Alumna of L’Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, Saudi/French Sakina Shbib first built her technique at Chanel Atelier as a seamstress, where she learnt the art of embroidery, the rigour of Haute Couture and the demand of an elite clientèle. Then, she met fashion designer Alexandre Vauthier in 2013 and started a year of collaboration; she learnt the draping and structuring of women’s garments. Later on, she attained more experience at L’Atelier de Givenchy.

In her latest collection, Sakina expresses swan-like femininity, staging the transformation of Princess Odette into a black swan through her designs. The skirts, inspired by ballet costumes, are light and flowing — a subtle glow of transparency unveiling the grace of the legs, ruffles of Dentelle de Chantilly creating a playful volume on a base of transparent organza. The looks celebrate the grace of a ballerina, but with a dark twist.

A draped top enhances the sensuality of a shoulder, the ball gowns have a slit on the leg, and the backless cuts unveil the curves of the female figure. Sensuality is omnipresent. It expresses itself through the complexity of identity, between the light and the obscure. Hand-made embroideries of crystal brighten the darkness of velvet, a myriad gold tubes drawing a constellation of stars on black organza, tinted by the brightness of crystal adding a mysterious glow to the collection.

Duality looms throughout each piece, the aesthetics of the Black Swan take roots in the expression of the evil double, and its balance between force and fragility. It’s Art as Fashion.

Upcoming fashion designer Anam Salman is a graduate from Karachi American School and Asian Institute of Fashion Design. Her work is both a fusion of modern and classic cuts. She focuses on haute couture and luxury pret. She recently launched her high fashion collection Chimera, a wearable mix of eastern and western high fashion; she also launched two Eid Collections this year by the name of Khayal that focused only on traditional designs, proving her to be a bridge between both worlds of fashion

What is the biggest fashion mistake women make?

Women need to start accessorizing more.

What is your design aesthetic?

I like to play with classic cuts and infuse them with trendy silhouettes.

How would you describe your brand?

The brand is for the bold, strong and independent woman.

If Anam Salman could have any celebrity spokesmodel who would it be?

Priyanka Chopra

Favorite place to find budget buys?

Depends on the budget and what you’re looking for.

Favorite place to shop in Karachi and why?

Again, depends on what I need.

If you’d choose to give any celebrity a makeover who would it be and why?

I think everyone has their own individual style and they know how to carry themselves so really no one.

What are the must-haves a woman must have in her closet at all times?

A woman must have a black, white and blue dress, a good handbag and a great pair of heels.

Favourite all time designer?

Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla

If one is really stuck and you don’t know what to wear, what would you suggest?

Go for a dress that has a classic cut. You can never go wrong with a classic design.

Item worth splurging on?

A good handbag.

What helps you get in the zone when you are designing?

Good music and good company. A positive mindset is always productive.

Any suggestions for older ladies?

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t be evergreen. I feel that women can carry anything no matter what their age. They just need to block out the criticism and be confident. Wear what makes you happy.

How do you come up with your designs?

My designs come from inspiration. Sometimes the smallest thing can inspire me and I begin sketching immediately, which is why I always carry a sketch book with me at all times. You never know when inspiration can hit you.

Who is your favourite makeup artist?

Akif Illyas

Favourite vacation spot?

I love Koh Samui in Thailand. It’s beautiful. I would recommend it to anyone that just wants to sit back and relax.

Any fashion related message?

The most important thing you should have is confidence. No matter what you wear. If you’re not confident wearing it then no matter how great the dress you won’t look nice. Confidence is what makes you stylish everything else comes second.

Any styling advice?

Always accessorize. Invest in good watches, jewellery, bags and shoes. If you have a good collection you can never go wrong.

What are the key trends for bridal and wedding wear for the upcoming season?

A lot of designers are focusing on pastel colours because of the winter season. Dark colours with gold work look more royal. The only trend that is relatively brighter is the collection for mehndis.

What are classic silhouettes that flatter every woman?

Silhouettes depends on the woman’s body type. For example, if you are apple or pear shaped and are heavy in your mid-section you should try to avoid fitted trousers and wear something that compliments your physique rather than focus on the problem areas.

