Photographer Fatima Farheen's Dreamscapes Are The Backdrop Of Garuda SS' Latest Editorial

The Garuda SS attire featured in this photoseries range from samples and archival pieces to latest drops that are available to purchase.
The Garuda SS attire featured in this photoseries range from samples and archival pieces to latest drops that are available to purchase.Fatima Farheen

The first word that came to my mind on first sight of Fatima Farheen’s latest shoot for the fashion label Garuda SS was ‘otherworldly’. In drawing from the raw, rustic quality of the location of their shoot - a water reservoir on the outskirts of their home of Chandigarh - Fatima Farheen and Suhail Sahrawat found creative synergy that is reflected in their collaborative editorial photoseries. In placing the well-crafted garments against the serene waters and gold light, they were able to capture what Farheen touted as a ‘strange sort of balance’. Delving further into what truly brought the feature alive, she talked about the enriching experience of working with Suhail and how their shared synergy, that is a result of years of working together and learning from each other, brought forth this beautiful portrayal of Chandigarh, that stands at the intersection of fashion and visual storytelling. 

Of Community, Collaboration, & Strategic Choices

Having worked with Suhail and Garuda for over two years, Farheen has seen the innate creative brilliance and the profound understanding of fashion that goes into crafting each piece from Garuda. Every piece bears very personal yet sartorially suited elements that are reflective of Suhail as a creative. Farheen adds that, “Suhail, in my eyes, is a creative genius. His garments are not just clothes but rather are an expression of his personality and worldview. His fearlessness as an artist shines through. It's always a fantastic experience working alongside him.”

What truly sets him apart, for the photographer, is his inclusive ethos, the space he provides for collaboration, and the confidence he exudes through his craft, which in turn instils a sense of confidence in the creatives he works with. The Garuda SS attire featured in this photoseries range from samples and archival pieces to the latest drops that are available to purchase. For the designer, his approach to styling was with the intent to focus on the story of the shoot, choosing pieces that best resonated with their prespective and making the most of the creative energy and joy of collaborating with a talented friend and photographer.

Farheen also talked about how strategically the models were chosen. Creative and model Sukh Sohal from Delhi is a friend of Suhail and was brought into the fold earlier on and they eventually ended up brainstorming with him as a vital part of this unique effort. Ishpreet Kaur, a Dharamshala-based model, was later cast for the shoot because of just how well she would work with Sukh Sohal. Farheen went on to mention how it felt like the right choice to cast them together. For her, how well the models fit together and worked together, how their movements translated into the clothes, as well Garuda’s pieces themselves; all of which was set against a unique picturesque location, is what made this shoot as fun as it was, despite the models having to brave through a very chilly January.

Finding Synergy Using An Emotion-Led Approach

While multiple aspects brought them together, even more so than shared cultural and regional roots, a particularly key factor across this project was their shared, emotion-led approach towards their specific crafts. Fatima Farheen’s ‘Meet Me In The Garden’ photoseries is a tender portrayal of human connection that garnered her much-deserved acclaim and is a great exemplifier of her photographic approach.

Garuda SS’s work is also deeply personal and has been attributed by the designer to his unique bond with his family and his mother. This coupled with Fathima's signature take of capturing simple moments and natural movements set against seemingly dreamy settings and juxtaposing this with often utilitarian but always well-constructed pieces from Garuda, the duo created something that is truly their own. Farheen goes on to say, “There's also a palpable emotional connection that Suhail has with his garments, which becomes evident when you're part of a campaign. You become emotionally invested in the project, without even trying and the results speak for themselves – they’ve been well-received and appreciated.”

Beyond this particular project, Farheen adventured deeper into her personal homegrown South Asian aesthetics. While her identity and her cultural influences are defining aspects of her work, she mentioned how it was never a conscious attempt at doing so. It is rather a reflection of the life she has lived, the ecosystems and surroundings she has experienced; all of which have shaped her work. However, in continuing to explore more and learn more, whether that is through cinema, literature or fellow creatives, Farheen is adding to her ever rich repository of inspirations and influences.

She tries not to limit herself to a specific orbit but rather to approach each creative direction organically and allow them the time to develop into its their own original entity. This editorial shoot with Garuda SS is fundamentally a reflection of the emotions and expressions of all the creatives involved. In the words of the inimatable John 'Hannibal' Smith - we absolutley love it when a plan comes together.

You can follow Fatima Farheen here.

You can follow Garuda SS here.

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