Indian clothing designer Kersi Dubash brought exclusive saris, shalwar-kameez, and Indian jewellery to exhibit at Nazakat Collection in Peshawar’s University town. “From rich, traditional heritage hand-work and embroideries, Nazakat Collection includes a stunning variety of woven and crafted saris,” Dubash told The Express Tribune.
Dubash also displayed rarely seen saris with gara hand embroidery, or Parsi embroidery which are highly priced due to their fine and delicate designs. Worn mostly by Parsi and Irani women from India on special occasions, gara saris are famous all over the world for their craftsmanship. Dubash selected eight hundred saris and suits which included Parsi gara saris, gara borders, gara shalwar-kameez suits, Tanchois, Jaipuri Bandhani saris and suits. There were Lacknowi, Kantha, Banarsi, pure cotton and silk saris on display. Pure gold Kanjivaram and bridal net saris were also included in the collection. Lucknowi chikankari and cotton suits were very popular among the buyers.
For over 15 years, Dubash has been crossing the border to display his unique collections in cities like Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, and Islamabad. “When I first came to Peshawar, I brought four Lucknowi saris; they were appreciated so much that I decided to exhibit my line of clothing here,” he said. Dubash mostly deals with clients from Peshawar via internet. He is a travel agent by profession, and gets his design inspirations from the different cities that he visits.
“Gorgeous net saris, sensuous silks, ancient designs, crafted Kanjiwaram, Jamdani and other varieties add a touch of rare antiquity,” said Dubash. The saris are handmade and embroidered with pearls, crystals, gota, beads and sequence work.
He said that there are great similarities in trends and culture of India and Pakistan, which is why designers are exhibiting across borders. Dubash also said that Pakistani designers’ work and designs are extremely popular, especially the shalwar kameez styles, which are high in demand in India.
Dr Seema was one of the visitors at the exhibition who said she was thankful that designers display their work in Peshawar. “It’s nice to see that a number of name brands are being introduced to our city and offering us variety,” she said. “We used to contact designers from other cities just for saris.” The women in Peshawar are very conscious, with an eye for the very best she said. “The problem in Peshawar is of law and order,” Dr Seema explained. “If the security situation improves, I’m sure all the brands from around the world would come here as there is demand in our markets.”
“Peshawari women like to wear saris even though such saris are not available in their city,” said Dubash. “Before, they used to bring saris from Lahore and Karachi.”
Another visitor, Sara Khan, appreciated Nazakat Collection and said: “The material looks durable and the blend of traditional and contemporary styles in vibrant colours is innovative and attractive.”
Khan also commented on prices being too high. “These exhibitions signify quality and creativity in products but are not so affordable,” she said.
Dubash had to pay various taxes to bring his collection to Peshawar, and therefore saris were priced high, between Rs35,000 to Rs75,000.
Besides the display of saris and suits, kundan jewellery from Jaipur along with precious and semi-precious jewellery was also exhibited at the Nazakat Collection.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 27th, 2012.