SRINAGAR: Name any internationally renowned Pakistani designer brand and you’ll find it on the tastefully decorated shelves of the Tradition of Finesse exhibition that opened in Srinagar, India, on Tuesday to an enthusiastic response in the Jammu and Kashmir summer capital.
The giants of the Pakistani fashion world are on view at a shopping complex, displaying men’s and women’s clothing. Among them are names such as Junaid Jamshed, Bareeze, Chinyere, Working Woman, Kayseria, Leisure Club, Shahnameh and Urban Culture.
Sheikh Feroz, 44, the managing director of the Alkhuddam Group of Companies under whose aegis the exhibition-cum-sale of Pakistani designer wear has been organised, said: “I used to buy Bareeze for myself in Dubai. Then I thought, ‘why can’t Kashmiris wear such comfortable and traditional dresses?’ That was my inspiration. Our unique-selling-point (USP) is the high quality of the brands that we have on display here.”
Feroz also said that Junaid Jamshed and his team of designers even telephoned him from Pakistan wishing him good luck for the exhibition. “They said they had organised a special prayer meeting at their headquarters for the success of the exhibition,” said Feroz.
The exhibition is an affirmation that in spite of differences between India and Pakistan, the people-to-people connect between people on both sides of the frontier, which has been boosted by cross-border bus services and trade, remains strong.
From the traditional shalwar kameez for women to kurta pajamas for men — and a host of other outfits in between — the exhibition is overflowing with brands Kashmiris till now only saw on television channels or read about in fashion magazines.
Feroz said that apart from the brands on display, seven others had also shown interest in coming the next time around. “I told them, let me start with the 12 brands we have now and wait for the response from the locals. I feel the tradition of ethnic wear is immensely popular with Kashmiris and we should have enough lovers for the brands on display here.”
Although some dresses at the exhibition are highly priced, there are affordable ones. In the Bareeze cotton collection, for instance, women’s dresses are priced up to INR10,000 while Junaid Jamshed kurtas and pajamas start at INR2,000.
“The Chinyere cotton wear is a riot of floral colours. I have never seen such wonderful women’s dresses sold in Kashmir,” said a woman who said she had waited eagerly for the exhibition to open.
Besides dresses for men and women, designer Peshawari sandals were also at the exhibition.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2012.
More in FashionTeen Choice Awards: It’s all about what the public wants