Beauty Talk

By Sadaf Jabeen
Tue, 08, 17

From time to time in our ‘beauty talk’ section, we feature different celebrities who share their experiences, achievements and beauty secrets with us.

beautyBeauty Talk

From time to time in our ‘beauty talk’ section, we feature different celebrities who share their experiences, achievements and beauty secrets with us. This week You! talks to Lahore-based designer Hira Ali, who creates a balance between contemporary designs and traditional grace.

Hira Ali is a contemporary designer with a distinction in fashion designing from Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design (PIFD). She received further training at the prestigious Paris based Fashion School - Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture, after which she led the western couture department at the leading fashion label, Elan for two years. Her thesis collection ‘Curiouser and Curiouser’ was selected for the PFDC ‘rising talent’ platform and was showcased at PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week 2016. According to Hira, designing clothes is something she has always been passionate about. “My mom had a small workshop, I used to spend all my time over there and she was cool enough to let me design the clothes - from sketching to overlooking production.”

Hira officially launched her fashion couture label Hira Ali Studio in May 2017 in Model Town, Lahore. Minimalistic designs are a core feature of the brand that creates a marriage of traditional and modern techniques. These days she is working on her bridal collection and a project with Nordic International School. Let’s find out more about this young and dynamic designer...

You! What is your design philosophy?

Hira Ali: My philosophy is to create minimal and understated yet astounding designs.

You! What type of clothes do you design for women?

H.A: We design haute couture and pret-a-porter.

You! Why do you think women should wear designer clothes?

H.A: Designer clothes are supposed to be unique and not run of the mill. As a designer, I make a conscious effort not to blend in with the rest. Our ensembles are unique and are for women who want to make a statement.

You! What do you like best about designing clothes?

H.A: The best thing is the process, having an idea turn into reality. The satisfaction I have when a client wears my clothes and looks flawless in that dress is the best feeling.

You! What was the first outfit that you designed?

H.A: It would be a tunic I made in my mom’s workshop when I was seven years old!

You! How would you define your own sense of style?

H.A: My style is androgynous, simple and chic.

You! What is your signature embellishment and fabric choice?

H.A:  I have a signature style of embellishments, my embellishments ‘pop’, I call the 3D and you can instantly tell that this is Hira Ali’s work. I like to play around with different kinds of fabrics but all being 100 per cent pure and of the highest quality.

You! What is the inspiration behind your latest collection?

H.A:  My latest collection is inspired by mythology, specifically Norse mythology. The heroes, creatures and deities make a great visual narrative.

You! Tell us about how you developed your aesthetic?

H.A:  It wasn’t something I developed consciously but rather it developed naturally from within and everything that was inspiring. Art, music, literature, history and people inspire me.

You! Do you prefer sketching designs or actually constructing them?

H.A: Like I mentioned before, I love the entire process not one part or the other. The sketching part I love because it gives me creative freedom and I am in flow when doing that. The construction is like seeing your ideas turn into reality and the satisfaction of making that happen is parallel to none!

You! What seasonal looks and colours are you expecting this summer?

H.A: Statement sleeves, bright colours, lots of yellows, hot pinks and reds. Colour blocking is going to make its way back with a lot of interesting collage of colours.

You!  In your opinion what is the biggest mistake a person can make while dressing here?

H.A: Over accessorizing an excessively ornate ensemble.

You! What is one piece of clothing that you shy away from wearing and why?

H.A: I am always quite hesitant to wear printed lawn, however if the design is unique and not regular, I would wear it.

You! What are the difficulties faced by designers in getting their work done?

H.A: Unpredictable power cutbacks and unannounced holidays from workers.

You! What are the high points and low points of being a designer?

H.A: High points are usually short lived and last mostly 5 minutes at maximum. You have to get over it quickly and return to the grind.

You! How long does it usually take for you to design an outfit?

H.A: It takes two minutes in the head, and then hours and hours of sweaty work till your sample is complete to perfection. 

You! Do you think there is potential for new designers in our fashion industry?

H.A: Yes, the industry is kind to you if you bring something different to the table.


Beauty corner

You: What is one cosmetic you cannot do without?

H.A: Moisturiser.

You: When stepping out, do you wear make up all the time?

H.A: I usually just dap on my BB cream and put on a lip balm.

You: When it comes to cosmetics, which brand do you usually use?

H.A: I am not loyal to a single brand, I like to try different products.

You! Your make-up bag consists of...

H.A: Blush, BB cream, eyebrow pencil, mascara and a face shimmer.

You: Do you go to the salon regularly for your facials?

H.A: I wish I had the time to do that! To compensate I scrub my face regularly in the morning.

You! Your favourite local stylist or beautician:

H.A: I trust Shammal Qureshi for my hair, eyes closed! We do the craziest things and it always ends up well!

You! Your favourite international stylist or beautician:

H.A: Joseph Cassell.

You: You prefer going to a spa or salon:

H.A: Spa.

You: Your favourite perfumes:

H.A: These days I am hooked to Gucci Guilty.

You: Your beauty regimen?

H.A: Scrub regularly, always moisturize and eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

You: Do you use anti-ageing creams?

H.A: I think I still have a few years to go without them.

You! Do you believe in treatments like Botox?

H.A: I believe everyone has the right to do whatever he or she wants with his or her body but have the responsibility to live with the consequences also. Personally, I haven’t considered it as yet.

You! Are you fond of using too much makeup or you  preferring a good skin with minimal amount of makeup?

H.A: Minimal all the way.

You! Where do you go for your make-up shopping?

H.A: I usually leave my makeup shopping to my mom because I have no patience for it. If I have to I would hound Sephora at duty frees when I have all the time to kill.

You!  Do you use whitening creams? Are they any good?

H.A: When I think I am going too tan I start drinking milk. It does make my skin fresh if nothing else.

You! What is beauty to you?

H.A: Beauty to me is craftsmanship and skill. It is a debate between vintage and modern, cluttered but empty, clean but staggering. It is too many things but always evolving.