Very few designers allow extreme close-ups of their designs, putting them out on social media, zooming in on the tiny threads intertwining into artistic florals, birds, reindeers, on a palette that is as unique as it is beautiful. Fahad Hussayn always has been able to do so. Bridal bling can look pretty from afar but the finesse always is in the details. And Fahad, for as long as I have known him and reviewed his work, has always been a stickler for intricate details.
The designer has just relaunched his business after having announced its closure early this year and he has been posting little glimpses of the collections that he is about to unveil. In a procession of short videos uploaded on social media, Fahad has been traversing multicolored meadows teeming with flora and fauna, the stitches finely meshed together and mixed with beads and sequins. Bridal design is very frequently pretty but ubiquitous, forgettable rather than standout but Fahad’s work has always begged to differ. It’s good to have him back.
Zoom in, zoom out … couture a la Fahad Hussayn!
(screenshots via the designer’s Instagram)
And it’s good to have him envisioning artistic fashion shoots – merely beautiful ones can be so boring – creating the most elaborate accessories to go with the looks, devising out of the box hair and makeup with the help of his mainstays Maram and Abroo Hashmi. It’s also so good to see a designer so utterly obsessed with his line-ups that he even devises quirky names for them. The names of so many of Fahad Hussayn’s collections have stayed in the mind, simply because they have been so eccentric, reminiscent of ‘churials’, ‘titanics’, ‘royal wreaks’ and a tongue-twisting ‘Labyagawachi’.
Magic a la Fahad Hussayn … club nights, a ‘Royal Wreak’, a woebegone ‘Musafir’ and ‘Suraiya’ … who is a ‘Titanic’!
The latest title that he has come up with is ‘The Grand Bazaar of Curiosity’. In late November, this year, Fahad will be creating a fantasy bazaar, in an old heritage building, staging a solo installation for his latest bridal-wear collection. Is it going to be like an Arabian Nights bazaar, with music floating about and fantastical imagery? “I hope so,” he grins, “I am very excited about it.”
He continues, “It’s going to be a short show and the audience will be extremely limited. There will be plenty of drama but at the same time, I am going to be keeping an eye on business.”
Backstage at a Fahad Hussayn show … this is what accessorizing looks like!
Fahad, the businessman
These references to business, incidentally, are a new – but long overdue – development within Fahad’s atelier. In his earlier years, the designer would speak at length about art, design and theatrics while the essential ingredient needed for him to continue growing would often never be discussed. “I think I was the best person to destroy myself,” he says, musing over what went wrong in the past, prompting him to announce closure. “I would end up agreeing to customers’ unrealistic demands on getting a design ready within a certain time period, while knowing that it would be extremely difficult considering that my bridal-wear is usually entirely created by hand. I also didn’t really understand the nitty-gritties of running a business.”
He continues, “Over the past few months, I have assumed the designation of Creative Director at the brand ‘Rangrasiya’ and observed how business works; billing, software that makes things easier, organized sampling. Now that I am also simultaneously relaunching my eponymous label, I am setting ground rules and have a proper chain of command in place. I will adhere strictly to the timelines that I know that I can manage and will not succumb to pressure from customers. There will be no urgent orders, no sifarish and customers who are rude will be asked to leave. The best lesson that I have learnt over the past few months is how to say ‘no’.”
I remind him of a controversy from late last year when a client of his took to social media, accusing him of not having delivered a bridal dress on time and later, creating a design that did not appeal to her. “What she did not reveal was that she herself had asked me to make changes to some of my samples and it was not my fault that the end result didn’t appeal to her,” says Fahad. “Controversies tend to get aired out very eagerly on social media. But yes, from now on, I do plan to take orders only that I know that I’ll be able to deliver, regardless of how much the clients insist.”
“There are other instances that never get mentioned. So many times, I have been elated with a design to the extent that I have gone to the bride’s house and delivered it to her myself. But people will only talk about controversies.”
Elaborately handmade bridals require time to get made and Fahad’s nor going to be taking any urgent orders – also, Sana Javed looks extraordinary here … like a bridal princess out of fantasyland!
Fahad’s Grand Bazaar
Will his newly resurrected business once again be primarily focused on bridal-wear? “The Print Museum line, where I create prints from cotton voile and linen, is also there but yes, there will be an extensive range of bridals. My ‘Novelty’ series will be couture based, entirely embellished by hand, with even the bases created in-house. Most of the stitching itself will also be done with hand because cloth that is intricately embroidered can’t really be placed under a machine. On the other hand, the Print Museum signature bridals will target lower price points. Right now, I have 72 designs ready, overall. The purely couture designs are targeted towards spring/summer 2021 because that’s how long they take to get made if orders come in towards the end of this year.”
Bringing back the drama! A look at Fahad Hussayn’s ‘Sao Banjara’ SS2021
Some of these designs will be seen in his solo ‘Bazaar’ later this month. Others are going to form a capsule that will be showcased at the Hum Network’s Bridal Couture Week scheduled for January 2021. The designs are already slowly being unveiled through photo shoots and soon, Fahad will also be releasing music videos in collaboration with a range of artists. “When I think of an outfit, I immediately begin thinking of the music that suits it and the theatrics that would accentuate it,” he explains. “I am working with a team of singers and lyricists and I do want to create videos that merge music with fashion.”
I am reminded of his ‘Guddi Wang’ from last year, a music video where a group of models dressed as baraatis sat clustered together in a van, singing songs, all dressed in Fahad Hussayn bridal couture of course. “Another video is about to release, this time with Aaima Baig,” Fahad reveals. “I shot it a while back and it features my collection Labyagawachi.”
A solo presentation, a bridal week show, music videos and his designs for ‘Rangrasiya’ – life looks busy for Fahad Hussayn. Knowing the way he operates, it all looks very exciting too. Local fashion, still struggling with the economic crunch wielded by the coronavirus and suffering from mundane, repetitive design, could certainly benefit from some excitement.
A few doses of Fahad Hussayn will work very well, I think.
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