KARACHI: Retail and ramp, lawn and lustre are no more the only things that take Pakistani designers’ fancy. In the wake of a growing film industry, a few have ventured into dressing up actors for the big screen. The latest designer heavyweight who is set to expand his domain is Umar Sayeed, who has long been lauded for his bridal couture and recently launched his lawn collection. As he explores this new avenue by designing for the cast of upcoming film Ho Mann Jahaan, he’s also set to showcase at Carnival de Couture, which will take place this November in Karachi.
“Working on costumes for the entire cast was exciting,” Sayeed tells The Express Tribune about his experience designing for the film, which stars Mahira Khan, Sheheryar Munawar Siddiqui and Adeel Hussain in lead roles. He reveals that besides him, there are two designers, who have worked on the film, but he has been a major contributor to the apparel. “For the past six months – three months before the shoot started and later as well – I was involved in shaping the looks of the characters in the movie.”
With Ho Mann Jahaan, Sayeed has marked his designing debut for a film. He commented on what it was like to work with the movie’s cast and crew, saying, “It was a good experience. I’ve a 25-year-old professional association with Asim Reza, the director of the film. So, discussing [aesthetic details] with him and interpreting his ideas about how he wanted the looks to come across, felt great. It was a thrilling project to take up.”
Sharing the special moments he had while working on this project, he states, “The most exciting part was designing the shaadi ka jora for Mahira Khan.” But he feels devising different looks for Sonya Jehan and Nimra Bucha, who also feature in the film, was a real challenge. “The most important thing for me was to make the outfits, which should look relevant through the years to come,” he notes. “Since this wasn’t a costume drama, I had to assure that. I think the designs should [remain relevant] even 10 years down the road.”
Sayeed had to take up a holistic approach towards designing the clothes, and looks forward to the audiences’ response. As he works on the final days of the film, he reveals, “We are more focused on the last song of this film that is being picturised on Mahira and Adeel … let’s see how that turns out.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2015.