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13 Oct

Mahgul talks about Sabine and her story

Mahgul is a rare species. She’s an unpresumptuous, evasive and media shy designer who’d rather be bent over books and sketchpads than walk the full length of the catwalk at the end of her show. Her design sensibility is always on-point and her personal style is equally spot-on. And yet she’s a rare species because in this industry, where blinding lights and inflated egos twine around the path to fame and fortune, Mahgul prefers to stay delightfully understated. Her creative outpourings fall into the clothes she creates rather than onto herself; she is a woman of very few words who prefers to communicate through her designs.

Mahgul’s success has also not come overnight, as a result of drama and theatrics, which one too many designer has started relying on these days. Hers was a step by step succession; the recently concluded PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week, in which she showed her first full collection, Trunks of Sabine, being a smashing hit.

Something Haute: Tell us, who is Sabine and why did you think of exploring the contents of her trunks in this collection?

Mahgul: Sabine is another one of my fictional characters. At Mahgul I try to personify women through creating interesting characters that give me creative parameters and at the same time freedom to not be limited. Sabine is a traveler; she explores various cultures and places through meeting artisans on her way and asking them to create her garments. Her trunks carry a pastiche of all that she’s held. They are personal yet relatable for all women.

SH: The fish-scale gharara was exquisite. Are you creating new techniques as well as reviving ancient traditions?

Mahgul: Yes, the fish scale lehnga (with our 42’000 petals or scales hand crafted on to it) was a technical challenge and created to break traditional boundaries.

SH: From being a young debutant at fashion week several years ago to the confident designer that you are today, what would you say are the most defining components of your success?

Mahgul: Perhaps to keep in balance my artistic perspective in order to create pieces that can be worn. Also, I insist on sticking to what I feel brings an edge to design and have tried to strive for progressive fashion.

SH: We would say that you’re one of the very few designers in Pakistan who tell stories through their collections and design out of the commercial box. Do you think this has boosted or curbed your growth?

Mahgul: Generally, even as an artist, I’m concept driven and with fashion and fashion shows I have also tried to weave stories to help me create visuals and pieces that have a sense of narrative in order to marry material and techniques that are solely associated with my work.

SH: Bridal fashion can tend to get boring and monotonous. Do you think there is scope for creativity?

Mahgul: Bridal fashion truly can be monotonous, but it’s great to see more and more women now looking to wear something refreshing, rather than looking to be part of a clone war.

SH: What, in your opinion, defines a beautiful bridal ensemble?

Mahgul: The bride; what she radiates can only really define a bridal ensemble. I can only create clothes and hope they instill confidence in the woman who wears them!


Aamna Haider Isani

The author is Editor-in-Chief at Something Haute as well as Editor at Instep, The News. Full time writer, critic with a love for words and an intolerance for typos.