Testing the fashion waters in the capital



Karachi-based jewellery designer Sherezad Rahimtoola and fashion designer Shamsha Hashwani showcased their latest collection in a two-day exhibition at multi-label store Labels in Islamabad on Wednesday.

Four shelves and mannequins displayed a range of casual, fusion and formal creations by Hashwani, who has been in the business for four years, but exhibited in the capital for the first time. Speaking to The Express Tribune, she said, “I had received a mixed response about the Islamabad market. Where I thought casuals would do better, I see most people picking semi-formals and formal evening-wear.” A fully hand-embroidered shawl, inspired by the Mughal Era and bordered with small figurines, was dreamy and ethereal.

The richness of her work settled at the borders, and on the cuffs, collars and edges of the wide-length dupattas and cuffs of the pants. Handmade flamingos, parrots and other exotic birds stood out in a cluster of shimmering stones that Hashwani used for the borders against a plain backdrop. She focused on straight cuts and fine silk jamawar.

Her formal collection comprised simple and chic cuts on pastels, a good choice for summer evenings. She also displayed a few heavenly silk coats, kaftans and gowns. One of her pieces called ‘The Fakeeri Jacket’, was quintessentially modern. The use of darker tones gave the impression of patchwork and made it a classy pick for any evening.

In her pret line, she showed a skilful range of traditional chikankari kurtis. With buttons, multiple folded sleeves, pleats on the front and embroidered backs, Hashwani transformed the entire look and added a new feel to the kurtis. “I wanted to bring new variety; so, I brought a little bit of all my latest collections to get the feel of the market here,” said Hashwani.

Rahimtoola, who was exhibiting in Islamabad for the second time, had her hands full with clients and orders. The glass showcase shimmered with some of her unique designs. Using South sea pearls, rubies and emeralds, Rahimtoola’s one-off pieces are based on traditional cuts and experiment with gold-edging and finishing, which she said is “back in fashion”.

The Karachi-based duo is thrilled to have showed collections, which offer something for everyone. PHOTOS: HUMA CHOUDHARY/EXPRESS

She incorporated different stones into her creations. Along with big, formal gems, she put forth a range of cuffs and hoops, which are more wearable on an everyday basis. Giving some pieces a touch of yellow with gold, Rahimtoola presented a well-rounded collection, which she said, had something for everyone. The collection featured a few chunky, beaded neckpieces that seem to have been trending since a few seasons.

With basket-setting of rubies in some of her pieces, she used African emeralds, diamonds and polki with gold-framing, making each piece stand on its own.  “I think Sherezad’s work is very different and trendy. I love the neckpieces and the stunning collection of gold, diamonds andpolki. Her pieces completes an outfit, be it formal, semi-formal or casuals. It’s the ideal pick to knit an entire look for any occasion,” said Sara Walid Mushtaq, one of the attendees.

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