/ A Touch of Pakistani Karma

A Touch of Pakistani Karma

Aug 09, 2013

Maheen Kardar and Kamiar (Kami) Rokhni are the two creative minds behind the classical yet flamboyant Pakistani fashion label and fashion house Karma. Together, these two partners have been working up their own magic on the infant Pakistani fashion industry since September of 2000. Having graduated together from the Pakistan School of Fashion Design, Kami and Maheen discovered that both their aesthetics and an in-depth appreciation for colour were very similar. Banking on this similarity in design philosophy and their close friendship, Karma’s birth and subsequent success was proof that their decision to enter into partnership was a smart move.

Located in the posh area of Defense, Lahore, Karma’s main office and showroom/studio is where Kami and Maheen operate with a team of young graduates from PSFD, working for the label in many different areas including marketing, brand management, design, coordination and public relations. At the studio, clients and soon-to-be clients are pampered and given personal attention while they sift through Karma’s collection. The showroom consists of Karma’s three distinct lines – Karma Pink, Karma Red and Karma Wedding – hanging leisurely on racks all across the room, allowing clients to easily shuffle through the array of designs and feel the exquisite fabrics in their hands.

Karma Pink is off the rack and one of the latest lines. Karma Red is the haute couture collection, which comes out in spring/summer; it is subsequently broken down into ethnic, contemporary and western lines. Karma Wedding is also seasonal, and it is this line specifically that projects Karma’s uniqueness and signature style.

“Karma is all about borderline elegance in designing,” Kami explains. “It is chic, glamorous and feminine. Our garments are made to measure and I feel that our embroidery is up there with that which is used and seen abroad.”

Many people question whether Pakistani designers’ claims of producing actual haute couture are justified. To this Kami responds, “I feel what we are doing in Pakistan is demi-couture – it is a form of couture combined with mass production.”

Kami and Maheen pay close attention to nature as an inspiration for their collections. It plays an important part in their choice of colour. When coming up with themes, however, Kami explains, “We are not very deep or intellectual about choosing our themes. Our ideology is specific and is not meant to be cutting edge.”

Karma’s strength lies in its commitment to ensure a perfect fit and finish to all garments. It also lies in the ability to amalgamate and balance out the ethnic with contemporary. Taking it one step further, Karma designs are centered on bold colour combinations along with fine detailing.

Kami and Maheen agree that rethinking the accepted standards is their ultimate challenge. Future plans for the two include eventually going global with Karma as well as exploring jewelry design in the next five years. Presently, they stock their garments at the new store Fiza in Houston and at Designer’s Lounge in Dubai. They also have recently gone into retail.

While Karma creates a mood, character and image for its wearer, the aesthetics incorporated are simple and unadulterated glamour. Karma is definitely in a league of its own and everything from bridal wear to party wear comes with a finesse that will soon meet international aplomb.



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