From time to time in our ‘beauty talk’ section, we feature different designers who share their experiences, achievements and beauty secrets with us. This month You! talks to Lahore-based designer Faiza Saqlain...
Known for her sought after luxe couture pieces, Lahore-based Faiza Saqlain’s work gels traditional with contemporary, combining age old embellishment techniques resplendent with cuts and colour combinations. Faiza has been creating customised bridal collections for six years after she graduated from Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design (PIFD) in 2012. Since then, she has grown exponentially within bridal wear and formal couture; and also owns a flagship in the heart of Lahore. Her latest collection was showcased at the Bridal Couture Week, which featured a fusion of eastern festive wear which is manifested through lehngas, saris, anarkalis and peshawaz in deep rich hues of reds, maroons, ivory and magenta. Here’s a tete-a-tete with the talented designer...
You! Explain briefly about the launch of your label and how has been the journey so far?
Faiza Saqlain: Well, I had recently graduated from PIFD so I decided to debut with a collection which was an extension of my own thesis at S/S Fashion Pakistan Week 2013, I received a good response and decided to plunge into it.
You! What are the two main principles and an ultimate focus that you keep in mind while designing an outfit?
FS: My clothes are always very well researched and I never go ahead with something that I think I won’t wear myself at some point. The main focus is never making a substandard product.
You! What is your signature strength?
FS: I don’t think I can name any one thing, I am constantly trying to do better and that urge to not remain static would be my strength, I believe.
You! What was your response to your collection showcased at the recently held Bridal week 2018?
FS: We have been receiving a lot of love from the media and people around; I think we did really well this time around.
You! Give us an insight into the collection?
FS: The collection this year, ‘Shehnai’, was inspired by the rich and festive wedding culture. Luxe fabrics such as silks, tissues have been worked with floral tapestries, embroidered and jewel encrusted motifs and handcrafted intricacies. It included staples like anarkalis, lehnga cholis, churidaars and saaris.
You! What are the difficulties faced by designers nowadays?
FS: I wouldn’t mind a less political and a friendlier fashion industry, work that way would be much easier.
You! What do you think acts as a catalyst in your growth?
FS: As I mentioned earlier, the urge to innovate, in terms of the techniques used and silhouettes design.
You! Tell us about the inspiration and influences you take from the Pakistani culture?
FS: It would be difficult to pinpoint just one inspiration. Anything beautiful can hit that creative wire inside and the music starts playing. My recent collection Shehnai was inspired by our festive wedding culture. Previously, I have taken inspiration from Pakistani folklore Heer for a bridal collection. Our culture is so rich and beautiful that there is always something that will inspire you.
You! What do you think was the turning point in your career as a fashion professional?
FS: I believe when I was selected as a Bank Alfalah Rising talent in 2015 to showcase for the PFDC Bridal Week was definitely one of the major turning points.
You! Who are your clients?
FS: My clients are everywhere. I have a lot of orders from UK, UAE and US right now apart from the regular ones. I am known for the focus on exquisite craftsmanship hence I put in a lot of research to make each and every piece of mine exquisite and people who come to me are those who understand and value that.
You! What fashion trends do you forecast for the season of 2019?
FS: Flowy cuts, I’m personally done with short A-line shirts with straight pants, let’s get creative.
You! What is your design philosophy in each of the collection that you have showed at the fashion shows?
FS: My designs have been modern and traditional, heavily embellished and lightly as well but I have always kept in mind the wearability of it. Based in a myriad of colours; the palette is inspired by the festive colours to adhere to all sorts of aesthetical needs of the potential consumers. I try to design clothes that don’t lose their charm after being worn once and can be styled for different occasions.
Have you introduced any new cuts in your new collection?
FS: Since my collection was inspired by our wedding culture, I have tried to keep the cuts very traditional. I have added some anarkalis in my new collection. My work celebrates a woman’s grace and persona offering stylish and chic options for every occasion.
You! What is one cosmetic you cannot do without?
A good concealer.
You! When stepping out, do you wear make up all the time?
No, I hardly wear makeup on a daily routine.
You! When it comes to cosmetics, which brand do you usually use?
I use a mix. I like Becca highlighters, Kay Von D for eyeliners, Lancome mascara, I can go on and on.
You! Do you go to salon regularly for your facials?
I would love it but honestly with two kids and the work I don’t get much time.
You! Your favourite stylist:
Across the border, Style by Ami is doing a great job, I like Mavi here.
You! Your preferred spa or salon:
You! Your favourite perfumes:
Chanel Chance & Mademoiselle
You! Your beauty regimen:
I don’t have time to follow a routine on a regular basis but I make sure to moisturise my face and take my makeup off before I go to sleep.
You! Do you use anti-aging creams?
Coconut oil is best for anti-aging.