Summer is coming … and so are shalwars
By Aamna Haider Isani
It may be a little premature to talk about summer fashion – especially in Lahore – but there’s no denying that summer is coming. And if the Meteorological Department is to be believed, then it’s going to be a long and unkind one.
Summer. It’s where the western world sheds clothes and wears bare minimum. Summer. It’s where the Arab world adapted to jalabeyas and loose kaftans that would keep ventilation up and body heat down. Summer. It’s where Pakistan obsesses over lawn. But stop. While lawn is fine when it comes to fabric, one would like to see the style of wearing lawn evolve into something more weather-appropriate than…hold your breath…jeggings! This summer the ‘jegging’ (an ugly mutation of the jean and legging) must die!
We’re rooting for free-spirited, loose and breezy lowers, like the shalwar.
There are several designers like Zara Shahjahan, Nomi Ansari and Faiza Samee who have been strong advocates of the shalwar but this summer you’ll actually see a lot of them on ready to wear racks. We spotted loose and stylish pantaloons-type shalwars at Kaju by Sonya Battla. This little boutique in Dolmen Mall is quite the trendsetter these days; it is where you’ll get hip little tunics at throwaway prices and when you look into lowers, there a good range of very baggy pants in organic, cotton fabric. Ideal for the heat.
ShamshaHashwani, who has a niche following but an impeccable aesthetic, is advocating a lightweight Patiala shalwar for summer. Delicate and studded with a row of incandescent pearls, these Patialas promise to up the style quotient while lowering the heat.
“I really want to promote these shalwars in summer,” Shamsha Hashwani said when I paid her boutique in Karachi a visit. “They’re stylish and ideal for the hot months ahead.”
Another designer who stocks a kick-ass variety, and is actually responsible for the making the shalwar fashionable is Maheen Khan. Her Gulabo store in Dolmen Mall has a funky variety of striped, spotted, printed and solid dhoti/lungi shalwars that look great with a tunic or tee shirt alive. Go as short as your waistline permits!