Article by Fashion Fix Daily guest writer M. Siddiqui.
Diversity is the Spice of Life
Fashion in Pakistan is celebrated across the map due to its diversity in style, its understated elegance, and utter uniqueness.
Pakistan, located in South-most Asia, is a veritable paradise of exotic wear. Boasting a dress code that stems from an exorbitantly rich cultural heritage, Pakistani fashion is a hybrid of old beliefs and modernism which can make even the most cynical critic instantly fall in love with its beauty. It is to no surprise that the fashion industry is thriving with each passing day.
We take a look at the main trends in this fashion melting pot.
Casual & Stylish
The national dress of Pakistan is the ‘Shalwar Kameez’ which basically means a top that may end at the knees or reach the ankles. It is paired with loose, baggy trousers, not dissimilar to the Turkish shalwar.
This dress is usually preferred in light cotton or the extremely popular South Asian wear known as Lawn. The light fabric is best suited to the warm and humid climate of the country as temperature soars up to 42C in most cities in the summer.
Colourful prints and delightful patterns, bold designs and intricate embroidery – lawn has everything to offer in the name of fashion in Pakistan. So it is no surprise that Pakistani ladies go on a crazy shopping spree every time a new lawn collection is introduced!
And this is exploited to the maximum by a large number of fashion brands like Gul Ahmed which boasts ‘the original lawn’, Khaadi which is known for its unique fabric and Firduas -a crowd favourite for displaying fresh new colours.
Dressed to Impress
Ready-to-wear plays a vital part in the formal wear category of fashion in Pakistan and is greatly preferred by students and the working women as this obliterates the need (read: hassle) of getting dresses tailored. Formal wear is presented on catwalks by numerous brands and caters to a wide variety of people. This is because it offers the greatest measure of spin on the traditional wear.
The latest fashion includes short shirts paired with tulip pants that are loose fitting till the knees and taper to a point at the ankles. Old school favourites are the flared gown-like maxis worn with body-hugging churidar pajamas. The use of layers of fabric in making the skirt more substantial allows the wearer to enjoy the swish of style with every step she takes.
The heterogeneity of style mentioned above is ideal wear for every Pakistani. However, in many rural parts of this glorious country, the use of more traditional attire can be seen.
These Pakistani women are seen to bear a strong connection with their roots evident by the use of ghararas. Known for its stunning colours and remarkable details of design, a gharara is a pair of wide legged pants that cinch tight at the knees resulting in a dramatic flaring of the part below. Ghararas are worn with a short top and of course the dupatta which is a rectangular piece of cloth used as a veil.