Sunday, October 20, 2013

In Conversation with high-fashion Model and Fashion Designer - Danish Wakeel

London based fashion designer and a high fashion model Danish Wakeel showcased his latest high fashion collection - 'Conspicuous Hedonism' that dominated the runway at recently concluded London Fashion Week SS14 in September 2013 with its electric mix of looks and touch of style. The arching young flamboyant designer, Danish Wakeel manifested the Italian culture and the romance of Venice in to reality.

Danish Wakeel describes 'Conspicuous Hedonism' as romance amalgamated with the 'City of Masks', royalty,indulgence, uninhibited extravagance and sartorial elegance. 'Conspicuous Hedonism' by Danish Wakeel is a high fashion capsule collection. The collection has been inspired by the 'Queen of the Adriatic', Masquerade ball and Romance. Royalty, Impeccable craftsmanship and sartorial elegance are further fused.

 
Danish has also modeled for leading international brands likes of Fred and Ginger, Core Spirit, John Peter London, Anoosh London, Schwarzkopf EL/Essential Looks , Tony and Guy to name just a few from a long list of the brands he has endorsed and modeled during London Fashion Week and Clothes show in Birmingham including countless brands of Asian and ethnic wear in the past. 

Danish is an immensely gifted designer and I always find his collection and shows dramatic and ludicrously fashionable full of drama and fluctuating emotions analyzing fashion and highlighting opulence, extravagance and luxury!

The collection is modern and sophisticated with tons of colors, prints, cuts and asymmetric patterns - there is plenty of space for showing off at the right places and attracting loads of attention. 

I like rechristening it "Metrosexual Machismo" as Danish's collection truly epitomizes the existence of Male Diva!

I had a chance to catch up with Danish Wakeel post his very successful fashion show. We talked about this awesome collection and the trends. Here is an excerpt from my tete-a-tete with Danish -


Amit: Why inspired you to call your latest collection 'Conspicuous Hedonism'?


Danish: My collection 'Conspicuous Hedonism' is a high fashion capsule collection. The collection has been inspired by the 'Queen of the Adriatic', Masquerade ball and Romance. Royalty, Impeccable craftsmanship and sartorial elegance are further fused. When one thinks about Venice and its culture it takes oneself into a glorified world of fantasy and euphoria hence I decided to name the collection as above.


Amit:  I notice your collections invariably center on subjects that are emotional as well as artful. Sometimes bordering the glamorized yet melancholic side of fashion. Your collections seem to carry a message as they thrive on drama, theatrics and fluctuating emotions. Does 'Conspicuous Hedonism' also carry a special message?

Danish: Well to me fashion is a form of escapism for everyone into a new world of ecstasy and joy. I make sure my fashions and their presentations are never far from this agenda either and  I endeavor to take the world out of their mundane lifestyles into a world of glamour. Glamour is not just about euphoria but also about despair and at times I travel behind the psychedelic ramp into the dark inner recesses.

'Conspicuous Hedonism' show is an absolute devotion to pleasure as a way of life, right from the creations to the designing of the catwalk staging where I manifested the Italian culture and the romance of Venice into reality.  From the mesmerising live opera performance of  Teresa De Roberto' Italian music as models paraded  up and down  the catwalk to the breathtaking art works on the stage of an International artist  German Dario Zwanik from Argentina its an absolute devotion to indulgence.



Amit:  I personally love androgynous fashion and I see lot of androgynous elements in your collections. Yes or No :)?

Danish: No ! I wouldn't call them androgynous elements to be perfectly truthful as I pay extra attention that  the masculinity is retained throughout the collections from season to season. However humor is always present in my collections and they are designed for the man who is fashion conscious and enjoys a new take on classic designs. My clothes allow someone to be truly individual and let them project one's own personality, and are quite theatrical in the sense that they are real clothes, well designed but they give you a chance to express yourself. My clothes are 'Uncompromising' in the sense that they are what they are, and they are not trying to sell themselves to you. If you want them they will make you incredibly strong . I would call myself a 'Maxamalist' as far as my catwalk collections are concerned.

Amit: Why did you choose to design menswear over womenswear?

Danish: Well I have said it before at various interviews and I am going to reiterate myself. The reason I started designing a few years ago was because I couldn't find the kind of clothes I liked in stores. I specialised in menswear at my MA level in London, however I always design a few womesnwear pieces each season to glamourise the collections. Currently I am in the process of taking my shows international and once I achieve it the plan is to have a womenwear line too. Until how long can I resist gorgeous ladies  ! (laughs)


Amit: How is the response to your latest collection?

