Faiza Sami Pakistani Designer
Faiza Sami believes Pakistani embroidery has interesting influences that range from the Chinese to the Turkish Enlarge. From designing jodas for former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s wedding; to being commissioned by the esteemed Victoria Albert Museum, UK; to reviving the heritage of the stitches of Sindh; Pakistani designer Faiza Samee has clearly been there and certainly done it all. Born with an artistic bent of mind, Faiza Sami was one of the frontrunners of the fashion industry in Karachi at a time when there was no fashion school 25 years back. “I got into designing by accident. Having lost my mother at an early age, I had to shop for the trousseau at my brother’s marriage. To my dismay, I discovered that ancient embroidery techniques were languishing due to lack of patronage. My journey into the fashion world began by sourcing these vintage fabrics and trying to keep our heritage alive,” recalls Faiza Sami.
Showing at Bridal Asia 2003 for the second time, where she stole the limelight from designer Ritu Kumar on Thursday at Uppal’s Orchid, Samee believes Pakistani embroidery has several influences that range from Chinese to Turkish. “Karachi is more like Delhi. It is a bit conservative unlike what I saw in Mumbai. But my forte is formal and trousseau wear that focuses on making bridal wear really, really interesting,” Faiza Samee elaborates. Navratan, her collection, is inspired by jewelled hues such as emerald, garnet, ruby, jade and coral. “We never had the kurti revolution that was seen here, probably because most girls still prefer the fitted silhouette. This is the back to the ’70s look that had body-hugging kurtas teamed up with churidars, now that straight pants are out of fashion,” says Faiza Samee. Being one of the pillars of the fashion industry back home in Pakistan, she wants a fashion week there on the lines of India.
However, Faiza Sami does admit that unlike India, Pakistani designers are quite laid-back and very disorganised. “Someone has to take the lead somewhere and make an effort to put it all together. I guess it will take time but we need to get it right in the first place,” says Faiza Sami.