Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Design i see it

Assalam o Alaikum

Dear friends,
Here is my recent interview with a student from Brown University on the impact of Islamic art and culture on American fashion.She wanted to know what goes behind my designs and poured out my heart to her :)

I think it clearly describes the way i feel and think about 
designing clothes. Hope you will enjoy reading it :) and please share your feedback.

This is one of the posters designed to be put up in mosques across many cities ..

hi Amy,

my name is Fatimah and i was born and brought up in Pakistan. i come from an educated and open minded family where logic and reason are of importance. i was also brought up to believe in Islam with my logic and reason and no coercion. therefore my understanding of religion is, so to speak, not influenced by culture or prejudices of any kind. i have always tried to understand the various aspects of islam through logical means.

therefore to me a religion is something that should be beneficial to all cultures, ethnicities, races etc. it should be user friendly and a complete way of life. a way in which we can grow spiritually, physically, intellectually, morally, ethically etc

Around 10 years ago i got married to a practicing muslim, open minded man who had just finished college from California Fullerton University. A very good man at heart and full of solutions and passion to change the world. 

He suggested that a muslim woman's clothing should allow her to be active, comfortable and beautiful all at the same time respecting the boundaries of modesty as suggested by the Islamic Sharia Law. One can say that casual american clothing allows mobility for women, but mostly ignores the ideas of modesty as i know it. I wanted to create clothing that was an amalgamation of all these traits. Most of the fashion clothing available on muslim websites don't respect all the aspects of modesty. For example they don't consider it vital that the silhouette of the body shouldn't be obvious or fabric shouldn't be clingy. they also don't specifically care for the coverage of the chest, which to my understanding is vital for hijab. clothes need to be loose! period.

Some of the the good quality muslim clothing available is too expensive. Other cheaper ones provide low quality garments. 

I feel that since my garments are made to the specific needs of a person, my prices are very reasonable for a custom made garment, as my cost per piece is very high.

........Therefore, 6 years ago when my sister moved to Australia, all she wanted was chic modest clothing. she loved to be an Australian Muslim and she wanted to look as much of an Australian as much a muslim...but no one was catering to all!
My understanding of religion told me to apply the formula of modesty to an equation which supported comfort, beauty and mobility as well as Assimilation into any western Culture. It didn't mean that we will lose our identity and fall into the traps of the west threatening our culture, but that together we could evolve for the betterment of human kind.we can take the best of both and create solutions...

These are my personal inspirations and thoughts that go into the designing of each garment..furthermore, i recently finished a beginners' course in fashion designing from a prestigious Art School of Pakistan called " Indus Valley school of Arts and Architecture". here i was given an assignment to write about a fashion designer that inspires you... and i wrote my essay on "Ralph Lauren"
I came to realize that just the way Ralph Lauren gave Casual Clothing a class of its own, i wanted to create clothing for muslim women who could look like they are going for groceries...wearing awesome casual yes i am a huge fan of and truly inspired by Ralph Lauren Designs.

The other thing that truly makes my work absolutely different is that i only deal with customized orders. My aim is to benefit people with a clothing store that caters to their individual requirements. they shouldn't need to run through the malls of the entire world and still come home disappointed for following their faith and the tenets of modesty. My self and many many other muslim women find it frustrating to find beautiful and elegant clothing, that fits into western culture and yet stays comfortable and modest. my sister told me" i need to cover my arms and my hips, but for that either i find a short length shirt with long sleeves or a sleeveless/ shortsleeve shirt with long length shirt... i'm tired of layering myself in hot weathers and i still end up looking like I'm wearing a million clothes..."

this is the story of many muslims i know and i want to ease their lives by doing my part.i want them to wear minimum number of garments with maximum beauty and modesty!

So guess what.... majority of my customers are new converts to Islam along with a lot of non-muslims looking for modest clothing. New muslims don't have to leave their culture and jeans just because they have a change of heart and faith. Islam teaches us to respect every one. it teaches us mercy, compassion and reasoning. I believe each one of my garments have these deep and strong inspirations, thoughts and ideas behind them. 
One of my most popular items is the salat outfit. this out fit takes seconds to put on and makes sure all the requirements for coverage in salat are met. e.g., hair, chin, arms till wrist and legs till ankles and that the figure of the body shouldn't show and clothes shouldn't be see through. many converts, new to the idea of coverage, like it that they have a way to be ready for salat without the hassle of tying a million clothes...that is a SOLUTION..this makes world a better place by helping some one and causing ease in their lifestyle ;) islam isnt restrictive, many times its applications are inappropriate and proper solutions haven't been sought.

I chose fabrics that are not see through but breathing so that with covering up, we don't feel hot. cottons are also not clingy and that too is very important so i like cottons. Georgettes stay dry and washing and drying is very convenient. i like to use light pastel colors but i welcome individual choices and i want people to love what they wear.. with 100% satisfaction...thats what i'm passionate about. 

So that's about it.

with best wishes

Some of my designs.....

New tags and labels :)

work done at the fashion designing course