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By John Allan
Two slickly dressed silhouettes come into focus on screen, poised like Bond Girls they are accompanied by the unmistakable beats of Justin Timberlake’s ‘Sexy Back’. You are viewing the latest collection by independent fashion designer Saiqa online – perfectly depicting how she has taken traditional dress and mixed it with just the right amount modernity.

The womenswear collection she presents via her online boutique has its design roots in traditional Asian dress, but always designed within the frame-work of what is current and relevant to the modern woman, from the fabric to the finishing touches, as she tells dESSYtRENDS, “new fabrics and embellishments are being developed all the time, each season’s new look has a fresh look.

Graduating from the London College of Fashion in 1992, Saiqa then went to work at the house of ‘Christian Dior’ and ‘Norman Hartnell’ before going it alone with a design house baring her own name. With this much experience and drive to succeed you wouldn’t expect her vague beginnings, “I’ve always had an interest [in fashion from childhood, though at the time I did not know what the word fashion meant!” Gladly now she has found her footing and her business is going from

strength to strength with three stores (London, Birmingham and Bolton) and a new one planned to open in Crawley soon.
The collection, housed on , is a large package of inspirations that shows off the designer’s skills, Saiqahas developed a body of work that truly caters for many. For instance, browsing through the sharply styled photos of the collection, you will come across trousers in many styles and adornments that range from full-on embroidery or print to minimal cool. What is consistently most striking throughout, is Saiqa’s use of colour, always consistent and vivid; even the white is arrestingly pure. There are hip and interesting touches, including Siberian-like fur head muffs, rouching on trouser legs and chiffon sleeves with bow-ties at the cuff. The ‘SAIQA’ collection certainly covers a lot of grounds, “my inspirations and influences can come from anything; architecture, interiors, music, different cultures, even when I’m away on holiday” Saiqa enthuses.

Fashion conscious women would undoubtedly enjoy purchasing and wearing ‘SAIQA’ and there is even talk of her expanding into soft furnishings too. This is the beauty of the brand, that it wants to expand not only in a commercial sense, but expand on the notions and ideas of what is already established as traditional Asian dress for women, making it truly receptive to the aesthetic needs of modern women.

Maybe soon we may see ‘SAIQA’ move from online to the catwalks of Paris or London? “Yes, there could be a possibility that I may show on the international catwalk, if I don’t decide to take early retirement!”
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