Written By: Javeriah Jaleel
Paris, New York, London and Rome are the cities mentioned when it comes to western fashion. But now, be it western or eastern fashion, Lahore and Karachi are also emerging as the centre of attraction for all. The city of lights along with Lahore is now becoming an attractive spot for fashion shows and western designers. It’s for this reason fashion weeks are being held in both the cities. Being an Islamic state and always being linked with terrorism, Pakistan is now revolutionizing its image and opening up to fashion.
Previously, Pakistani fashion was widely acknowledged globally, but Dubai was the hub for all transactions related to the fashion industry. The evolution in the society will now create platform for various designers to show their talent globally without use of any hub. The revolution in the fashion industry is the evidence of the humongous potential of growth that the society in Pakistan has. A well-known designer, Sahar Atif, commented on the opportunity that lies for the designers in the Pakistani society, “the industry is fearless and now, no challenge is big enough to hamper the growth of fashion. Forward is the only way to go! The prerequisites for development of any industry, not just fashion, are political and economic stability, which we can all hope and pray for. This will eventually lead to Pakistani designers and fashion making its mark internationally”. This shows that if the industry is provided with a good growing ground it can become the identity of Pakistan all over the world. The industry has a growth potential, in both the local and international market. Recently, Pakistan’s own fashion magazines have also started to emerge showing new trends and changing people’s mindsets. The Pakistani fashion industry is filled with highly reputed designers who have successfully created a positive fashion statement for the country. They have auspiciously polished the name of our fashion industry in the global fashion market. One such phenomenal personality in our industry is Hassan Shehryar Yasin (HSY). Hassan Shehryar launched his ”HSY” label in 2000 and with the passage of time his time his collection of bridal and formal wear become one of the renowned collection not only in Pakistan but also amongst the top south Asian labels known in the world. A studio started in Lahore has now expanded to have six more internationally. This nine year old brand has in its initial stages created hype for Pakistani fashion and its own brand globally. HSY’s collection is a mix of a lot of diversities which tend to depict the rich eastern heritage. His clothes are a combination of classical elegance and modern sophistication. His recent bridal collection (for males and females) depicts this combination fabulously and has been applauded in both the local and international markets. Besides being tagged as the success of the label “HSY”, he has also been labeled as one of the Top Ten Faces of 2003, by the fashion magazine Diva. HSY has participated in various global and local fashion shows that have taken place recently, such as Bio Natural Black Shine Carnival De Couture, PDFC fashion week and so on. However, to further increase HSY’s popularity, he has recently started a new line of jewelry.
“Deepak Perwani” another victorious name of the Pakistani fashion industry has been serving both the markets since 1994. He started off by revolutionizing the men’s wear by introducing the grandoise men’s wear collection. Once he becomes the “bad boy” of the men’s wear line, he introduced a female wear in 1996, with the main outlet in ZamZama Street of Karachi. His astonishing collection of clothes reflects a mix of the past, present and the future culture of Pakistan along with the fusion of east and west. His modern thought, which is reflected in his clothes, makes him a designer icon for designers locally and abroad. His achievements are further glorified by his Indus Style Guru Award and the Lux Style Award for his men’s wear. He was also the first Pakistani to participate in the Kuala Lampur Fashion Week (KLFW), and he represented Pakistan at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Besides this, he has also been associated with highly recognized brands such as Hugo Boss, Mercedes Benz, and so on. After achieving many such glories Deepak Parwani went global and stocked his clothing in the famous cities of Dubai, London, New York, Dallas and Singapore. One most highlighting factor about this icon rather than a man, is his being included into the”guinness book of world records”. The kurta that he made along with 50 other professionals in 30 days was the world’s largest kurta. According to Deepak Perwani, "the kurta is an intrinsic symbol of Pakistani attire, and (this garment) has successfully put it on the global map. A kurta represents the essence of what we are and defines our individuality in today's world."
No matter in what part of the world he launches his collection, it’s applauded by everyone anywhere. Recently, after a successful show in Milan he launched his new collection “Amrita” in the fashion week. His collection was highly liked by the audience and became a tremendous success. However, one thing that remained common between the two shows despite the difference of geography is the traditional touch in the collections. His unique collection with a little traditional touch in a colorful palate startled not only the audiences but also made him prominent amongst the other designers at the show. At Milan the prints, embellishments, designs, mirror work that he showcased in the fashion show were unique and fun. Deepak Perwani has outperformed all the categories of the products that he produces and improvised on the meaning of fashion for Pakistanis by his incomparable thought and designing abilities.
Besides the above mentioned designers, there are various other names that have arisen to great heights which include Amir Adnan, Junaid Jamshed, Ayesha Varsi, Saadia Mirza, Bunto Kazmi, Maria B. and many more. All these people have contributed towards converting the perception about Pakistan from that of an extremist Islamic state to a modern state of the 21st century. An excellent evidence of this is the fashion week held in Lahore and Karachi (consisting of display by 52 designers out of which 49 were the local ones and rest international). Both these events consisted of well known designers such as HSY, Ayesha Varsi and so on. Both the events were successful and received a huge amount of appreciation by the crowd despite high security threats. This is a proof that Pakistani market has a great potential and emerging designers have a great opportunity in this industry.
However, in Pakistan fashion shows are not just of the clothing but now days fashion shows for the Arabic robes (Burqa) are also taking place. These days, fashion is inclusive of that. Recently, a designer named Bushra Shahid has launched a new line of wear by the name “Farichinio” consisting of the Arabic, Bridal, western and Formal wear for ladies.