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PAKISTAN'S MOST POPULAR ENGLISH WEEKLY MAGAZINE Editor-In- Chief: Mir Javed Rahman
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Mar 26 - Apr 01, 2011
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Fashion Fever!
by SAHAR HARIS

One of my old friends came over at my place for dinner last night. She was impeccably dressed in a pretty designer outfit, completely decked up with sparkling diamond jewellery adorning her neckline. I complimented her for the beautiful ensemble she was flaunting. "Sabeen you look stunning in this dress. Where is it from?" I couldn't help asking. "Well, you know how finicky I am about perfection. I always wear the best brands in town. This is Maria B stitched lawn." And then she went on and on boasting how expensive her dress was and how many she had bought for her summer wardrobe. My cousin, who was also present at the occasion, sighed with envy, obviously yearning for a wardrobe overflowing with designer labels. "I don't know why everyone is so crazy about designer lawn!" I wondered aloud. My friend's jaw dropped open in utter amazement. "Seriously, it's such a hassle purchasing your desired fabric, and the prices are exorbitant. I attended a lawn exhibition the other day; it was like a fish market over there. Hordes of women flocked to the counters turning it into a battleground. Nevertheless, I dived into the pool of quarreling women, trying to squeeze through and somehow get the best print off the rack. But to my dismay, just when I was about to reach out for the prized print, I received a nudge and blow on my arm. While I was busy surveying my arm for injury, the lady deftly picked up the treasure and fled. Ever since then, I shudder at the prospect of attending a lawn display", I justified my aversion to designer wear. "Ouch!" exclaimed my friend, and then she broke into a fit of laughter at the hilarious turnout of events. "You find this amusing?" I squealed at her indifference. "Wait till it happens with you!" I retorted.
Struck with the worst degree of fashion fever, women of all shapes and sizes are frequently caught in shopping malls, boutiques and plazas relentlessly chasing the latest trends. These fashion fanatics are ready to go to any length in order to emulate the hottest fashion icons, even if it means shopping for countless hours in the sweltering summer heat to hunt for the ensemble their favourite actress wore on TV. This may be the case for the majority of the female population, but extinct as they may be, there are still some who defy the norms and dare to experiment.
AT HOMEThe definition of fashion differs from person to person. For some, it is just a fad that will fade with the passage of time. These people tend to fall into the laidback category, for they don't care two hoots about fashion. They will wear whatever they feel like wearing, not worrying about the current trends. Men and women belonging to this category cater to their own whims and fancies while selecting their wardrobe. They are oblivious to the ever-evolving changes in the fashion scene and will dare to wear whatever they wish; even if it is not in sync with contemporary trends. Maliha is a care-free, happy go lucky sort of girl and her fashion sense reveals her devil may care less attitude. She wears short shirts when ultra long ones are "IN" and goes to work wearing baggy shalwars when culottes and trousers are in vogue. "I am like a free bird", she grins broadly as she tells me how her bizarre style sense often makes her the target of criticism. "People will keep wagging their tongues, but at the end of the day what matters most is my own comfort and ease. Fashion is something personal. If I like what I am wearing, the rest of the world can go to hell", she remarks nonchalantly.
Then there is the other extreme. They are the ones who have fallen prey to the designer dilemma. This species has an eternal infatuation with designer wear. This breed lives in the delusion that showing off branded clothes and accessories is the ticket to becoming the Rich and the Famous. Be it western attire, desi formals or casual pret-a-porter, they will always seek patent designs of top-notch brands and labels in town. Even when spotted hanging out with friends for a casual luncheon, they are sure to be sporting an expensive dress with an equally costly Swaroski studded watch shimmering from their wrist. Although there are exceptions, most of these people will miss no opportunity to snicker and sneer at their modestly clad peers.
As for this scribe, you will find my humble existence somewhere in between the two poles. My personal fashion sense is moderate, not too designer oriented or brand conscious nor too casual. Once in a while, I do invest in a unique designer outfit straight off the racks of a renowned boutique, but such extravagance is reserved for special occasions like family weddings and memorable reunions. For free souls like me who like to transcend the boundaries of fashion, fashion is a reflection of our penchant for creativity, our innovation with laces and stitching designs and our desire to turn trash into treasure. So girls! Let go of all inhibitions and experiment with all kinds of cuts, fabrics and designs. Mix and match is the best way to go these days. Accessorise yourself according to your dress and go soft on the make-up. Splash in the sea of colourful dresses as you pour out all your creative juices to invent your own wardrobe. Lastly, never pretend to emulate a celebrity's style; it is the biggest fashion blunder one can ever commit. Flash a confident smile and carry yourself with grace and you will surely make heads turn in admiration.
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Your Views

In my opinion, fashion is personal style. For me, fashion is whatever I wear on a regular basis. Tek-Chand Din Chellani, Larkana

Most people think that if they wear western attire and revealing clothes, they will appear fashionable. Fashion should represent our own culture and make us look good. It should be modern and contemporary while staying true to the Islamic dress code. Rabeeya, Hyderabad

The true Islamic culture is fashion for me. It is such a pity to see young girls trying to attract the opposite gender by wearing charming dresses, fitted tops and skin tight pants. I totally abhor such indecent behaviour. We are Muslims and our fashion sense should be modest and decent as ordained by Allah. Basharat Arman, Skardu

For me, fashion is keeping myself in shape according to the latest trends. If you have a good fashion sense, you will exude confidence and impress others with your charming personality. Ali, Mubarakpur

For me, fashion is a mode of life which keeps on varying with the passage of time. A sensible person always flows with the latest trends. Fashion is ever-evolving and life would be monotonous if fashion remained the same for a long time. Sabiha, Karachi

Everybody yearns to appear fashionable and I think it is something universal. Everyone strives to look their best and spend on their wardrobe according to their economic condition. I believe that adapting ourselves to changes in fashion is good for our personality. Saima Saleem, Faisalabad

In my opinion, fashion is all about staying upbeat with the current trends. Instead of following fashion blindly, we should wear clothes that suit us. Hira Ateeq, Lahore

Fashion is all about grooming yourself and inspiring others with your creativity. Fashion doesn't have to burn a hole in your pocket; you can cut down the cost of your wardrobe by designing innovative dresses yourself instead of going for designer labels. Arooj Iftikhar, Gujrat

Fashion is like a cycle. It keeps rotating. What was 'In' yesterday is 'Out' today and this circle keeps rolling on and on till eternity. It's fun to keep evolving according to the needs of the time. Maliha, Karachi

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