Feelin’ haute in Peshawar

Waqas Ahmed

Peshawar is a long way from being the fashion capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, let alone, Pakistan. It was never on the forefront of fashion in Pakistan but a recent visit there has confirmed that there are changes taking place. One can now see branches of popular designer wear outlets such as Outfitters, Junaid Jamshed, Fiction, Generations (among others) and local outlets such as Shah Posh Boutique, Ayesha’s Fashion Store and Rutt’s designs.

Following in the footsteps of Fashion Pakistan Week, the Pakistan Fashion Design Council Fashion Week, Karachi Fashion Week and Islamabad Fashion Week, were rumours of a Peshawar Fashion Week that surfaced earlier this year. The event is slated to be held sometime this year, although a formal date or time frame has yet to be issued. The week is being being organized by the Peshawar Youth Organisation. The Peshawar Fashion Week is the brainchild of Waqas Ahmed who has also formed the Peshawar Fashion Council who is intent on showing a “different” side of Peshawar to the rest of the country.

But fashion industry professionals from two of the Pakistan’s fashion capitals, Lahore and Karachi, have not been very welcoming of Waqas’s vision for a fashion week in Peshawar and don’t consider it as a ‘serious’ occasion (if it takes place) for fashion in Pakistan. Islamabad-based Tariq Amin has reportedly stated in a section of the press that he was offended that the recently held Islamabad Fashion Week (which he spearheaded) was being compared to Peshawar Fashion Week. Keeping that in mind, there are others though, who think differently. Lux Style Awards nominated designer and one of those selected to showcase at the Pret-a-porter platform in Paris, France, Karachi-based Adnan Pardesy says that, “I don’t know whether it will happen or not, if it happens, then why not? The more the merrier. Peshawar is possibly one of the most-affected cities in Pakistan in terms of the terrorism in the country, so I think its great if we can come out and do a fashion week in Peshawar and show the world that its not about extremism in this part of the country.”

Pardesy is less open, however, to the idea of Peshawar forming its own fashion council. “That is not a very good idea because you already have two who are working well and hard,” he says, “its better if you join a better that can represent people from different parts of the country.”

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