The runway was ready, dressers struggled with clothing sizes, the front row filled up, frazzled organisers ran around the premises and the models were being prepped and sweet talked to backstage. It was a scene straight out of a fashion show but the well-groomed models at the show weren’t any of the recognisable faces that appear on billboards.
These models were the well-groomed, pampered pets of Karachi that stalked out on the runway and posed for a horde of photographers and TV crews at the first ever Pet Fashion Show; including a Great Dane, several furry Persian cats, poodles and Golden Retrievers.
Organised by Pawsh, which was introduced as a clothing brand for pets, the fashion show was reportedly conceived by Veronique, one of Karachi’s most well-known pets and breeders.
As “Who let the dogs out” blared on the speakers at Port Grand on Friday evening, the ‘models’ must have asked their ‘managers’ for an answer.
Ibad, who had brought his two-year-old Golden Retriever Elmo to the event, said he and his dog “loved socialising”. Even though Elmo had been outfitted in an orange t-shirt with turquoise piping that didn’t quite fit him, Ibad said he “didn’t like the idea of pets being dressed up since animals are meant to be free.”
The pets bounded down the runway under the glare of the stage lights while others were carried in baskets by their owners. The sweet natured Golden Retriever puppy Dusty, all of two months and 15 days old, posed for the cameras at the head of the runway like a pro, while other pets squirmed on their leashes and clung to their caretakers’ shoulders.
Atiya, who had brought her poodle Pepsi to the show, said she had heard about the event through a friend. She too said that as a rule, she preferred not to have her dog wear clothes. But like Ibad’s Elmo, her dog also was used to wearing a jacket in the winter.
The stall with clothes for the pets was a scene of activity, as pet owners looked through the pile to find clothes – emblazoned with slogans such as ‘hot mess’ - that would fit their pets. Bystanders snapped up photos excitedly of the pets, while several owners plonked their charges on to a table so that the TV crews could get close-ups.
One of the stars of the event was Daisy, Veronique’s two-year-old poodle who is blind. A young boy called Sultan, who was handling Daisy, happily affixed hair accessories on the poodle, who also sported a pair of plastic sunglasses. “She doesn’t care about this,” he said, “Getting her walking is the hard part.”
Designer Sadaf Malaterre, who was one of the judges of the show, dubbed the idea of a fashion show for pets “fabulous”.
“So much more should happen for animals,” Malaterre told The Express Tribune.
The pets weren’t judged on the basis of which one was “better” than the other but for their confidence and gait.
The judges, comprising Malaterre and Veronique and her friend Karen - found seven animals to excel in that: the dogs named Daisy, Oscar and Beena as well as Oreo, Liana, Jimmy and Simba.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2012.
View pictures of the event here.
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