre and the 37 bridges that formed the backdrop for the show’s unconventional catwalk.

“My collection was designed according to the culture, style of the place and the history of Paris. At night, the Eiffel Tower sparkles and I translated that bling to my dresses with three-dimensional sequins embellishment and crystals,” she happily says, adding, “Jessica also gave me an award for being the most talented young designer at the show.

Amera shared the ramp with Lebanese haute couturier Antoine Kareh, Polish designer Teresa Rosati, Saudi Arabian brand Ot Kutyr Turk Jadallah, Ukrainian designers Mari Sheludko and Valeri Passe of LaFress, German Miranda Konstantinidou and Iceland’s jeweller Jóhannes Ottósson (NOX).

International appeal for her outfits is understandable; ranging from semi-formal to formal, they’re rich and glamorous, and the perfect fusion of East and West. Like those of her inspirations Zuhair Murad and Roberto Cavalli, Amera’s creations are also ultra-feminine.

Surprisingly, her only local outing at PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week ’15, a collection titled ‘The World of Sea’, was not received well by critics. In a purely luxury pret show, her collection stuck out like a sore thumb, blurring the lines between prêt and bridal wear. That was her last and only local fashion show to date. “My dates always clash with PFDC because I am doing international shows; so, I would rather be on a platform where I can represent Pakistan among international talents,” she says.

The young designer now plans to venture into bridals locally, to tap into a market that she can possibly safely dwell in. “I also plan to come into prints but steer away from lawn because that’s too common.”

At 16, when she started her business, she may not have had a lot of design or trade know-how, but Amera diligently polished her skills with courses at the London School of Fashion and School of the Arts Singapore. She then opened a store in Park Towers, Karachi, launched by Freiha Altaf, and even started stocking her outfits in the UK, US and the UAE. She also stocks in Lahore at PFDC, Labels Faisalabad, in Islamabad and also sells through her e-store.

Things truly took off for the young designer when Anh first contacted her. “Fortunately or unfortunately, I was approached by international media first and then the Pakistani media caught up with my work later.” Amera has joined Anh on her inimitable catwalks on the Hudson River in New York, the solar power plant Gemasolar in Spain and Costa Luminosa’s sundeck in Sydney, earlier this year.