the beginning of november saw the holding of the first ever pakistan fashion week, much to the amazement of well.. everyone. the international community watched on as the most dangerous country in the world attempted to show the world another side of its personality through art and fashion and commerce and trade. commenting on this, blogger extraordinaire and in general a brilliant lady, saba imtiaz said the following at Changing Up Pakistan (CHUP):
While from an external perspective this may seem odd, the sheer amazement depicted in these articles at the thought of a fashion week is a tad strange. From the Times of India declaring, “‘Dare to bare’ Pak Fashionistas Thumb a Nose at Taliban” to McClatchy saying, “Pakistan’s Fashion Week Bares Country’s Frothy Side” and Life.com labeling a photograph of a model with a tattoo on her arm as “Tattoo vs Taliban,” its all been rather amusing – and often annoying – for those following the press coverage of the event.
fine, so the foreigners called us funny things and equated everything that happens in my country on one big plate. fine.
but locals have been doing the same, fashion week became a reason to question how modest/immodest ‘our women’ (so loaded, so scary) are allowed to be- not to mention a huge debate ensued about whether a country going through civil war really needed to be spending its time making skinny jeans and army inspired jackets.
i dont know, its a complicated topic. but seeing that the whole world looks at us as a beacon of fail statedness (so true) and corruption (also true), we really need to be easier on ourselves. trust me, the world hates us enough as it is- theres no need for us to hate on each other.
in the best article that ive read about pakistan fashion week yet, faiza khan, another super smart pakistani lady had this to say:
The executive at the helm of the event joined the dots in a rational manner, saying, “The more jobs you generate, the fewer suicide bombers there are likely to be,” but not everyone quoted from the fashion industry came off so well. One designer lamentably laid claim to being “a very brave woman” for displaying her clothes on a catwalk at a five-star hotel in a country where women have been known to be murdered, maimed, mutilated and on occasion buried alive, where girls’ schools are routinely attacked and where, even at the best of times, women’s rights, outside of a tiny income bracket, are limited at best. Another designer called it an act of defiance in the face of the Taliban, glossing over the fact that fashion shows do in fact take place with some regularity in Pakistan, and if one must intellectualise this, then it could more honestly be described as a display of affluence in the face of a nation torn apart by the gaping chasm between rich and poor. Why the foreign media can’t ask Pakistani designers questions about their work and why they, in turn, yield to the temptation, like Miss Universe, of providing a sound bite on world peace is beyond me.
read the whole highly recommended article here.
image sourced from here.
props to saphiya khan for posting this article on her facebook.