In this month’s issue, we find that even our featured fashion designer is an ambassador to our theme of Mothers’ Day. Fahad Hussayn credits all his learning and evolution towards bridal couture to his mother, who has been designing custom bridal wear since the late 1980s. This inheritance is probably the reason he keeps surprising the fashion industry with wonderful collections like Nautanki Rani, The Great Mutiny Collection and Bloodline, to name a few. His work is an effort to combine old-school revival of embroidery, finesse and couture details with an edgy, creative and sometimes modern touch that is uniquely Fahad Hussayn.
FUCHSIA talks to him about his latest collection at the Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week 2014, PUTLIGHAR, and some criticism he has been receiving recently.
Why the name, PUTLIGHAR?
I’m a lover of art and craft. Every season I like working on one craft form that inspires me. In 2014, it was PUTLIGHAR. The conceptualization of the collection revolves around the relationship of control between a creation and its creator. The concept was presented through a piece performed by Noor Bhatti and Wahab Shah, written by me and narrated by Ali Sethi with a custom-built soundtrack by Rohail Hayatt. PUTLIGHAR’s visualizations were inspired by Cholistan and Thatha dolls; it is a visual comment on socio-political anthropology, hierarchies and the rise and fall of love lost to war.
We have been looking into the ruins and leftovers of royalty throughout the region. You will find a bit of Cholistan, colonialism and glimpses of the Ranjit Singh era but in Venetian treatment. When mankind was brought on to paper, they all sketched each other according to their perspectives. At some point, we became slaves to the public’s verses. Mankind has its flaws; no one practices what they preach, yet they all continue to fight for their existence and their autonomy, not realizing they were all part of the same theatre where this play is frolicked. Some of us hide behind our words and some behind supremacy. Some are puppets and some are puppeteers. Life unfolds its own drama and steers all strings. A peculiar thing life is, for no one truly understands it and there is no one absolute answer. Every day a love story is buried and gone astray. Fairy tales are being re-written to amend the coming generations. Fight for love more than yourself, for if one believes in it, it’s the only thing that truly has the power to kindle hope. Even when all hope is lost, we know that darkness will reign despite lit chambers.
Secret Closet reported that the back-to-back shows had exhausted you, and so you fell short of your potential. What do you think?
I don’t agree. I do believe our industry still has a long way to go, and not everyone can be pleased. All decisions made for shows are done a year in advance due to extensive planning of customization. The press needs to understand that we are in the business, and are capable of deciding what needs to be shown when and where. As a designer, I don’t feel liable to explain my ‘potential’ to anyone. People who know of it don’t question it one bit, and people who still question it, I don’t care about. Life moves on for everyone.
Deepak Perwani, Adnan Pardesy, HSY, Fahad Hussayn – cuts, colours and patterns that women love to wear. What is common?
Haha! I think what is common is we are naturals at knowing what would look beautiful on a women, and how it needs to be styled! When that blends with individualistic vision you get a wide array of different looks to embody. It is simply a natural process, really.
Doesn’t Pakistan need a break from the monotony of lawn through summer?
I do feel we need to break the monotony but not from the fabric, lawn, as it the one of the best tropical fabrics that Pakistan is known for; but I do believe our street fashion and daily wear can evolve from the typical printed 3-piece suit.
What do you offer to the odd-sized woman? She loves fashion, too, right?
Yes, she does love fashion. So much so that she gets to custom-order any sort of outfit!
Is there scope for stylists in Pakistan’s fashion industry?
Yes, there is, and thank God it has become an option for people to hire a stylist. I seriously think some of the designers in our country are in serious need of one. There is an option available for anyone to hire a stylist, to improve the way they look. And that’s something that people should adapt to; everyone should have a directive of their persona and know what is to be worn where.
Which is the most difficult collection you have designed to date?
Dominionatrix Drakides was the most challenging collection of mine to date, because I had the opportunity to work on it with an international brand. I wanted to construct the piece that truly spoke for itself, being an epitome of couture both original and mind boggling in its construction.
Ever felt like your work didn’t get the appreciation it deserved?
More or less I do feel like my work is quite underrated for Pakistani fashion scenario. Many collections that I created were not well-received locally, but they were appreciated by the international fashionistas.
What does Fahad Hussayn do better than anyone else in Pakistan’s fashion industry?
I think my forte is construction, be it whatever kind. What intrigues me as a designer is the process of manifestation of design from paper to reality. People often approach us for customised pieces with intricate and rare embroidery craft techniques. Under our signature, we work across ranges – custom bridal, avant-garde museum pieces, high fashion couture pieces. Fahad Hussayn, the designer, caters to the niche audience that appreciates quality and value-for-money.
Fahad is currently busy with designing his Fall/Winter collection Matam.
Read about Fahad Hussayn’s Spring / Summer 2015 collections.
Kicking off the Spring / Summer season for pre orders this year, we launched Nautanki Rani which was a range of our PRINTMUSEUM couture for Spring/Summer 2015. For couture and luxury, we showcased DOMINIONATRIX Drakeides & Decoded respectively for Swarovski Crustal Couturiers 2015 & Telenor Fashion Pakistan Week 2015 both featuring editorial and high fashion luxury editions featuring hybrid & novelty editions. For PFDC we showcased our midsummer2015 respectively for the festive season coming ahead. We decided to do an extremely wearable collection according to what our clientele buys from us. It is crucial to have one’s midsummer resort out early so people can order in time and deliveries can be made worldwide through our e-store. Hence we showcased Democrats featuring four novelty couture bridal editions for summer weddings and twelve luxury looks featuring our PRINTMUSEUM LIVE digital prints for midsummer 2015. The collection features a wide choice of separates and complete looks ready to be donned over Eid. In addition to what was shown on the runway, more simple versions will be available for orders on our e-store at www.fahadhussaynoffical.com from 15 May 2015 onwards.