"The blend of eastern and contemporary fashion encapsulates multicultural Britain.”
In her chic and sleek on-line boutique, Couture designer Raishma Islam offers a stunning collection of ready-to-wear ensembles.
From traditional to modern, the designer presents an exquisite selection of clothing that captures the essence of her rich cultural background as a British Asian.
In an exclusive interview with DESIblitz, she says: “Designing has always been my greatest passion. The Raishma label is synonymous with modern, stylish clothes offering an effortless blend of east and west.”
Launching her brand in 1998, Raishma gradually made a name in the fashion industry, working alongside established names such as Elizabeth Emanuel (who made Princess Diana’s wedding dress) and Bella Freud.
One of her key accomplishments is designing dresses for British royalty, including HRH Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice.
Following 15 years of experience under her belt, Raishma decided to take her brand to the next level and launched her on-line boutique. She admits this is the right platform to establish the best possible connection with her clients and build an international clientèle:
“I feel it is essential to move with the times and cater to the needs of the customer. On-line trading is now the norm and I felt it was very important for me to have a means of interacting with my clients,” Raishma explains.
“An on-line presence is so crucial in the digital age and provides a means to not only serve your existing customer base but to reach out to a much wider, international clientèle.”
Raishma also plans to offer an exquisite selection of other designers’ coveted items to provide on-line visitors with an experience of a ‘one-stop shopping environment’. Describing her new collection, Raishma tells us:
“I’m very excited and proud to have launched my new pret line. It is the culmination of a long period in sourcing the right fabrics and designing on-trend outfits and embroidery to truly represent my signature looks. The blend of eastern traditional and contemporary fashion, encapsulates the very essence of multicultural Britain of today.”
The designer could not be more satisfied with the result, as the collection successfully reinvented her signature look. Key pieces include Asian suits, dresses, bridal gowns, tops and precious clutch bags.
All of them follow her trademark features; clean cuts, pastel colours and intricate embroidery that represent the modern Brotish Asian woman. Asian suits come in both conservative style such as anarkali suits and churidar suits, and more fashion forward versions including tunic suits and trouser suits.
Even the most traditional attire, sarees, have been reinvented with her modern stylistic touch, adorned with stripes and butterfly prints, low back choli blouses and eclectic vintage patterns. Her wide range of dresses suit every taste.
The everyday dresses are elegant as well as versatile; they make the right statement at work, but their clean style and impeccable cut can easily transcend into an appropriate evening outfit.
Cocktail dresses come in a variety of designs, shapes and colours, they are romantic in lace or celebrate 20s glamour in sequins. Evening dresses come as knee length sparkling masterpieces or shimmering floor sweeping gowns in dreamy sugary blue and silver embellishment.
Raishma’s tops offer the style, comfort and versatility a modern British Asian woman needs in her everyday life. She offers tunics in various colours, cuts and materials. They can be worn with leggings, skinny jeans or capri pants.
To complement her clothing, Raishma presents her first collection of clutch bags in classic neutrals or bold bright colours. Each model is hand-embroidered and one of a kind.
In addition, she shares exclusively with DESIblitz her secrets for designing a flawless party outfit: “Opt for one of the stunning tunics or kaftans from our new collection. I would pair this with some skinny jeans and contrast heels and accessories, including a pop of colour with a clutch.”
So what does being a British Asian woman mean to her?
“Bold. Inspirational. Cultured. Formidable. Confident. Asian women are not afraid to show confidence and personality when it comes to their fashion choices. This is something to be admired and celebrated.”
Celebrity fans include Mel B, actress Juliet Stevenson, FFion Hague, Shobna Gulati, Laila Rouazz, Meera Syal, Preeya Kalidas and countless others. Three of her outfits made a stellar appearance at the Asian Business Awards; BBC presenter Sonali Shah was dressed in a saree, Wright Stuff presenter Seema Pathan, wore a black beaded cocktail dress and film actress Goldy Notay, looked elegant in a white lace creation.
Her dream clients include Bollywood actreses, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra: “They always look elegant and stylish in their fashion choices and have the natural ability to pull off any look. I particularly loved Deepika’s Zuhair Murad gown at the IIFAs. She exuded true elegance in the red, floor-length lace gown,” Raishma says.
For her future plans, Raishma promises to continue to supply women with elegant and effortless clothing. “Every season, we will create a modern fusion collection that reflects the best of heritage style with contemporary twist – our signature look.”
Her classic versatile pieces add elegance to every outfit and will quickly turn into fashion staples. You can find Raishma’s stunning pret collection at her new website, Raishma.