Pakistani artists, especially those working in the field of fashion, are accustomed to working with international partners. After all, Pakistani designers have been dressing Bollywood and Hollywood stars for years. Pakistani designers are renowned for their attention to detail and impeccable tailoring in the international fashion business. But this is the first time a local designer has made such an impression on royalty. That they sought her out for a one-of-a-kind wedding gown Queen Maxima commissioned.
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands wore a stunning dress by designer Mahpara Khan in a champagne hue. William and Kate, Prince and Princess of Wales of the United Kingdom.
But how did the Queen Maxima of the Netherlands come across a Pakistani designer? Who had only been working for three years when she met the royal family? The Dutch monarch visited the fashion designer on her 2019 three-day visit to Pakistan. We connected while she was in Pakistan serving as a special advocate for the UN Secretary-General. “Thereafter, we started working with the royal stylists to coordinate,” Mahpara Khan said.
Queen Maxima was able to view some prototypes at our studio. Giving her an idea of the time and care that would go into each individual creation. This resulted in months of planning and preparation. At the royal celebration, all the dignitaries and nobility wore prominent fashion brands like Prada, Elie Saab, Jenny Packham, and Armani; thus, Mahpara Khan is extremely proud of the fact that her creation for the Dutch Queen Maxima was the only representative of Pakistan.
The Queen wore a crown, little earrings, and a necklace with her embroidered floor-length gown.
She shared the announcement of their partnership on the official Instagram page for her atelier the day after the royal wedding. I had the honor of creating a one-of-a-kind evening gown for Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. Traditional dapka, naqshi, resham, and gota work are combined with modern Mughal motifs to create this design. This garment was worn by Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. To the wedding reception of Crown Prince Hussain of Jordan and Princess Rajwa of Saudi Arabia. “Long Live Pakistan!”
Mahpara claims that Queen Maxima commissioned a one-of-a-kind piece that expertly fused Western aesthetics with traditional craft methods. Mahpara aimed to pay homage to the long and illustrious history of the royal families of the Subcontinent by showcasing Mughal designs on a modern monarch. Everyone at the event and beyond gushed about the outfit, but it wasn’t without its difficulties.
Mahpara described the creative procedure as follows: “The goal was to build a silhouette that would resonate globally while maintaining the themes and patterns authentic, paying honor to Pakistan. Our intention was to make the dress wearable and airy without sacrificing its complex detailing or elaborate appearance.
The outfit, she said, took over three months to make. The entire pattern was hand-made. The hardest part was figuring out how to collect the Queen’s measurements without ever meeting her, which took around 100 days, and making the toile (a rough silhouette) took about a week.
Without being in the same room as the Queen, it was difficult to make adjustments to the design so that it fit her perfectly. Over the course of 90 days, we went back and forth with her stylists to perfect the cut and drape.
This landmark not only promotes cultural exchange and a wide variety of fashions but also showcases the ingenuity and skill of Pakistan’s fashion designers.
If you know who Mahpara Khan is, please tell me his name.
Mahpara is a young businesswoman with formal training and education in the arts. She opened her own fashion design firm eight years ago and has been successfully running it ever since. The 34-year-old has been working in the fashion industry since she was 21 years old when she held senior design roles at two of Pakistan’s most prominent fashion businesses.
Mahpara’s studio has produced remarkable print and pattern designs in partnership with prominent Pakistani brands such as Gul Ahmed, Sapphire, Ittehad, Rungrez, Adamjee, and others. She has also cooperated with the Japanese government to promote exportable Pakistani crafts and textiles, thereby increasing prospects for female craftsmen to earn a living in rural Sindh.