Fashion lessons from Pakistan

A primary-of-its-kind espresso desk guide maps the nation’s textile and popular culture heritage

Fashion has all the time been a time capsule, conveying the signal of the occasions to an observer. If you observe Instagram accounts like @BrownHistory and @PuranaPakistan or have chanced upon pre-Zia (late president General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who established Sharia regulation and decried Western tradition) photographs, you’d be acquainted with pictures of free-spirited ladies wearing a mixture of conventional and western appears to be like. “[Today], folks view Pakistanis as camel using, burqa-clad, adaab kind folks with ladies shrouded behind chadors. It is so alien as a result of that’s not the nation in any respect,” says Mehr Fatima Husain, a British-Pakistani options editor in Lahore.

Mehr F Husain

This notion pushed her to put in writing Pakistan: A Fashionable History, a espresso desk guide that charts the journey of their business — that includes interviews and deep-dives with Pakistani fasion creatives. There can also be a foreword by couturier Tarun Tahiliani, the place he touches upon his personal Sindhi lineage and his expertise discovering Pakistani couture. The guide is the end result of a three-year joint effort between Husain and Saad Sarfraz Sheikh, a photographer whose work has been seen in Time, Getty and Forbes.

Saad Sarfraz Sheik

Look out for insights from Pakistan’s preeminent make-up/vogue stylist Tariq Amin and Sehyr Saigol, who heads PFDC (Pakistan Fashion Design Council). Also discover anecdotes on 80s vogue journalist Fifi Haroon and photographer Tapu Javeri, and notes on designers like Maheen Khan, Bunto Kazmi, Faiza Samee and Noor Jehan Bilgrami (whose legendary popularity on block printing precedes her). The pictures deserve particular point out: these embrace uncommon vogue advert archives tracked down in bazaars and others supplied up by retired photographers.

Fashion lessons from Pakistan

The guide is for anybody who enjoys historical past and pictures, not simply the fashion-oriented (it doesn’t get too technical on textile traditions or revival however as an alternative focuses on Pakistan’s tastemakers in vogue). While the tone is mild, it packs in fairly a couple of names to present a transparent concept of Paksitan vogue’s development. Say what you’ll, however nobody cuts (and embroiders) a shalwar-kameez set like a Pakistani designer. However, there may be a lot extra on supply now. I really feel {that a} point out of latest and younger creatives is lacking from the guide. A distinction of the previous and current — contemplating Husain has no plans for a second quantity — would have been an insightful addition too.

Meanwhile, Sheikh says he’s selling the concept of people-to-people contact throughout borders, particularly via collaborations. “Pakistani fashion has a lot of potential. I would love to see collective efforts, not just through fashion designers from both sides exhibiting their work at fashion weeks, but also collaborations between stylists, photographers, make-up artists and creative directors,” he concludes. Now who doesn’t love a cross border (vogue) romance?

Pakistan: A Fashionable History (revealed by Zuka Books) is priced at roughly ₹3,100. Details: [email protected]

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