KARACHI: When Talat Rizwan organised her second daughter’s wedding, she realised how extravagant an affair it had become.
Even though she belongs to a well-off family, budgeting for the wedding provided a number of surprises. Rizwan told The Express Tribune as she shopped at Aashiana shopping mall, “My second daughter got married this year. Everything, literally everything that I bought was double the price to what I had bought four years ago!”
There has been a sharp increase in the cost of weddings in the past few years. This has had an impact on Karachiite women’s penchant for shopping. A visit to markets had mixed results: some wore a deserted look while others were selling in scores. Ashiana, a shopping market located in the Clifton area, caters to the upper strata of the society.
The prices match the clientele: starting prices for embellished and embroidered fabric began at Rs4,500 per yard. Accessories such as handbags and shoes ranged from Rs2,000 to Rs3,500. Interestingly on a hot, humid April afternoon Aashiana wore a deserted look. Fashionistas used to amass at the venue every day. But Aashiana’s shopkeepers are not planning to lower prices soon.
One told The Express Tribune, “Even though every commodity’s price has risen, people are definitely willing to pay for good clothes, Why shouldn’t they, when they can afford to! And why shouldn’t we ask for more?”
But Tariq Road told a different story. Rabi Shopping Mall was thronged with women, all snapping up chiffon and georgette saris. A collection of saris which bore a 50 per cent discount tag were the hottest ticket, though women still bargained over the prices. A shopkeeper at Tariq Road said, “We give a large discount to customers, who do ask us to lower the price, even for a single sari. But we gladly do it because we want them to become repeat customers.”