Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Pakistani Fashion Scene

Sparked by my father's recent visit to my technical homeland has brought a case of wonder into my mind. The last time I've visited Pakistan was maybe 10 years ago. A lot has changed since then. Malls and Costco like structures have risen up and share the urban landscape with bazaars and street vendors of the olden days. I find this juxtaposition quite intriguing, the mega marts and the poor cookware seller all mashed up into a hodgepodge of urbanites, ever ready to seize the fast paced bustle that each day in a country of almost 200 million can bring. However, as I have yet to experience this renaissance in Pakistani consumerism, I have to rely on what others and the internet tell me. And what they tell me is something very different then what is constantly being told to us about the country of Pakistan. That amongst all the violence, life for the ordinary citizen goes on. And when it goes on, it tries to push the boundaries of what is acceptable and what is considered art and fashionable at the moment.

kfw

My internet readings led me to images of Karachi Fashion Week which was held just this February 2010 in, well, Karachi, Pakistan. Prominent designers from Pakistan got to show case their designs, which were usually a fusion of eastern and western styles of dressing. I love how they were able to incorporate Pakistani embroidery and many of the designers used Pakistani textiles in their creation. One thing that I am certain of is that Pakistan has one of the world's largest and most exquisite textile industries. To this day I remember that each fabric store was littered with the most detailed and elegant fabrics I have ever seen in one place before.

kfw

Although couture is not really a word that is on the minds of many Pakistanis, Nilofer Shahid is changing all that. She owns the house of Meeras and was invited to show in Paris in 2005 during couture week. Below are two of her designs. The other beautiful and colourful gown is by Ramira or RMR collection. I love me a bit of colour.

nilofer

I find Pakistani fashion to be politicized and many of the articles that I read detailed how men and women were designing despite the militant threat there. I'm not sure that this is true. Fashion in Pakistan has always been a lax sort of affair, with Westernized elements creeping into the modern attire in subtle ways.

24 comments:

  1. Beautiful designs. I've been reading some Indian fashion blogs lately which made me realise how very Euro and US-centric we are. I'm sure these up and coming huge economies will develop their own strong fashion sense.

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  2. Thank you for posting this! I love hearing about life and culture in other parts of the world, including fashion. You are so right! The varying types of intricate textiles and fabrics in the Middle East is absolutely breathtaking! I woud love to see more of these design elements in our own Western fashion.

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  3. What what an enchanting post. Thank you.

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  4. Beautiful! Great photos. I love learning about other fashions.

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  5. few moments i felt this are Indian designs

    very nice i like this post

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  6. This is just wonderful. The fabrics, the colours, the details - it's a fashion feast!

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  7. I love all the color and the intricacy of the designs! Very cool and a refreshing difference from Western fashion.

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  8. Oh my, Pakistan has fashion shows! Yey, for Pakistani women ... I was afraid that they were just covered up and made to stay at home!

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  9. I love the fifth picture soo much! That dress is absolutely fabulous. I am always interested to read about and see creations that do not come from 'mainstream' European/Western designers. Everyone has so much to bring to the table in fashion! Wonderful post. :)

    I just wanted to let you know that I've changed my blog's address --so if you would like to visit me, my new little home is:

    http://petitepaperdoll.blogspot.com

    Have a wonderful Friday and weekend!

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  10. These are amazing photos! Those fabrics are beautiful! :)

    And I passed an award to your blog (I'm not sure how to say that "properly" but i.e. you got a blog award from me! :P)!

    Have a wonderful day! :)

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  11. i am in ABSOLUTE LOVE with that first dress!

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  12. Beautiful designs, I love all of them - they're so pretty!

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  13. Everything looks so gorgeous!

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  14. love Nilofer Shahid's designs:)

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  15. Incredible post, darling! Love these gowns!

    xoxox,
    CC

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  16. Gorgeous post, my love! I find that I have heard very little about Pakistani fashion, but the images you've featured here are absolutely breathtaking. I'm quite smitten with them all.

    By the way...adore your new header, my love!! :)

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  17. The colors and fittings on these models look great!

    Kisses,
    Stephanie

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  18. These designs are Paktastic! Oh my, I am so clever!

    Love,

    Your Sister

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  19. I didn't know you were Pakistani! My mum is from Karachi, but I've never been to Pakistan.
    I think the collections you've posted are stunning - Pakistanis are known for their amazing dress sense, aren't they? :)

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  20. Marz,

    These gowns are heavenly! So love beading and the draping.I always have great appreciation for South Asian designs.

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  21. interesting. honestly, i've never thought about how these middle eastern countries have fashion industries. close-minded, i know.
    i would be thrilled to have any of those dresses - the fabric is so intricate and gorgeous.

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