Maheen Ghani Taseer: The well-heeled debutante

Maheen Ghani Taseer: The well-heeled debutante

Maheen is said to have captured socialites' attention with her famous last name
Updated 21 Oct, 2015

Four short months after launching her label ‘MGT’, Maheen Ghani Taseer is much better known than the usual debutante designer.

Some credit for this can be accorded to the far reaches of social media, where Maheen figures quite often. There’s the feeble argument that her hit-and-miss capsule line at the recent PFDC L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week (PLBW) has put her in the spotlight. Most plausibly, though, it is Maheen’s famous last name which catches attention.

The ‘Taseer’ surname speaks of a family with considerable political clout and also, a predilection for fashion.

Aamna Taseer is Editor in Chief to Lahore’s ‘it’ social directory and weekender Sunday Times with daughter Shehrbano Ellahi Sheikh acting as Managing Editor. Shehrbano also designs luxury-wear for her label ‘Aurora’ and Rema Taseer of ‘Rema Luxe’ fame has an ingenious talent for creating statement jewelry and accessories. And now, Maheen has stepped into the foray with her ‘Valliant’ at PLBW.

What further augments curiosity regarding Maheen is the fact that she is the wife of Shahbaz Taseer, tragically abducted four years ago and yet to be found. Beautiful, young and well-heeled, Maheen epitomizes the tragedy-struck heroine striving to rise against the odds.

“I dedicated my first collection to my husband because I had always imagined him to be by my side when I made my fashion week debut,” she says. “He inspires me every day and this was my way of having a part of him with me.”

#PLBW2015 #BankAlfalahRisingTalentShow #MGTBW15

A photo posted by Maheen Taseer (@maheengtaseer) on

Maheen Taseer made her debut as bridal designer at this year's PLBW with a collection titled 'Valliant'

Visiting Karachi for a two-day trunk show at multi-fashion boutique Labels, Maheen’s ‘Valliant’ – that’s French for valiant – attracted quite a few interested clients.

“The surname does help in garnering attention but at the same time, it makes people assume that I have things easy,” points out Maheen. “A well-connected family and financial backing may get you through to prospective clients but ultimately, you can only be successful if you have talent and a passion for your work.”

To be fair, Maheen’s collection doesn’t scream ‘statement-wear’, hinting instead towards the designer’s future potential. The play of deep, rich colors is striking and there are some slinky, figure-flattering silhouettes – designs that fall safely into the commercial realms of beautiful bridals, without the edgy element that defines fashion week hits.

Maheen Taseer brought her debut bridal collection 'Valliant' to a two-day trunk show in Karachi – Photo courtesy Maheen Taseer's Facebook page
Maheen Taseer brought her debut bridal collection 'Valliant' to a two-day trunk show in Karachi – Photo courtesy Maheen Taseer's Facebook page

Apparently, Maheen doesn’t believe in edgy statements for the bride. “Every girl wants to look gorgeous and traditional on her wedding day. I’d rather create stunning designs within these boundaries rather than delve into experimentation that may win critical acclaim but doesn’t make commercial sense.”

“Perhaps some years down the line I may be more inclined towards the out-of-the-box,” she allows. “Right now, though, as I build my business, I just want to create beautiful, well-constructed clothes.”

It makes business sense and should Maheen balance it by tweaking her designs in more unique directions, she may just become a hit. Socialite designers – and Maheen is one – often have an edge over the ordinary designer. The affluent with a penchant for haute designer-wear generally have an intrinsic eye for creating great design also.

For now, her designs are aesthetically pleasing and it is gratifying to see her delve into different color palettes. If nothing else, she’s making an effort to stay away from the pastel-and-sequin path paved by bridal heavyweight Elan that every other brand is now intent on following.

Maheen Taseer stands out for her striking colour palettes - here she pairs a Kashmiri pink with ink blue – Photo courtesy Maheen Taseer's Facebook page
Maheen Taseer stands out for her striking colour palettes - here she pairs a Kashmiri pink with ink blue – Photo courtesy Maheen Taseer's Facebook page

“I made sure that I presented my own design ethos,” she says. “I also enjoy styling so I often advise clients on the kind of hair, makeup and accessories that could complement an outfit.”

Does she plan to showcase a complete collection at fashion week next year, as opposed to the capsule of four designs that she showed as part of the ‘Bank Alfalah Rising Talent Show’ this time?

“Right now, I plan to traverse the trunk show route, exhibiting in different cities and making my work very visible on social media. I am also working on a line of luxury ready-to-wear that I hope to make available by this winter,” she says.

“Once I have made a bigger dent in the market, I’ll shift focus to a fashion week showcase.”

Maheen Taseer's label has captured the attention of a few well-dressed celebrities

Already, one sporadically sees celebrities wearing MGT on the occasional glossy magazine cover and the red carpet; stars like Ayesha Omar and Humaima Malick who know precisely how to carry designer-wear. With the revival of cinema, the red carpet is fashion’s new runway and Maheen understands this well.

She also has a sense for business and a vision for design that is relatively developed at this nascent stage in her career. It shows promise. A famous last name can only help a designer to some extent; after that, it’s talent and dedication that matters.


Taimoor Khan Oct 20, 2015 04:51pm
She looks a lot better then that "plastic" Kim Kardashian.
Nasim Ashraf Oct 20, 2015 10:19pm
Way to go Maheen! v elegant and Something average people can wear! proud of you!
Nangyal Oct 21, 2015 05:43am
Well done! Maheen, way to go girl. You got my support! P.S I am a Pakistani male.
Hashim Malik Oct 21, 2015 05:08pm
3 decades of cultural exchanges and the peace has not even inched forward. It is a futile effort.