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Rizwan Beyg describes the fashion scene in Pakistan in 1989 as being on the ‘brink of revolution’ and ‘brimming with radical ideas’. Rizwan Beyg was one of those fashion radicals who broke all the rules. Rizwan Beyg explains his almost accidental venture in to the world of fashion. Attending a wedding in Karachi with some friends, Rizwan Beyg casually commented on how beautiful Pakistani women were but how poorly dressed. These friends challenged him as a basic designer (albeit of buildings and interiors), to introduce some designs for women. He took up this dare out of sheer ‘gumption and a stubbornness’ to prove his point. Rizwan has never quite looked back. He was invited to put together a fashion show for charity and overnight Rizwan became the talk of the town. However, this does not mean he has not developed or evolved. He explains the concept of fashion as he sees it. Rizwan Beyg is sometimes irked at the international fashion culture which tends to clump together Pakistani fashion with Indian. “It’s not the same thing at all. We have different identities and are coming from different places and going different places,.In that sense, we designers become ambassadors for Pakistan every time there is an international fashion show”. At the Asian Bridal Show in Delhi, Rizwan displayed his work. He explains, “I did not wish to shock. Nudity is not the culture I’ve inherited. I believe in tradition”. But Rizwan Beyg does not let his work get losta of zardozi work and other traditional embellishments used in bridal dresses. He explains he likes to retain the essence of local bridal wear but likes to “play around with the concept”. So he raises shalwar lengths, crops shirt lengths, fuses western sarongs with skirts and with everyone going crazy with colour, Rizwan Baig sticks to pastels. “I’m not a fashion victim and I like to keep my clothes whimsical”. This led to the introduction of Rizwan’s diffusion line. He was the first in Pakistan to introduce printed and designer voile and cotton fabric that targeted the masses. This was accessible and affordable wear and in his view, real fashion.

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