While I am in Karachi on vacations, admist attending collection exhibitions and store openings, INAAYA‘s exhibit does come in for a refreshing change from all that. Inaaya’s Naushaba Brohi, prides in the use of craft within her collection. The basic notion of the brand lies on the fact that it elevates the use of craft within the contemporary arena.
What I liked about Brohi’s approach is the value she asserts towards these crafts is something that I, being a textile and a craft lover and enthusiast personally feel and resonate with. Infact one of my master’s project was based on tensions between craft and modernity, a fine balance that Naushaba brohi seems to have struck. Her latest venture, wherein she took accessories made under her brand INAAYA from stores within an art space is one such step in her efforts to do so. Kind of reminds me of Issey Miyake who tends to showcase his pieces within art spaces and as installation, apart from fashion shows, blurring those lines between how fashion should be presented.
Her philosophy is simple as it is complex. Giving the right deemed value to the craft that has been meticulously made within the rural factions of Pakistan by highly fierce and skillful women that could give any craftsmen within their genre a run for their money.The jewelry pieces are limited edition, exclusive and are not run of the mill crafted projects. These are worked on with craftswomen, and giving it that value, Ms. Brohi is fiercely protective of them and why not. She is out and proud of the craft itself and how it can be as dynamic as any other couture piece and should be given that pedestal of esteem that international couture pieces enjoy. The skill is unmatched and so is the dynamism of the pieces, many of which can be worn in dual ways. A feature that she also has in common with ace designer Sabyasachi who believes in looking inward for luxury ’cause the subcontinent is inundated with that. Exhibiting jewelry pieces in such manner at CANVAS art gallery, her series titled FLOURISH was the perfect setting for her. While I couldn’t manage to go at the opening, it is the next day when you can really see the work without the crowds and up close.
Starting off with the installation, the series of jewelry pieces was just sooo good. The aesthetic which is rustic and luxe, Naushaba’s work within these craft and design intervention while working with these women was impressive without resorting much dramatic gimmicks. You could see how each stitch is done, joints bonded and laid out all in its glory. It is probably its rustic simplicity that caught Amal Amaluddin (Mrs. George Clooney) ‘s eye, a fact that doesn’t hurt much when you are doing what you are. The good thing is she has not tried to glamorize her product on the onset of her fame and kept the essence where it should be, in the hands of the craftswomen.
As a designer myself, I just left the exhibit feeling very satisfied and with a sense of a happy space, possibly of my love for textile crafts and such initiatives are always such a breath of fresh air. I was so glad that finally within Pakistan, someone is attempting to make art meet craft within the realm of fashion blurring those demarcated lines within the spaces the pieces are exhibited in, showcasing what it is and how it is. You can get in touch with INAAYA here.