Leading Pakistani designer Maheen Kardar Ali pays tribute to Bollywood through high street pret, diffusion and bridal couture in her first exhibition in India.
Following the success of her "Imran Khan" kurta which has become an equivalent to the Che Guevara designs in Pakistan, her stint with a Bollywood kurta has become a rage with film actors world over. "I have been a huge fan of Indian film actors and Bollywood remains famous even across the border. In this 'Tribute to Bollywood' kurta, I have carefully hand-picked thirty legendary actors and collated all into one design," Maheen told PTI during her couture exhibition at the Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) store.
The actors featured in the design include Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, Meena Kumari, Shah Rukh Khan, Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna, Ranbir Kapoor among others. Maheen, who is known for her trendy bridal styles, has in her latest collection also brought in variations in different bridal jumpsuits, restoring the traditional element and bridal accessories. Under the label Karma, she has also introduced a fun concept of 'Mini Me' in the city.
"With 'Mini Me', mothers can dress up their daughters on wedding ceremonies and other festivities. The designs displayed here are a mix of modern and contemporary clothes with hints of Islamic patterns. Its long kurtas with ghararas and shararas and colours like black and white, unheard in the Indian bridal wear lines are something we have set to offer in my couture designs," says Maheen.
Her latest collection also includes flow length wedding gowns, different layered shirts for draped looks other than the conventional ghararas, anarkalis, lehengas, kurtas with different variations. "Fashion is about revival. Nothing really goes away, it keeps coming back, evolves with time. Importantly, fashion must be functional. And all my designs have a flair for the dramatic in them," says the designer whose label 'Karma' introduced western style clothing in Pakistan.
The designer has also brought in elements of fashion which are similar in India and Pakistan. "India and Pakistan are nations which love colours and are not afraid to wear them. We also love embellishments. At the heart of it all, we all want to look like spectacular maharanis in our wedding, something which binds the two nations," she says.
However, different designs element are emphasised in both the countries. For instance, in India there seems to be a greater emphasis on the shirt with embellishments along with the colour red. While across the border, women are very fond of ghararas, shararas and twelve panel palazzo pants with a lot of colour experimentation with greens and blues in bridal couture.
"I would love to work in Bollywood. And especially dress up Deepika Padukone, Kareena Kapoor and my all time favourite Madhuri Dixit. All of them are very glamorous and pull off designs beautifully," she says. Lip colour and shoes are evergreen style statements for women, points out the designer.
"Pair up a beautiful lip colour with a white shirt, denims and a good pair of shoes, it immediately elevates the look" says the ace-Pakistani designer who counts Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Meena Kumari among her style icons.