While celebs were drinking champagne at the tents and showing up pants-less to the shows during New York Fashion Week, something more political (but no less glam) was going on in Pakistan.
Just wrapping up its first government-approved Fashion Week, the event aimed to give the country a new image. This is a significant step towards adopting more liberal attitudes towards fashion, a word that one journalist says wasn’t even allowed in the Pakistani vocabulary. “Ten years ago we weren’t allowed to say the word ‘fashion,’” she explains. “We had to go for a ‘cultural event’ with clothes.” Even though 80 percent of Pakistani women wear a veil, the event is forging change by presenting women with options.The very feminine and Eastern-inspired styles that came down the runway, however, did incite fear in Fashion Week participants and the country’s Islamic conservatives. One model reported that “half an hour before the show [they] were getting death threats and phone calls and all kind of blackmail.”