LAHORE: Move over, harem pants, wide-legged trousers and capris. The churidar pyjama is set to return as the ‘pant’ of the season.
The garment has historical and traditional significance in our culture as a piece of clothing that was worn by royalty and courtiers and is shown in any period film, be it Mughal-e-Azam or Umrao Jaan. However for years it has been relegated to wedding wear, and even that was on the decline as the floor-skimming wide-legged trouser took over.
That may be about to change as bright funky tights and skinny jeans dominate runways and celebrity wardrobes. For those not ready to don skinny jeans, a local alternative has emerged in the form of the churidar. From Teejays’ cotton churidars to Ali Xeeshan’s quirky jamawar tights, this tubular garment has come back in a big way. Designers talked to The Express Tribune about the fashionable blast from the past.
Khadija Shah of Elan:
I personally love the churidar. If jeggings and leggings can make a great comeback internationally, it was about time that we would catch up with something similar. A churidar is the eastern corollary of the leggings and goes very well with the very long flowing kameezes that are en vogue these days as well as the shorter hemline. It is very eastern and looks elegant. It’s always good to have an eastern version of whatever is raging on the international fashion scene. My entire collection at fashion week was paired with churidars and I also did it with my Audrey Hepburnish outfits.
Tip: Since Pakistani women are generally short, the churidar elongates their silhouette.
Since the trend for kameezes is long and voluminous, we need something structured for the lower half to give an outfit more definition. If you wear pants with those shirts, the entire ensemble looks like a sack. When we would wear shorter hemlines it would be with slightly broad capri pants, so the whole outfit would come together.
A churidar is a better bet for voluminous outfits like anghrakhas and the kali-daar kameezes. It is extremely flattering not only for longer kameezes but also for shorter ones. I am personally fed up with long, trailing kameezes and am looking forward for the hemlines to go up - and they will make a huge comeback soon.
Tip: Churidars look great with long kameezes to give the lower half more definition.
My collection for fashion week featured short kameezes and tights in various colours and forms. Although I made that collection with a lot of love since I wear a lot of tights, I was scared nobody would respond to it, but 80 per cent of my collection was sold out at Eid!
Our fashion has always been linked to the international fashion scene and since the churidar is like the skinny jeans and leggings that are popular globally, the churidar is also making a comeback.
We always saw the churidar as an ethnic garment and not really as high fashion hence I wanted to make them into ramp wear. The churidars I made were actually from knit wear so they are versatile enough to be worn as tights as well.
Tip: Churidars can be high fashion too.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2010.