Yorkshire-based designer Faika Karim is hoping to put the district on the international fashion map with her elegant catwalk couture and intricate bridalwear. Anila Baig reports Faika is bang slap in the middle of wedding season and finding even a few spare moments in her busy schedule is virtually impossible.

She’s dressed some of the most glamorous women here and abroad and also just returned from a whirlwind Pakistan Fashion Week in London where she was the only home-grown designer taking part.

But it wasn’t all sequins and sewing for this rising star of international fashion.

“I completed a Law degree but design was always a passion and it was inevitable it would find its way at the forefront.”

Born and raised in Bradford, Faika had an eye for fashion from a young age.

“Design and fashion was always an undercurrent and a passion within me alongside the academics.

“I’d always look at colours and combinations when friends and family got together or analyse cuts and absorb anything fashion.”

Once she’d graduated she realised the passion was stronger than ever.

“I started the business purely because once I finished studying this was still something I wished to pursue.”

Faika began designing formalwear before branching into bridal and the boutique, on Leeds Road, Bradford, comprises two sprawling floors and attracts customers from near and far.

She has taken part in a number of fashion shows and said it was great to mingle with overseas designers.

“It was a fantastic experience as usual and showcasing the work is always a proud moment. There’s always meticulous planning from selecting the designs to the music and logistics but the admiration from the crowds is the peak of our journey.

“A lot of designers in Pakistani couture have a mutual respect for each other and we all openly extend compliments for beautiful creations. I’ve immense respect for our Pakistani designers and each has their own niche. It’s nice to also see fellow designers commend the work we have done particularly the seniors established ones.”

However there is a clear difference between us and our Pakistani sisters when it comes to couture, according to Faika.

“British fashion is all about the tailoring, raw edge and cuts whereas Pakistani couture has a bespoke glamorous feel about it.”

As far as her own customers are concerned the trends are very definite.

“Peplums, short shirts and choli skirts are the top preferences by clients. There’s a clear focus on arm details also including the ‘flare and bell’ designs.

“We launched the spring collection which set an ethereal tone for SS18. We are also working on another to launch in Autumn which will totally shift the focus once again when it comes to trends and styles.”

Meanwhile she has one favourite item from her own collection.

“My shawls. They are a statement piece and can accessorize with Asian or western cuts.

“We will continue to set new trends and feed our customer needs with bespoke handmade outfits.