Islamabad: Pakistan has more to offer than politics and extremism. The world’s very first Islamabad fashion week is one example conforming statement; Islamabad Fashion week creating a history of promoting Pakistan’s softer image to the world. Pakistan has always been in headlines for all bad reasons for decades, recent example of murder of Salman Taseer, governor of the Punjab province. However Pakistan is determined to face the brutal fact that it has to stand back on its feet what so ever are the hurdles.
The guardian Quoted Kamran Sani one of the directors of Excellent Events & Entertainment, the company behind the four-day extravaganza that starts
“Islamabad fashion week will change the way people think of Pakistan, There is a bright side to Pakistan, which is modern, secular and upwardly progressive. No one bothers to see that side – they see the Taliban, bomb blasts, floods, poverty. But Pakistan is alive and kicking and the time has come for our fashion industry to go global. The west needn’t be so surprised – global culture has fully crept in to Pakistan and our fashion designers are brilliant.”
However the lurking fears of terrorism forced the organizers to take few extra measure for security and as expected, security is tight. The venue, Serena, a luxury hotel popular with foreigners, is cordoned off and surrounded by guards, everything else within a half-km radius. Guests are strictly by invite only, and include fashion journalists from Paris, Russia, Ukraine, Switzerland and even trendy Vice magazine. Sani says that he has done what he can to ensure the safety of designers, models and guests. “The rest is all in Allah’s hands.”
Pakistan’s designers are determined to make an appearance. This event will be given coverage on international forums too. Thus can create a buzz about progressive side of Pakistan. Andleeb Rana Farhan, editor-in-chief of Pakistani fashion monthly Xpozé was concerned about the security however she encouraged these invite only events. Besides, life moves on, and as a fashion editor I’ll go wherever I need to.”
Islamabad’s Fashion week is not only a change to usual political news getting spaceon front pages of newspaper and TV channels reporting bombs, murders and human rights violation but a ventilation for those who wants to live in peace. This Fashion week has provided a breathing space for Pakistanis. Such events can play bigger role in promotion of Pakistan’s image as progressive country besides Fashion industry can flourish manifold.
There were feeble arguments circulating that country like Pakistan that is poverty-stricken and full of economic and social problems, fashion can not get roots and such events are not bringing any benefit, however many would deem it wise to agree that such fashion events provide ideas to those who want to move forward. In past few years every nook and corner in Pakistan has produced wonderful fashion designers catering the needs of local markets and highlighting Pakistan’s traditional beautiful couture on international levels.
Designers showcasing at Islamabad fashion week, two stand out – Nilofer Shahid, whose label Meeras has dressed Madonna and Jemima Khan, and Ammar Belal, whose jeans reportedly sell in Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field’s New York boutique.
An event like Islamabad fashion week is on the roll, a fear of agitation from conservative mullahs stands juxtaposed. But the optimism in this regard goes deep in the designers and organisers. I am sure in coming few years Pakistan’s fashion industry will be surpass London, Paris, New York and Milan fashion shows.