PESHAWAR: The stampede of enthusiastic Eid shoppers has finally hit the roads and markets of Peshawar. While the women of Karachi and Lahore are hitting spas and salons after rummaging through racks of designer collections, Peshawar is also bustling with activity. Despite serious economic constraints and scorching heat, one can see people racing to the malls to get the best of everything.
Eid gives a chance to all the fashion lovers to come out and flaunt their distinct style. Like all other cities, Peshawar too, has a specific section that goes out of their way to get the trendiest clothes, shoes and accessories. Zara Ashraf, a fashion designer associated with Guzel — a multi-brand store in Peshawar — says, “Women’s fashion trends in Peshawar are the same as other parts of the country.” Her statement seems plausible as a number of brands have opened their outlets in the troubled city. “Women of Peshawar have gained a lot of exposure and have become very brand conscious.” According to the designer the choice is unlimited now.
“Women opt for silk, chiffon, lawn and cotton. The long shirts are still in fashion but keeping their ethnic heritage in mind women also go for long umbrella frocks as well as sack shirts,” says Momina, a young girl at a fashion exhibition in Peshawar. The buyer said that due to their busy lifestyles, women these days prefer to buy ready-made clothes instead of going through the hassle of going to tailors.
Besides the dresses, jewellery designers have also started exhibiting their creations at various galleries to attract customer. Such exhibitions can be seen at Guzel, the Peshawar Club and the Pearl Continental Hotel. Besides galleries, makeshift stalls of glitzy bangles and jewellery have been set up in most of the markets.
Apart from bangles, the women of Peshawar also show a great liking for other jewellery pieces such as earrings, traditional jhumkas and necklaces. However, sky rocketing prices of gold have urged women to flock around stalls that sell artificial jewellery. “The prices of gold are touching the sky which is why girls now prefer artificial jewellery,” says jewellery designer Aleena in an exhibition at Women Business Development Centre, Peshawar. “Not only does artificial jewellery offer uncountable designs and colours, the prices are also much less as compared to gold,” she adds.
Men, on the other hand, also had to opt for ready-made shalwar kameez suits because the tailors refused to stitch their clothes due to prolonged power outages. “I am willing to pay any amount for the stitching of my suits but the tailors are still refusing to take orders,” whines Sulman, while standing outside a tailor’s shop in Saddar.
Although tailors are working day and night to complete the orders they have already taken, they must face the wrath of angry customers whose clothes could not be made due to power outages.
These problems are part and parcel of Eid madness all over Pakistan. The country is united in that they are equally unaware of what day Eid is, since the elusive Eid ka chaand has yet to be spotted.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2012.