It seems like Pakistani attire has become the definitive source of inspiration for fashion designers around the globe. And many of these designs have also graced runways in recent times.
Here is a list of 9 international brands that have taken inspiration from our culture.
1) Dolce & Gabbana
Known best for its vespas, Milan’s streets and locals were acquainted with a Pakistani truck art inspired vehicle, used as part of Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana’s new beauty campaign.
The project #DGBeautyOnTheGo took over Milan throughout the summer of 2015 and was aimed at promoting the brand’s new cosmetics collection.
Italian designer Donatella Versace unveiled her menswear collection for Spring/Summer 2016 also in Milan, much of which was inspired from shalwar kameez.
Versace’s attempts to play with lengths, layers and proportions made a seemingly interesting collection – one that had a strong resemblance to our national dress.
3) Paul Smith
Named the ‘Robert Sandal’with a hefty price tag of £300.00, British designer Paul Smith ‘designed’ a sandal that pretty much looked exactly the same as a Peshawari chappal. This particular product created quite the hype on social media though.
Although there is nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from a specific culture, issues arise when there is a lack of acknowledgment regarding the source.
Unfortunately, Smith was one of those who failed to mention his inspiration for producing the sandals. However, after an online petition and Twitter outrage, the designer’s website changed the product description to state that the sandal was “inspired by the Peshawari chappal“.
It seems like Sasa Kovacevic, the Hunger Games costume designer and founder of label Sadak received all the attention back in 2015. At the Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week held in Berlin, his collection was inspired by the Islamic concept of hijab.
It’s very common for women in Pakistan to use a naqaab (veil) to cover their faces, paired with a burqa to cover their bodies. Although the thought of a man wearing these might make you giggle, that’s exactly what Kovacevic portrayed on the runway.
The media most definitely went into frenzy when these male models marched down the runway wearing face-covering garments influenced by the burqa.
5) Stella McCartney
British fashion designer Stella McCartney came out with ‘bell bottom trousers’ named Chellini which was basically a gharara – a pair of wide-legged pants, ruched at the knee to create a flare.
Priced at a whopping £1,100.00 these trousers are actually sold out! Can you believe it?
Gucci created this duhri-style dress which definitely has some Sindhi inspiration.
Whoever wears this statement-making piece is bound to turn heads! The duhri is usually made out of gold and worn by the bride at her wedding.
7) Forever 21
Forever 21 also took inspiration particularly from the province of Sindh. This high street brand came out with various clothing pieces incorporating the ajrak print.
Ajrak is the name of a specific type of printed cloth which have patterns made on them using stamps to create block prints.
Topshop took Sindhi inspiration too! And definitely surprised us by producing crop-tops incorporating traditional mirror work that resembles the Sindhi gaj.
The gaj is a type of embroidery popular in Sindh that integrates small mirrors in between the thread-work.
This designer came out with a range of ‘sandals in a toe-ring silhouette’ – as described on the website. Basically, it’s just a Kohlapuri chappal.
Although these chappals originate from the city of Kolhapur in India, us Pakistani’s have embraced this as part of our cultural attire.