Wedding season is in full swing. The Pakistani bride has a variety of bridal wear options to shimmer, sparkle and glow as she drapes herself in embroidered fabrics and elegant jewels.
Rich fabrics such as silk, organza, jamawaars and brocades are generally the fabric of choice in traditional bridal attire. While the traditional red still holds its importance, now brides can pick from an array of hues - oscillating from gentle emerald greens, rich burgundies, flashy yellows to finally a colourful peacock palette, accentuated with matching embellishments. Although traditional bridal attire continues to be popular with Pakistani brides, many of the brides are always keen on trying out more contemporary or even designer bridal wear for their wedding day. The most popular bridal wear for young brides are usually lehengas, heavily embellished ghararas and sarees. For more glamorous weddings, elegantly embellished, luxuriously layered and ornately adorned styles are en vogue.
When it comes to contemporary bridal designers Hasan Sheryar Yasin’s (HSY) name instantly comes to one’s mind. Starting as a fashion choreographer in 1994, Hasan Sheryar Yasin worked both as a choreographer and designer in various shows within Pakistan and international shows including Dubai, London, New York City, and Toronto. In 1996, he joined the Pakistan School of Fashion Design (PSFD) and graduated in 2000. The year also marked the introduction of Yasin’s own fashion label, HSY. Starting as a bridal and formal wear couture house, it has since become one of the most recognised fashion labels in Pakistan, with the flagship studio housed in Lahore. In 2007 Yasin introduced a jewellery line under the HSY brand. His bridal studio has been a rage with young brides. 2019 marks his 25 years in the showbiz field. In an exclusive interview with You! HSY talks about his passion for designing and his latest bridal collection...
You! How has your work evolved since you began your career in fashion designing?
HSY: I think after few initial years in the field, I developed my signature style and aesthetics. I have experimented with a lot of things but I’m happy to say that brand’s ethos was reflective in all of my work to date. Trends come and go but the most important thing for me was to develop and retain my distinct creative sensibility.
You! What skills according to you are important for a designer to be successful?
HSY: Technical skills are a perquisite but even more important, one needs to have the passion for the art of designing. I strongly believe that fashion that comes from the heart is pure magic and just like a painting has the ability to inspire others.
You! What motivated you to do bridals?
HSY: When I started my journey, bridals were the most important part of fashion designing in the country. Besides, unlike other forms of fashion, bridals are more than clothes, they are memories that stay with people forever and are often passed on from generation to generation. For some people, it is the most important day of their life hence playing an important role in that is quite a fulfilling emotion itself.
You! When did you show your debut bridal collection? How long did it take you to complete your first bridal collection?
HSY: It was 1999 that I showed my first ever bridal collection. It took me about 6 months to create that collection from scratch. That collection I feel really set the mood for HSY’s brand identity and we have always been a bridal couture brand since.
You! What is your design philosophy?
HSY: To combine contemporary bridal silhouettes with traditional techniques of old, making it appealing to women who have an appreciation for the grandeur and extravagance of a regal past but expect further innovation and creativity.
You! Can you tell us a bit about your latest bridal collection?
HSY: My collection is a reflection of me and how I see the world, the kind of experiences I have gone through to gain insight and draw inspiration from. My latest collection incorporates four different kingdoms in a cohesive manner, they project the ideas I gained during my time spent learning those cultures.
You! What’s the inspiration behind your latest bridal collection?
HSY: My latest collection draws inspiration from the French renaissance, the Ottoman, Russian and Mughal empires. Studying these cultures has been a fascinating experience for me, learning them in detail has been truly humbling.
You! What type of material and fabric have you used in your bridal collection?
HSY: We use the finest silks, tissue and organza.
You! What are the latest trends in bridal wear this season?
HSY: Longer shirts and silhouettes are making a comeback - they are flattering for every body type - they can be worn as is in the silhouette of a gown or with trousers as formals as well.
You! What seasonal looks and colours are you expecting for brides in 2020?
HSY: A brilliant red, a series of earthy pastel tones and the traditional hues of gold as well.
You! What type of jewellery is in for brides?
HSY: It completely subjective. Some brides want to go for heavy jewellery while other prefers it to be more minimalistic. While current trends suggest the latter, this is something completely subjective and varies from person to person.
You! Do you keep track of international bridal trends?
HSY: Of course, you have to keep a check on the competition or prospective competition out there. Just like any other industry, you should always be one step ahead of the game.
You! In your opinion what is the biggest mistake a bride can make while dressing up?
HSY: A bride should always be comfortable in what she is wearing. If she likes what she wears and feels comfortable, she will exude confidence.
You! Why do you think a bride must wear a designer outfit?
HSY: Again, this is entirely subjective and depends from person to person. The most important thing is whatever you wear, you feel confident wearing it. Other than that nothing more beautiful than a bride wearing her mother’s wedding outfit, it’s such a beautiful thing to witness!
You! In your opinion, what really makes a bride stand out - her makeup, jewellery, outfit or her confidence?
HSY: I would say it’s a combination of all of the above but most importantly her confidence.
You! What are you currently working on?
HSY: My upcoming bridal collection launching in September 2019.
You! What future plans do you foresee for your brand?
HSY: Bigger and better has always been our brand mantra. More collections, bigger collaborations and venturing into other lifestyle businesses.
You! Do you think social media and technical factors have affected fashion over the years?
HSY: They have helped fashion more so than hinder it as it has helped fashion become more accessible to people over the years.
You! Have you shown your bridal collections abroad? What has been the response?
HSY: Yes, we have been showing our work across the globe over the past 25 years. The response has been phenomenal not only in terms of business development but we are loved by the Asian community wherever they are in the world.
You! Can you name some celebrities who have worn HSY on their wedding day?
HSY: The ones that are top of mind are Reema Khan, Urwa and Farhan, Mr. and Mrs. Feroze Khan, Muneeb Butt to name a few. (I do men’s wear too).
You! Any advice you would like to give to today’s brides?
HSY: Keep following trends and take inspiration from whatever is in but there is nothing as beautiful as an old school ‘Red Lehenga’ on your big day but that’s just my opinion. The most important part in being yourself, do what makes you happy and feel comfortable wearing on the special day.