Modern designer, ready-to-wear clothes from Pakistan

PakistanNEW DELHI: Young fashion designers from Pakistan believe a similarity between cultures and a shared history contributes to the popularity of their designs in India.

A handful of designers from across the border Adnan Pardesy, Wardha Saleem, Farnaz Mustafa and Mehreen Noorani showcased their creations here at a ‘Pakistan Fashion Show’ as part of the ongoing lifestyle exhibition hosted by TRADE Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Ficci.

“Culturally we are not different. I am now in India and don’t feel out of place. From marriage to parties and other ceremonies, we do similar things. I feel our fashion designs will provide an alternative to those who want to try out something different yet similar,” says designer Adnan Pardesy.

The designers, have brought with them a mix of ethnic wear, bridal wear as well as pret-a porter clothes for the show and exhibition.

“My style and work is more of Mughal embroidery like Aizar and Garah work. I am inspired by the Mughal era which connects both India and Pakistan because our forefathers have the same history and culture,” says designer Farnaz Mustafa who is currently showcasing at the exhibition at Pragati Maidan.

Contemporary Pakistani designers are also seen taking a break from the stereotype by reinventing and adding a modern edge to traditional garments such as the ‘salwar kameez’.

“My design philosophy is getting inspired by old traditions and crafts with a modern twist. So the traditions don’t die or fade away. We try to bring the traditions for the woman of today,” says designer Wardha Saleem.

Saleem says she has brought
seven pieces from her bridal collection that she has not yet launched anywhere, not even Pakistan.

“I chose bridal wear, because at the end of the day, that is what one can relate with,” she says.

With restrictions on one hand and an urge for experimentation on the other, designers feel that the real challenge lies in innovating and re-innovating the designs so that it reaches the masses and not just the ‘niche’.

“Majority of women in our country wear the salwar kameez.

We have some restrictions culturally, so we go in for innovation of the salwar kameez every six months or so that most people can wear with a modern twist,” says Pardesy.

Designer Mustafa says “Pakistani fashion industry needs more exposure worldwide.”

Mustafa is currently exhibiting traditional wear for both old and young. Jackets, jumpsuits, straight pants, tank tops and other trendy clothes for youngsters as well as straight kurtas with traditional embroidery and lace works are also in her kitty.

Designer Fazia Samee has brought two different set of collections for her India visit.

“There will be a lot of luxury pret for the exhibition geared for the upcoming festivals here like Karva Chauth and Diwali. I am showing a lot of bright and beautiful colors like pinks and fuchsias,” says Samee.

The designer had earlier exhibited short tunics with ghararas, much of brocades and chiffons in “very detailed and some very exotic” work in jewel toned and understated colors like very deep turquoise in different cuts.

Other than this couture range and digital prints with handwoven fabrics has been brought by Pardesy.

Most designers want to expand their businesses across the border. While some designers say “setting up is a little difficult here,” others believe “it is easy to set base in India, and problems are blown out of proportion.”

“With better Indo-Pak relations the economy of both the countries will get a boost which will lead to more work for people and more work and exposure for us too,” says Mustafa. -PTI

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