Fashion (able) police

Published: May 23, 2012
Akif Mahmood. PHOTO: FILE

Akif Mahmood. PHOTO: FILE

Akif Mahmood. PHOTO: FILE Mohsin Ali. PHOTO: FILE Wardha Saleem. PHOTO: FILE Adnan Pardesy. PHOTO: FILE Irfan Ali. PHOTO: FILE

Exactly two months ago, when spring began descending into odious summer, the local police candidly declared that their characteristic grumpiness was not a personality trait intrinsic to their job but was in fact brought on by the dark colours of their uniform. Thus given that fashion has become pervasive in Pakistan in the last few years, The Express Tribune picked on some of fashion’s exciting new talents to redesign the police uniform. While we were hoping the designers would show their funky and bohemian flare, often spotted in their collections on the ramp, the sketches show a different and rather mature approach.

Akif Mahmood

“I wanted to make it very simple since it is a uniform and requires practicality. Instead of the typical black though, I have a white and lime printed shirt. White works best for men because the weather is mostly sunny and warm in Pakistan. I have added a waistcoat with pockets which is not only fashionable, but will also prove useful to hold all their arms,” explains Mahmood. However, he adds that one can’t be completely fashion-centric because most policemen are older and experimental designs appeal to youngsters more. The designer, who is a fan of denim, has suggested nontreated denim for the pants. “Denim would give a cool feel to the overall look. The whole point is to make the typical uniform interesting and presentable. Also given the popularity of films like Dabanng, policemen are also viewed as icons.”

Wardha Saleem

“This is my vision of how I want to see a policeman. I have used white for the pants not just because it repels heat but because the colour symbolises purity and power. We all expect the police to be this agent of fairness and justice and also expect them to have authority,” states Saleem. The designer has used turquoise, which is supposed to balance out the look since it is a neutral and fresh colour. “I wanted them to feel good about themselves yet not lose their strong image,” says Saleem.

Adnan Pardesy

“I have given the cops cargo pants in poplin cotton instead of twill fabric that is typically used. The cotton is lighter and makes for ease of movement in the summer. Overall, I have retained the blue details of the current uniform but used white as the base,” states Pardesy. For the top, the designer has suggested a polo t-shirt in 60/2 mercerised cotton fabric, which is basically a mix fabric that is easy to wash and wear and doesn’t dull out even after multiple washes. “The polo also gives a formal feel to the uniform and will keep the men cooler yet give them the air of authority. And the best part is that it is extremely cheap to make,” he adds.

Irfan Ali

“Whenever I think of the Pakistani police, the associated emotion that the term ignites is fear. Yet, as a fashion designer when I visualise the police I think of a sleek and smart look. I wanted to therefore go for a modern, minimalistic look that every police man can carry off,” says Ali. The designer states that since Pakistani police comes from all classes, he chose not to be too experimental with design. “The look is very simple. The cotton under-shirt is in an off-white colour and the upper jacket is dull green with 3D pockets, along with the necessary police monograms. The trousers are grey instead of black and are paired with long boots,” concludes the designer.

Mohsin Ali

“I was thinking of the ancient subcontinental silhouettes of an angharkha, but wanted to make something modern with a twist of history in it. Since it’s so hot in Pakistan, the pants are airy from the hip but tight from below to give a slightly fashionable look,” says Ali. A cool wool is used for the gloves to repel heat and the scarf is added to absorb perspiration. The designer adds, “I also wanted to give the police men solar hats in two layers that create a vacuum in between for air supply.” The colours used in Ali’s creation are very light and the designer has used grey instead of white, “since white gets soiled easily in this dusty weather”.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Mehboob Aap Kay Qadmon Main
    May 23, 2012 - 11:16PM

    All of these designers seem to have to forgotten the physique of an average Pakistani policeman who is overweight, has a huge potbelly, and looks nothing like the models in the portraits above. The designers should be asked to redo their designs and place them on actual pictures of real-life Pakistani policemen.


  • What the...?
    May 24, 2012 - 1:24AM

    why do they remind me of strippers?? :S


  • ally
    May 24, 2012 - 2:10AM

    dreadful designs, white pants are a bad idea on pakistani men (pak navy exception),heck even white shirts are hard to maintain remember school… and its not a cat walk its police men in the line of fire, uniforms need to be functional..i thot the black was fine..atleast it never looked dirty, and the men whatever their physique look saaf suthra…these uniforms just reminded me detergent ads


  • alpha
    May 24, 2012 - 2:15AM

    right to left: the first one looks related to ken, barbies boyfrend, the second one looks like a delivery boy, the third one looks like akshay kumar in an 80’s movie when heroes wore white pants..imagine the grime on the white after a few hours of duty, the fourth one looks like the royal guards from buckingham palace minus the big hat (i wonder why that was missed out), and the last one is just down right non serious..denim with a vest..are you kidding me…are these professional designers..wheres the functional aspect


  • May 24, 2012 - 2:59AM

    Nothing wrong in illustrating your imagination.


  • ET
    May 24, 2012 - 3:06AM

    Seems like the designers ET picked up are inspired by Japanese art and have no clue of street dynamics in pakistan


  • Hassan
    May 24, 2012 - 1:11PM

    on a serious note there should be two dresses one for summer as it gets really hot so something like shorts and one for the Winter…


  • vigilant
    May 24, 2012 - 1:39PM

    Wardha saleem’s outfit is good….making uniformed police official part of society


  • May 24, 2012 - 3:15PM

    Not possible! You have to conduct weight loose program in entire country’s police, so they can wear latest fashionable uniforms! Otherwise with current body structure they would be similar Johny Bravo! :D


  • Ahsan Mansoor
    May 24, 2012 - 5:36PM

    @What the…?

    Only the last one seems some what logical. White is always a bad idea. No one actually included polo shirts, which are decent as well as comfortable in summers.Recommend

  • Jun 1, 2012 - 8:32AM

    Great work.nice designs for Pakistani Police.


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