The Barjis Fashion Show at London Fashion Week showcased in the Swarovski Crystallized Lounge two days ago was buzzing with excitement. Family, Friends, co-workers and famous bloggers from around the world surrounded around for an elegant exposition showcased by Barjis Chohan herself. The exclusive collection was a manifestation of beauty and elegance completely flawless Barjis had put together a collection of clothing not only for the Middle Eastern wear but for around the world for all that wish to look both ostentatious and modest as Barjis Chohan has achieved for the Women around the world of our age. Here is an exclusive interview with her explaining the depths of her brand new 2013 collection.
Tell me a bit about yourself? What are your professional and non-professional interests?
Well professional work my clothes are a fusion as you can see. They’re kind of modest Muslim fashion which can be translated into mainstream market too so the crossover is there and that’s how I want to keep it because my clients are predominant Muslim but there are a lot of tribes that come from a Jewish, Christian backgrounds too.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is all about you its about how you want to carry yourself I don’t think you need to make a song and dance about being fashionable you don’t have to make a statement about it knowing yourself and being in touch with yourself is being fashionable.
What was the first article of clothing you first designed?
I designed my sisters wedding dress, that’s what inspired me to venture into fashion. It’s not something that I wanted to pursue and coming from a Pakistani background my parents they didn’t really want me to go into fashion, they found it too glamorous but when they saw the Wedding dress they thought maybe, yeah and that it’s something I would really like to do.
Who is Barjis girl? Your ideal client
I think Barjis girl is very super confident she knows what she wants, she can stand in the crowd and people can spot her. She’s not really the type that looks like a Christmas Tree she’s very understated and that’s the Barjis girl, she knows herself inside out.
What was your inspiration behind this collection?
My inspiration was my own personal experience of being brought up in London and using that with my Pakistani culture, so when I came from Pakistan when I was 3 all the influences I had of British culture and which kind of clashed with my Pakistani conservative background so I’ve kind of used that together.
What is your favorite piece and why?
I think the favorite piece is definitely the Jacket and the Red Skirt, I really like that but there’s also that peach one I envy that so much.
In your opinion what impact has the Abaya had on the fashion industry?
I think the Abaya was always there but people are now talking about it more. The reason why through social media I think the world has shrunk now so people can get influences from different cultures just by a click of a button and they don’t really have to travel to get inspiration from different cultures. I think Abaya has been in the Pakistan culture Indian culture for a long time but people haven’t really talked about it they always associate the Abaya with the Middle Eastern but if you see the Burkha Pakistanis and Indians they wear those too.
As you know hijab and Abaya fashion has become rather widespread in the fashion industry. How do you insure that your collection is the most unique?
I think its because its me who’s designing it that’s the most important thing so my usp (unique selling point) is the textiles I use and the understated look I don’t really like too much clutter on an outfit because I think its more about the woman than anything if your clothes are a bit overwhelming then you get lost in it, so I think that’s Barjis.
What are your future plans will there be more collections?
Future plans, I would like to go into mainstream markets and to have Harrods stocking my range. Also to mainstream Fashion Weeks like Paris and New York. And Insha’Allah there will be more collections, that’s the plan.
Feature Editor: Uzma Faheem