Dressed up like a bride, the HSY studio was awash with red roses, floral wreaths (also red), scented red candles and everything that could possibly remind you of the shahana moment when a woman gets married.
“I love bridals,” Hassan, hosting the media for a casual introduction to some exciting news as well as a teaser to his collection that he’ll be showing tonight, said. “I’m a Punjabi boy and I believe in more is more.”
That is how it’s always been with HSY, Hassan Sheheryar Yasin or as the industry calls him, Sheroo. And he has made the lion a mascot, a recurring insignia in his work. There was the Shergargh collection, and now Sheristan, a segment in his PLBW collection, The Kingdom. The lion is king of the jungle and HSY does call himself ‘King of Couture’ (all of this does get a tad too self-indulgent but then fashion is infamously narcissistic) but he himself admitted that he needed to get more involved in the design process and stop trying to do too much at the same time and stop being all over the place, the place being the world at large. He’s also an avid traveler.
And so he has been focusing on designing and from what we saw of The Kingdom at the preview, he has managed to rekindle the magic that his kingdom is celebrated for.
Enough of the metaphors.
Hassan called for a press meet yesterday and having just landed in Lahore, I was torn between the decision to go or sit it out. As a fashion journalist I have always avoided previews; I prefer to be hit by the impact of a collection (or lack of it) on the grand runway. But I respect the designer too much and knowing that the event was revealing more than a collection teaser, I went. I’m happy that I did.
It’s exciting to learn that the HSY label will be expanding by dividing his brand into distinct womenswear and menswear divisions and he will open exclusive menswear stores by next year. The stores will represent the quintessence of the brand in both western and eastern clothing and will open in Lahore and Karachi. Moreover, the brand had made huge investments in sourcing fabric from Italy and that was one decision made to elevate the entire couture experience. As a footnote, he shared that his TV show, Tonight with HSY, had been renewed for a fourth season and this time he would change the format and make it more fun, less formal.
With all of this happening (there was even talk of an institute to train young, aspiring couturiers), it does seem that HSY has a lot on his plate. He also manages choreography and event production and while all of this adds to the diversity of brand HSY it tends to compromise the quality of HSY designs. But having seen flashes of his new collection and knowing that he’s investing most of his time in designing, I was reassured that his priorities will remain in order. That does need to happen for him to be Master of his Kingdom as opposed to being the proverbial Jack of all trades.