KARACHI: The grandchildren of late Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Nusrat Bhutto are possibly the most-obsessed over heirs in the country. In Sindh, postcards and posters bearing their image are sold as keepsakes.
There are a number of Facebook groups dedicated to them, and it is rare to find a Pakistani man who does not have a crush on either Fatima or Sassi Bhutto. But while the grandparents were incredibly stylish, blessed with high cheekbones and patrician noses, how have the grandkids fared on the sartorial end?
While Sassi Bhutto has only just started making public appearances, Pakistanis have been fixated with Zulfikar Jr and Fatima Bhutto for years. At the launch of Fatima Bhutto’s new book, Songs of Blood and Sword, the Bhutto women chose designer outfits. Fatima Bhutto’s outfit was by Maheen Khan, while Sassi Bhutto wore a popular Sanya Muneer design in black with a purple border.
Maheen Khan also designed Benazir Bhutto’s outfit for when she was first sworn in as prime minister, and recounted the experience to the Los Angeles Times this February. “Maheen Khan, who designed Bhutto’s inauguration outfit, said her original dupatta kept slipping off, so she suggested using white chiffon, which hung better and looked patriotic when matched with a green shalwar kameez - the colours of Pakistan’s flag. Bhutto loved the idea and made it a fixture.”
While the trio look remarkably charming, it isn’t because they’re wearing expensive designer outfits. It’s because they have managed to choose simple designs that suit them - and the occasion - and so the trio are not overwhelmed by the fabric.
Many a fashionista has professed that they shrieked in horror when Bilawal Bhutto Zardari wore a maroon silk kurta while touring the Great Wall of China last year. But at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where the children of late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and current President Asif Ali Zardari attended the premiere of a documentary on Ms Bhutto, the trio desperately needed a stylist.Their collective outfits seemed to not have been updated since the mid-1980s, and to boot, the badly draped scarves just didn’t gel with the outfits.
While Ms Bhutto shunned style for practicality, she was a huge fan of elegant saris. She also enjoyed showing off a new haircut (once deliberately letting her headscarf slip for the purpose), enlisted the help of Maheen Khan to dress her for her inauguration and got her hair cut by the London-based stylist Dar. But given the plethora of designers and stylists in Pakistan, can someone not volunteer their services to her Bilawal, Bakhtawar and Asifa? One can only hope.
STYLE NOTES- Runway garb
The outfit that Fatima Bhutto wore to her book launch was modelled by Iraj Manzoor at Fashion Pakistan Week in November 2009. From Maheen Khan’s spring/ summer 2010 collection, the green-and-red ensemble was topped off by a cap. While Manzoor wore strappy gold heels, Fatima Bhutto opted for red suede shoes. Sassi Bhutto wears a Sanya Muneer outfit that Tanya Shafi modelled for her campaign.
Benazir Bhutto’s thoughts on style
Benazir Bhutto wrote about the wardrobe that made headlines when she visited India in 1972: “I fancied myself more of a Harvard intellectual whose mind was occupied with the serious questions of war and peace, but the press persisted in asking me question after question about my clothes. ‘Fashions are a bourgeois pastime,’ I finally said in exasperation to one interviewer.” (Benazir Bhutto, Daughter of the East. Published 1988)