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Faisana Fashion Weekend: Celebrating Indo-Pakistani Design

09/04/2014 12:28 BST | Updated 08/06/2014 10:59 BST

It's a rarity to find Indian and Pakistani fashion spoken of in the same breath, the two countries design ethics are of course unique, but thanks to their close cultural and geographical proximity, there are a great deal of similarities when it comes to inspiration and palate. Each designer evokes a different set of artistic principles, yet they all strive to achieve the beautiful aesthetic.

Indian and Pakistani fashion will be brought together this next month at the Mayfair Hotel, London, for a one off two day event - the Faisana Fashion Weekend, organised by Radhika Hasan and Aamna & Aisha. From the classically inspired to the contemporary, the Faisana Fashion Weekend will showcase the diverse design talents of India and Pakistan. It will be the first time such an event has been staged, where trade buyers and fashionistas alike will be able to view the latest fashions from the two countries top designers in one place, and all at reasonable prices.

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Anita Dhongre "Jaipur Bride 2013" campaign shots at Samode Palace, Jaipur by photographer R. Burman

The principle designers at the Faisana Fashion Weekend will include - Rina Dhaka, Anita Dhongre and Bhairavi Jaikishan; and Umar Sayeed, Sania Maskatiya and Nida Azwer.

Both Aamna & Aisha and Radhika Hasan strive to increase the visibility and access to South Asian fashion in the UK, which in the past has been minimal and somewhat sporadic. Radhika explains "we have a very similar identity in terms of what we do and what we want to achieve, which is why we've come together to do this event." She says that each designer was picked for their own individual style "we felt they possessed the right aesthetic components and a large enough following. These designers epitomise the very best of South Asian fashion, and this event will add to their increasing visibility."

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Anita Dhongre "Jaipur Bride 2013" campaign shots at Samode Palace, Jaipur by photographer R. Burman

Aside from giving South Asian designers a unique platform, Aisha says "it will show how versatile Pakistani and Indian designers are in a mainstream setting, moreover in a Western setting, they create pieces that don't necessarily have to be worn at a South Asian event, they can be worn anywhere. Along with this it will highlight the creative differences, for example in india there's an emphasis on saris and churidars, where as in Pakistan we tend to go for more flowy clothes (sic) and the colours are more muted, where as Indian designers tend to use a brighter palate."

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Anita Dhongre "Jaipur Bride 2013" campaign shots at Samode Palace, Jaipur by photographer R. Burman

The retailers behind this exhibition have both done their part in promoting South Asian fashion in the UK, which has literally exploded in creativity over the past 10 years. Aisha of Aamna & Aisha explains "we retail Pakistani designers only, at the moment, and our goal is to promote and highlight Pakistani fashion, in the broader sense. We set up business in 2010, on a small scale at first, and then grew from that." Radikha of Radikha Hasan says "I was primarily driven to set up this company because of the lack of access to South Asian fashion. As the company grew, I found there was a great demand for South Asian fashion brands in the UK, so we put our attentions into bridging the gap, so to speak, giving a greater platform to South Asian designers. We've had a few small scale exhibitions leading up to this, showcasing Indian designers like Satya Paul, which proved very successful."

The majority of these designers at the Faisana Fashion Weekend have been working in the industry for over 20 years; they have been instrumental in kick starting the rise of South Asian fashion on the global stage.

Faisana Fashion Weekend begins 2nd May at The Mayfair Hotel, London.