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Fashion as Political Defiance?

Nov 05 2009

Veiled women

Yesterday marked the first day of Pakistan's first ever fashion week. The four-day event which is taking place under heavy security in Karachi was postponed for several weeks because of the intense campaign of bombings and assassinations by Taliban militants throughout October. In a country where the mere sight of a woman's uncovered head or other acts of "immodesty" often carry potentially severe consequences, the very act of sending models down a runway is an act of political defiance. It also deserves our respect.

In western countries, views on fashion are as diverse as the fashions themselves. To some of us, fashion is an industry and a form of self-expression. To others, it is merely a form of entertainment or a frivolous pursuit. It is rarely if ever a political statement let alone one with potentially life-threatening consequences. Even the hippie movement of the early 1970's or the punk rock movement of the early 1980's (the closest modern western fashion has come in recent times to being politicized) never carried with it the risk of stoning. It makes me want to run out and buy a garment by Sonya Battla or Samar Mehdi to show my support and respect. If any of you reading this post happen to know where I can purchase their garments, please let me know.


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The Luxe Chronicles is a collection of interviews, profiles and musings on various aspects of the luxury industry and occasionally, a rant on our celebrity obsessed culture and the dumbing down of our collective sense of style and esthetic.

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