Designer Maheen Karim is one of the finest minds of the Pakistan fashion world. Blessed with unbeatable aesthetics this girl surely has the Midas touch. The minute a fabric runs through her fingers, it takes on a shape of its own and becomes absolutely classy and chic. In a tete-a-tete with Brides & You this beautiful woman reveals all about her passion for designing and more.
Q: Tell us about your colt days as a designer.
A: I have a BA in Fashion Design Marketing. After finishing my studies at Karachi Grammar School I left for London. I got admission in a design school there – Central Saint Martins. This was followed by work experience in the fashion industry in London. For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to design women’s evening wear. I love to create glamorous looks. It was in 2006 that I decided to come back to Pakistan and that is when I started my eponymous label. I have always appreciated the works of John Galliano, Azzedine Alaia and Christian Lacroix to name just a few.
Q: Has your family been supportive in your choice of career?
A: I am very close to my family, my parents and my elder sister. Each moment is a precious memory and one thing I will always be grateful for is that they have always supported my passion and encouraged me. They never thought it was not a serious profession and that makes me proud. I hope I make them proud one day!
Q: What are you working on these days?
A: I am working on my FPW Winter Festive collection. The focus of this collection is on luxury and extravagance. It is purely festive!
Q: What is your design philosophy?
A: My philosophy is never to create something I would not wear myself; make a woman feel special and elegant and stay true to yourself and your individuality. I would say I am more known for my western silhouettes, I have an experimental style that women tend to lean towards because I concentrate on shape and not entirely on embellishments. My designs can be carried with panache by any female between 18 to 60 years of age. I feel every girl needs to look and feel special.
Q: Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?
A: Absolutely anywhere- it could be on holiday, a movie I have seen or even a dress I have noticed someone wearing.
Q: How far has fashion come in Pakistan?
A: Fashion in Pakistan is progressing at a very fast pace, and it is brilliant. More and more young designers are joining the industry and there is lots of variety.
Q: Do the fashion weeks help the business of designing. As a frequent participant what is your opinion about this phenomenon?
A: It is true that I am a frequent participant at fashion weeks because I believe it is all about showcasing your work and putting it out there. One could be the best designer but what good is a beautiful dress hanging in a showroom when people do not know about it. Fashion is a business and shows are a form of marketing and creating awareness. I believe fashion weeks are an apt platform provided by the councils to promote designers and facilitate them. They have been instrumental in creating awareness and getting peoples’ work out there.
Q: Your choice of colours and add-ons:
A: I work with all colours but I have to say I thoroughly enjoy working with gold fabric. I like to create and experiment with new materials all the time. I would say with each year my designs mature. There are no regular features of my collection. Having said that if there is one thing that a Maheen Karim outfit will never have, it is bad finishing.
Q: Cuts and colours prevalent in year 2015?
A: Fashion keeps repeating itself. It is cyclical. It is just tweaked with new technology, that is all. This year garments are generally getting more tapered and structured; silhouettes are more serious and less flirty. While bright hues like greens, oranges and pinks are en vogue.
Q: How has getting married affected your work?
A: It has made my work better to be honest. Being happy results in being able to produce a good product! My hubby, although he himself has nothing to do with the industry, always helps me out and takes a keen interest in my work. Striking a balance between personal and professional life is hard work. It is very demanding but I have a supportive family.
Q: What is next for you?
A: Perhaps some expansion, more retail abroad as there is a growing demand. The sky is the limit! I just love to create!
Rapid fire round:
Food: I can eat all day and all night, especially Italian or Thai.
Favourite Colour: Blue… it is a rich scrumptious colour.
Weather: Hot for sure… cannot take the freezing cold.
Clothes: Glamorous… one has to be smart… do not like frumpily dressed people, they should make more of an effort.
People: I love people full of passion, life and madness. Dislike people with zero drive or motivation.
Places: Italy is my favourite holiday spot.
Three things that make you cringe: An oversized ill-fitted jacket, Dr Martens and Fit Flops!
You would love to design for: Monica Belluci.