With over 170 million people, a rich history and diverse landscape there is no end of inspiration to be found in Pakistan.
Despite facing heavy national debts, a poor economic state, and an uneasy political scene, hope springs eternal, and for the first time ever; people are stopping to appreciate the hope and beauty that the fashion industry has to offer by throwing a small but powerful fashion week.
Pakistan’s First Fashion Week showcased 32 designers and fashion collections from Thursday to Sunday. Hosted by Islambad’s glitterati, a small group of fashion-forward entrepreneurs and set in Islamabad’s luxury Serena Hotel, models were literally picked off the streets to sashay down the runway.
Designers were not shy and broke with some of the more traditional looks to feature modern trends including: bold denim, micro miniskirts and off the shoulder cuts. The occasional long, more modest dress appeared to soften what would otherwise offend a devout Muslim nation.
Beyond simply showcasing local talent, the week was organized to point out Pakistan’s move towards modern styles in the hopes that it will catch the attention of prominent buyers in the west and allow Pakistan to capitalize on their long standing reputation as a major global producer of textiles.
“One reason for doing this is to bring the buying power of the world back to Pakistan,” said organizer Tariq Amin, the country’s best known stylist – BBC News.
As the fashion industry grows in Pakistan so does the hope that the country may recover from recent hardships.
“Fashion is a key engine for growth for countries such as Pakistan, said Paco De Jaimes, founder of the not-for-profit World Fashion Association, which aims to foster poor nations’ participation in the lucrative fashion business.
“(Fashion is) one of the main sectors (in Pakistan) and this helps very much countries to recover their economies,” said De Jaimes. People don’t realize how fashion industries contribute to the eradication of poverty, to social integration, to empowerment of women,” he said.
A note from The Marquis of Fashion:
Congratulations to the members and individuals responsible for this momentous event! I sincerely hope that the attention received from this fashion week will benefit the nation at large. Please keep the fashion coming!