Karma is back at the Bridal Week after a two year hiatus. The design house which was focusing on strengthening its Pret a Porter lines in the past year, is making it’s much awaited comeback. As Karma celebrates it’s 15 years in fashion, Maheen Kardar Ali, the Design Director at Karma takes some time out of the pre-fashion week madness to give us a little teaser of whats to come.
What is your design philosophy?
The Karma Red design philosophy has always been an extension of my own personal sense and preference of style. Classic, refined, elegant and opulent and never the one to shy away from the extremely glamorous, severely dramatic and luxuriously expensive.
What is the key bridal trend this season?
There are many bridal trends coming into play this season but we at Karma Red feel the most significant one is a return to old world detail, finesse, reference and semblance. That is the most apparent trend in The Lotus Raj. Signature opulent screen prints, old world baadla, beaten aged naakshi, different types of silk and tilla knots, miniature crystal and seed pearl adorn the collection with antique finishings, princessy cancans, sheer and shimmery textile in controlled, contoured sensual volume. We have created new silhouettes such as the ethnic embellished blazer, the sari-jumpsuit and the two piece bridal gown.
What is your inspiration for the bridal presentation this year?
The Lotus Raj Collection takes its inspiration from the essence, soul and identity of love in and of the subcontinent. Rather than focusing on the historical figures of our heritage, we at Karma Red this season have identified what our land stands for for us. The torrential thunderous monsoons, the exquisitely diverse flora ranging from the melancholy nargis, the velvety heady gulab, the sweet rainy frangipani and the fragrant pure motiya, the grand majestic fauna, the classic tea trolley, your mother’s earmarked copy of The Far Pavilions, the sparkly independence day firecrackers, old family homes’ courtyards, the iconic romantic cities, the quintessential traditions, the history of our childhoods and the memories of the generations past lend their soul, spirit and femininity to our couture direction this season.
How is this collection different from your collections before?
The Lotus Raj Collection comes at a time when we are celebrating our 15th year in business as a reputed couture house of Pakistan. It has been a tremendous journey complete with joy, struggle, exhilaration, and self- realisation. And as every journey stands testament it has been an evolution, of the brand, the product and myself. We are proud to have matured our aesthetic outside the realm of the Karma tried and tested and created exquisite refined heirloom pieces with the design aim of the clothes having the look, feel and semblance of a collectors item that has been discovered from your great grandmother’s treasured old trunk. It was a true exercise in change as well as a personal design challenge for myself and the Design Team to not have a single starburst, circular motif, 6# sequin or ethnic minaret in any single piece. I feel we have passed the tests we kept for ourselves..!!!
What are you personally most excited about?
The whole concept of the show excites me. The collection, the styling, the playlist, the press kits, the giveaways, the lookbooks, our wardrobes, the accessories. For me its the production and the build up to the show that drives me, and how perfectly we can translate the theme and mood through our research, execution and the ambience to the audience and clients.
I tend to start living, breathing, obsessing, dreaming the collection and Sadaf can vouch for that too…!!! 😉
What should we expect to see in the show?
The Lotus Raj consists of five capsule collections. We begin with RajKumari which sets the mood as strong, glamorous, flirty and fabulous and allows us to believe that we are the spoilt princesses of our destiny. Uns takes its inspiration from the magic and detail of flora, first love and the vanilla sky of the monsoons, beautiful, serene and fairy tale like. The third collection is titled Aatish and finds its soul in old Thakuranis, warrior queens, age old precious metals and fiery firecrackers of celebrations past. It is staunch, dominating and empowered. Saj Dhaj takes its inspiration from the traditions, colours and adornments of the subcontinent and is definitive of the desi drama queen whereas the last one embodies passion, obsession, pure beauty and the celebration of coming full circle. This finale capsule collection is titled Raj.
What are you doing immediately after the Bridal Week?
We have a tradition at the Karma Design Headquarters to take a week off right after fashion/bridal week owing to the crazy work schedules that precede the show (we just worked our 8th Sunday in a row last week) and this year I am packing my kids into the car, loading it up with books, food and blankets and getting the Husband to drive us up and away to the mountains..!!!