Day 5 – Irtiqa – Onwardness

Pakistan’s fashion designer draw on a rich core of cultural heritage and skilled methods to combine contemporary aesthetics with traditionell craftsmanship. Sonya Battla is a designer very much inspired by nature and handicraft and works on the transformation of traditional forms into contemporary formats and interpretations. We met her in smart E-Street in Clifton where she holds a gallery-like space for fashion and design.


Sonya Battla in her office. Below: a detail of a handmade fabric

Battla knows how to speak Urdu very well. That is where her dedication arises from but also her worries. Worries on the encreasing loss of the language’s rich heritage. With the Urdu collection she made a statement, highlighted that aspect and created a work like a testimonial to the dying words of Urdu. For this special collection she incorporated Urdu calligraphy into embroidery and digital prints with a special focus on Amir Khusro, whose poems are revered and relevant portrays of love and high spirituality.

In favor of all the digital forms language undergoes a transformation into a quick time up-to-dating language: „We don’t work on Urdu anymore. You have to work on things to keep them alive and evolving. They have to be worked on with love“, she quotes. Battla’s fashion expresses her thoughts on modern usage, preservation and appreciation. She believes that creativity has the power to make a difference to society. Karachi is the right place to work on that.

The Urdu Collection by Sonya Battla

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