Pitti Uomo this year had a section dedicated specifically to african designers titled AFRICAN CONSTELLATION. Now being a trade show, showing at Pitti Uomo as a brand is a great exposure and that is where I discovered this gem of a brand surprised at myself how this genius of a label was hidden for so long. What many designers are pretty much cautious to venture into, is the very essence of this brand’s core foundation; prints for menswear.
My guest blogpost on Maheen Khan
Sydney-based fashion blogger and designer Owais Haji is the proud owner of Musings of a Fashion Designer, where he reports the latest fashion news and catwalk trends, and shares his daily outfits with his readers. Originally from Pakistan, he talks to us about Maheen Khan, a veteran fashion designer who has long followed in the Pakistani tradition expanding it worldwide:
“When one thinks of sub-continental fashion, especially one from Pakistan, they tend to think an overdone, overworked embroidered ensemble. However, Pakistani fashion is more than that, with many designers producing collections which are as contemporary as anyone in the world; Pakistan might be fashion world’s best kept secret. When one talks about Pakistani fashion, a name that possibly laid the foundation of it, moving it beyond the obvious, is the one of veteran designer Maheen Khan.
Where does one start with Maheen Khan? The legendary designer has had…
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Turning up desi and videshi (foreign) elements over their heads on a kitschy platter, that’s 9lines for you. The local Pakistani brand has been serving up since 2013. The brand that started off with kitschy graphic tees and have branched out into different merch each one unique in its own identity.
The co-founders Saad Shahid and Hassan Iqbal Rizvi (who are pretty easy on the eyes; perfect reason for them to star in their own campaigns… I hear no complaints) are two fun creatives who have successfully managed to build a fan base in a short amount of its nascent stages (who can say it just started in 2013). The brand’s philosophy is not simple. its a RIOT. The pop culture references, the splash of color, the desi kitsch design sensibility and the love for vintage Lollywood and Hollywood movies. Its unapologetically sassy and does not fear to mix up elements with fun one liners. Turning over Linchenstien and Warhol over its head, the brand successfully manages to cater to the local and international brand of people who don’t fear stepping it up a notch with desi Pakistani kitschy elements.
So you would get an audrey hepburn with a ‘jaani zid na ker’ tag line, a Marilyn monroe with ‘had ker di aap ne’ to Barbara Sharif with ‘phoolon ki shehzaadi’ (trust me translating it in english would make it lose its charm). A loud applause is definitely in order for them to successfully translate the street art into wearable one. Its loud, its kitschy and its desi fun . In the sea of sophistication, the duo sings a tune of their own. Though one does see a shift in terms of evolution towards being polished, they do not lost sight of their kitschier ways… just the way they like it (n I hope they keep it that way).
Starting off with quirky and cheeky ‘tease’ (how they like to call it), stationary and poster, they have quickly spread out into different merch including their successful line of bags. Just this summer they launched a limited line of sunnies (guilty of owning one) and these neon briefcases that are sure to grab attention (who said you can’t have a little fun while being corporate ;). Launching their faux leather jackets for fall, the brand is spreading out its wings into more apparel ventures without losing the sight of their attention grabbing aesthetics. The poppy colored jackets are a perfect fun element of pop for those experiencing fall/winter (who said it has to be all greys and darks) … and whats more is they deliver across the globe. Head over to 9lines before they run out (trust me they do.. with a limited edition I was looking to get my hands on of their other products and it was gone within a day). Get your kitsch on!!
*Images courtesy 9lines
I finally found a hair stylist… and he is BLOODY GOOD…
For all of you those who know me, know that one thing I am all finicky about, after my clothes, is my hair. Moving to Sydney that was one of the things I was worried about! duh!! you need a haircut. Looking around where is what and how and going through quite a few pages (read alot) and portfolios I stumbled upon Paul Anthony and that too on Instagram from all the places.
Owing to certain past experiences, I am always worried about trying out new places concerning my hair and this was no different. However Paul pretty much puts you at ease once you walk in. A brief consultation on what would look good and what not and how to go about it, you are pretty much on the way to good hair. A line that is not used by me for many but Paul knows his stuff. He knows what he is doing, what would work, what would not. Providing hair styling services to both men and women, this daredevil hairstylist has been at running his own salon for over a year now and worked his magic over several weaves. From giving customized advice to achieving the best possible result, you could see that he loved what he did (not many people can claim that) and is dedicated to the craft. As far as I am concerned, he gives you product suggestions..what to use, what not to, what would suit the hair and gave me tips and tricks to how to control my mop (we all know these curlies can go pretty wild after the day). It was pretty much a no brainer for me why I would go to him again after seeing my hair after 6 hours of going around town and going about my day and they retained their shape. Yayyyee!!!
