Fashion Week Comes to Pakistan Amid Mayhem

By Omar Waraich / Karachi

The room is at a gentle dim. A willowy model emerges from the darkness and stares intently into the still murky distance. A beat drops, piercing the silence. As the music gathers pace, she sets off, sashaying toward the cameras that await her at the end of the ramp. The lights swiftly brighten to a squinting glare. On either side, necks crane forward to scrutinize every inch of the finery on exhibition. As she pirouettes in front of a flurry of flashes, the crowd emits its approval: some rise to applaud; others roar as they sway to the music. Welcome to Fashion Week in Karachi.
Nearly 3,500 miles away from Milan, this is perhaps the least expected entry in the global couture calendar. The clothes on parade, the models encased within, the talents that crafted them and the fabric they used are all Pakistani. For four days last week, attentions were briefly diverted from nearly daily terrorist attacks to this bustling port city, where 32 designers were showcased at Pakistan’s first genuine Fashion Week, revealing a different side to a country too often in the headlines for bad news.
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