How Pakistani TV serials define sartorial choices in India

Local shows trigger penchant for palazzos, long kurtas and silken pants

News Desk July 16, 2015
A piece from So Kamal lawn launched its spring/summer collection earlier this year. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

India has fallen in love with Pakistani dramas and celebrities, no wonder they’ve grown a likeness for our fashion as well. Times of India reported that Muslims in India are taking inspiration from designs donned by celebs in our TV serials.

Pakistani serials have triggered a rush for palazzos, long kurtas and silken pants. Tehseem Junaid, a businesswoman in Nagpur who follows the latest fashion trends, feels that Karachi kurtas and dupattas drape differently.

“For Muslim women, the thrust has always been on comfort as we have to offer namaz. Tight fitting clothes and churidaars are not much of an option for us,” she said, which explains why the young and old are preferring the loose-fit clothes we wear in Pakistan.

Another fashion follower finds our clothing elegant. ”It’s very motivating watching women look so elegant in traditional attire,” said Gulnaaz Ali, a teacher who too attributes this trend to the Pakistani TV serials.

But who can better explain the dress than one who understands fabric and the art of stitching. “Karachi cotton kurtas are long shirts which reach a little above the ankles. They have long sleeves and have patterns on both sides. The design adheres to what one can describe as Islami dressing and so they have become extremely popular,” explains Nazmin Ali.

Geetu Khanna of Threads and Motifs which has a large Muslim clientele says, “Pakistani fabrics and suits are a complete package and start from as low as INR1,000.” Highlighting one of the reasons behind the Pakistani fashion craze.

“The shades and designs are refreshingly different; there is embroidery on the sleeves, lace on the hemline and muted dupattas to go with. The cigarette pants and palazzos are very trendy too,” she added.

While churidaars and shalwars have long dominated the Indian fashion industry, Pakistan adds a refreshing and different touch to eastern clothes.

“We don’t wear western outfits during Eid,” says Heena Fuszail, a student of Islamic studies. “The new styles are a fusion of Pakistani fashion and a bit of western wear. Loose pants or gagris combined with long shirts are elegant and comfortable so they are being preferred.”

Heena Yasmeen, another resident, states that television has become the main source of fashion for people; their deciding factor comes from their favourite TV serials and what the celebs in those dramas are wearing.

“Pakistani style long kurtas and pants adhere to Muslim style of dressing, are comfortable as they come in light materials like cotton and georgettes, have light dupattas and are very traditional in looks. So this trend has caught on in a big way,” she said.

However, it’s not only India taking inspiration from Pakistani or Muslim fashion, people across the globe have caught on this trend and are taking fashion to the next level by incorporating it in runways and fashion shows.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th,  2015.

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