I like to deliver exclusive Asian fashion blogs that you can’t find anywhere else. l came across this next designer fashion house by seeing a Pakistani designer tweeting their garments were being exhibited at Zena Couture Exhibition. I hadn’t come across Zena Couture before but on Facebook it had beautiful Asian dresses not seen in the UK and with 10,000 likes l wanted to know more.
Zena Couture is the brainchild of Zaineb Alam who has endeavoured over the last 30 years to retail the most creative and exclusive designer wear available. Zena Couture collection feature casual, semi casual, cocktail. formal, fusion and bridal. The focus is on cut and finish, accompanied by the full lavish potential of eastern flair.
The first thing that struck me on the Facebook page was the beautiful Asian fashion gowns, high end fashion photos and stunning dresses. This was fashion you would normally see in Indian Vogue or high end Pakistani fashion publications.
l was looking forward to seeing a different style of Asian fashion with western inspired elements. And if that’s how l feel as a fashion blogger, l can only imagine how you ladies feel and would love to know more about the fashion label. As a result, I had to attended the exhibition and share my findings.
The exhibition was in a perfect setting; the luxurious 5-star Grosvenor House Hotel which set the scene perfectly as the designer Asian clothing was the best of India and Pakistan.
I walked into the large exhibition hall and was astounded by the rails of extraordinary fashion sparkling at me, as if it was calling me to come over and examine. The beautiful pieces filled up most of the hall and l didn’t know where to start.
The designers included house hold South Asian designer names such as; Delphi, Elan, Faraz Manan, Rana Noman, Sana Safinaz, Shamaeel, Mazar Hazarika, Rabanl and Rakha, Tarun Tahiliani, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Shehnaz by Ensemble. And it was a large Asian designer collection full of classic pieces, some on trend and it made me think, ‘why l had not heard of Zena Couture?’
The fashion outfits varied from different traditional Asian styles and modern fashion techniques. For example, l loved Indian designer Tarun Tahiliani’s collar shirt blouse with threaded detailing itching, definitely a classic piece for work wear (above, middle photo).
I found South Asian designers produce some sensational ethnic jackets with their outfits such as, the on trend gold and white outfits with tassels attached to the jacket coat (above, first photo). I particularly loved the top embroidered detailing on the beige jacket (above, second picture). You wouldn’t be able to find such a jacket with British designers! Also the cut was perfect, as if it was made for us ladies and it oozed class and character.
The floral salwaar kameez (above, last photo) reminded me of mum’s suit which she had from 20 years and it made me realise classic Asian fashion techniques from these high fashion designers never go out of fashion and l can see why my mum brought it now.
My favourite outfits included the sarees (above); Zena Couture had a wide range of casual and party wear sarees. Not only the heavy sarees were stunning but I was intrigued by the casual sarees such as, the paisley print saree (above). A great piece for Asian and British women who don’t necessarily want to look like Christmas trees during Chistmas Eid or Dawali. As they say subtly is the key to looking elegant and beautiful.
I checked out the casual pieces, from white suits to paisley sarees but what about heavy bridal luxury Asian fashion? We all know what British and western designers call luxury but l wanted to experience high end Indian and Pakistani fashion.
These next outfits were £750-£1050 per outfit, you could wear to a close family wedding but don’t let the price turn you away as they are timeless designer garments.
If you don’t like traditional heavy red wedding dresses ranging from £5000 - £10,000 Zena Couture provides that alternative we didn't have before. And as we all know times are changing in Britain Asian fashion world, you don’t have to be like everyone else. Plus for £1000 outfit your saving a lot. Although if your budget is lower, Zena Couture has other garments that may take your fancy and l can genuinely say you would not be compromising as all the luxorious designer garments are exquisite. Sorry, my iPad photos don’t do the clothes justice as all.
I spoke to the wonderful lady behind Zena Couture over a coffee. A lovely host, truly wise and inspirational lady! We could learn a lot from women like Zaineb, she’s a fashion lover just like us but has over approx 35 years experience from working in the Asian industry since the mid 1980’s. Zainab's knowledge of high-end Asian fashion pans from years of customer research, her honest and straight forward attitude. It was an absolute pleasure to meet a lady who we don’t hear much about but she has worked hard most her life servicing her exclusive clientèle, she was a breathe of fresh air.
From talking to her l found she was very humble and always delivered the best to her customers with giving something unique and she doesn’t need to be in the mainstream media to be seen as a great. We aim to tell you about the individuals mainstream mags or Asian publications don’t tell you about.
In conclusion, Zena Couture opened my eyes to luxury Asian fashion in Britain and high end designers in Asia. What l particularly admired about Zena Couture collection was Zaineb picked classic pieces which people tend to forget by overpowering their collections with on trend pieces which will be out of fashion next season and aunties will be commenting 'pother your outfit, it's out of fashion'. Then again she also added on trend pieces in the £100 bracket for a younger target market as she didn't want to exclude them from her brand.
Furthermore, designers featured could certainly give any western designer a run for their money. As Pakistan Fashion Week and Lakme Fashion Week (Indian fashion week) evolves over time l definitely think they will be big players in the fashion industry. It may take a few years but with brands like Zena Couture selling South Asian brands the UK market will be able to experience peak of fashion quality, innovative techniques mastered only in South Asia. l have no doubt South Asian fashion will be competing against the big western fashion houses such as, Britain soon.
Thanks to Zaineb & the team Zena Couture gives us that special boutique service right here in the UK.
I hope you enjoy reading the magazine, as much as I loved sharing the hidden fashion gems and supporting women promoting their fashion business. I'm always on the lookout for inspirational women running or thinking of starting up a fashion business. If you're one, please get in touch and you can join me at one of my exclusive meetups for women with fashion businesses.