With the Taliban hovering in the background and located just two hours from al- Qaida headquarters, Pakistan hosted its first fashion week in the cosmopolitan city of Karachi last week. It might seem like a frivolous choice at a time when violence and religious oppression affects most of the country but I think its a signal of bravery and hope to Pakistan's women. "This is our gesture of defiance to the Taliban," said CEO of Fashion Week Pakistan, Ayesha Tammy Haq. Although the fashion show displayed traditional Pakistani tunics and veils, bared shoulders, legs and midriffs were also on view. The event had been re-scheduled twice because of violence and security concerns and some models admitted that they were afraid of Islamic militant attacks but they strutted down the runways nonetheless.
Showcasing a mix of traditional Pakistani influences and contemporary style, Pakistan's top designers demonstrated the vibrant culture that's too often overshadowed by political upheaval. Most of the designs, like the fashions in Western shows, were too outrageous for Pakistani women to actually wear but they represented a broad spectrum of freedom and choice for the future.