Strange as it sounds to me, I am returning to London after a whopping 30 years. Someone asked why I had never gone back (after spending six years of my childhood in Scotland aged 2-8) and I replied. “Because life happened.” It did and this journey back into time is an exciting and emotional one for me. It’s emotional because of the obvious.
It’s exciting because I’m the only journalist going from Pakistan to London (the other is Fifi Haroon, who’s already there) to attend the preview of Debenhams’ Autumn/Winter 2012 collection. It’s exciting because this collection will be coming into Pakistan (with the opening of Debenhams at Dolmen Mall Karachi) and I’ll witness and document British high street fashion’s first official steps into Pakistan. Judging by the brief I’ve been given, designers brands at Debenhams – like Jasper Conran, Julien MacDonald, Betty Jackson etc – will be coming to Karachi too and that’ll be a game changer for Pakistani fashion. This evolution will be monumental in mapping the future of Pakistan’s fashion industry as prices, quality, quantities and designs of local labels will have to now compete with foreign brands.
So here I am, right now killing time at the Butler’s Lounge at Karachi Airport, thankful for the quiet and civilized little oasis it offers. Respite from the Jeddah bound hordes of desis, relief from the Sharjah headed construction workers and a little distance from the Balochi students enroute an exchange program to God knows where. How I wish they had showered before setting out this morning!
It’s been a whirlwind of a week, with all that planning and packing and getting a British visa while sorting out the kids for China (June 2, IA). It’s been crazy and I’ve had no time to blog, or to finish the stories that I promised my editors I would submit before leaving. I’ll have to manage somehow and not let them down. Look out for more on this trip to London!