Danish: The response of my latest collection has been extremely positive from the press in the UK as well as overseas. I was highly applauded not only in the UK but outside as well and I got international show offers pouring in after the success. The collection is designed keeping in mind  the upper echelons of fashion royalty however I see every man to have atleast one item from the collection in their wardrobe and wear it after mixing it with their usual attire to have a fashion twist.

Amit: Where do you get your design inspiration from? Do your Asian roots instill creativity in your creations?

Danish: Not at all!   Infact all my collections are very international now and focus on global concepts and International cities as a main inspiration. I consider myself as a master of research and spend much of my time feverishly sourcing ideas from around the four corners of the globe  for my collections. I sometimes get inspired by a color, texture, image or anything that stimulates my attention. A story then develops and results in a final collection. For  'Conspicuous Hedonism' I was inspired by the city of Venice and then the story gradually developed centered around the masquerade ball and the romance.

Amit: Where do you retail? Where can I lay my hands on “Danish Wakeel” the fashion label?

Danish: At the moment I have a personal clientele in the UK and some in Dubai and due to my hectic schedule at the moments from organising huge high fashion events in London to making films and collaborations with various artists, I have postponed my full fledged productions until next year.

Amit: Do you plan to expand to overseas markets?

Danish: Yes most definitely! The discussions about my International shows are currently taking place but I rather not talk about it until they takes a concrete shape..


Amit: How do you like living and working in London? Do you travel a lot?

Danish: London is the city which made me the person I am today, the good the bad the ugly! I cannot ever flee from the city. I owe London a Big one !

It gave me more than I truly really deserved so I have a strong emotional connection with the city.
 

Yes I do travel as much as I can but because I am so engrossed and indulged with so much within London and hence I get less time to travel for leisure.

Amit: What can your fans expect in near future from the house of “Danish Wakeel”?

Danish: I never fail to surprise my huge fan following from around the globe. I think the following is growing so rapidly as they don't know what to expect from the house of 'Danish Wakeel'. However so far I haven't disappointed the following.

Amit: Are there people who motivate you in the world of fashion? Who are your closest allies that you look upto?

Danish: I am surrounded with wonderful people around me from the world of glamour and glitz in London. Further I get immense adulation and love from the people around the world and it makes me a very humble person.

Well with all the due respect to each and everyone who appreciates me, I take my own decisions and no one motivates me to do anything what so ever. I go with my instincts which which are right most of the time about projects and creative endeavors. I think of myself as an incurable optimist in the world of vogue where I am motivated by own-self and my unwavering perseverance.


Amit: Tell me about the 2014 (SS/AW) Trends that Men should be looking forward to?

Danish: Well I never follow trends infact I make my own trends each season. In terms of men's trends I have seen a drastic interest lately about  men wanting to be more experimental than ever with their attire and the choice of colors too is  becoming more flamboyant. I am glad to see that change already happening and men becoming experimental with their wardrobe.

Amit: Tell me about the 2014 (SS/AW) Trends that Women should be looking forward to?

Danish: I would say more extravagant with their eye make up and eye wear as the heavy masquerade influence everywhere in London doesn't seem to seize. 


Runway clicks -









From the Capsule -





More Trivia -

Some of the articles on the show -



On YouTube -




Danish, PERSONALLY! 

Danish was discovered in one of the London’s West end clubs about 4 years ago and from then the ball just got on rolling. Danish got into modeling and that also catapulted him to the world of high fashion. 


He feels one of his special traits is actually his longhair. He trains himself with from medium to heavy weights at least 5 times a week to remain fit and muscular although Danish is a big foody and big junk eater and sometimes he literally has to force himself to eat less.


He looks upto quite a few designers starting from late Alexander McQueen for his fearless attitude to fashion, aggressive tailoring skills and its presentations. 

John Galliano, because his radical vision in menswear continually challenges the contemporary style barometer. 

Sir Paul Smith who is known for selling British-ness globally and translating his fervent interest in collecting, into his collections retaining modernity and accessibility at the same time.  

Victor and Rolf who keep on stunning the fashion industry with their witty creativity designing the most desirable clothes. 

Last but not the least Vivienne Westwood for fusing street style with traditional tailoring and presenting the most humorous collections.


Danish graduated with an MA degree in fashion from University of Hertfordshire in London and specialised in menswear. This picture was taken during his convocation ceremony -



- Amit Anand

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