According to the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM), couture lies at the heart of fashion’s ecosystem. The craft is a permanent gateway between tradition for excellence in know-how and modern creation which embodies the manufacturing techniques that are at the cutting edge of innovation. Based in Lahore, Qyaas is quickly becoming a sought after luxe label by the couture clients since the work spells ornate richness, adorned with signature embellishments; it has been able to create its own niche in the fashion market. Run by three brilliant individuals, Muhammad Hasaam, Muhammad Aasim, and Sabahat Shah, the luxe couture pieces are known for their classic appeal. “We have a penchant for developing craft techniques jams together various elements from around the world to create pieces of couture, which is lavish,” says Hasaam, the marketing head of the brand. “Renowned for the focus on luxury and exquisite craftsmanship the design philosophy is a harmonious mix of the classic, contemporary and opulence as main strength,” explains Aasim, the creative head. “We are immersed in creating something out of the box with a customised appeal,” adds Sabahat Shah, the head designer at Qyaas. They have an intimate outlet, situated in the heart of Lahore with the most sophisticated and elegant interiors – the hues of ash white, bronze and gold racks provide a perfect backdrop. In an exclusive interview with You! these three individuals talk about their brand dynamics and their love for couture…
You! What motivated you guys to enter this field?
We have a passion for exploring creativity and willingness to do something different artistically. Fashion designing is a tough and competitive field where you meet a lot of people from different backgrounds, experiences, cultures, and stories by which you get influenced a lot and it plays a vital role in the development of your work. Thereby, this field is all about experiments and earnings and there’s no recession; a synthesis of men and women earning tangible and intangible things. We solely got swayed by merchandising our sense of signature to be worthwhile and cost-effective.
You! What do you like best about designing clothes?
You can design whenever whatever you feel like and mould it into your essence and into your signature way. Experiments are the thing we like the most about designing because experiments are open-ended and can put your artistry and uniqueness into them.
You! What was the first outfit that you designed?
The very first design was totally inspired by the Mughal era architecture. A dull gold sleek Anarkali (gown) with the shades of vibrant bottle green and blood red with symmetrical arches and patterns representing the true colours of Mughal era architecture/buildings. The embellishments on the Anarkali were solely of Mughal era jewels and stones.
You! Can you guys explain your own sense of style?
We mostly play with the hues, textures and quality of the fabrics. The design process takes a while but we do it in two ways – keeping the design basic and put in a lot of detailing. Our signature is a classic dress, where we can put the innate sense of aesthetics of ancient cultures while keeping the harmony between the traditional and the Avant grade. We have a range of farshi lehngas, gotta kaari, marori and kundan which give an heirloom appeal.
You! What are your favourite fabrics to work with and why?
We love to play with fabrics like raw silk and jamawar. These fabrics have a timeless appeal – was, is and always will be in fashion. It’s evergreen and in the stream of trend always.
You! Tell us more about your new festive collection?
The new collection consists of a versatile assemblage of distinctive ideas with an innate sense of aesthetics and an adequate amount of polishing variety of looks which is phenomenal for upcoming summer events. From frothy ombre lehngas that pool at the feet to cool cropped shirts, the collection is full of interesting pieces. The range includes crushed lehngas, skinny shalwars, and contemporary shirts with structured jackets with a very minimal amount of embroidery. The palette is a gorgeous selection of ivory, beige and pink to blues, corals and greys more of solid colours, festive and fresh. A modern twist on the traditional.
You! In your opinion what is the biggest mistake a person can make while dressing in Pakistan?
As everything in designing is systematic; a design sketch is basic and the fashion designer has to know how to play with the way fabric falls to create new designs at the start of the apparel design process. They lack when it comes to draping and stitching.
You! In your opinion, what are the difficulties faced by designers in getting their work done?
The designers have a lot of common hardships when it comes to work and practical mobility and that is the labours. The amount of time and energy we put in to get our orders ready that’s uncanny to tell due to the delays of the workers.
You! What trends do you think will persist in the new season?
The new season will be up with the trends of minimal embroidery, plain fabrics, monotones, or two crude dyes and more contemporary cuts with slight traditional influence.
You! Pinpoint one trend that puts you off?
There is too much emphasis on western looks in couture. Although, we enjoy experimenting with fusion cuts, however, traditional always comes first because it is more charming. Our work celebrates a woman’s grace and persona offering premium quality, stylish and on-trend options for every occasion and lifestyle.
You! What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
This is for the aspiring designers and universities, to teach the new and potential students/designers all costs and prices accordingly. They should have an insight into fabrication and the cost of handwork and how to stay under the cost line and create.
You! What is one cosmetic you cannot do without?
Sabahat Shah: Lipstick.
You! When stepping out, do you wear makeup all the time?
Yes, every time.
You! When it comes to cosmetics, which brand do you usually use?
There’s a mix when it comes to brands, I use Pakistani brand products plus all the other international makeup brands.
You! Do you go to salon regularly for your facials?
The routine is too tough so it’s once every two months.
You! Who is your favourite stylist?
You! Your prefer spa or salon?
I like to go to a salon.
You! Your all-time favourite perfume?
You! What is your skincare regimen?
When it comes to skincare I prefer Clinique because I have the tendency of getting acne and this product does wonders.
You! Do you use anti-aging creams?
No, I am too young for it.
You! What is beauty to you?
A clean and clear skin which needs minimum makeup.