Just as it does with Bollywood films, Pakistan had also been viewing Indian fashion on the sly, picking an odd dress from our designers’ Dubai-London outlets. Now our neighbours get their official taste of Indian couture. For the first time, three leading Indian designers—Ritu Kumar, J.J. Valaya and Anamika Khanna—will showcase their collections at the Bridal Asia show in Pakistan. Bridal Asia is a regular fashion event on the Indian couture calendar. It has now been invited to Karachi for the 25th anniversary celebrations of Mag, the fashion weekly of the reputed Jang group of publications. "It’s a landmark event. We have shared a border, history, heritage and culture. With Bridal Asia, we’ll now be able to forge a new communication in aesthetics," says Divya Gurware, the woman behind Bridal Asia. Valaya admits that there’s a very "different feeling" in showing his wares in Pakistan than in any other place across the globe. He’s taking along a varied set from his previous collections for the show.
However, Ritu Kumar’s devising a new line that will be representative of the Indian textiles and crafts: khadi, handblock printing, Benaras brocade and zardozi. There’s a quaint must-do on Ritu’s agenda: shopping. "I want to check out their latest trends in salwar kameezes," she says. More seriously, she thinks that it offers a "good opportunity to connect". "We have a shared textile history and interact with the same kind of clothing. It’s very good news at a time when things are opening up politically," she says.
Hopefully, it will also open up a new, receptive market for Indian designers. As they say, fashion knows no frontiers.