For someone as finicky as me, I can now say that your hair is definitely in good hands. Located easily in Diamant Hotel in Potts Point, If you need your hair taken care of, and you are in Sydney.. hop over to his Salon
Tucked away in PottsPoint, Skarfe is one hidden trove of well..scarves.. in Sydney. Started by Brad a little over a year ago, the brand has gone from strength to strength stocking from indie brands local and far and wide to provide one with unusual to regular gems one needs in their wardrobes. It is a a carefully curated gallery-esque boutique, specializing in some of the worlds finest scarves. From digital prints in silks to leather to lightweight cashmeres, stocked from places far and wide, if you need one zany accessory i.e. the scarf, this is THE place to be.
Combining unusual prints and fabrics, Skarfe offers one a range of fabrics and design to choose from including leather. Aimed at making scarves one of the sought after accessory, you are sure to find a head turner in here with a multitude of quirky as well as vintage prints. A good thing about something as versatile as a scarf is that it can be styled anyway. From being draped over the shoulders to a chic turban to control those unruly hair… plus it is not gender specific therefore one is sure to find one thing or the other in here.
Collaborating with not just designers but also artists, Brad has been able to develop some unique design lines for the brand latest being artist Lucas Grogan. These collaborations have been instrumental in growing the retail business and with some limited unique pieces, one needs to get their hands on them before they run out, and I wouldn’t blame you if you would want most of it.
Enjoy free worldwide giftboxed delivery directly to your home. Phone +61 2 8021 4961 or firstname.lastname@example.org for conscientious assistance.
*Images credits: skarfe
For me as much as the veterans are to be respected, the new upcoming talent requires equal amount of nurture and support in the fashion industry. For those who are serious about working at it, know that there are no shortcuts to success. Luck can take you till a certain point unless you know your shit. Hardwork combined with opportunity is probably the only formula one needs to keep in mind. With the thought of bringing in new serious talent forth, a multi brand venture titled BAYL has opened its doors to the up and coming designers providing them with facilities as well as opportunity to showcase their talent with a common vibe in place. Rabayl, owner of Bayl, provides resources, space and a launch pad for these young guns to step into the big bad world of fashion retail. A practice that would invite nightmares for investing party, since there is always an uncertainty associated with it, but Rabayl is confident of the upcoming talent (something I always admire of people who do it).
What is BAYL all about?
Bayl is about having that launching pad for fresh, upcoming talent who wants to make and sell clothes but does not have the means or resources to start their own brand. It is about bringing young talent together and letting them use our brand and space to create, innovate and design to their hearts content.
Bayl strives to be a practical training space for young and fresh artists who have studied fashion design but not have practically experienced the business of marketing and selling clothes.
What does the whole process entitle since there are different aesthetics meeting under one umbrella?
It is not about one designer promoting his/her name.. it is about the process of fashion
design, from the fashion design young graduate who makes the sketch, to the design head at bayl who ensures it meets our aesthetic sensibility, to the production house that handles designs sketched by several unique designers each with their own signature.
So BAYL plans on concentrating on just formal eastern wear or move into other categories of womenswear?
There is no limit on what can be designed and produced within the brand. As a starting point we are doing eastern formals and fusion formals, but just before Eid I’m planning a surprise collection of casuals and semi-formal fusion wear. Because we’re only a few months old, we started with a narrow focus whichwill broaden as time goes on. A lot of it is driven by me but it also depends on the aesthetics and ideas of my designers.
What makes BAYL stand out from many other multi retail brands that have popped up in the past few years?
Currently we are a start-up but once we feel a bit more settled, each collection will be branded to showcase and promote the young designer behind it. This way bayl is just an umbrella brand under whom new talent emerges. This is different from Ensemble and Labels as they only showcasevery high end established designers. We are the opposite, the less established of a designer you are, the more you are welcome to come to bayl and experiment with us. We are confident students and graduates who work with bayl with emerge technically strong, with a business sense and one day will learn to establish their own brands.
You have started with a facebook page, which is a common practice and a reasonable one too. What are your further plans? An outlet maybe?
For now I do not have any plans for an outlet. I believe technology to drive retail and stacking up overheards of an outlet at the early stages of a startup is not feasible. I do plan to launch an estore in a year’s time.
*Bayl is now appointment only at the moment. To contact them visit their page here