When it comes to finesse, sophistication and utmost style the only name that pops in our mind is Sonia Azhar.  She is one of the finest fashion couturiers of Pakistan. A graduate in architecture but she had passion for designing clothes. Her career as a fashion designer spans 15 years. She has mastered her skills in embellished bridals and heavy couture. Her brand has now become a leading luxury fashion house of Pakistan that provides its clients with a complete package of elegance, glamour and grace. Her craftsmen work under her supervision and guidance using embellishments as the base, blending a diversity of colours and fabrics with different stitching techniques. She is well known for unique collections both at national and international level. She has highlighted her collections in numerous fashion shows and events that are usually dedicated to the women and young girls. She has always played with variety of hues that are even shared with the soft colour combinations as well.  The extremely talented Sonia shares her designs aesthetics, inspirations and much more. Find out everything you want to know about Soina Azhar! Here are excerpts of the interview:  

Q: Tell us about the journey that got you into fashion? Did you always want to design clothes?

I started my career on a very small scale. I think intention matters the most behind everything you do. My back ground was of architecture and that is basically the field of design. I was also interested in clothes. Clothes were my passion. So my degree in architecture and passion of making clothes both work out as these both fields are close to each other. I started with ten outfits upon request and got encouragement and then with the passage of time demands increased and now I am here. Many people are working with me and I have a many clients.

Q: What is the best thing of working in couture?

The best part of this is that there are no horizons in designing clothes. Every time when I design the collection I feel so young and fresh because I can show my creativity in many ways. My designs have always competed with those of my pervious collections. I have this thing in mind that I have to do better than the previous collection. Every time when the season is off my mind automatically starts working for next project.

Q: Define Couture?

For me couture is beauty. Whatever she’s wearing makes her look beautiful! Beauty is the inspiration so you have to make women look beautiful. You can’t compromise on that.

Q: From where do you get inspirations for your designs?

I think everything around you is a source of inspiration. Anything can affect you. For me beauty whereever it is, inspires me.

Q: How often you release your collections?

Basically I do rigorous designing once a year. I make one collection in a year. In my every collection you will find different cuts and styles. I started my work from scratch; I put each and every detail in clothes. I go through all the process of outfit designing. I sit in my workshop; I see people working, see each and everything in detail. This whole process is very tough but by the end when the collection is ready I feel happy and satisfied.

Q: What kind of clothes do you enjoy making?

I like couture. Pret has limitation like it has work, price and material limitations. I love doing heavy couture because you have a lot of choice of making it like surface embellishments, textures, colours and much more. In couture I never go for one colour pallete. I prefer colour schemes. This time in Loreal Paris Bridal Week I didn’t use red. But when clients demand that specific dress in red colour, I make it in that colour. Most brides prefer red on their first day.

Q: Tell us about your designing process. Does it begin with an idea or a sketch?

When I have to design something, I make up my mind about it. I ponder over anything and everything that is on my mind like what colour, texture and embellishments have to be used. So when that whole picture becomes clear I start implementing it.

Q: Do you design with any particular woman in mind?

When I design I do look at the body and design according to that. My outfit should complement the girl. All the motifs should complement the outfit. The usage of colours should be according to the skin that can make a girl more beautiful.

Q: What are the pre-requisite for being successful in this industry?

You should have original creativity. You can’t be successful if you make one collection and then for the next collection you just bring some changes in it. This thing can’t work out. If you have honest creativity and show you talent through your work then you can be successful.

Q: What’s your fashion statement?

Its again beauty and style. Fashion is something that brings out your personality.

Q: What inspired your latest collection ‘Divine Unison,’ which you showcased at Loreal Paris Bridal Week 2013?

Brides are like angels and this was what was in my mind when I designed this collection.

Q: What would do say is your signature mark that is common to your bridals?

My mode of work is very different and my clothes have drapes. My clothes are always of shafoon and nets. In bridals I don’t like to stay with typical trends like gharara and lehnga. I like to do experiments.

Q: The fashion industry has changed a lot in the last 15 years. What difference do you see in the new designers striving to be part of fashion industry?

There is a huge difference. I have seen many people joining the fashion industry just because of its glamour. No doubt many talented people also joined this field and it’s a good thing.  

Q: How has your own style evolved with changes in the industry?

Fashion does changes with time. I would say it has to be according to your thinking as to how a woman should look like.  I always try to design such outfits that when worn should make the wearer stand out.

Q: Describe you perfect client?

You can’t have a perfect client. I would say client should not be dumb. She should have awareness about the latest trends, fashion and what she wants. Else she should trust the designer. If I disagree on something then she should understand the reason why I am saying that.

Q: Do you feel that fashion weeks in Pakistan can help institutionalize and professionalize the business of fashion in Pakistan

The concentration should not be on quantity but on quality. A fashion week should have standard like PFDC events. The fashion week organiser should decide the bench mark.

Q: You have also shown your talent abroad. How was your experience of working there?

It was a good experience but I have not commercialized it so much. I like to have contact with my clients. So I sit at one place and deal with my clients there. At the PFDC store, I don’t sell. I just take orders. In Abu Dhabi my dresses are very popular. The Arabs like heavy embellished outfits. My dresses sale in England is also very good.

Q: As a designer what would you like to be your greatest achievement?

When an ordinary looking girl wears my outfit and I am able to transform her to something in which she looks beautiful that would be my achievement.