Mention the word Pakistan nowadays and many people around the world are uncertain of what it stands for. The 'War on Terror' has taken its toll and the victims have been not only innocent by-standers but also the reputation of a country that was borne out of one man's vision.
That man was Muhammad Ali Jinnah and if he could see the troubled state of the nation he helped forge during the Partition of the Indian Subcontinent, he would no doubt be less than proud.
To many Pakistanis living around the world, there are two major facets of the nation that does rally national unity and gives everyone something to smile about. One is cricket, the other is pakistani clothes.
People around the world have no doubt been exposed to pakistani clothes wherever there are Pakistani populations. The Shalwar Kameez for example, which consists of a long shirt worn over baggy pants, is proudly worn out and about in the city and not restricted to the home or for special occasions only.
On the other hand, the Sherwani is a long tunic worn by men that is flattering and dignified. It is formal attire and is often worn by grooms on the occasion of their marriage. Combined with a turban, it imparts upon its wearer a positively regal look.
Certainly, Western-style clothing such as jeans and T-shirts have made their mark in Pakistan and are popular but interest in pakistani clothes and fashion has not abated. In fact in comparison to many pakistani clothing styles which allow for a high degree of creativity due to the variety of choice in embroidery work, colorful textiles, fabrics and cuts, Western-style clothing seems positively bland and boring!
Household brands that are likely to be seen sported by trend-setting individuals are Khaadi, Junaid Jamshed, Maria B, Erum Khan, Nomi Ansari and even Shahid Afridi, the cricketing living legend and this is by no means an exhaustive list.
Khaadi for example is known for tasteful colors, textures, and trendy styles handwoven from the purest cottons and silks.
The Maria B. brand is known for its meticulously cut cotton Shalwar Kameez and beautifully embroidered evening wear. Chic and modern style stitching are the call of the day here.
For Pakistan's strong textile market and hopefully the country, the future can only get better, and that is sure to bring a smile to many faces in this great nation.