Retro reinvented

Imagine wearing a flowing Eastern dress, sitting on a takht playing the sitar and being fanned by a kaneez.


Saadia Qamar October 07, 2010

Imagine wearing a long flowing    Eastern dress, sitting on a traditional takht playing the sitar and being fanned by a kaneez. Doesn’t that suddenly make you feel like a princess of the Mughal era? Well that’s exactly how you are supposed to feel when wearing the angharkas/anarkali/peshwas dresses.

Talking to The Express Tribune about eastern frocks, actress cum model, Zhalay Sarhadi says, “I love them. I usually design my own, but interestingly enough I really like the formal ones at Unbeatables, (a designer wear located at Park Towers) Ego and Daaman (two other notable shops located in Zamzama, offering more or less the same product, but mostly in cotton fabric).”

Shahla Rahman, the designer of Unbeatables says, “Our eastern angharkas can be traced beyond the Mughal era and were worn by the rulers, both men and women of the higher class. While both styles have a wide flare cut, angharkas close up in the front with an overlap across to one side of the chest. Angharkas today are worn mostly by women. While traditionally worn with churidar pajamas, they are currently being worn with ijaars or maimnee pants in line with the loose pant fashion. I believe they look equally good with both pants and the choice depends largely on the occasion the outfit is being worn to. Being a contemporary designer, I feel angharkas look better with high stilettos as the length of the kameez is long and high heels compliment that look. Anarkalis and angharkas fall in one category of flared long shirts.”

VJ turned fashion designer cum model, Sanam Agha who designs both eastern and western wear says, “With any angharka/anarkali dress or peshwas the best choice to go with is the churidaar pajama. To look stylish, the frocks should be long and must have a bias cut for a really appealing flare. The best bet would be to accessorise them with traditional bangles. However, these days silver and dull gold metal bangles are more hip and fashionable. When it comes to shoes that go well with eastern dresses, I personally wear traditional kolhapuris and khussas. However, for a more formal look for evening wear, stilettos also work with churidaars. For a complete eastern look, I would also wear traditional jewellery like jhumkas and maang tikkas, but if you want to go with the western look, you can wear modern jewellery as well.”

“Frocks at Fnkasia vary from anarkalis and angarkhas to smocked dresses, pannelled tops and empire cuts. These cuts are very feminine and flattering in nature. Pakistani girls tend to have curvy figures and hence these cuts come very handy,” says Huma Adnan.

Tia Noon from The House of Kamiar Rokni says her design label Tia, “does angharkas and anarkali dresses, but only when there is a demand for them.” For her clients she would hope, it would be “lovely to accessorise them with big earrings and bangles, too.” Her angharkas and anarkalis give a deeper look with naqasshi and kora work on jewel colours. Noon says for a very customary and traditional look, “churidaars go well with khussas. It is something conventional that doesn’t need to be modernised.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2010.

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