LAHORE: This season, many local designers seem to have got global trends in the bag. But with most of them exploring the sartorial side of fashion, only a few have forayed into what was once a disregarded part of dressing up – accessories.
As the ladies become more fashion-conscious, many have begun paying special attention to how they accentuate their outfits, particularly with bags. And so, a few designers have geared up to cater to the growing penchant for the accessory. From classy handbags for an evening out to customised, quirky boxed clutches, these designers house a myriad of unique options, making it to our fashion watch-list.
Having started in 2012 by Mehr Saqib, Bastay makes formal, casual and ethnic bags and now, a line called book clutches, which has been gaining popularity. “Initially, I wasn’t focused, so I was doing all sorts of bags,” says Mehr, who now seems to have found her forte in customised clutches based on people’s favourite books. The brand’s bestselling item, so far, has been the The Forty Rules of Love book clutch. Bastay’s bags, which range from Rs3,500 to Rs5,000, are quirky and fun and are surprisingly roomy. Mehr ensures that all her materials are sourced locally.
Quirky and Co
Quirky and Co has a range of bags that, owner Sehr Anis shares, are imported from vendors abroad. At the moment, they have bespoke bags, made based on the names and pictures that their customers provide them with. Made in two to three weeks, the bags are heavy on the pocket, as they’re priced at Rs20,000. Sehr says she aims to lower the prices next, so she can widen her clientele. The label also offers a range of bags, including those with wooden finish and patterns, which cost upwards of Rs9,000.
“Inspiration comes from people’s personalities … some patterns I cut initially are my own designs,” says Nefer Sehgal, who started designing bags about six months ago. She shares she buys leather on her travels to Spain and Istanbul and, occasionally, gets it locally, but feels the quality isn’t consistent. Her range of bags includes satchels and totes, priced between Rs4,500 and Rs18,000. “It takes three to four weeks to design a bag and, initially, I started rushing to keep up, but then I realised I need to slow down. I’m here to provide quality products, not win a race,” she adds.
Popinjay bags are hand-embroidered by artisan women in Hafizabad, Punjab and then finished at partner workshops in Lahore and Saigon, Vietnam. The leather is almost entirely sourced locally from tanneries in and around Lahore, and so are the fabric and thread used for embroideries. The embellishments on the handbags, such as zips and buckles, are imported from China, Japan and Italy. The handbags are priced between Rs25,000 and Rs45,000. Drawing inspiration from both local and global elements, the label’s first collection, La Mezquita, was offered a view into the rich heritage and craftsmanship behind Islamic architecture. The second collection was inspired by Cuban art and architecture. Their bestsellers are the Anfa Envelope Clutch, the Iznik Box Clutch and the Kufic Foldover.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2015.