Fashion sits at the core of Pakistan. This has been the case since historical times. From the Mughal era to the Indian sub-continent and onto British colonialism, fashion remained an integral part of South Asian culture. Presently, linen suits for women display the richness of Pakistani fashion in its truest form. It’s time to unveil what brought about this timeless glamour.
Couture in Pakistan
Image Source: Freepik
The Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) plays a huge role when it comes to fashion in Pakistan. Starting as just a platform, today PFDC has established a brand name for itself. From setting stages for fashion shows to housing some of the biggest brand names in the fashion industry, PFDC has made fashion more accessible than ever.
By bringing on board big corporate brands, PFDC has solidified the foundation of its fashion week. A stage where it displays fashion.
Pakistani weddings are known for their flamboyance. A major aspect of these weddings is the clothing. That is where couture steps in. Pakistani bridal couture is infamous for its grace, elegance, and attention to detail. This has been since the starting times.
Evolution of Couture
Since the Mughal era, brides have opted for heavy, detailed wedding dresses. Commonly made of silk, these dresses were embellished with precious stones and gold or silver threads. Initially, brides would only wear lehengas. Traditional brides then moved on to choose from lehengas, ghararas, or shararas. However, with Western influence, Pakistani women clothes today also go for gowns, dresses, or fusion wear.
Traditional bridal couture has a range of options to choose from. Lehenga, a popular choice, is a long skirt usually paired with a short blouse and dupatta. The lehenga is very heavy, filled with embroidery and embellishments. It is a popular choice in Punjab and Sindh.
Second is the sharara, a long, flowy skirt also paired with a short blouse and dupatta. The flare of a sharara is very particular. It is stitched from either silk or chiffon and is commonly worn by brides from Lucknow and Hyderabad. The gharara on the other hand is more like wide-legged trousers. It is paired with a short shirt and a dupatta. It is most popular in Punjab.
Moving on to saris, a product of South Indian heritage. Saris are a long piece of cloth that is wrapped around the body. Usually made of silk and chiffon, saris are very popular in Pakistan. Especially with Western fusions.
Another traditional dress is the Anarkali. A long frock, paired with churidar pants and a dupatta. The frock is usually embellished with stones and threads and is commonly worn in Punjab. Brides have the liberation to choose any style for their wedding wear.
With international exposure and influence, the Pakistan couture industry has also had fun mixing traditional bridal couture with Western styles.
Over the years, Western-style wedding gowns have gained a lot of popularity in Pakistan. With the chance to explore, many Pakistani brides now opt for Western-style wedding gowns. For a traditional touch, Pakistani brides add the element of dupatta to their gowns. This could be in place or in addition to the Western bridal veil. Many Pakistani brides have started to experiment with Western trends, tailoring fusions for their wedding looks.
Significance of Bridal Couture in Pakistan
For Pakistani brides, bridal couture is not just an outfit, it is a symbol of their culture, traditions, and family values. The bride takes this as an opportunity to express herself through her style. Many families tend to pass on wedding dresses to showcase the sentiment and honor attached to them. Not to forget, many Pakistani families today use bridal wear to showcase their social standing. Especially since the extensive commercialization of the industry.
Couture for Men
Couture is not limited to women. Today, grooms in Pakistan are equally involved in their wedding wear as are brides. This has a lot to do with the effective marketing that brands have put in male fashion couture. With fashion shows all year round, men and women both get to see new trends and follow them as they please. Most popular couture brands in Pakistan offer wedding wear for both, brides and grooms.
Thus, there is no doubt about the importance of bridal couture in Pakistan. Pakistani bridal couture is renowned for its intricacy and uniqueness. It is presently a booming industry in Pakistan.