She has returned to Pakistan but the buzz created around her debut at the prestigious Festival de Cannes hasn’t died down just as yet. Mahira’s looks created magic; her walk down the prestigious red carpet put Pakistan in just the perfect spotlight. It was written about and covered all over the world, especially in India and of course, Pakistan. In her farewell note, Mahira mentioned that she has left a piece of her heart in Cannes but truth be told, Cannes was just as much about winning hearts.
Statistically speaking (according to a survey conducted by Bollywoodlife), Mahira’s outing and looks at the Cannes have received 3% more applause compared to Sonam Kapoor and 6% more compared to Ashwariya Rai Bachchan. Part of that popularity can be credited to the fashion choices she made with her stylist, Amar Faiz, whom she also thanked in her farewell note.
We caught up with the suave Amar Faiz, whose client list includes some of the biggest names in international fashion and we are talking everyone from Kylie Minogue to Iggy Azalea and tons of other red carpet regulars, to find out his experience of styling the L’Oreal Paris Pakistan’s official spokesperson for Hair Care, Mahira Khan at the Festival. We also enquired about the reason for not choosing a Pakistani designer for the main day, as time and again, Indian celebrities have opted for home grown designs and shown Indian fashion in all its glory.
Here’s what he had to say…
First things first, can you please elaborate what a Wardrobe Stylist’s resume looks like?
Amar Faiz: A Wardrobe Stylist is one of the most popular emerging professions in the fashion world globally. It is someone who understands the client’s style sense, sources and selects the clothing and accessories for his or her campaigns, shoots or public appearances. He helps a client define his or her personal style and choose different outfits to suit that style. It’s a common concept around the fashion world but it’s fairly new in Pakistan.
You have been styling Mahira Khan for few years now. Has her style sense or fashion choices changed over time?
Amar Faiz:Yes, her style has evolved a lot since the first time we worked together. She is more aware of the international fashion scene now, also we agree a lot more now than we did before.
Considering she is a national icon, what preparations were done before finalising a look for her?
Amar Faiz:I came a bit late on board but it takes weeks of preparation, discussion and to shortlist and request looks. As you have seen, the amount of actresses and super models who walk the red carpet are much more and most of the times a dress can have several requests. So you have got to have your Plan B ready. And in case of an event as high profile as Cannes, its Plan C and D and so on.
Which of the many of her looks you worked upon and which is your personal favorite?
Amar Faiz: I worked on almost all of them so can’t point out one in specific. So I’ll give you 3 of my favourites. Her red carpet look to begin with, was inspired by the old school Hollywood glamour. I didn’t want her to look like one from the Bollywood brigade girl so I avoided creations that had a lot of bling and embellishments and we kept it classy and I think we nailed it. The second one that I personally loved was the printed shirt and pyjamas looks. I know it’s a look which is still not common amongst desisand they will take some more time for eventually appreciating that look but I loved it because of its prints and relaxed cut which made Mahira very comfortable. The Chopard party look was a showstopper, I loved that one too. It was a daring look for Mahirah and I think she carried it really well.
Sonam Kapoor wore a lehngaat the red carpet. Kangana also wore a Sabyasachisari at the festival. Do you think that a Pakistani designer could have also been an option for Mahira’s look at Cannes?
Amar Faiz:Of course it could. I love several Pakistani designers. But by choice we went for something timeless and western for the red carpet. Mahira did several local designers for her day looks.
What actually happened to her first dress; did it really get stuck at customs? How did you source all other dresses?
Amar Faiz:Yea it did, it was an unfortunate situation. We tried everything to get it to Cannes. But then as stylists we are ready for such situations and we have to have our options ready. We had around 20 dresses to choose from and Mahira went for the old Hollywood glamour and I am glad she chose to wear that at the red carpet.
– Sadiq Saleem is a Dubai based entertainment journalist. He is also an Instep & Something Haute correspondent and can be contacted on his page fb/sidsaidso.