Just recently I returned from an educational trip to Geneva, Switzerland, during all that time my ‘Fashion Analysis’ seemed to be pushed to its limits. Being aware of the cold weather and rain forecasts in that region, I packed my clothing in accordance, they mainly included sweater tops, skinny jeans, tights and boots. Since it was a rather casual trip, my clothes fulfilled the criteria, the question is where did I get my clothes from?
I targeted the main Western outlets in Doha, Qatar, those included the good old ‘Zaras’, ‘Mango’, ‘Debenhams’ and ‘Marks and Spencer’. This is where the dichotomy comes into limelight, the clothes I bought from these stores fulfilled the weather requirements of Europe, with a few accessories thrown in here and there, such as gloves, headbands and cute little polyester caps.
If you are living or travelling in a place where it is known to be extremely cold during the “Winters”, then one’s outlook of fashion changes when compared to ‘Pakistan’ (excluding the Northern and fairly cold areas). Even within the same ‘country’, there is fabric variation in peoples’ everyday clothes, some might like keeping their wool and polyester closeby due to winter chills, whilst others might prefer breezier types of cloth.
My hometown is Karachi where in the winters its a rather odd thing to cover yourself in gloves and ‘down jackets’ with UGG boots, that is something socially awkward to do, and would also be a ‘weather crime’ rather than a ‘fashion crime’. We find it comfortable to roam in our casual jeans and tops, and most of the time our lawn suits, or linen and cotton dresses with a light sweater on top. However when it comes to Karachi or any other city in entire Pakistan, we embrace our shawls like diamonds in a mine during the cold winds at night. Pakistani people love their shawls and embroidery, something I hardly found in Geneva! Nonetheless my travel to this unique city was enjoyable since I had the chance to appreciate the way people dress differently, there were many women who preferred their black heeled boots, while a few young ladies preferred UGGs in all sorts o sizes and colours, including pink!
The matter of fact is that we all mould our cultural, national identities and surroundings into fashion, every region has its own characteristic features of the seasons and every country has its own way of welcoming the seasons with different fabrics and styles. The beauty is in how people wear different clothes and carry varying accessories in opposite regions.