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Thursday, 12 November 2009

Pakistan Holds First Fashion Week Despite Violence

When Pakistan is considered as a country, it's not likely that one of the first things that comes to mind is fashion. For several years, the land has faced waves of conflict between Taliban militants and rival security forces, and has been featured in the news mostly for the coverage of bombings and other attacks. Women in Pakistan have been especially highlighted as oppressed, with conventional costume dictating that a minimum of flesh is shown, requiring the use of burqas and confining women to the house most of the time. In such an environment, the emergence of a grand fashion empire might seem unlikely. Yet that is precisely what has been unfolding in the city of Karachi, home to twelve million people and home city of the country's first-ever Fashion Week.
Taking the world by surprise –and by storm--, the event has faced numerous difficulties both in its organization and in the final presentation. Throughout the planning process, the launch of the event was put on delay in response to security threats. As the fashion show, featuring the designs of several rising talents in the field, largely flaunted Western ideas in fashion and society, the event was seen as a direct challenge to Taliban rule and many conservative values held by traditional Pakistani society. Persevering through the threats to deliver a week of entertainment and visual enlightenment proved to be highly successful, even in spite of an initial power outage, one of the many chronic problems experienced in the bustling metropolis of Karachi.
The few who might naturally associate Pakistan with fashion are likely historians and other scholars; one of the leading producers of silk and other fine fabrics, Pakistan has enjoyed a rich history of the production of precious textiles, and supports a massive exporting industry responsible for much of the country's income. Yet this fabric is mostly sent out others to be made into modern, fashionable clothes. The organizers of Pakistan's first Fashion Week have underscored the need for residents to explore the riches of their own resources, and to take part in the country's fashion revolution.
It is hoped that along with dresses, shawls, suits, and other items of apparel, the designers will broaden their creations of accessories, including costume jewellery. With an arsenal of fabulous and affordable gems bedecking costume jewellery necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, and other popular pieces, Pakistan may well achieve its goals towards a more peaceful society with fashion on its side. Strolling down the catwalk in creations that might cause quite a stir on the streets of Pakistan itself, the models sported inventive hairstyles and sparkling garments, taking part in one of fashion's most respected events. Proving themselves worthy of international fame and involvement in the global fashion community, the Pakistani Fashion Week team turned out, by all accounts, a spectacular show, and there are many hopes for happy returns of the event in well into the future.

a fashion creation displayed at the first Pakistan Fashion Week

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