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28 Mar

Shehla Chatoor talks ‘Shahnameh’ and her upcoming lawn!

shehla chatoor

Designer par excellence, Shehla Chatoor has been a high rising name in the fashion industry and rightfully so. Her brilliant pieces are abundant on every red carpet, wedding function and soiree nowadays and it’s no surprise that Shehla was a difficult person to get a hold of. We paid a visit to her beautiful atelier in Karachi and finally caught the designer in between her appointments and such, yet looking no less than a model herself.

We got a detailed look at her latest luxury prêt collection, Shahnameh, and found each piece to be distinct, with a unique silhouette and absolutely fit for royalty. From fringed pants to ruffled ones, layered military jackets and jacket-cum-kimonos, every outfit spoke for itself. The colour palette ranged from soft to darks, while the prints had a lovely Persian theme going about them. Each time Shehla designs a print – be it Oriental, Japanese, Italian or in this case Persian – there is a close connection to one of her travels and that adds to her personal ethos. Needless to say, finesse and luxury is her USP.

With Shahnameh now out and attracting lots of eager clients, we were curious about Shehla’s upcoming lawn collection. Since the collection is still under works, the designer was careful not to let out too many details.

“My priority, obviously apart from the fabric being absolutely luxurious, is quality. This year we’re going to raise our quality even higher, and it just doesn’t stop there. From very well researched prints to the embroideries that we’re giving, it’s going to be very different from what we did last year,” Shehla told us, when she finally got a minute to sit down. Of course there’s no doubt that the quality of the high-end luxury lawn brand is top notch, with Shehla’s debut lawn last year being the only collection that brought on 35 gm pure silk dupattas. And so it’s no surprise that she’s landed an LSA nomination for Best Lawn for it!


nargis fakhri

Shehla Chatoor’s debut lawn collection last year featured Nargis Fakhri


Lawn however, in recent years has lost its comfortable and practical touch, with each brand focusing on embroideries, silk panels and additional lacy adornments. We asked Shehla whether she agrees with the fact that the essence of lawn has gotten lost amidst the flood of lawn brands.

“I see lawn as luxury, but I do not believe it to be something like way too much embroideries, that is not my thing,” she replied. “Our embroideries are very intricate the composition is what’s important.” Shehla also commented on how, last year, her silk dupattas were stitched into kimonos and kaftans, while the embroideries were used much later on the clients’ Eid outfits, with lawn now bringing in versatility and allowing one to play around with their personal style.

The colour palette for this year is very wide, with something for everybody. Expect pretty lilacs and deep purples, to bold rust, oranges and blacks, giving everyone lots to choose from, while keeping true to Shehla’s signature of embroideries, luxury, and prints.

On speaking on the importance of brand ambassadors, having chosen Nargis Fakhri for her last campaign, Shehla told us, “For me, whoever wears the outfit should be able to carry it and I think nobody does a better job than models. Last year was my first time around, and we wanted to test it out with a celebrity, and we did very well with Nargis Fakhri. This year too it has to be somebody who can embody and carry the lawn.”

We are curious to know who it’ll be and how her campaign will stand out. And meanwhile, one thing is clear: lawn may be overdone already, but how can we not be excited for this one!


Mariam Tahir

The author is Assistant Editor at Something Haute, plus a fashion student who loves reading, traveling, eating and sleeping but manages to find time in between to write.