Lahore-based fashion brand Hira Ali Studios' latest collection has made its debut on social media and it's raising eyebrows for all the right reasons — it's all about challenging the people's ideas about the norms of fashion.
The Nonconformity series features 14 pieces that are unisex — which means anyone can wear them, regardless of their gender. Hira Ali, the creative head behind the brand, told Images that "it is an editorial series in which we are creating art images and using our clothes to define emotion and character, striking that balance between minimalism and also traditional silhouettes and techniques."
The images from the collection posted on social media so far show a male model wearing various outfits, such as a sherwani with a heavily embellished red dupatta or full-sleeved black turtleneck with a minimally embellished black lengha.
"Hira Ali Studios, since it started, has been a brand that merges art and design together and we also love to challenge the prevailing practices of fashion, especially those prevailing in our country and our society," said Ali. "Personally, minimalistic designs are a core feature of all my designs — particularly in this series — and we love to create a unique balance between modern and traditional techniques, which is something you see a lot in all of our designs."
What is the Nonconformity series all about?
"The series flips the script and breaks the mould. It challenges the viewer to see fashion from an entirely new lens and evokes [a] spectrum of emotions for the viewer. That was the whole point and that was what we wanted the series to be about," she explained.
When it comes to unique and powerful campaigns like this, there's almost always backlash, especially in Pakistan. We asked about the reaction the collection has received so far.
"So far the feedback is mixed and that's exactly what you expect from something like this, something that really challenges the idea and norms of fashion. People always want reality to fit their idea of how it is supposed to be and how it has been done in their lifetimes — how they have seen things, how it is not supposed to be anything else, how things are supposed to be," the designer explained.
"But when you move the pieces a bit and completely change the principles of fashion, people become uncomfortable because it is really hard for them to expect something that is different. Some people like their ideas to be challenged, and some people don't."
For Ali, the design process takes into consideration that all bodies are different, whether we talk about men or women. "The designs are not made for either men or women," she said. "That’s not how we imagine the collection in the design process. Saying men and women have different bodies is putting them in very broad categories. Men and men have different bodies, women and women have different bodies."