What trends would you like to see die?

Overly exaggerated floral digital prints. I think there is too much going on in those prints and it ruins the beauty of the design. Casually worn gharara and tulip pants are another trend that I am not fond off. Simply because they do not complement every shirt and its very tricky to mix and match.

What trends would you like to see more women experiment with this season?

Definitely with different types of sleeves and maybe match them with different cuts and designs. I would want women to experiment with minimalistic work that makes a big impact.

What do you hope to see more of from designers in bridal and wedding wear this season?

I think the brides should be allowed to customize her own dress. I feel that since it is her wedding, she would also want to give her creative input regarding her wedding dress. Only the bride would know what will complement her.

What does GT mean to you?

GT is my one stop entertainment guide to everything happening in Pakistan.


Arsalan Bilgrami of a.bilgrami studio

Hair & makeup:

Eric Sen at JY style studio

Chimera Collection

Anam Salman in her versatile and eclectic Chimera Collection plays with bold colours and modern aesthetics, imparting it a unique and contemporary look

Marina Qureshi’s designs can best be described as possessing a quality of quiet extravagance. There is a fiercely tactile sensibility underpinning the overall romance of her aesthetic and an unmistakable gift for detail.  Her latest collection is instantly covetable and replete with Qureshi’s inimitable edge. Titled Broken Nature, it has a palette of teal, black, jewel red and deep purple. There is an appealing modernity to the colour range, outlined in silhouettes that are sharply contained yet flowing. Embellishments include clever inserts of tweed, fringe and ingeniously rendered leather. These are clothes for glamorous dreamers and show-stoppers alike. Marina speaks to Afshan Shafi in an exclusive interview

How do your roots affect your design aesthetic?

Pakistani fashion has evolved immensely over the past decade. I’ve grown up admiring my mom’s traditional vintage attire and I think my love for delicate thread work, sequins and crystals stems from Eastern couture. The combination of intricate embroidery with lustrous textures and detailed cuts define my label.

Who do you feel is the embodiment of your brand?

It’s for every woman who wants to feel special. A lot of effort goes into every piece with close attention to minute details so that when worn, it appears ultra chic yet completely effortless.

Who are your style inspirations?

My style inspiration would be Valentino! I love his cuts, especially how he thinks women should present themselves and the glamour that he represents. It makes you feel confident.

What inspired this collection?

The collection takes inspiration from broken nature not only in deformed patterns, but also in the strong and bold colour palette. Dark burgundy, purple, black and teal conjure up a chemically discoloured forest.

What were your inspirations behind the colour scheme?

The collection is a strong and bold interpretation of a classic theme. The print jacquard used is a distortion of the colouring of nature. Used beautifully in dresses and skirts with signature lace and induced cuts, it captures the essence of the brand’s feminine aesthetic. The classic silhouettes are broken to either induce a different colour vertically/horizontally or merged to create another texture. Fringes are enriched with unexpected colour. Tweed and faux leather have also been used this season following the colour theme.

Broken Nature by Marina Qureshi

Marina Qureshi
Fact Sheet

Dubai based Pakistani

ESMOD and Central Saint Martins

Worn by:
Lara Stone, Ellie Goulding, Amanda Seyfried and Florence Welch.

Featured in:
Vogue (British), InStyle, Velvet, Harper’s Bazaar (Arabia), Chasseur, Grazia, Savoir Flair, Nylon and Elle

Shamsha Hashwani shares bridal and wedding wear trends with Sana Zehra

What are the key trends for bridal and wedding wear for this season?

Variation in length, straight lines, traditional and fusion bridal and wedding wear are a few key trends to look out for.

What are classic silhouettes that flatter every woman?

Straight, chic cuts flatter every woman.

What trends would you like to see die?

Very short shirts with traditional shalwars need to go.

What trends would you like to see more women experiment with this season?

I want them to experiment more in length variation and fusion cuts.

What do you hope to see more of from designers in bridal and weddingwear?

I hope so see more vibrant, brighter colours in collections.

Photography by Sana Sultan; Hair & makeup by Rukaiya’s Salon

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