“Front, back, sleeves, neck, panel for front, panel for back”
“Do I get one for dusting my shoes too?” was my reaction as a shopkeeper kept unfolding the cut pieces of some apparently-popular designer lawn.
Even in my late teens social norms were less instrumental in attracting me to wearing Pakistani clothing than the creativity involved. I loved to buy plain fabric, stare at it as if to decipher some hidden code, wait for weeks for inspiration to hit, go through countless magazines and manage to put something decent together. If I think hard enough, I can probably produce a definite count of the printed fabrics I have bought in my life – the thought that statistically I could encounter someone wearing the same print as me was an unpleasant one.
Coming back after seven years, to a status-conscious society now also grown brand-conscious, I could see my love of fashion shopping breathing its last. On a second thought, under the guise of designer clothes, I am more paranoid with the prevailing attitudes towards them. Just because they exist doesn’t mean it’s an obligation to buy them. But it seems like failure to do so amounts to having poor taste. The fact that the majority of the population can’t even afford them adds further to their value, providing yet another unnecessary divide between the wealthy and the poor.
And so I refuse to get on the bandwagon. Everyone has their own reasons for shopping – and I am neither speaking on everyone’s behalf nor advising at large – but I am very well aware of mine when it comes to Pakistani clothes. I will continue to buy plain, no name clothes and fuss over the shape of my gala and the lace that adorns my daaman.