When it comes to fashion, Pakistan has two seasons – summer and wedding – and summer, everyone would agree, dominates 8 months of the calendar. Over the years, Élan lawn has become of the most coveted brands, even securing a Lux Style Award for Best Fashion – Lawn, last year. There’s no denying the fact that the combination of high quality plus the refined aesthetic makes it stand out.
With lawn season around the corner, we caught up with Khadijah Shah as she was clicking her exotic Élan Lawn 2018 campaign in Salvador, Brazil. Here’s a curtain raiser on what to expect from Élan Lawn this year…
Something Haute: Designers tweak lawn trends every year; what innovations can we expect in Élan lawn this summer?
Khadijah Shah: For this collection I have travelled the world to source unique fabrics and introduce trends that were forecasted for spring summer globally. This endeavour paid off wonderfully and has resulted, amongst other design feats, in the creation of two beautiful and unique cut worked fabrics, one of which took six months of experimentation to perfect! Out of the fifteen designs, there are some focused more on Elan’s signature tapestries, while others are more print focused for those who prefer to stay light and breezy.
SH: Would you say that Élan lawn can be worn casually or is it formal summer wear?
KS: Over the years Élan lawn has become a coveted essential for women hoping to beat the torrid heat and yet look glamorous for their afternoons and evenings out. I don’t believe Élan lawn is worn by most as daily wear rather it’s somewhat become the ‘ Sunday Best’ of lawns.
SH: How are the silhouettes looking this year?
KS: We’ve kept silhouettes airy and straight cut, which is another Élan signature; we tend to prefer a looser boxy fit which suits the weather and our sartorial inclinations.
Meticulous research and design goes into the creation of Élan lawn in all aspects, from the prints to the silhouettes. We try to put forward our own twist on globally forecasted summer trends, and this year, we have the evergreen boot cut pants, which pan out beautifully mid thigh and our signature ankle length capris and staple flares. We’ve added a lightly draped shalwar which makes for an interesting pant shalwar hybrid.
For us, the devil is really in the details; our finishes and added accents range from ombré dyed ruffles to fuzzy pom poms and floral and geometric shaped cut-outs dangling from hems and pallus.
The Élan woman, as I envision her, transforms seamlessly between a tapered, modern look to a more ethnic traditional style, and the whole collection is presented in a way that highlights that versatility. The styling resonates with the vibrant and zesty atmosphere of Salvador, Brazil, home of the world famous carnival that’s about to begin!
SH: I meant to ask, why Salvador this year?
KS: The annual Élan lawn campaign has developed into a travelogue of sorts. When I started doing lawn, a few foreign shoots had taken place, predominantly in Thailand, a location close to Pakistan and a good alternative in terms of production etc. I wanted to produce great campaigns to showcase my lawn, but I’ve never been one to jump on the bandwagon so I started exploring other countries. We started off in Sri Lanka, travelled to Europe then onto Africa and for the last two years I’d been toying with the idea of South America, a vibrant, bohemian and culturally rich continent but quite far away and difficult to get to. This year I finally took the plunge and we found ourselves in Salvador- a beautiful world heritage site, with narrow, coloured cobbled streets and squares lined with colourful houses, arcade and churches. What drew me to Salvador is the architecture and cultural heritage that they have managed to preserve through the centuries. I wanted to capture its unique beauty and bring it back to our customers. It’s true that a place in itself does not make for a great collection, but a beautiful collection set against the backdrop of a stunning locale makes for a memorable campaign. For me, as a fashion connoisseur and a creative, the thrill and satisfaction of producing iconic collections and trendsetting campaigns is priceless.